Nemanja Matic explains why he chose Roma and Serie A to ‘challenge myself’ after Manchester United. ‘Jose Mourinho is a winner, but it can be hard to work for him!’
The midfielder signed a one-year contract this afternoon and will wear the Number 21 jersey at the Stadio Olimpico.
“First impressions are great, I look forward to start training with the team,” Matic told Roma TV.
He has walked away from Manchester United as a free agent this summer and reunited with Mourinho, who he had already worked with at both Chelsea and Old Trafford.
Inevitably, the coach proved an important part of luring Matic to Serie A for the first time in his career after some previous near misses.
“Everyone knows Roma is a big club and also coach Jose Mourinho, I already worked with him, we have a good connection and he is one of the reasons why I came here. Roma has a great base of supporters, is playing in a very attractive league, so for me the decision was not so hard.
“It’s not only easy to work with him, it can be hard! But he’s a winner and he’s exactly what I want from my coach and exactly what I like to do in my career is to win. He’s a winner, he transmits that energy to the players. I hope we can do big things together.”
Roma won the Conference League and finished sixth in the Serie A standings.
“I watched some games, there is potential that with good work we can achieve big things. Let’s see next season what we can do, but I am sure we can do a lot.”
“It’s an attractive league for me because of big clubs, I know it’s not easy to play here, but I like to challenge myself. I want to compare my quality with the players from other leagues and Serie A is a great challenge for me.”
The Serbia international already had two weeks of summer vacation, so will be training regularly even in the build-up to pre-season to “make sure I’m ready physically.”
His only previous game at the Stadio Olimpico was behind closed doors, so Matic has never experienced the Giallorossi crowd.
“The Olimpico is an iconic stadium. I am looking forward to the full stadium, what I heard and saw is that Roma have great supporters and I’m very excited.
“Since my name was mentioned in connection with Roma, I started to receive lots of messages, comments and I’m happy with that.
“I think we can compete with every trophy, that is my target, try to win as much as we can.”
“Roma is a big club, with a great fanbase…”@NemanjaMatic gives his first thoughts after completing his move to the Italian capital! 💬
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) June 14, 2022