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Smalling: Roma fans are special. Mourinho wants to win again”

His words: “It was a great feeling to arrive at a big club like this and be able to adapt quickly and feel all the affection from the fans and team-mates” Chris Smalling gave an interview to Starcasino sport. These are the words of the English defender: On arrival in Rome. “Yes, it was a […] Chris Smalling, a defender for Roma, has revealed that the club's fans are special and that it was a great feeling to arrive at a big club like this and feel all the affection from the fans and team-mates. He also discussed his relationship with manager Jose Mourinho and how he helped his son settle in. Smalling believes that if he wins, he will bring quality and tranquility to midfield, as well as the glue that binds all departments together.

Smalling: Roma fans are special. Mourinho wants to win again”

Published : 2 weeks ago by Ruetir in

His words: “It was a great feeling to arrive at a big club like this and be able to adapt quickly and feel all the affection from the fans and team-mates”

Chris Smalling gave an interview to Starcasino sport. These are the words of the English defender:

On arrival in Rome. “Yes, it was a great feeling to arrive at a big club like this and be able to adapt quickly and feel all the affection from the fans and team-mates. It was truly a special feeling and one of the main reasons why I am still to Rome”.

What does playing for Roma mean to you?As you know, playing here is different from all other squares. “Yes, it’s very different. Even in the cities where I’ve played previously, like Manchester, there are many fans of other teams, while in Rome there is a large percentage of Roma fans. Of course, there are also Lazio fans, but I sometimes meet almost exclusively Roma fans.

Do you feel some pressure or not? “I think in good times it’s good to feel the pressure to win and get results. It’s what all great players strive for.”

Last season was great for you. “Yes, I think finishing with a trophy and being able to make an important contribution was a great feeling”.

Are Roma fans special? “Yes, they are very special. There are not many teams in Italy with a stadium that is always sold out in every match, regardless of whether the opponent is at the top or bottom of the table. The stadium is always full, and it’s incredible to have a sequel like that.”

For the fans, you are Roman and a Romanist. “Yes, as you said, it’s nice that a person who is neither Roman nor Italian can enter their hearts. My family and I really feel at home too. Just think of the welcome we receive wherever we go. It’s a club that is truly a family.”

I think about your son. “Exactly, he spent more time in Italy than in England. He also really likes living here, so it’s a great experience for us.”

The fans went crazy when you yelled ‘Daje Roma’ after the 2-2 draw at Milan. “I saw the video. I think in certain moments you let out all the emotions you have inside. I’ve been at Roma for a long time so sentences like that aren’t unusual for me, I say them every day.”

The relationship with Mourinho? “My relationship with him is excellent. I had the chance to play and win with him in England and now I have the chance to do it in Italy. He’s won everything and wants to keep winning, he’s not one to settle for a trophy and that’s the mentality we need here. Finding a way to win, no matter if playing well or poorly, or even in the last 5/10 minutes. His experience is invaluable to us, and that’s what we always need. more need”.

How did you help Abraham settle in? “We spoke before he arrived because we are very close. Then I showed him some places to go to, to help him settle in, but I think he settled in very easily, as we know he got off to a great start, with many goals. I think he perceived the love, the joy of living in Rome and I think all this support around him has made his life easier.”

Do you often talk to him? “Yes, we’re sitting next to each other in the locker room so we talk a lot”

Rome is very different from London. “Yes, it’s very different. Tammy and I really like discovering new places in Rome, discovering new things in the capital and in the rest of Italy, so it was a very positive experience for both of us. We hope it will continue for a long time.”

You played with Matic at United. He brought all his experience to Rome. “Yes, I remember when rumors started circulating about his arrival at the end of last season. I knew he would bring quality and tranquility to midfield. I consider him the glue that binds all departments together, from defense to attack. He is clearly demonstrating the his qualities. I’m happy to play with a person I know who can give us a lot of quality. Mourinho wanted him in 3 teams so he’s like a father to him and also Nemanja won a lot with him so he brings more winning mentality to this club “.

The hardest striker to stop in Serie A? “In Serie A there are several. I would say Vlahovic but also Osimhen. Both have strength, technique and speed. They can stay calm for 89 minutes but then one chance to punish you is enough. They are young and will certainly have a great career”:

The strongest defender in Serie A? “There are a lot of them in Italy so I think in Italian football in particular, the defensive skills of these defenders are one of the cornerstones. This club is lucky to have some young ones who are showing off. If I had to choose a defender … there have been many over the years, I am thinking of Panucci. Kim plays very well He has had an extraordinary performance, considering that he comes from another championship and that he was not very well known. I congratulate him, he is doing really well “.

Tell us about your beginnings, you have a particular story. You also stopped playing professionally at one point. “Yes, it happened when I was young and played for Millwall, a club in London. I played from under 11 to under 15. I lived quite far away so I was forced to miss many training sessions and consequently my football growth was not as fast as I decided to focus on my studies and I passed my school leaving exam and then from 16 to 18 I played in the lower leagues for Maidstone United. I always had the ambition to be a footballer but at the same time I was realistic and knew I be very far from the level required by a big club such as Roma for example. So I made the decision to focus on my studies and play for fun. I would have continued to play even if instead of Manchester I had been in a lower league. Then around 18/ I was 19 when I graduated and was about to enroll in university, I was summoned for two auditions.I had decided to go to university and was planning holidays with friends all together since then we would have enrolled in different faculties. Then they called me for these auditions and I thought I had nothing to lose. I liked studying. I graduated and then I had the intention of going to university to study Economics and Finance, I had already made the decision and these two auditions, with Middlesbrough and Fulham, came as a bit of a surprise. I thought “Why not give it a try?” and in the end both clubs offered me a contract. It happened unexpectedly but I think the fact that I’ve already decided to enroll in university helped me because it allowed me to face the auditions without too much pressure. I think this has helped me to give my best”. ù

Did Fulham come first and then Manchester? “Yes, I was on trial at Fulham for 3/4 days and played with the reserve team. At the time the coach was Roy Hodgson who watched the game from his office terrace. Immediately after the game he called me in the his office. It was surreal, I was in the reserve team and the first team manager wanted to talk to me. We talked for a while and he said he wanted to offer me a contract. He also played for Maidstone United. Sometimes the world is really small. Then I also went on trial to Middlesbrough for a week but in the end I chose Fulham and after a season with the reserves, I started to get opportunities in the first team.”

How did the decision to become vegan come about? “I think it’s not just a matter of nutrition, and plant products, but it’s something that becomes part of your daily life and also influences your choices, your way of dressing and your behavior. Being vegan makes you more aware in certain aspects but it depends on how you feel. Everyone experiences this choice in their own way”.

Do you have a favorite place in Rome? “It’s hard to say and I think that’s the beauty of Rome, there’s a lot to do. You can go downtown and visit all the tourist attractions, like I did with my family, but you can also go out of the center for a nice walk. One of our favorite places is the Caffarella park where we take our dogs but we also like to go to the beach since it’s not so far away. There are not a few people who want to visit us from England because everyone likes Rome and we love it too.”

We say that Rome is the Great Beauty. “Yes, I agree. During the day you can walk around seeing the tourist attractions and then at night they are so well lit. I had never been to Rome before coming here. I have many friends who have been there before and I left they had spoken very well but we had never visited and now we have the opportunity to live there. We like Rome a lot”.

Can you tell us about “Football Beyond Borders”? “Yes, many years ago I was introduced to the founder Jasper and he was doing a great job in London and in Brixton, a district of London where it was really necessary to give assistance and perspectives to children in schools and there I realized that often football is a passion common to many kids so he thought of a way to make this passion coexist with school education and he found a method to involve many schools and to set up different programs, not only at a football level, but also with the aim is to help the kids focus on various projects.The association works with them for a long time and involve them in various projects.For example 8 kids were working on different parts of the usual project and they learn to work in team gaining knowledge. The association has since expanded to Manchester and when we visit schools we talk to a few teachers and they tell us about the changes they have seen through our work. In fact, some of these kids are the most restless, they are considered problematic but in the end they are just people with a particular story and difficulties. Seeing the progress and the path taken by some guys, full credit must be given to “Football Beyond Borders” and their team. We are growing a lot, there are several schools that want to participate in the project and bring it to their classrooms. I am very passionate about seeing these kids grow, because they are our future.”

How’s it going with Italian? “Well, with some ups and downs, I think it’s normal when learning a language. I understand many words and I’m able to pronounce others. There are ups and downs and there are times when I have difficulties. It’s very difficult to learn a new language. I have to keep pushing, but at the moment I have some ups and downs”.

Do you like music? “Yes, I like different types of music. I listen to some Italian music especially in the dressing room because we have Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, English players. There is a good mix of Italian and South American music thanks to the different cultures in the dressing room” .

Are there any other sports you like? “I like tennis, it’s probably my biggest passion after football. I also like rugby and cricket but I’m really a big tennis fan.”

Do you know the song “Thank you Rome”? “Obviously. I have to admit I’m not a great singer. Daje Roma always. Next time we’ll speak in Italian.”

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