‘Roma special, Netherlands lack stars’

Kevin Strootman says Roma “are special to me” and explains why Netherlands are struggling. “We don’t have top players like before…”

Speaking in a Q&A session with Roma via the hashtag #AskStrootman, the midfielder also felt Serie A was “more difficult now” and revealed his favourite goal, as well as giving opinions about his teammates.

“It’s difficult to explain what the club and city mean to me,” he began.

“I don’t even have to talk about it, I just think that if I have two days off, I prefer to stay here than go back to Netherlands.

“As far as the club are concerned, Roma are special to me. I’ve been here for four years, they’ve always supported me, as well as during the bad times, of course, bad we’ve also shared some beautiful things. They were special and remain special.

“Serie A more difficult now? It is. We’e here, as are Napoli and, Juve, but there’s also Milan, Inter and Lazio.

“It won’t be easy, as seen by the first few games, but to really see how things are and what are the real values, ​​we have to wait.

“It’ll only be possible to talk in January and February. The Champions League? It won’t be easy, we’ve returned after a very long journey and [other teams will] want to do well at our place.

“Best moments? My best goal was my 20-yarder against Napoli, in front of a full stadiu. It was a unique moment.

“My most important one was in the derby. You’d like to score a goal like that all the time and it was also my first at home after my injury.

“El Shaarawy? He’s a … only joking, he’s great and very important to us! Manolas? Sometimes he’s a bit too serious in the dressing room, but we still have plenty of laughs with him.

“Having Radja in the team is special, he’s one of the best players in the world. He can do everything, score and defend.

“He could play for any team for Europe, but we’re happy he’s here and signed a new contract.

“Kolarov is more ruthless than I am. You can see it on his face, the same goes for Alessandro [Florenzi].

“When I came back, I needed time, yet [Florenzi] played 90 minutes against Verona and was in good shape.

“Francesco [Totti] remains important to us, it’s strange not to see him more on the pitch, but he’s still helping us as a director.

“Netherlands? It’s a tough time for us, we don’t have top players like before. We have to work hard and wait for the new players to develop.

“We haven’t been lucky either. We’ve had so many injuries, so it’ll be difficult to go to the World Cup, but we have to go forward and I’m sure our time will come.”