Friday October 26 2012
Lucescu has 'great respect' for Zeman

Shakhtar Donetsk boss Mircea Lucescu has praised Roma Coach Zdenek Zeman, saying he has 'great respect' for the Czech tactician.

The 67-year-old former Romanian international spent eight years in Italy during the 1990s, managing Pisa, Brescia, Reggiana and Inter, and has extolled congratulations on the Giallorossi man for his footballing philosophy.

“I met Zeman a few times when I was in Italy,” he told Radio IES. “I've always had a great respect for him, for what he has achieved and his experiences.

“To stay at the top of Italian football for 20 years is very difficult. There are few people, except maybe him, me and Sven-Goran Eriksson that have done it.

“I know that last year he did very well to get Pescara into Serie A.”

He also commented on the influence of Daniele De Rossi and Francesco Totti within the capital club's dressing room.

“De Rossi is an exceptional player. I would love him in my team to play in front of the defence. Not in the Pirlo role, because he has different characteristics, but to break up play. I agree with Zeman on his current role.

“Totti has great experience, but the years have caught up with him. He started playing at the age of 18, but now needs a team that can run and fight for him.”

The Besiktas man then remarked on the current state of calcio on the peninsula, as well as the race for this season's Scudetto.

“It is a hard time for the League,” he said. “Clubs focus too much on the championship and not Europe. People from abroad look at what you do in the Champions League and Europa League. There is too much attention paid to fighting for the title.

“Look at Napoli. You can't go and play in the Europa League and not use your best players.”

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