Saturday December 3 2011
Baldini outlines the new Roma

Franco Baldini reveals why he turned down Tottenham and England to join Roma, although Daniele De Rossi’s contract is still up in the air.

Fabio Capello’s confidante left his job as general manager to England in order to lead the Giallorossi into their new American age.

“In order to return to Roma, I turned down very advantageous offers, such as the one from Tottenham,” he told the Corriere dello Sport.

“I currently earn €600,000 per season, but the American owners offered me €1m, which at this moment I think is too much. I know the Roma environment and expected some problems.

“In these first few months I have been watching the situations develop, but now the time has come to take the reins of Roma.”

The pressure is building on Luis Enrique, but Baldini insists he is on the right track.

“I have great respect for Enrique, in fact he is better than I expected. The only thing that isn’t working right now is that we keep losing. However, we must consolidate the group this year and forge an identity.

“We want to reach the top of international football, so I won’t see Roma just potter along.”

There was controversy this week, as Pablo Daniel Osvaldo was suspended for 10 days and fined €50,000 for punching teammate Erik Lamela in the locker room after their 2-0 defeat to Udinese.

“Luis Enrique did well with Osvaldo, as he needs to set an example, but in any case it was a decision made by all of the staff. Whether we agree with his choices or not, we all appreciate Luis Enrique’s great moral honesty. He says things to your face and if you don’t have that intransigence in Rome, you get sucked in pretty quickly.

“It will be a great festival of football with the Spanish Coach and I repeat we will bring Roma to a level where winning must be a constant.”

The Giallorossi already made big changes over the summer and more January arrivals are on the table, but there is the issue of De Rossi’s contract which expires in June 2012.

“Our American investors have good intentions and are not here just to make money. We will intervene on the market to improve the foundations of the squad. We need both players who are tanks and those who are butterflies,” continued Baldini.

“There is too much talk about De Rossi’s contract, but I will just say he is someone we need. The whole world would like him in their teams. Clearly he is evaluating all the options at his disposal, while we are letting him know how important he is for us.”

When Baldini first arrived in the summer, there was a huge row with Francesco Totti, who he accused of being “lazy” and ill-advised.

“There are no problems with Totti, I merely expressed my point of view. Francesco is a lovely lad and recognised my good faith.”