Thursday November 1 2018
Pioli: ‘I was close to Roma’

Stefano Pioli reveals he could have joined Roma in 2011, but they opted for Luis Enrique instead.

The 53-year-old later ended up taking charge of their city rivals Lazio, and his Fiorentina welcome the Giallorossi to the Artemio Franchi on Saturday evening.

“I had a couple of meeting with [then sporting director Walter] Sabatini when I was finishing the season with Chievo,” Pioli revealed in an interview with il Messaggero.

“I had warned my club. I don’t feel bad about not being chosen, because in those two chats I found an extraordinary harmony with Sabatini, a great football connoisseur.

“Then he chose Luis Enrique, but that’s OK.”

Pioli then looked ahead to this weekend’s game.

“Last year they were to very balanced games. In Florence we had a fantastic first half, then Roma came out. In the return we defended really well.

“This year Roma are strong, even though they’ve lost two decisive players like [Radja] Nainggolan and Alisson they’ve found other balances, personality and physicality.

“They’re a top team.

“Edin Dzeko or Giovanni Simeone? The Giallorosso is a phenomenon, but I keep Cholito, we’re betting on him.”

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