Il Messaggero (Alessandro Angeloni, Stefano Carina, Massimo Caputi and Ugo Trani) People have said that, as a person, he’s a different class and someone who is culturally above average. After spending about an hour with him at Trigoria, we can confirm that’s true: Edin Dzeko is a different class, and culturally above average. A man of substance, not just playing the act. He’s philosophical. He’s simple, sincere, serene. Cheerful. He also smiles when he talks about his mistakes and the insults directed at him. He’s slightly surprised when he sits down to see multiple cameras and four open notebooks in front of him. “How many of you are there?” he exclaims, as if to ask why there is so much attention being given to him. “This isn’t an interview, it’s a forum,” Edin jokes. It soon becomes a – very simple – conversation, which Dzeko uses to tell his story. “If you have any problems, just speak in English,” we suggest to him. But he chooses not to: he always speaks in Italian, however he can, even when he inevitably finds a hole in his vocabulary and struggles to find the right words. Edin stops, thinks, finds the right word (and if he doesn’t find it, he invents one) and carries on, just like he does after he misses a chance in front of goal. Mistakes, (pot)holes, we’re used to everything in Rome. “Rome is a wonderful city, especially for someone who has lived in places like Manchester and Wolfsburg. Of course, it can be difficult to drive around – the streets are like Sarajevo’s after the bombing. You can see that it’s a city in difficulty, in crisis. It needs investment, the streets can’t be left abandoned like this.”
La Gazzetta dello Sport (Fabio Bianchi) Things were set in stone. It shouldn’t have been possible for them to change. But now the old cliché of Italian teams setting themselves up primarily not to concede goals has finally been turned on its head. Scoring is, finally, at the forefront of our league’s top sides. It’s the most obvious thing of all to say that to win you have to score goals. To score goals, teams need lots of attackers – and good ones. 20 years ago, the system changed to 3 points for a win, and this helped enormously. But recent seasons have shown a surge of goalscorers, particularly this season. We’re just past the halfway mark of the season, and you can clearly see that this scudetto race will be a race like few others.
Il Tempo (Erika Menghi) It’s lucky he doesn’t lack personality. Dzeko doesn’t just score goals for fun, now he’s a leader in terms of what he says as well. “We won’t win the derby playing like that. We mustn’t be afraid when we’re playing at home. It was hard, we were better than them but we didn’t show that and we didn’t play better than them. But we have the 3 points and it was important to get those. This game is already in the past now, it will be a different story against Lazio: we’ll do everything we can to win.”
La Repubblica (Francesca Ferrazza) Edin Dzeko has decided that he’s never going to stop scoring. In front of 23,000 fans against a modest Pescara side, the striker was head and shoulders above everyone else as he decided the match with 2 goals. It was his 5th brace of the season, in addition to a hat-trick in the Europa League. With 12 league goals and 17 in 20 games in all competitions this season, he is doing better for the Giallorossi than even Batistuta.
Corriere dello Sport (Guido D’Ubaldo) Roma qualified for the knockout phase of the Europa League by finishing top of Group E with a game to spare. The star of last night was Edin Dzeko, scorer of a priceless hat-trick, his first in a Giallorosso shirt, while Perotti added to the 4-1 scoreline with a magical rabona. The Bosnian increased his haul for the season to 15 goals, 5 of which have now come in the Europa League. Roma have the best attack in the competition after Shakhtar, and have scored 4 goals against all 3 opponents in their group – as well as scoring 4 goals another 3 times in the league. Even so, Spalletti’s team encountered a few difficulties in the first half and went in level at half time after once again making a defensive error. However they were at their best in the second half against the Czechs, who are now out of the Europa League.
La Gazzetta dello Sport (Giulio Di Feo and Andrea Pugliese) There’s a curious fact that Roma supporters are well aware of and, as the goals keep coming, they are starting to voice it more and more. It might be superstition, or it might be because they really believe it, but either way everyone likes to dream, and at the end of the day it costs nothing to dream. This fact is about Edin Dzeko, who has always struggled in top leagues in his first season before finding his true form the following year. This discovery coincides with his team winning the title. Like in 2008/09 in Germany (with Wolfsburg), or in 2011/12 in England (with Manchester City). This is why this anecdote has been doing the rounds in Rome, making hearts race and making fans start to dream. Just like Dzeko, who right now is the world’s most influential goalscorer.
Il Tempo (Alessandro Austini) No, Roma didn’t amaze anyone yesterday evening. They needed to beat Palermo to close in on Juventus and keep pace with Milan in second place, and they did. They needed to know how to maintain their concentration once they were in front, and they did – more or less, with the exception of a few minutes when they were 2-0 up and when they conceded a fortunate goal to the Sicilians 10 minutes from the end. This team, worn out by a busy fixture schedule and ravaged by injuries, needed to be managed carefully: Spalletti succeeded in this, resting Florenzi for 45 minutes and briefly evaluating Strootman’s progress. The real test of their scudetto ambitions will be on Wednesday at home to Sassuolo, but yesterday’s 90 minutes are enough to cancel out the pent-up anger caused by the farcical finish in the Europa League.