Roma new boy Dybala denies feeling betrayed by Inter as he relishes life under Mourinho

By Sports Desk July 26, 2022

Paulo Dybala began life as a Roma player by insisting he bore no ill feeling towards Inter once his expected switch to San Siro failed to materialise.

Argentine forward Dybala has joined Roma on a free transfer after his contract at Juventus was allowed to expire, with the 28-year-old confident the capital club are becoming an increasingly powerful force.

Inter appeared to be the option that Dybala would choose after his Juve exit, but Nerazzurri managing director Giuseppe Marotta last week said the club had "no space" and "no need" to do that deal. They have brought in Romelu Lukaku and Henrikh Mkhitaryan during the close season.

"I didn't feel betrayed," Dybala said at a presentation media conference. "Since ending my contract with Juve I spoke to some teams more than others. I have a good relationship with Marotta."

Dybala said Roma general manager Tiago Pinto swayed him towards the Giallorossi, and he expects last season's Europa Conference League trophy triumph to prove a stepping stone to more success.

He said he would not celebrate if he scored in games against Juventus, and refused to speak of a Serie A title challenge – quite justifiably. Roma came home sixth in the league last season and finished 23 points behind champions Milan.

"Roma have won a very important trophy and want to have ambition for the future," Dybala said. "Roma have grown with the coach and the players. Our goal is winning game by game, then later we'll see where we are. Right now there are teams ahead of us for the Scudetto, we have to work to do well.

"I know there is a great desire, but it's too early to talk about it. But I like to win."

So does Jose Mourinho, the Roma head coach who will expect big things from Dybala.

Dybala scored 15 goals and added six assists in 38 games across all competitions last season, a big step in the right direction after a disappointing 2020-21 effort (five goals, three assists in 26 games).

His shot conversion rate of 12.4 per cent was nothing to crow about, however, compared to new Roma team-mate Tammy Abraham, whose rate of 18.18 per cent led to an 18-goal haul.

Now Dybala must put his playmaking attacking skills to work.

"Both Mou and the company showed me seriousness, enthusiasm, awareness," Dybala said at his presentation on Tuesday. "Knowing how Roma are building, I didn't have many doubts about choosing.

"It's up to the coach to decide where I play, wherever is best for the good of the team. I am ready to play wherever he thinks is best. Speaking with Mourinho before moving here was a great pleasure, all the conversations we had were very productive."

Related items

  • Allegri should leave Juventus if 'results don't come' – Sissoko Allegri should leave Juventus if 'results don't come' – Sissoko

    Juventus may soon be forced to "change the management" if Massimiliano Allegri cannot inspire a rapid improvement in their fortunes, according to former Bianconeri midfielder Mohamed Sissoko.

    The Italian giants have endured a tough start to the season, winning only two of their first seven games in Serie A and losing their opening two Champions League group-stage matches for the first time.

    And Sissoko – a Juventus player between 2007 and 2011 – feels the club may have to dismiss Allegri if they cannot beat Bologna at home on Sunday in their first match after the international break.

    "There's a big problem there. It's true, the start was very bad," Sissoko told Stats Perform.

    "We will see what happens after the international break because I think it's going to be a big moment if the team don't win."

    Allegri is in his second stint with the club having presided over a hugely successful tenure between 2014 and 2019, winning five straight Scudetti and reaching two Champions League finals.

    However, his second reign has been underwhelming. A fourth-place finish last season followed by a slow start this term has led to many fans calling for the Italian coach to be sacked.

    And Sissoko believes this feeling around the club is not beneficial for the players, saying: "When you work in this atmosphere it is not easy for players.

    "If the result don't come, I think it's better to change, to have fresh management, new people and new things."

    Juventus fans will be hoping star signings Angel Di Maria and Paul Pogba can help Juventus climb the table.

    Di Maria, signed from PSG in pre-season, has scored once in his first four league games while Pogba is yet to play because of a torn meniscus.

    But Sissoko still believes the two signings will be a key part of Juventus' campaign.

    "The team need to work a lot – it's a team performance, but if you put more quality in this team, like Pogba, like Di Maria, 100 per cent it's not the same team," he added.

    Pogba has also had to contend with off-field controversy in recent months.

    His brother, Mathias, has been charged in connection with an alleged armed extortion attempt against the World Cup winner.

    Asked how this might affect Pogba’s performances for Juventus when he returns from injury, Sissoko said: "To be honest, it's not easy.

    "I think Pogba has the good mentality to support all these things. I think he's going to fix all these things with him and his family to come back to play football and to give a lot of things to the supporters and for himself also."

  • Qatar says Hummel 'trivialised' commitment to migrant World Cup workers with Denmark kit protest Qatar says Hummel 'trivialised' commitment to migrant World Cup workers with Denmark kit protest

    Qatar's World Cup organising committee says sportswear maker Hummel is "trivialising" efforts to improve conditions for migrant workers after revealing Denmark's toned-down kit in protest at the issue.

    Hummel, which is the Danish football team's long-term kit supplier, released the side's 2022 World Cup jerseys on Wednesday, including a black third-choice design which is described as the "colour of mourning", to honour migrant workers who died during construction work for the tournament.

    The Danish Football Association (DBU) promised in November its teams would wear clothing with "critical messages" at the World Cup, and while FIFA rules prohibit political statements, the team uniform is a major change to their iconic kits.

    The three Denmark kits are all-red, all-white and all-black, with their iconic white chevrons faded into the same single colour as the shirt.

    "This shirt carries with it a message," Hummel said. "We don't wish to be visible during a tournament that has cost thousands of people their lives.

    "We support the Danish national team all the way, but that isn't the same as supporting Qatar as a host nation."

    Qatar's organising group, the Qatar Supreme Committee (QSC), responded to the kit release by disputing Hummel's claims, arguing it trivialised a "genuine commitment to protect the health and safety" of migrant workers, estimated to be around 30,000, largely from South Asia.

    Qatar claims that three labourers died in work-related accidents during construction work for the World Cup, although the nation has been accused of under-reporting deaths with limited data released by authorities, with Hummel's statement claiming it was "thousands".

    "We dispute Hummel's claim that this tournament has cost thousands of people their lives," the QSC statement said.

    "Furthermore, we wholeheartedly reject the trivialising [of] our genuine commitment to protect the health and safety of the 30,000 workers who built FIFA World Cup stadiums and other tournament projects.

    "Like every country, progress on these issues is a journey without a finish line, and Qatar is committed to that journey.

    "We urge the DBU to accurately convey the outcome of their extensive communication and work with the Supreme Committee, and to ensure that this is accurately communicated to their partners at Hummel."

  • Rumour Has It: Chelsea enter race to sign Borussia Dortmund's Bellingham Rumour Has It: Chelsea enter race to sign Borussia Dortmund's Bellingham

    Jude Bellingham is attracting plenty of admirers with his impressive performances for Borussia Dortmund and England.

    The 19-year-old midfielder joined Dortmund from Birmingham City in 2020.

    Bellingham is contracted until 2025, but clubs are queueing up to sign the young prospect.

    TOP STORY – BLUES JOIN QUEUE FOR BELLINGHAM

    Chelsea are the latest club to join the race to sign Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham, reports the Telegraph.

    Fabrizio Romano claims that Liverpool, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Manchester United along with the Blues are all pursuing a deal for the teenager.

    Romano reports that Dortmund are not in talks with any clubs yet, instead deferring any discussions and decision on a price tag until after the 2022 World Cup. The Telegraph claims that Bellingham will cost around £130 million (€145m).

    ROUND-UP

    – The Daily Mail reports Manchester City want assurances from Bernardo Silva that he will not push for a move at the end of this season following links with Barcelona during the last transfer window. City are said to be planning talks with Silva in the coming months.

    – Barcelona are interested in Ilkay Gundogan, who has less than a year remaining on his Manchester City contract, reports Sport. The German midfielder, who turns 32 in October, has been with City since 2016.

    – Karim Benzema and Real Madrid are close to agreeing to an extension on his contract, locking him down at the club until 2024, reports Italian journalist Nicolo Schira.

    – Tuttosport claims Milan have offered Rafael Leao an improved contract worth €6million per season plus bonuses, as they attempt to fend off interest from Chelsea and Manchester City.

    – The Sun claims Arsenal will make a January move for Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz after failing in an attempt to sign him on deadline day.

    – Socceroos 18-year-old forward Garang Kuol has flown to England to sign with Newcastle United having reached an agreement with his Australian club Central Coast, claims Fabrizio Romano. Sky Sports reports that Kuol will be loaned out in January.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.