Garcia’s Pre-Atalanta Press Conference

Rudi Garcia spoke today as his team waits to face Atalanta tomorrow at the Olimpico.

The health of Totti?
“Francesco is fit: he had a normal training session today. But that was also the case yesterday when we had him train slightly differently as the team had a less intense session, while he needed to do more athletic work.”

The season is close to ending, what are your goals for the end?
“The aim this season was to work with the guys and have them go out on the field with a clear identity in their play: we have that now and that’s the most important thing. That’s why I sometimes say there are worrying wins and defeats that give you hope.”

The ban of Destro is fair or unfair?
“There’s no point talking about it, I’ve already said what I think about Mattia’s ban: today I have a match to prepare and now is not the time to bring this up again. We’ll appeal it on Thursday. His absence was already confirmed on Sunday after he picked up a yellow card. The Atalanta game, as it’s our next match, is the most important thing for the team to think about. We’re playing before the other sides and we have to win, just as we have done on many occasions this season: 23 wins from 32 matches means we know what we’re doing, especially given we’ve had many serious injuries. The team’s effectiveness has never wavered and I believe in my players: I’m calm, up for it and motivated, the title race is not over and nor will it be tomorrow night.”

The fans…
“Tomorrow we’ll have around 50,000 fans at the stadium and that’s great: we’re hungry to keep going, we’ll play with enthusiasm and go out there for our supporters: we won’t lose the will to win that we’ve shown since the start of the season.”

You still believe in the Scudetto?
“We only play to win: it’s great to have so many points and we want to finish as high up in the standings as possible. At this stage second place is more doable because it’s the only one we can defend as in our own hands, while top spot is the only one we can attack. After the Juve game I heard people say the title race is over, whereas when we won 3-0 on Sunday everyone said it was still ongoing: that’s not the case, it’s up for grabs every week. We need to keep going and do our bit: if we break Roma records we’ll have had an unbelievable season, that I want to end in the best way possible.”

“They’ve got nothing against Roma but hearing questions about an incident involving a player who scored a hat-trick is unbelievable: I like talking more about football. We need to bring joy to our fans, that’s the only way the stands will be full.”

“We have five decent forwards, Bastos, Ljajic, Totti, Gervinho and Ricci. Three or four of them will be on the field from the start. I need to think about who to pick: everyone has the chance of being involved, either from the start or off the bench.”

“The are certain things which are between myself and the players in the locker room. I know it’s difficult to keep everything between us but there are some things which are only said there. We have rules to follow, which will remain between us. The players know. I occasionally deal with certain issues. Prandelli? He’s the Italy head coach: I hope the Azzurri go as far as possible, with lots of Giallorossi players involved.”

“I’d love for this season to go on forever, because I enjoy coaching this squad: I have a fantastic group of men, whoever comes into this team gains confidence and gives their all. Sometimes they make mistakes, as everyone does, but every player is willing to improve immediately. This is the enthusiasm I expect from the players and the fans too: there are only three home matches left and we need to enjoy every last second and drive this team on, which will fight until the end.”

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.