Category Archives: Club news

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Darboe: From refugee camp to Europa semi-final

Ebrima Darboe is playing a Europa League semi-final for Roma against Manchester United, but five years ago he arrived in Italy on a refugee boat as an unaccompanied child.

Now 19, the midfielder came off the bench to replace injured Chris Smalling at the Stadio Olimpico just 30 minutes into tonight’s match.

It has been quite a journey for Darboe, who arrived in Italy from Gambia without his parents at the age of 14.

Coming via a refugee camp in Libya, he was registered with the SPRAR project (Protection System for Refugees and Asylum Seekers) after arriving in Italy and was immediately assigned a social worker by the courts.

He was assigned to a family in Rieti, near Rome, and discovered his love for football.

Darboe made his debut for the Roma Primavera squad in 2019 and signed his first contract as a professional, describing that as ‘fulfilling a dream.’

He made his Serie A debut against Sampdoria last week and is now starring on the stage of the Europa League semi-final.

Image: @ASRomaEN

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Di Canio: ‘Mourinho worst of the worst’

Paolo Di Canio has gone viral for a vicious rant against Jose Mourinho’s move to Roma. ‘He’s the worst of the worst. Finished in every conceivable way and he plays anti-football.’

The recording was seemingly a phone message he left for a friend of his who is a Giallorossi supporter, but it was released onto YouTube and spread rapidly.

Di Canio is a former Lazio player and current Sky Sport Italia pundit who is known for not holding back on criticism.

“You’ve got the worst of the worst,” said Di Canio in the recording.

“I understand you needed a big name at this moment, but it’s like when you sign a player who is finished. Mourinho just wanted a job with money, he’s had his third sacking in four years, kicked out from everywhere due to the incompatibility of his character and before that’s all he was good at, having character.

“Now Tottenham gave him the boot for his results and incapacity to take the team to another level after two years with all the money they spent.

“Considering the environment around Roma, he’s fine, you might be expecting who knows what, but I tell you he’s the worst of the worst. He’s finished in every conceivable way.

“He doesn’t even play football, he plays anti-football. You might enjoy yourselves in a few press conferences, because controversy makes for good theatre, but let me tell you: to reconstruct a team, he’s the worst you could possibly get.

“And I can say that because he was my favourite up until seven years ago, even more than Pep Guardiola.”

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Lo Monaco: ‘Mourinho bloodbath for Roma’

Pietro Lo Monaco, who famously said Jose Mourinho should be struck in the teeth, said Roma must be prepared for ‘a bloodbath on the transfer market.’

The pair famously clashed back in Mourinho’s Inter days when Lo Monaco was the director of sport at Sicilian club Catania.

“I didn’t expect this at all, because the newspapers were all talking about Maurizio Sarri at Roma and he’d make more sense to continue the style of football that Paulo Fonseca adopted,” Lo Monaco told

“It may well be a good move for Roma, but it brings with it a series of consequences. Jose certainly isn’t one who excels for his work on the pitch, especially not as much as you’d think considering his fame as a coach.

“On the other hand, he is very good at motivating the team and keeping everyone united, so that leaks and gossip are kept out of the locker room. Fabio Capello was similar in that sense and it’s no coincidence Roma won the Scudetto with him.”

However, Lo Monaco is certainly not impressed by this choice, or the arrival of Tiago Pinto as director of sport.

“I don’t understand why the Roma owners seem so won over by Portuguese football. With all due respect, I hardly think it’s better than Italian. If they really want to look abroad, why not go for someone who can be truly transformative, like Marcelo Bielsa?

“In any case, if you bring in a coach like Mourinho, be prepared for a bloodbath on the transfer market. Jose needs his team, so players of a certain level, who at this moment Roma don’t have.”

Some suggested that Roma were trying to copy the successful Antonio Conte model by hiring Mourinho.

“While Conte is a little more diplomatic, we can expect Mourinho to increase the rows that Italian fans seem to love so much. Mourinho knows he has to at least qualify for the Champions League.”

Lo Monaco famously once said that Mourinho should be ‘struck in the teeth, because he is someone who does not respect his opponents, nor the nation that is hosting him’ during one of their many public exchanges of insults.

“Aside from my ideas about him, Mourinho does not represent a special opponent for me. My Catania’s 3-1 win over the Treble-winning Inter is unforgettable.”

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Mourinho seeks Isco at Roma

Jose Mourinho would like Real Madrid creative midfielder Isco at Roma, according to reports in Spain, and he could be signed for under €30m.

The arrival of the new coach from next season has already set the transfer market alight and the squad will be formed in his image.

Diario Gol claim that Mou and director of sport Tiago Pinto have set their sights on Isco to revitalise his career in the Italian Capital.

It’s certainly not the first time Isco has been linked with a move to Serie A or to Roma.

Sevilla are also interested, but it seems their proposal worth €15m was considered far too low.

The asking price is €30m, although in the current climate Real Madrid could accept less than that.

Isco just turned 29 and is under contract with Real Madrid only until June 2022.

He made 27 competitive appearances for the club this season, contributing two assists.

Isco is on the bench for tonight’s Champions League semi-final with Chelsea.

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Mourinho: ‘The passion of the fans convinced me’

Jose Mourinho said he wants to ‘create a winning project’ at Roma and chose the Gialloross for ‘the incredible passion of the fans’.

The 58-year-old returns to Serie A ahead of 2021-22 with 25 major trophies in his luggage so far. The former FC Porto, Chelsea, Inter, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur coach has accepted a three-year contract and will succeed Paulo Fonseca after the season.

“Thank you to the Friedkin family for choosing me to lead this great club and to be part of their vision,” Mourinho told the club’s official website.

“After meetings with the ownership and Tiago Pinto, I immediately understood the full extent of their ambitions for AS Roma. It is the same ambition and drive that has always motivated me and together we want to build a winning project over the upcoming years.

“The incredible passion of the Roma fans convinced me to accept the job and I cannot wait to start next season.

“In the meantime, I wish Paulo Fonseca all the best and I hope the media appreciate that I will only speak further in due course. Daje Roma!”