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Monchi hails Atletico example as he discusses Roma evolution

Roma sporting director Monchi has said he and the rest of the board are trying to ‘Romanise’ the club more, as they try to put the club on the path to a successful future.

The Giallorossi continued a strong start to the Serie A campaign with a 2-1 victory over Lazio on Saturday afternoon and, as his first full season at the club continues to develop, Monchi already sees encouraging signs for the future.

“Things could always be better, but I am satisfied,” the Spaniard noted, in an interview with El Mundo. “I have always said that the transfer business is done in the summer but the results are only seen the following June – although we are always subjected to the brutal judgement of results.”

He added; “We are trying to ‘Romanise’ Roma a bit more. The coach [Eusebio Di Francesco] has played for the club, just as the team manager [Morgan De Santis] did – and of course we have Francesco Totti as director, a man who is basically Roma.”

Roma face Atletico Madrid in the Champions League in their next match, knowing they will qualify for the last-16 of the competition (at their opponents’ expense) as long as they avoid defeat at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Despite that dynamic, the director still believes Atletico’s recent example is one Roma can learn from.

“It’s difficult for us to try to repeat a model in the exact same way, because in each league the circumstances are different,” Monchi said. “But I certainly admire Atletico for managing to do two things: firstly for managing to recover from a complicated situation and, after being in the second division, rising to become part of the European elite; and secondly because they have done so in same city as one of the biggest clubs in the world, Real Madrid.”

He added: “I think that they are going through a difficult period, which has happened to Real Madrid and Barcelona to. But it would be wrong to write off Atletico just yet, to under-estimated their quality or the great ability of Diego Simeone.”

With the interview covering a number of topics, the former Sevilla man was asked how he told Francesco Totti that the forward’s legendary 25-year playing career with Roma would be coming to an end.

 “I would imagine it was not the best news of his life, but I think he appreciated the fact that I looked him in the eye as I told him,” Monchi said.

“I would say that has been important in forming the base of the great rapport we have now, both as men and colleagues. When I told him, my legs were trembling a bit, because I was not saying this to any player, but the Francesco Totti.”

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