Rudi Garcia’s pre-Empoli press conference

Rudi Garcia held a press conference today at Trigoria before his team’s match against Empoli.

Do you fear that there’s been too much talk about the Champions League lately?
“Before I begin I would like to greet a special guest in the room, Pier Francesco Favino. Yes, it’s a danger because my role is to keep the team focused only on the next matchTomorrow is very important and I don’t even remember who we play on Wednesday.”

Will Destro play from the first minute?
“Tomorrow you will see before the match who will play. I can say that every player is important and fortunately we have everyone available except Strootman and Balzaretti, I hope to always have these decisions to make throughout the season.”

How do you handle Totti?
“We have some players who are already at a certain age, he’s not the only case. It depends on the time after Manchester, we will have five days to recover for the final game of the series. The Africans have played two days ago for 90 minutes, this is my only worry but I’ve got time to dwell on it.

How’s Maicon?
It ‘s simple, I didn’t call him up against Fiorentina because he didn’t have a whole week with the group and for me it wasn’t worth the risk. Then we decided together to send him to the national team because he’d train there and play in a friendly, it’s the easiest way to start a season. He’s returned and had an entire week with the group and, from what I saw, he’s ready to play.”

What happened between Maicon and Brazil?
“He made ​​a mistake returning late. It’s a problem with the national team, Roma isn’t involved. Sabatini also spoke about him yesterday and now we look forward.”

A version about Benatia? Is Rabiot coming?
“Tomorrow there’s a match, yesterday Sabatini expressed having a balanced market. I’d rather talk about the game tomorrow, Benatia is no longer a Roma player and I have nothing to say. I’m glad with my roster, I hope tomorrow to see the same desire and conviction as in the match against Fiorentina, in addition to the collective joy after the goal and the win. Some images made ​​me think of last year and that should be Roma’s strength.”

How are Keita and Gervinho? Ljajic?
Adem is fine, the other two we have to care for a little. Tomorrow they will be 100% and we’ll see if they can get in from the start or as a sub. It’s the beginning of the season and everyone is doing well physically.”

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.