Skip to content
#AskMonchi: The sporting director answers fan questions

We asked you for your best questions for the Spaniard - and then we made him answer them...

Having just completed his first transfer window as Roma's sporting director, we felt the time was right to catch up with Monchi and learn a bit more about his first few months in the Italian capital.

Read everything he had to say about his signings so far, his new life in Rome, and his ambitions to win a trophy as soon as possible...
 

The first question is: How far can Roma go in the Champions League?

"I think we should be ambitious and believe we can go as far as possible although obviously we have to keep our feet on the ground. Our first target must be to reach the knockout stages and after that we can start dreaming."

When do you think you'll win a major trophy with Roma?

"Hopefully as soon as possible! I've said that since the first day I arrived and it's something I always have in my mind. I think about it when I go to bed and when I'm in my office. One day I want to make Roma fans' dreams come true. That's my guiding point, what drives me. I want Roma fans to be able to celebrate a trophy."

People always say Roma is a difficult place to work. Now that you've been here for a few months, do you agree or disagree with that?

"Roma are a great club and Rome is a big city. Everything is magnified and the repercussions are felt a lot more here. Obviously that increases the pressure. I wasn't surprised by anything when I joined. When I decided to come to Roma, I didn't expect to find a club where everything is nice and calm. Pressure is part of the game. Expectations are part of the game. You have that at Roma but I think it's a good thing. It's good that we're ambitious and it's good that we're under pressure from the fans and the media. It should motivate us to do better."

How important is it that Roma have kept key players such as Nainggolan, Strootman and De Rossi?

"It's not just Kevin, Radja and Daniele but players like Edin [Dzeko], Perotti and El Sharaawy too.

"Working the transfer market is not just buying and selling players. There's a third side to it, which is being able to keep hold of your big players, the ones who can guide the new players coming in as well as those already at the club. That's what we have with Radja, Kevin and Daniele. It was one of the targets I set myself when I first came to Roma and I'm happy to have succeeded."

Why didn't you feel it was necessary to buy another centre-back given that Roma will be involved on three fronts this year?

"We considered all our options and came to the conclusion that the five centre-backs we have in our squad - Leandro Castan, Kostas Manolas, Juan Jesus, Federico Fazio and Hector Moreno - provide enough cover for the three competitions we're in. I've said before that you can always improve your squad but considering the circumstances, the financial and the football aspects, and the number of players we have in our squad, we felt we're well covered to cope with three competitions."

Why did you sign [Rick] Karsdorp if you knew about his knee injury?

"Obviously we knew about Rick's situation and his injury and we knew that from a medical point of view he could recover in around four weeks plus another two or three before resuming full training. I don't think four, six or even eight weeks are a long time over a five-year contract.

"We believe a lot in Karsdorp and fortunately he'll be available to the coach again next week so I'm happy about that."

Why did you buy Defrel – a centre forward – and then sign another centre forward in Schick, basically wasting €23 million?

"With all due respect to the person who wrote this, I don't think 'waste' is quite the right word. I think you have to look at it differently. We should be happy to have Defrel, Patrik and Edin in our squad. They can play in different positions, especially Patrik and Defrel. Personally I'm very happy that we have three such good players in our squad.

"Defrel offers lots of different things. We've already said that Patrik is a hugely important player for our present and future. Edin was a key player last season and will be again this year. So getting back to the question, I don't think it was a waste of money and I think we're lucky to have such top-quality players."

Is there more pressure on a goalkeeper or a sporting director?

"There's a lot more pressure on the sporting director because you have more responsibility, especially as you don't go out on the pitch. As a goalkeeper, you can respond to the pressure by channeling the adrenaline into the game. In some ways a sporting director is under more pressure on matchday because you're tense but can't really do anything. A sporting director has to deal with a lot more tension, pressure and responsibility than a goalkeeper."

What makes a good sporting director?

"I don't think there are any hard and fast rules, so to speak. But I've always said there are three things you need to be good at. You need to love working and be capable of working very hard. You need to be able to take decisions without bowing to external pressure. And you need to a good psychologist when dealing with the coach and players. I think those are the three main things needed to be a good sporting director."

What's it like working alongside Totti?

"I think it's what every Roma fan dreams of and what I'm lucky to be able to do. Francesco is an open books in terms of his knowledge of Roma, the club's history, the fans, the media and the city. It's as if I'm studying for a Roma Master's degree with the best professor in the world."

What are your favourite Roman and Spanish dishes?

"My favourite Roman dish is pasta cacio e pepe [with pecorino cheese and pepper]. I'd never tried it before coming here but I'm addicted to it now! My favourite Spanish food is salmoreja [a cold soup], a speciality of Andalusia, which is where I'm from. I love it."

How's your Italian coming along?

"I think you can guess the answer to that! I'm still a long way off where I want to be, otherwise I'd be here answering the questions in Italian. Joking aside, I think I am improving. I understand nearly everything and my spoken Italian is getting there little by little so I'm pleased. Now that the transfer window is closed I hope to have a bit more time to work on it."

What do you think of Roma's player announcements?

"I think we've set a trend and other clubs are copying us now. That tells you you've done a good job. If other people copy you, it means you're doing something right. Well done to the people in charge for showing initiative and talent."

Advertisement
 
Created with sketchtool. Icons/Arrow/1000 Icons/Arrow/1000 Icon / Social / Android@3x Created with Sketch. Icon / Social / iOS@3x Created with Sketch. echllogoeps Created with Sketch. Group 18 Copy Created with Sketch. 53079FE7-D159-40A0-8A83-26281B0D3D33 Created with sketchtool. 976DC860-943B-432F-9E9C-CB9AC395B97F Created with sketchtool. 172C4F03-2B22-49FE-A880-A4C1985B19F7 Created with sketchtool. 53079FE7-D159-40A0-8A83-26281B0D3D33 Created with sketchtool. 976DC860-943B-432F-9E9C-CB9AC395B97F Created with sketchtool. 172C4F03-2B22-49FE-A880-A4C1985B19F7 Created with sketchtool. 45E49ECC-5769-44F4-97EA-EDE23E5CB428 Created with sketchtool. CC731668-0119-48B2-B401-BACA731EA471 Created with sketchtool. 0CCDF29C-1F7C-4F46-921A-EC230ACEE372 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 86A6C4DD-D877-4C22-A527-8B9666AA9DD0 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 42E886A7-7224-4FDC-BBEB-01976002C351 Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. 40C8A19E-A06F-4836-ABD8-C5AE68BC33DB Created with sketchtool. 763B01E1-3D00-402A-B0C3-1DD729BBA531 Created with sketchtool. 644E21E0-3CB1-4F6B-B321-22391C0CD429 Created with sketchtool. team-logo / WIN Created with Sketch. team-logo / PW Created with Sketch. team-logo / LOST Created with Sketch. team-logo / PL Created with Sketch. 0CCDF29C-1F7C-4F46-921A-EC230ACEE372 Created with sketchtool. 033561FA-5AC5-424E-BFCB-752595AE0B20 Created with sketchtool. 45E49ECC-5769-44F4-97EA-EDE23E5CB428 Created with sketchtool. CC731668-0119-48B2-B401-BACA731EA471 Created with sketchtool. 0CCDF29C-1F7C-4F46-921A-EC230ACEE372 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 86A6C4DD-D877-4C22-A527-8B9666AA9DD0 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 53079FE7-D159-40A0-8A83-26281B0D3D33 Created with sketchtool. 976DC860-943B-432F-9E9C-CB9AC395B97F Created with sketchtool. 172C4F03-2B22-49FE-A880-A4C1985B19F7 Created with sketchtool. 45E49ECC-5769-44F4-97EA-EDE23E5CB428 Created with sketchtool. CC731668-0119-48B2-B401-BACA731EA471 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 86A6C4DD-D877-4C22-A527-8B9666AA9DD0 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 42E886A7-7224-4FDC-BBEB-01976002C351 Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. 40C8A19E-A06F-4836-ABD8-C5AE68BC33DB Created with sketchtool. 763B01E1-3D00-402A-B0C3-1DD729BBA531 Created with sketchtool. 644E21E0-3CB1-4F6B-B321-22391C0CD429 Created with sketchtool. 033561FA-5AC5-424E-BFCB-752595AE0B20 Created with sketchtool. 45E49ECC-5769-44F4-97EA-EDE23E5CB428 Created with sketchtool. CC731668-0119-48B2-B401-BACA731EA471 Created with sketchtool. 763B01E1-3D00-402A-B0C3-1DD729BBA531 Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. 40C8A19E-A06F-4836-ABD8-C5AE68BC33DB Created with sketchtool. 763B01E1-3D00-402A-B0C3-1DD729BBA531 Created with sketchtool. 644E21E0-3CB1-4F6B-B321-22391C0CD429 Created with sketchtool. 7CB4E955-9512-49F4-B03B-933CF03CA2FD Created with sketchtool. 53079FE7-D159-40A0-8A83-26281B0D3D33 Created with sketchtool. 976DC860-943B-432F-9E9C-CB9AC395B97F Created with sketchtool. 172C4F03-2B22-49FE-A880-A4C1985B19F7 Created with sketchtool. 45E49ECC-5769-44F4-97EA-EDE23E5CB428 Created with sketchtool. CC731668-0119-48B2-B401-BACA731EA471 Created with sketchtool. 0CCDF29C-1F7C-4F46-921A-EC230ACEE372 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 86A6C4DD-D877-4C22-A527-8B9666AA9DD0 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 42E886A7-7224-4FDC-BBEB-01976002C351 Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. 40C8A19E-A06F-4836-ABD8-C5AE68BC33DB Created with sketchtool. 763B01E1-3D00-402A-B0C3-1DD729BBA531 Created with sketchtool. 644E21E0-3CB1-4F6B-B321-22391C0CD429 Created with sketchtool. 033561FA-5AC5-424E-BFCB-752595AE0B20 Created with sketchtool. 033561FA-5AC5-424E-BFCB-752595AE0B20 Created with sketchtool. Icons/Search/1000 F3916FC0-768E-4027-A1D5-CC66110459CF Created with sketchtool. Play Artboard 1 icon-dropdown icon-dropdown Created with Sketch. CB_Linked_Icon_Close CB_Linked_Icon_Close Check Check F896540F-C96F-4488-888D-5ECB022F43CE Created with sketchtool. Icons/Attachment/1000 Created with Sketch. CB_Linked_Icon_Arrow CB_Linked_Icon_Arrow CB_Linked_Icon_Arrow