Kevin Strootman was amused by his nickname and revealed why he chose to join Roma.
The Dutch midfielder scored with a remarkable strike from 31 metres – 33 yards – in tonight’s 3-2 Coppa Italia semi-final victory over Napoli.
Coach Rudi Garcia explained his teammates nicknamed Strootman ‘Er Lavatrice’ – the washing machine – because he cleans up even bad passes.
“I don’t know what it means, but I hope it’s a compliment!” laughed the Dutchman.
“It was a good game to play and to see. We didn’t play good for the first 20 minutes before the goal, then we got a lot of space and played well.
“We conceded two goals at home, which we normally don’t do. We worked hard, we played and now hope to get a result in the second leg.
“Maybe the secret is that we didn’t play on Sunday, so we had a lot of energy today. It was very difficult to play against Napoli, as they have some great midfielders, but then so do we. We have Nainggolan, De Rossi and Pjanic, so we help each other and try to help the team.”
Strootman had been linked to huge clubs over the summer, including Manchester United and Milan.
“Roma were the first club to come for me after the Euros, they were such a big club and I looked at the fans who all had the same name on the shirts... I don’t need to tell you which one...
“The Coach really wanted me and explained he was starting a new project. I didn’t expect it to develop so fast, but I made a great choice.”