Dzeko: ‘Roma arrival incredible’

Edin Dzeko looks back over his career at Manchester City and Roma, working with several coaches and greeted by “hundreds of fans at the airport.”

The Bosnia international spoke to Sky Sport Italia and discussed everything from his childhood in Sarajevo, escaping the war, to his step into the big time with Manchester City.

“I wanted to take another step forward and Manchester City was the right team. Roberto Mancini really wanted me there and it’s important that the coach is eager to have you be part of his squad, especially when there are already so many important players there.

“I knew my time at City was coming to an end and (then director of sport Walter) Sabatini convinced me to join Roma. He came to see me in Croatia and said he wouldn’t leave without me. He was direct, didn’t leave anything to chance, and lit up a new cigarette every few minutes!

“My arrival at Roma was incredible, I thought it was only the kind of thing you see on television, not hundreds of fans waiting for me at the airport in real life. I knew they were passionate, but not that much.”

Dzeko has worked with several coaches during his time at the Stadio Olimpico, including Luciano Spalletti.

“I wouldn’t have scored 39 goals without Spalletti telling everyone to keep making vertical passes to set up the striker. We had some ups and downs with Eusebio Di Francesco, but also an extraordinary Champions League run that nobody was expecting. In fact, nobody thought we’d get past the group stage, being up against Atletico Madrid and Chelsea, let alone eliminate Barcelona.

“Di Francesco prepared that second leg so well and it’s thanks to him that we got through. Everyone says it was Barcelona’s fault they were eliminated, but the truth is that we put in a fantastic performance. I sometimes watch it back and can’t believe how well we did.”

Roma’s Champions League run reached a conclusion with the 5-2 semi-final defeat against Liverpool.

“I don’t even want to remember that name. We threw it away.”

Dzeko had been expected to leave Roma last summer, with Inter and Antonio Conte offering a huge deal, but he opted to remain for Paulo Fonseca.

“I told him straight away that he’d have no problem with me, because I never had issues with my coaches. Fonseca often spoke to me during pre-season, urging me to stay, telling me to be happy when I worked.

“We all know how it works, you’re the number one when you score goals, you’re washed up when you don’t. That’s just the way it goes.”

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