Bruno Peres: I couldn’t turn down chance to join Roma

Tuttosport (Stefano Carina) There’s a saying in Brazil, which goes: “Os paulistas sabem viver, o resto do mundo vive sem samber“, which roughly translates as “Paulistas [people from Sao Paulo] know how to live, the rest of the world live without knowing it.” You just have to look at Bruno Peres, a Paulista himself, when he has a ball at his feet to realise how important this saying is to him. The Giallorossi #13 plays in the same way as he lives: with a smile on his face, and – even off the pitch – he’s rarely seen without that smile.

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From Turin to Rome – 2 completely different environments

Of the 2, Rome is definitely more similar to Sao Paulo. It’s a bit chaotic, there’s a lot of traffic, a few too many potholes in the roads but I like how friendly the people are. Romans are similar to Brazilians. Of course it’s not very easy to go out and about, it’s different from Turin in that respect, but I enjoyed myself there as well.

It was also where you scored after that lung-bursting run against Juventus and became an instant Granata hero…

That was the best goal of my career. I watch it again every so often because I still struggle to believe I did it. I started dribbling, I beat Pogba, Evra and Vidal, and while I was running I realised that I could just keep going. I said to myself, “maybe, maybe I’ll try it”. After 70 metres I could hardly breathe, I wasn’t thinking clearly… But I was still able to hit a great shot and score, incredible.

Why haven’t we seen that Bruno Peres at Roma yet?

Sometimes I ask myself that as well. I’m the first to know that I’ve still got a lot more to give. It’s harder here, there’s more pressure. Spalletti is helping me a lot though and I think I’ll soon go back to being the Torino Bruno.

Is the league over already?

No, there are still a lot of games to go. It’s difficult but not impossible. We’re improving.

Villarreal found that out themselves

We played superbly.

Let’s go back to Juventus for a moment: what would you give to score another goal against the Bianconeri?

I won’t eat churrasco for a year. That’s not an easy thing for a Brazilian – it would be a big sacrifice!

You’ve been coached by Ventura and Spalletti in Italy

They’re two fantastic coaches. Ventura taught me a lot, he made me understand what Italian football was, particularly at a tactical level. Under Spalletti I’ve still got a lot to give and to learn. He shows me many things but he’s also always there to tell me I mustn’t give up. He’s a master of calcio.

Roma versus Torino will also be Dzeko versus Belotti…

They’re similar, even if they could actually play together as well. Edin is more mature, he has more experience, and he’s not only in excellent form right now but gives you the impression on the pitch that he still wants more. Andrea is a great forward but he’s still young. He will become a superb player.

Tell us about your transfer to Roma. Is it true you could have joined the Giallorossi in 2015?

That’s true. It seemed like it was all done but in the end the deal fell through. This time it seemed to come from nothing, I didn’t know anything about it. Bernardo, my agent, kept telling me to work hard in training and he’d tell me when he had news. On the last day of the summer training camp, he told me, “Something will happen tomorrow.” I went to sleep and the next morning I had 50 missed calls. I was actually a bit scared, I thought to myself, who’s died? I called him and he said, “Get dressed and go to the airport, people are waiting for you in Rome to go and sign a contract.” I could hardly believe it.

So it’s not true that you put pressure on them, like by arriving late to the training camp, to force through a move to Roma?

It’s completely false. You just have to listen or re-read what Mihajlovic was saying at the time. You can ask him too.

So talks with Roma only started at a late stage?

Yes, which was partly because Torino had made me a promise. After I renewed my contract with them, president Cairo told me, “We’ll act properly with you, just like we did with Darmian.” So if an opportunity for me came along, he would consider it. I didn’t ask to leave, but the opportunity simply presented itself. And obviously when I found out about it, I was delighted. I was happy at Torino and I thank them for everything they did for me, but joining Roma was a step up for me professionally and I couldn’t let that pass.

Which of your Granata team-mates do you miss the most?

I always got on well with Amauri and Martinez at Torino. Amauri was a bit like a father or an older brother to me. We called ourselves the Banda! Me, Martinez, Amauri, Maxi Lopez, Avelar, Gaston Silva and Jansson. We had great times together.

And is there anyone you get on particularly well with at Roma?

Emerson and Gerson. Alisson as well, and more recently Mario Rui, Juan Jesus and Rudiger.

Finally, Roma are still in with a chance of winning 3 trophies – which of the 3 would you bet on Roma winning?

All 3. We will be giving our all in every competition.

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