Fonseca drops Roma hint

Paulo Fonseca looked back on ‘three beautiful years’ at Shakhtar Donetsk and set his sights on a club ‘in Europe’, amidst Roma speculation.

Fonseca has won three Ukrainian titles in his three seasons with Shakhtar, but the Coach is considered the heavy favourite to fill the vacancy at Roma.

“A lot of things can happen in football,” he told ProFutbol.

“Everyone knows I’m an ambitious Coach: and who knows, maybe one day I’ll coach a club in Europe.

“In these three years we’ve won a lot and we’ve respected the expectations of the fans: to beat Dynamo Kiev.

“But I’ve always had deep respect for them, we’ve been an example of a fair rivalry. In the past I’ve met the President of Dynamo.

“We had a coffee together and talked about promising young players, but of course we never went into negotiations over my appointment.

“I can never say never if an offer comes in from someone else, but honestly I’m so attached to Shakhtar, that it would be very difficult. And my wife wouldn’t take it well…

“These three years have been beautiful and full of satisfaction. In the Champions League it was tough, also because last season we sold several top players like Bernard, Fred, Srna and Facundo Ferreira.

“We failed in the Champions League last season, also because we couldn’t count on two important players like Taison and Marlos.

“Even without them we fought all the way for a place in the knockout stages, but we didn’t succeed.”

The Portuguese was then pressed on his managerial philosophy.

“I don’t look at age,” he continued.

“For me, an 18-year-old has the same chance of playing as a 30-year-old: the important thing is to be ready, good and aware of taking to the field for a great team.

“Obviously the situation changes when you play in an important competition like the Champions League: you also need experienced players who know the competition, otherwise it becomes almost impossible to face a big European side.

“You must always find the right mix of youth and experience. You need to make the right bets on players.

“I don’t just want to win. I also want to play well. It’s not enough for me to be able to bring home results.

“My dream is to win the Champions League, it’s natural. Being able to beat big clubs in this tournament excites me. It’s spectacular.”