Sunday January 13 2013
Baldini: 'Guardiola friendly chat'

Roma director Franco Baldini stands by Zdenek Zeman and insists the meeting with Pep Guardiola was “just a friendly chat.”

The Giallorossi were beaten 1-0 by Catania this afternoon, their second consecutive defeat, and Daniele De Rossi was again benched.

“There is nothing to clarify on De Rossi. The Coach makes his decisions independently and he explained his choices in midfield,” director general Baldini told Sky Sport Italia.

“De Rossi is extraordinarily important for us, but how much he earns is irrelevant. In the first half we created many opportunities, even if we were unable to score, and after the break we felt the pressure of wasted chances.

“Mattia Destro is at a big club for the first time in his career and is feeling the pressure a little bit, but he has all the quality to become a champion.

“I believe a great deal in him and the whole team, then at the end of the season we’ll evaluate the situation and everyone will take their share of the responsibility. I am first up, as I constructed this squad.”

Baldini hit the headlines this week when it was revealed he’d had a meeting in New York with former Barcelona manager Guardiola.

“Zeman knew about my chat with Pep, which by the way had nothing to do with football. I got to know a fantastic person like him and am keeping this friendship alive. I was in New York for work and was able to meet him for a friendly chat.”

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