Roma coach Paulo Fonseca said it was ‘destiny’ that the Giallorossi are drawn his former club Shakhtar Donetsk. ‘I know it’s difficult to play in Ukraine’.
Fonseca eliminated former club Sporting Braga in the last 32 and will now face Shakhtar in back-to-back rounds against his previous employers.
“It was destiny that I was going to be drawn against my old team,” Fonseca told the club’s official channel.
“But obviously, it will be a tough tie. I know Shakhtar well, I know their players well and they’re a great side.
“In the Champions League this year, they beat Real Madrid twice and drew with Inter, who are top in Serie A right now.
“They are a great side.”
But Fonseca looks forward to his return to Ukraine.
“It’s nice to go back to somewhere I was very happy,” he continued. “It was an unforgettable three years but now we’re opponents.
“It will be nice to go back and see some people there, though, and revisit a place I was very happy.
“That said, we are on different sides now and they’re a very good team.”
Fonseca stressed it’s important to get a good result at the Olimpico against the Ukrainians.
“It’s important that we play well here in Rome,” he continued. “I know it’s difficult to play in Ukraine, in Kiev in this case, and we need a good game in Rome.
“As I’ve said, they’re a very good side and we will need to be at our best in both games.”