Sunday May 13 2018
El Shaarawy: 'Gap reduced from Juve'

Stephan El Shaarawy believes Roma and Napoli have “reduced the gap” with Juventus and see their continued success as motivation.

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“It’s not depressing that Juve are always up there, because in recent years the gap has reduced, but we have to recognise they have achieved extraordinary things and that allows them to dominate in Italy and do very well in Europe,” El Shaarawy told Quotidiano Sportivo.

“I’d say that is motivation to do better and perhaps we’ve also improved on an international level because of that.”

The Giallorossi reached the Champions League semi-final against Liverpool, going out 7-6 on aggregate, after beating Chelsea, Atletico Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk and Barcelona.

“People assumed we’d be thrashed in the Champions League, but I think our journey saw an exponential growth for the whole team. Unfortunately, we lacked consistency in Serie A, especially at the start of the season.

“We wrote a page in the history books and gave the fans great joy. Clearly, after beating Chelsea and eliminating Atletico Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk and Barcelona, you do have the idea of winning the trophy.

“There are regrets because so much of the semi-final with Liverpool was decided by our mistakes at Anfield.”

El Shaarawy is not the most consistent player at Roma either and admits it’s a problem.

“At times I lack the confidence to do things consistently. It is, to be honest, a limitation in my game and I need to feel confidence around me to give my best. I am working on it. (Coach Eusebio) Di Francesco has helped a great deal, as I feel respected.”

The Little Pharaoh was asked about reports he was targeted by Napoli in January.

“An official proposal never came in.”

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