Cagliari manager Zdenek Zeman ready to “come home” against Roma


Current Cagliari and former Roma manager Zdenek Zeman spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport ahead of Sunday’s match as Il Boemo faces his former team for the first time since being sacked in February 2013.

Mister Zeman, Sunday is a match unlike the others…
“I’m happy to be back at the Olimpico. It means I get to come home because for 20 plus years, I’ve lived in Rome. As for the match, let’s see what happens, we’re trying to learn how to play football. Roma already knows how to. To take our chances, we have to do more than what we’re able to do right now.”

Certainly you’ve seen the very frightening Roma against CSKA…
“They played a great first half, only one ball was played wrong but in that case De Sanctis was very good. The players enjoyed it and seemed to have fun: 4-0 after the first half in the Champions League is not a result that you see often.”

What do you think of Garcia?
“That he’s good, and it showed from the very first day last year, you don’t win ten matches in a row on accident. But then he paid for a few injuries. But this year, the roster is even wider and stronger. The 16 points behind Juventus after last season was many, but I think the gap is now bridged, Roma are on par to win the Scudetto.”

You were the one who gave him the captain’s armband even though he was just over 20 years old, some words on Totti…
“For me, he is simply ‘the player’. What he can do is just about everything, in every part of the field, that he bets-on nobody expecting, he solves matches. For many years, Totti has carried Roma’s load on his shoulders: he’s generous, selfless, he’s always thought more about the team than himself. If he was selfish, he already would’ve broken Piola’s record. I’ve been lucky to have coached him twice and I hope to have left him with something too.”

In Rome, the Giallorossi fans always want the best: for them, you still remain “the Mister”…
It’s a mutual affection that never ends. (They’re) ironic, passionate, they love the team and that (feeling) never leaves.”