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Press Conference: Matias Vina and Eldor Shomurodov

On Tuesday afternoon summer signings Matias Vina and Eldor Shomurodov were both presented to the assembled media.

Having already made their first-team debuts - and fine starts to their new chapters - for the Giallorossi, both players cut composed figures as they answered questions.

General Manager Tiago Pinto was on hand to formally present the two men, and it was he who opened the press conference with some brief remarks.

“Holding the first press conference for players two or three weeks later works much better for me,” Pinto began. “Like this you all have had the opportunity to watch the players in action.

“It’s an honour for me to be able to bring these two players to Roma; they are two individuals that fit well with the project we have. They are young, with great potential, with a desire to win.

“Vina is a player that I have known well for a while now. He’s won five major trophies already in his career, he’s just had a great season at Palmeiras. But it is not fair to say that he is Leonardo Spinazzola’s back-up or replacement – I expect that in the future they will also be able to play together. It’s a difficult comparison to make, because Spinazzola is a key player, but we purchased Matias with the idea in mind that they could play together in the future.

“Eldor came to Italy last season. He had a great campaign and we realised that the qualities he has could prove very useful both for the squad we have and the coach and the way he wants to play.

"Vina and Eldor are also the results of the hard work being put in by the scouts, the technical staff and myself. It is important we make decisions together. That’s key. Now I will leave these two to answer your questions!"


Roma have not won for a few years now. You have already won a lot in your career – do you think you have any advice to impart on what it takes to win?

“It’s true that, while I am young, I have already been lucky enough to win quite a lot in my career. The secret is to focus on things game-by-game, without getting obsessed by the results or by placing long-term targets. It’s about doing things one step at a time.”

How long did the negotiations that brought you to Roma actually take?

“I was at Palmeiras when I heard about Roma’s interest and when I had the chance to speak with the coach. Then I came here, I had to go through the quarantine period, but now I’m done with that and I’m completely available to the boss.”

Do you think the full-back role is interpreted differently here in Europe compared to when you were at Palmeiras?

“There are some differences, but the main ones are in terms of the tactical setup rather than the fitness work, I think. But, regardless, I’ve been playing for the national team for two years too – where there is also a different rhythm and approach.

"So by now I’ve got used to adapting to another different approach, to receiving the different instructions of the coaches and I’m feeling better and better with my new teammates.”

Do you think, given what the General Manager has just said, you could also play as a central defender in a three-man defence?

“We haven’t talked about that just yet. But yes, I wouldn’t have any problem in playing in any role that I already know. It’s true that I feel most comfortable playing on the left – whether that’s in a three-man defence or a four-man backline, but I can also play in the middle if necessary.”

How much of a boost can the fans give this team from the stands?

“The fans can really help us a lot. I come from South America, where the support is always very passionate. That really helps the players to deliver the best they can, whatever the circumstances. Even there we have been playing without the fans recently. The fact that the Roma fans are back in the stadium is great news and really important for us too.”

What does Jose Mourinho want from you? Is he asking you to push up and help a lot in attack, or make sure things are safe at the back?

“During the game in Turkey [against Trabzonspor] there were different circumstances that affected how we approached the game at different points, in terms of attacking more or defending deeper. It depends a lot on the circumstances of the game in that regard.

"As far as things go for me I think we need to keep working as we have been; I need to improve tactically and in how I’m adjusting to European football.”


Why has it taken you until you are 26 to join a big club, do you think?

“To give you a reason is not easy. Every year I have tried to hit the targets I have set for myself. I don’t think age matters too much – what matters is that I am now at a great club like Roma. I am delighted and I cannot wait to show what I’m capable of and to win something for Roma, with Roma.”

How do you think you and Tammy Abraham could play together?

“In terms of my role within the team, I have to say that I do not mind too much – I can play as the central striker or I can play from a wider position too. I feel comfortable all across the forward line, as Roma wanted when they approached me. If I’m asked to play off a teammate, because this will help the team, then I certainly can’t wait to do that.”

Are you driven by a desire to win? And, being so far from home, what have been the things that have helped you so far in Rome?

“Before I came to a big club like this I was very focused on playing well and improving myself as much as possible. Now, beyond ensuring I play as well as I can, we have to think about what we can do in order to win something. In terms of my reference points here, then that’s it: I want to help Roma to win something.”

What is you relationship like with Jose Mourinho – and was he important in convincing you to come to Roma?

“Yes, we already met each other [by chance] in Moscow two years ago. When I heard about the interest from Roma, I immediately said yes. First of all because it is Roma, a top European club, but also because I would be going to work with a great coach like Mourinho.”

Did you expect to be playing such a key role already? And where do you feel you can still improve?

“As soon as I got here I wanted to show as soon as possible what I can do. It’s true that so far I’ve done even better than I expected, but I need to make sure I keep on this path so we can achieve everything we want to this season.”