Published on: 11 July 2018


Cristante, who joined the Giallorossi from Atalanta earlier in the summer, sat down with reporters to discuss the move - and his decision to wear the No. 4 shirt for his new club.

Read everything he had to say below.

You faced Roma twice while at Atalanta last season – what impression did the team leave on you?

“Certainly I was impressed, the coach did a great job last season and the results – both in the Champions League and in Serie A – showed that.”

What has Di Francesco asked from you in training?

“We are still in the early stages, we are just getting back up to speed but he has started to impart some of his ideas; he wants to play good football, he wants to press high. We have time to work hard and learn what he really wants from us.”

You have chosen a significant shirt number: 4. Do you feel the weight of that responsibility?

“The responsibility is there regardless, whoever arrives at this club needs to show their worth. I am not here to provoke comparisons with those who have been here before. I think about myself, what I need to do now to improve and perform out on the pitch.”

Roma finished the season with the fifth best attack, can the midfielders help bring a few more goals this season?

“My aim is to do the best I possibly can, and that includes helping with scoring goals. If I score a few goals that help the team, I will have achieved one of my aims.”

What was it that changed for the better during your time at Atalanta? Was it down to Gasperini, or a change in role?

“I think it was the natural development of a young player, I went through different experiences and each of them helped me. At Atalanta it became the right moment to start to express myself. The environment and the coach definitely helped me a lot too, but generally speaking every experience has helped me in some way.”

In the last few months you were linked with Juventus and Lazio, so what made you chose Roma?

“I never look at the news about me in the press anymore, I only know that there was an offer from Roma and I did not hesitate to take it. I think this is the right place for me, because of the course this club is on, the coach and everything else. As soon as I heard about the offer I wanted to come here.”

You could end up being the most expensive midfielder in the club’s history – do you feel pressure because of that?

“Times change, with the transfer market the prices have got a lot higher and it is difficult to make comparisons. I want to give my best, I know I can still improve a lot and I want to demonstrate that.”

What is Gasperini’s secret? What does he give in particular to his midfielders?

“We all know he is a great coach, especially when it comes to young players. He helped me to improve, although I don’t think he has some magic potion. You can still do well, even after you move on.”

Do you think that moving to a bigger club, with different dynamics, could create problems?

“No, I’m calm about it. I’m working hard in the right way, with a top coach who knows how to work with central midfielders. With hard work and desire I can do well here as well.”

Why did your move to Benfica not work out for you?

“I was a youngster, 18, when I arrived at what is a huge European club. My aim was to move abroad, to continue my development and add to my experience. I was never expecting to be a starter at Benfica after a month.”

Last season you had a great rapport with Papu Gomez, with here which player do you think you might find a similar understanding?

“There are a lot of fantastic players here – I don’t think it will be difficult to find someone with the right ball. There are so many great options, I’m pretty confident we’ll find the right moves.”

(Getty Images)


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