Wednesday October 9 2013
Balzaretti: Roma back together

Federico Balzaretti has reflected on how he sees Roma as different to last season, their Scudetto hopes and Rudi Garcia’s impact.

The Giallorossi are leading the Serie A standings for the October international break thanks to a 100 per cent record so far, with seven wins from seven.

“The transformation is the merit of everyone, we have been able to regroup the dressing room,” Balzaretti has considered in conversation with the Corriere dello Sport.

“There was a bad climate, a great tension, players with little conviction because the previous year was very tough. Now it is quite the contrary, there is great enthusiasm, great confidence.

“Those victories have come with our play, we have not stolen any of the results.

“The Scudetto? For me it is still very early, these seven games have been important for the signal that we have given to the League, but objectively, Napoli and Juventus are more likely than us to push for the title.”

The full-back is seen as one of those players to have notably improved his performances since last season.

Week 4 also saw him contribute at the other end of the pitch with Roma’s opening goal in their derby win over Lazio.

“That goal was important beyond the three points. The derby is special and we came into it from defeat on May 26 [in the Coppa Italia Final]. It was a liberation for all, how to get out of the tunnel that we had all entered.

“It brought more serenity at a psychological level to the whole team and the whole environment. I had worked very well myself from preseason and my performances then were already good.

“But that goal has helped everyone, including myself.

“The contribution from Garcia? The greatest work he has done is on a psychological level, he has brought together the club and has given confidence and joy to the players who had experienced a terrible season.

“The Coppa Italia Final was the biggest disappointment of my career. In preseason, he involved everyone in the new project, he did it with great conviction, personality and simplicity. He is a strong person.”

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