Benatia Talks Up Roma Move

Roma defender Mehdi Benatia spoke to the A.S Roma gold membership holders this afternoon.

Your years in Udinese?
“I was good in Udine, although at first I had some difficulties of acclimating myself, especially in training because I was not used to working so much. In France, the commitment during the week was lighter. However, I was lucky to have such great players as teammates that helped me grow and lent a big hand to me in blending in, I think of people like Inler, Di Natale, Sanchez … “

Udine is a small town, but with a particular focus on calcio…

“Yes, it’s a small town, but there is everything there that you need to do well and work well. We had three chances to progress in Europe, we were the protagonists of three seasons along with the positive merits of Guidolin and the group. For a club like Udine, being able to go to Europe for three years is like winning a championship.”

What about your move to Roma? The deal transpired quickly?
“At the end of last season, my agent told me of the interest of Roma. I am convinced that this choice was the correct one after talking to Walter Sabatini. When I looked into his eyes, he made me realize they were very interested in me. I was one of their top priorities. But, in fact, the deal did not happen quickly because there were other European clubs interested in me. But I had given my word to the Director and for me, once I gave my word, the talks were over. I’m really happy with the choice I made.”

Have you integrated in the team?
“Yes, we are a great team with great quality on both the technical and human level. It’s a group that likes being together. I’ve especially gotten close to Miralem Pjanic, he helped me understand some things about the city and my teammates, but I get along with everyone and it shows on the field.”

“It will be very difficult. We must begin right away after our loss in Naples, where we played a beautiful match but couldn’t bring points home. They always play well against the big teams and therefore we have to be careful, but if we play to our level we can and must win, and even for our friend Strootman who’ll watch us on TV.”

The Editor of, John has been covering Italian football as a freelance journalist for over 10 years and has appeared in various publications including,, and ESPN.