NEWS
Tuesday February 16 2016
'No surprise if Roma wins'

If Roma were to beat Real Madrid, Coach Luciano Spalletti 'would not be surprised', as he discusses Francesco Totti and Zinedine Zidane.

It kicks off tomorrow at 19:45 GMT. The 56-year-old previously sounded skeptical about employing Captain Francesco Totti for the game, but in today's Press conference he seemed a bit more open.

“Francesco had some trouble before Carpi,” he said to the Press. “I wasn't there for that game. Then he trained with the team, and if he can do that today he'll be available for the game.

“It's possible that he may be used. It depends on the game, on his condition, on the factors that will contribute to a team victory.

“If experience alone determined victory I'd field [Douglas] Maicon and [Morgan] De Sanctis. It takes strength, a fast run, willingness to sacrifice yourself for your teammate.

“Those who have these qualities are the ones that mean the most to me. Not everyone is the same. I want those who run and show effort in training, thinking of Roma's result all the time. That's all I'm coaching, really: Roma's result.

“[Real Madrid Coach Zinedine] Zidane left some marvellous memories in Italy as a player. He's a true champion.

“Every time I played against him, he immediately conveyed the impression of his mental strength, his creativity and his quality.

“I'm convinced that as a champion he'll be able to transmit his qualities to his players. And he has the advantage, like I did, that he's starting out with many players who used to be his teammates. He'll be a great Coach.”

Spalletti was then asked whether he was worried about Roma's disastrous results in this Champions League so far, such as the 7-1 defeat to Bayern Munich and the 6-1 loss to Barcelona.

“This Roma has been capable of other results as well. There are some important victories I could list. It all comes down to the relationship you set up with the players.

“We discussed the new Roma style because we don't want it to be said that people here don't work. People here work, and well. This is the Roma Way and we want to walk it by putting all of our qualities into all of our games. It's fundamental.

“In Turin I wasn't happy even though many people paid us compliments, because we didn't try to win the game.

“I'm displeased when my team doesn't express an effort, doesn't try to do things. You need the courage to dare. We'll regret it if we don't show our character and our sentiment for Roma.

“Beating Real Madrid in 2008 was a surprise and this year it would be an even greater surprise. We like to surprise people. The fans need that type of shock.

“We're on the right track, and in my players I see the opportunity to take a leap ahead.

“I wouldn't be surprised if Roma fought until the 95' and ended up qualifying for the next round.

“In the Champions League, there aren't any games anymore in which you can take the result for granted.

“There are teams going through some difficult moments, but in general I agree that there's a constant process of upwards equalisation and there's some high quality football in Italy and in general.”

See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk