Corriere dello Sport (Guido D’Ubaldo) James Pallotta was speaking freely at the end of the game. The president stopped in the mixed zone and made a remarkable announcement. “If the stadium isn’t done by 2020 I’ll be forced to go back home, you won’t see me in the stands any more. Roma will have to find another owner. The stadium is an opportunity for the city, one of the most beautiful projects in the world, but if the politicians don’t want it then what can we do? There should be news before 15th June, there shouldn’t be problems.”
The president celebrated second place and then commented on Totti. “We’ve been talking with Francesco for 18 months and we’re on the same wavelength, I don’t understand why there’s so much controversy, what we’ve said to each other will stay between us. I’ve got no regrets with him. He means so much to Roma. When we’ve decided what to do with Francesco, we’ll tell you. People forget that we finished 4 points behind Juventus and we could have been even closer with a player like Florenzi, he’s a great player.”
He didn’t let anything slip about the coach. When he was asked about Eusebio Di Francesco he said, “You don’t have to tell me who you want.” Then as always he turned on the journalists. “Why are you never satisfied? In the last 4 years we’ve achieved some excellent results, we’ve qualified for the Champions League and the Europa League. We’re trying to improve Roma, we’ve got closer to Juventus.” He was enthusiastic about Monchi, who is working to build the new Roma. “He’s a fantastic director, one of the best in the world at his job, we’re lucky to have him.”
Pallotta also confirmed De Rossi’s Giallorossi future. “He will play with us next year.” Roma struggled to beat Genoa: “I didn’t enjoy the game, but I’m very happy with second place. You’ve never talked about how we’ve got closer to Juve. We’ve had a good season and have a lot of good players, we have a team, not just one player. The sponsor? We’ll see who we need to bring in. We’ve got lots of fans abroad, there are 20,000 people singing Roma’s anthem in Indonesia alone, and we’re doing great things in China as well.”
The president arrived at Ciampino at 9.45 yesterday morning on a private flight. He then went to the De Russie hotel, and ate with his friend and right hand man Alex Zecca. With them were Needham and general director Baldissoni. The president made a joke about Totti’s future: “I hope he will do what the other players do on Monday and go on holiday. That’s what I’m doing…” At 16.15 he left for the stadium with the other directors. This morning he will be at CONI with the Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, who will be the guest of honour at the Open Goal event promoted by CONI and by Roma.
This morning there will also be a friendly game at the Olimpico between a team with a few players from the Fiorentina women’s team, who won the scudetto, and Liberi Nantes, whose team is made up of young migrants. Trudeau, on his way back from the G7 summit in Taormina, will take the kick off, and CONI chief Malago and the Roma president will be in attendance. The aim of the event is to use football to help confront the global challenge of integrating migrants. The protagonists will be people of all nationalities, religions, colours and races, who are brought together by their love of playing football.