Wednesday July 24 2013
Strootman: 'Europe's top derby'

New Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman answered fans’ questions in a Twitter Q&A, looking forward to “the most important derby in Europe.”

The Dutch international arrived from PSV Eindhoven last week for €16.5m and was given the Number 6 jersey last worn by Aldair.

Sitting down with Roma for a Q&A with the hashtag #askStrootman he responded to the online tifosi.

“Zinedine Zidane, without doubt” is his football idol, while “it is an honour to play with Daniele De Rossi, a world champion who has always worn this shirt. I hope he remains with us.

“I am happy here, as Rome is a beautiful city with so much history. It’s remarkable. I came here with my girlfriend.

“Any player would be happy to receive such a warm welcome. I hope fans will still be as enthusiastic as today in a couple of years’ time...

“I chose the Number 6 because it was my favourite. I had it in my early days at PSV and it was worn by Mark van Bommel. It is an honour to inherit it from Aldair.

“Am I more like van Bommel or Edgar Davids? I prefer not to compare myself with champions who won so much, as I want to learn from them instead.”

Naturally, Strootman was asked about the Derby della Capitale against arch rivals Lazio.

“I’ve only watched derbies on TV. It is the most important game of the season and probably the most important derby in Europe as far as rivalry is concerned. It means so much to the club.”

Strootman crossed paths with new Roma teammate Alessandro Florenzi at the European Under-21 Championships, when Italy knocked Holland out last month.

“We exchanged a few text messages and made fun of each other, as I told him we deserved the victory.

“I am most excited at facing the players I know, Dries Martens at Napoli and Nigel de Jong at Milan. Serie A is a more difficult competition than Eredivisie, with more big teams: it implies a big challenge for me.

“I like to give my 100 per cent and to help teammates, and I’m not going to tell you what my weak point is...”

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