Wednesday October 23 2013
Balzaretti: 'Garcia made Roma believe'

Federico Balzaretti credited Rudi Garcia with Roma’s amazing start. “Since he arrived we all believe in this group.”

The Giallorossi have won their opening eight games of the Serie A season, something that only Juventus had been able to achieve on three occasions.

“Garcia did very well in pre-season training to do a certain type of work with us, which laid the foundations for these victories,” Balzaretti told AS Roma Members in a videochat.

“He convinced some players to stay and since he arrived we all believe in this group. In football there’s little to invent, so he does simple things and puts them into practice.”

The outlook had been grim in May when losing the Coppa Italia Final to Lazio and failing to qualify for Europe yet again.

“It is difficult to explain such a radical change. We always worked hard, so I couldn’t figure out why the results weren’t coming. The morale was high and it was frustrating not being able to translate our work on to a match situation.

“Now it is gratifying to put our training routines on to the pitch, as well as making the club, fans and ourselves happy. We are all Roma.

“The Coppa Italia Final left an indelible mark on us, as it was like hitting rock bottom. That sense of rage weighed heavily on us. We will never be able to cancel that game, but it can help us enjoy our successes even more.”

Balzaretti was particularly criticised in that match, but made up for it by scoring a goal in this term’s 2-0 win over Lazio.

“To break the deadlock at that moment was so important. We knew what we had in us and it was wonderful to celebrate with the fans,” said the full-back who burst into tears with joy at that goal.

“It takes experience and character to overcome these ups and downs. The strength of a player is in his balance, as we mustn’t let ourselves get swayed too far one way or another. A player knows when he is doing well.”

Roma aim to make it nine consecutive victories against Udinese this weekend, although Francesco Totti and Gervinho are out injured.

“We all know what the captain gives us, but our squad is complete and we are proving our strength.”

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