Astori presented

Newly acquired center-back Davide Astori was presented today to the media, here are his words:

Why did you choose the #23 shirt?
“Number 23? It’s my ex-president Cellino’s lucky number, then there are other reasons which are private.”

Did you have an agreement with Lazio? What do you think of Lotito’s words?
“It was a negotiation synthesized by the media, my former president Giullini summarized everything and said that the deal did not go well (with Lazio) but I went to Rome and I chose them as soon as I heard that I was what they were looking for. Lotito has said I’m ‘hardly Maradona’? Obviously, we play in two different positions. There may be a thousand negotiations, but if there are no agreements is useless to talk about it.”

How come last year you didn’t go to Russia? What’s your role here?
“The deal to go to Russia was two years ago, I didn’t go because I wanted to win a spot on the national team. For the role, there are no problems, I gave my willingness to play on both the left and right.”

The failed deal with Lazio created a lot of comedy, did you laugh at this? Even with your mates?
“(Laughs and grins) Let’s just say that the media is light hearted, I was joking among friends, but we take it as a matter of respect towards the other fans.”

Prandelli didn’t call you for the World Cup. Do you think that Roma can compete for the highest goals?
“I was very disappointed not to have been called by the national team, but now a new season begins. We need to improve on the results of last year, that’s our goal along with our coach. We have a large squad and I think we’ll have fun.”

You and Mattia (Destro) have always been friends, but your clash affected him with the national team. What about your new manager?
“I’ve always been friends with Mattia. We straightened things out straight after our clash at Cagliari. Garcia? He’s someone who gives his players a lot and expects the same in return. He’s a modern coach.”

Is your goal to reclaim your spot with the national team?
“You can combine both (goals with Roma and Italy), the possibility of playing is better when you’re with a strong Italian club as opposed to playing for a club inferior to Roma.”

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.