Seydou Keita presented to the media

Former Barcelona and Champions League winning midfielder Seydou Keita was officially presented today as an AS Roma player. Here are his words:

Keita, there are many players are your position, are you okay with being a substitute or have you come here to try and start?
“When a player changes clubs it’s to play, but this will be decided by the manager, in my head, the idea is to play. My intention is to continue the progress I made with Valencia, who are a great team that reached the semi-finals of the Europa League.”

What’s the image of Roma abroad?
“Roma has always been a big club, they had a good season last year finishing second and struggling with Juventus until the very end. The Italian league is a great league and it is very important to be competitive and remain at a high level, for me, for the club, and for the fans, I want to help the club remain very high.”

You had a knee problem, how are you feeling? Will you play in the African Nations Cup?
“The knee is fine and I’m almost completely recovered. I suffered a lot but now I’m glad that I’m healthy for the African Cup of Nations and to be the captain of my national team, but first, we have to qualify because it means a lot to me, that’s what the national team is all about.”

You only signed a 1 year contract, has Sabatini outlined targets you must reach in order to extend (with Roma)?
“I have a contract for a year, but a year is long, it’s an entire season of working hard for 12 months, when I spoke with the manager, I made it clear that, at my age, it is important to focus from season to season. If everything goes well, it will be easy to find a deal stay longer. I think, at my age, it’s important to proceed gradually.”

You have a great Champions League record, what can Roma hope to do in the Champions League?
“The Champions League is a a very important and difficult competition. It’s not easy to say which levels we can reach, but what is certain is that Roma had a great season with a great roster, which will receive reinforcements. Right now, it’s difficult to say what we’ll do, but what we have in have in the back of ours mind is what I and my teammates must live up to.”

Why did you choose Roma? What were your first impressions of Rudi Garcia?
“I chose Rome because when I was in China, I wanted to return to Europe to fight for important goals for Valencia and I’m here for the exact same reason. I have a chance to play in the Champions League and to be able to fight against the best. Garcia is an important coach. It’s pointless to talk a lot (about him) because it is important to only focus on results that need to be achieved on the field – that is what I’m focused on.”

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.