Zago praises Roma and comments on Luiz Adriano links

Former AS Roma midfielder and current Shakhtar Donetsk assistant manager Antonio Carlos Zago commented on his former club:

How is your experience in Ukraine?
“I work with Lucescu and also Shakhtar, it’s a very good opportunity.”

What didn’t go right at Roma last season?
“It had been a difficult year, first with Zeman then Andreazzoli, but the important thing today is that Roma has had a great season.”

Who wanted you at Roma?
“I started with Zeman, then they changed coaches, and then Garcia arrived, I had another year on my contract but I went to work somewhere else. I’m a Roma fan, this year’s Roma has done very well.”

What do you think of Toloi? The duo of Benatia-Castan is one of the strongest in the world?
“For me, it took Castan a year to understand European football, like all Brazilians who come here. You see that this year he’s had more continuity, he started well and has improved. Benatia already knew the Italian league, and he’s proved to be one of the strongest. I only saw Toloi play one game, in which he scored in Brazil. It’s hard to judge after so little, I haven’t seen him in person, but I have to judge him after more matches. He’s had a good start to his career in Goias, then he dropped a little but then Sao Paolo went better.”

Is Dodo better than what we’ve seen?
“I’m waiting for him to do even better, I consider him a very strong back. He’s had continuity and he’s improved a little, from what I’ve seen he’s growing. Technically he is very strong , he’s learning how to defend. He’s young, you have to work so hard, it’ll take another year of patience.”

Luiz Adriano (Shakhtar) has been linked to Roma…
“I think it’s ideal for the Giallorossi to improve the attack, he is a player who, for the past seven years, has done very well in the Champions League, he always scores, he is physically strong, he is a player that knows how to play. I’m not sure if he’ll leave, I do not know if Lucescu will let him go, but if Roma could take him, it would be an extraordinary purchase. The situation’s a little complicated (here), we have to wait for the elections in the country. Lucescu and the President love Luiz Adriano but if they buy another player they could let him go.”

Why are there so many Brazilians at Shakhtar?
“Because the club has this policy to focus on youth and the Brazilian coach has the patience to allow them to grow, then get huge offers for players like Willian and Fernandinho and they are sold for 40 million. The city is quiet, players learn by playing in the Ukranian league and there is the Champions League so they can grow.”

Source(s): Radio Mana Sport

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.