Roma’s former sporting director, Walter Sabatini, has spoken to Rete7 about his time with the Giallorossi, explaining that he simply had to leave the club but has always been and will always be a tifoso.
Corriere dello Sport (R.Maida) Without Sabatini, Roma are no longer the same. That is a fact, not just words: with the sporting director’s departure, every single position within the club hierarchy has now changed since the first structure was put into place by the American owners. The exceptions, among all the changes to players, coaches and directors, are the club icons Totti and De Rossi together with third choice keeper Lobont. The rest has been a revolution in personnel and technology, which hasn’t been accompanied by the “cultural revolution” that Sabatini himself referred to on the day he left.
Frederic Massara, nicknamed Ricky, was born in Turin on 11th November, 1968. During his playing career he played as a left winger in the Torino and Pavia youth teams, and then at Pescara where he was a team-mate of Max Allegri during his spells in Abruzzo. He also played for Palermo, Arezzo, Moncalieri, Andria and Tivoli before he retired and started his career as an assistant coach at Benevento, Pescara and Martina.
After yesterday, maybe, he will be a little less tormented than usual, given that he’s now taken his decision and there’s no room for second thoughts. What had been unofficial for nearly 10 months was made official yesterday: Walter Sabatini is no longer Roma’s sporting director, and it is goodbye to the last director from the first ‘Roma americana’. “I want to thank Walter for what he did for AS Roma and for all his dedication to our venture,” said president James Pallotta. “I also want to thank him for all I’ve learned from him. Please stop smoking!”
There’s almost an entire team that can be chosen. Except for a goalkeeper and a left back, every position is covered. It’s a team of young Romans (or, at least, who have been brought through the system at Trigoria) who have left their home during the first six years of the American administration. The latest is Federico Ricci, who has gone to Sassuolo on loan with an option to buy and a counter-option for Roma. Will he ever return to Trigoria, having made his debut for his hometown club? It’s unlikely, for now.
The sound of the end of the transfer window has rung hollow at Roma, primarily due to the impossibility at the very end of giving Spalletti one more signing to complete his squad. They didn’t achieve their aim of getting a midfielder in as they risked leaving it until the very last hours of the window. Just before the end, Roma made it known that talks had broken down with Arsenal for Wilshere, who was the sporting director’s number one choice to replace Vainqueur, whose departure had been planned for some time and who had finally left that afternoon for Marseille (who will cover all the Frenchman’s salary) on loan with an option to buy.
Back in January 2014, Rome’s radio stations were full of journalists commenting on Walter Sabatini’s transfer policy as he signed youngster after youngster. Some said ironically that he was “playing Football Manager” and praising him for his foresight in planning for Roma’s future, others were more cautionary as they warned the sporting director was forgetting the present as he invested in the future. Continue reading