Former Roma forward Jonathan Alexis Ferrante has revealed to gianlucadimarzio.com that he was signed instead of Andrea Belotti by ex-sporting director Walter Sabatini on account of his age. This season has been Belotti’s breakout season at Torino with 23 goals in 27 games so far, while Ferrante is now at Brescia in Serie B.
“The director [Sabatini] preferred me to Belotti, who was playing at AlbinoLeffe at the time,” Ferrante said.
“He was a ’93, I was a ’95 – part of his decision was because of my age. But Sabatini believed in me regardless, I still remember one of his comments to me – “If it was just up to me then you would already be training with the first team”. I often think about those words.”
Ferrante never appeared for Roma but nearly made a first team appearance against Fiorentina in the Coppa Italia in January 2013 when Zdenek Zeman was in charge.
“He turned to me and told me to warm up. I can’t tell you the excitement I felt then… But then Destro scored and the coach put on a defender instead.”
After failing to break through into the first team, Ferrante played for a number of provincial clubs on loan before eventually being let go by the Giallorossi.
“I started to go around to other clubs on loan, always in the Lega Pro: first L’Aquila, then Lumezzane, Lucchese and Savoia. Lots of small teams… but it was all useful experience for me. Those weren’t the mistakes I made… I rescinded my contract with Roma a year early because I basically had a deal with Atletico CP, or at least that’s the impression they gave me.
“The deal never went through, even now I don’t know why, and I was without a team for six months. I should have made a different decision – I should have stayed at Roma and gone out on loan again, maybe in Serie B.”