After being appointed as Roma's new coach on Tuesday evening, Eusebio Di Francesco sat down with asroma.com for his first interview in his new role.
Coming back to the club where he spent four seasons as a player, the 47-year-old admitted it was a real thrill to return to Trigoria, and he is looking forward to getting to work with a talented group of players.
“It was like coming home after many years," Di Francesco said. "It’s an amazing feeling.
"I’ve seen lots of people again that were here before and met lots of new people who have made me feel very welcome.”
How is it different to your first spell with Roma?
“Apart from the building itself, almost everything is new. There’s been a lot of innovation and you can see the desire to grow. Clearly, the club is working to get to the top of European football.”
What is it that attracts you to the Roma project?
“The project here at Roma starts with the people. The first thing that struck me was that the people in charge wanted me here at all costs. There is a desire to achieve something big and to build a team that entertains people.”
What did Monchi say to you the first time you spoke?
“He told me he wanted to speak about football and really opened up to me. It’s a subject I love speaking about. I think he’s a very able man. He knows football, not just on a national level but across Europe, and he’ll be a great help in my own personal development.”
Roma have just announced their first signing for the 2017-18 season, Hector Moreno.
“He’s a very interesting player. He’s versatile, can play in the centre and on the flank and gets back very well. Given that Roma are a team that loves attacking, it’ll often be necessary for players to cover a lot of ground getting back and so I think he has some very important attributes as a player.”
You’ve favoured a 4-3-3 at Sassuolo in recent years, but you’ve switched to a back three at times too. Will you use both systems at Roma?
“In terms of the formation I’ve almost always used a 4-3-3. I prefer a four-man defence and have only gone with a back three out of necessity. In order to be able to get better, all coaches have to be able to get their philosophy and coaching style across. For me, a back four will be the basis of this Roma team.”
Do you have a message for the Roma fans?
“My message to our fans is a short one – I won’t call them my 'new' fans because they’ve already been my supporters in the past. I want to create a lot of enthusiasm around the team and I think they have a vital role to play in that.”