Saturday July 23 2011
Heinze 'honoured' to join Roma

Gabriel Heinze notes it is “a great honour to wear the Roma jersey. It was easy to accept and I liked their plans immediately.”

The former Manchester United defender was a free agent after terminating his contract with Olympique Marseille.

He signed a new deal with the Giallorossi on Friday and, aged 33, feels he still has a lot to give in his debut Serie A season.

“It's a great honour to wear the Roma jersey and compete in Serie A, one of the most important Leagues in the world,” said the Argentine in his first Press conference.

“I was fortunate enough to represent big clubs in my career. Now this challenge has arrived and it was easy to accept. Nobody needed to convince me, as I really wanted this move.

“I spoke to the Coach and the directors, so I liked their plans immediately. There is focus on youth here, but there is also a balanced mix with experience.

“The likes of Bojan Krkic and Erik Lamela are hungry and want to write history with this great club. For the experienced figures like me, it is our duty to set an example for them.”

Heinze effectively replaces Philippe Mexes, who has joined Milan, and could partner fellow Argentine Nicolas Burdisso.

“I can play at centre-back or full-back, so it's up to the Coach to decide. A partnership with Burdisso would be fun.

“I was born in Argentina to a German father and Sicilian mother. She was from the town of Troina.”

Heinze has chosen shirt number 5 for Roma this season.