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Szczesny: My message to fans is to keep believing

Wojciech Szczesny is once again a Roma player and in his first interview after returning to the club he called upon fans to have faith in the team's ability.

“Do I have a message to the fans? Just keep believing,” the Polish goalkeeper declared to Giallorossi supporters. “We showed you guys what we can do last year and I'm sure that we can continue that this year throughout the season. With your belief behind us, I'm sure we can achieve great things.”

How does feel to be a Roma player again?

“Yes, I'm very happy. Obviously after a good season last year, I knew there was a possibility of coming back and I was very happy that the coach wanted me. I'm delighted to be back and I hope we can improve on what we did last season and really give it a push for the Scudetto.”

Have you already spoken with Luciano Spalletti?

“I haven't spoken to the coach, no. I spoke to him before I left, so I knew there were signs that he wanted me back. We had a good relationship last year, so I'm looking forward to working with him again. We'll see how far he can take us.”

You finished last season in third spot. What are the objectives for this season?

“I've joined AS Roma and I want to win the Scudetto. That's the only objective I have. I think we had a good second half of the season last year, but when you play for a big club you have to fight to win the titles.”

Many already believe the league is a foregone conclusion with Juventus as huge favourites.

“I don't want to think about the favourites. On paper, they probably are, but we showed in the second half of last season that we can play at a very good level for a long period of time. And I think if we continue that this year, then we have a real chance.”

Roma have the qualifiers for the Champions League in mid-August. 

“Yes, the Champions League will be important. Again, I think that when you play for a big club, the Champions League is one competition where you want to challenge and you want to play against the best teams in Europe. So I hope we can qualify and then do well in that competition.”

Personally, what are your expectations for this year?

“Personally I don't have objectives. I think I'm at a stage in my career when it's all about the team and the club going forward and winning trophies. Obviously, I want to make sure I play first and I'll have a good rivalry with Alisson. I've seen him in a few games and he's a very strong goalkeeper, so I'm looking forward to working with him. But then, it's all about helping the club achieve its goals. It's not so much about my personal goals.”

What was Morgan De Sanctis like as a team-mate last season?

“Morgan was unbelievable, I said it from day one. I arrived, not knowing any Italian, not knowing the culture and the style of football, and Morgan helped me a lot. So he was huge for me – together with Bogdan Lobont, who is still here. I'm looking forward to learning from him because both of them always had good advice for me and they were very prepared to help me. It's all about storing that experience and learning from the older players.”

Did you speak to your team-mates during the summer?

“Yeah, I spoke to the guys over the summer. I spoke with Radja a lot. We also have a group on WhatsApp and we stay in touch, so I was able to speak to them. I think they knew that there was a possibility of me coming back so they wanted to keep in touch as well. I'm happy that most of us are still in the same squad. We've had a few good additions to the group, so the team looks really good.”

There are a lot of rumours in Rome about a former team-mate of yours, Thomas Vermaelen. What do you think of that?

“Yeah, Vermaelen is a good player. I haven't spoken to him much since he left Arsenal, but he's a very good player. If there was a possibility of him playing for Roma, I'd be delighted because he's a very good friend of mine and a terrific player.”

You were part of the Poland squad at the Euros 2016. What was that like as an experience?

“It was a difficult experience for me because I had worked very hard to be the first-choice goalkeeper for that tournament and thankfully I was picked ahead of [Lukasz] Fabianski. But then after the first game I got injured and I had a difficult time. It was a really good tournament for the team. As you said, we lost in the quarter-finals to Portugal on penalties. And I don't think we should have lost in this way. It was disappointing because I think we could have done better, but when we got back home everyone was happy with us. I guess the fans' opinion is the most important one and they were proud of us.”

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