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Interview: Pellegrini reflects on feelings after signing new deal

It's official. It's sorted.

Lorenzo Pellegrini has signed a new contract with his boyhood club, committing his future to Roma until June 2026.

After signing all the paperwork on Saturday, the Italy international sat down to explain the emotions he felt after binding himself to the one club he has always loved.

Here's what he had to say...

Lorenzo, you've just signed a new contract as captain of Roma. How does it feel?

"It's hard to... It's impossible to put in words. It's what I always wanted. I think it's come at the right time. It was time to tie my future to the club of my city. There could be no better feeling.”

Does signing as captain make it even more special?

"It does, yes. But I think the captain's armband is something you have to earn every day. It's not something you write on a piece of paper or can take for granted. You have to earn it day by day by trying to give your best for Roma and for your team-mates."

This renewal is further testament to the fact that you are central to the club's plans…

"It's something I'm extremely proud of. Right from the start, the owners, Tiago [Pinto, the General Manager] and the coach made me feel important. That means so much to a player. I try to repay them by giving 110% every day, in training and matches, constantly striving to improve, because if you want to win something you can't rest on your laurels."

You mentioned Mourinho. He's often lavished praise on you. How are things going with him and the coaching staff?

"Very well. We're improving all the time, both individually and as a team. I'm sure we'll do well. A while ago I already mentioned that I sensed something different in Trigoria this season, in the dressing room, on the pitch. It feels different. That's down to the coach and his staff and the way we feel going out to train.

"I always come in for training happy and proud to be here. I'm delighted to be able to show that by signing this new contract because I believe 100% in Roma."

From the outside, you get the impression you're a very close-knit group. What's it like from the inside?

"It's very important because firstly it helps you improve in training then you carry it with you into the game on Sunday or Thursday too. Often that's what makes the difference because it's one thing to play with a group of team-mates but this season it feels like you're playing for your friends or brothers. So you're willing to give blood, sweat and tears for them. That's crucial."

Empoli are the visitors to the Olimpico this Sunday: a chance to get back to winning ways.

"We must start winning again in the league, just as we needed to win on Thursday. You must never stop trying to improve and winning helps you improve.

"We have to take things one game at a time without thinking too far ahead. Just try to win each game as it comes.

"If we play with that mentality, then I think the sky is the limit. That's what I hope my team-mates and I will do: play each game as if it were the last and the first and try to win them all."

 
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