Roma striker Edin Dzeko says “nothing compares” to the Italian capital but admits his club “aren’t here to win the Champions League.”
Dzeko endured a tough first season at Roma but ended last term as Serie A’s top scorer with 29 goals, ahead of the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Dries Mertens and Mauro Icardi.
“Nothing compares to Rome, nothing,” he told the Guardian.
“People there are crazy about football, in a positive way. The expectations were big in Germany, bigger in England, but nothing even close to Rome.
“It’s a special city, with a special bond with a club and people adore it. In Manchester I could go out for a dinner or for a walk; people would stop me and politely ask for a photo from time to time.
“In Rome it is impossible for me to walk normally in the city. They are passionate, love their club and their players and the attention is enormous. And that kind of attention and passion raises expectations and pressure.
“But I am not saying this in a negative way. I love how things work there, because passion and love is what football is supposed to be about.”
The Bosnian then discussed Chelsea, the Giallorossi’s opponents in the Champions League on Wednesday, before confessing his team were not expecting to compete for Europe’s top prize.
“They are a very good team,” he added.
“I watch the Premier League every weekend and I was impressed with them last season. Conte gave them a different dimension, I would call that an Italian dimension.
“They are packed with fantastic individuals and a joy to watch, and no team can say it will be easy to go to Stamford Bridge and beat them. They are one of the teams that can win the Champions League this season.
“We are not here to win the Champions League. We have different goals, different class. The first aim is to reach the knockout stages.”