Creative Soccer Culture

Paulo Dybala Talks His Move To Roma & His Warm Reception

When it was announced that Paulo Dybala was going to leave Juventus after a seven year stay, the Argentinian instantly became one of the most sought-after free agents on the market. He had the pick of where he wanted his career to continue, and ultimately he chose AS Roma.

Following his switch to the Italian capital city, Dybala was given one of the most amazing welcomes by the Giallorossi faithful, and now, as he embarks upon a new chapter in his career, he’s looking to repay that welcome and the faith the club has shown in him. We caught up with Dybala recently to talk all about his switch, what the reception at his unveiling meant to him, and what he hopes to achieve with the club.

The way the fans of Roma welcomed you was incredible, what did you think of it?

It was a very special moment. What I told my family and friends was that it was a great feeling, it gave me goosebumps. Before entering the Olimpico, to hear how they were singing and the flags and everything…It was a truly incredible show.

It must have been a shock. You would’ve known Roma's fans were something special, but they are truly something else, right?

Yes, I knew how passionate the fans were but truth be told I hadn't expected something like this. So, I really felt the love they expressed and now I hope to be able to give back to the fans what they gave me during the presentation.

What was the craziest part of that day?

I believe it was when I stepped out there, because before that I didn't know what was going to happen and then when they told me, about five minutes before I was due to come outside, when I knew more or less what I had to do…To see the people out there like that, and on the screen behind the scenes, like I said before, it was something incredible.

There must’ve been a number of teams after you, and you chose these fans and this was their way to show you their appreciation for your choice. Was it a difficult choice?

No, not at all. On the contrary, after speaking with some of the management, the coach, I believe in the end it was a great decision. First, I am very happy to be here, then easy because of what was said with them they 100 percent convinced me to want to be part of this team.

Was there anyone who's helped you make this decision?

Well, obviously my family, the people that work with me as they are the closest people to me in these moments when you have to make certain decisions, they were the ones that helped me. But in the end I made the decision. I said yes to the idea of joining this team and I am very proud of it.

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Before you arrived you probably had some expectations about this club. Now that you’re here, is there anything that’s surprised you?

No, I always try not to have any expectations regarding certain things because then if the opposite happens you feel a bit...I'm not sure let down is the right thing to say, but your expectations aren't met. So, apart from what I could have imagined to find here I decided to come here because I believe in this project, what was discussed with the management, the president and the coach so the expectations are on the pitch, not outside.

What words would you use to describe Roma?

I think I would need a bit more time to use just single words. As I said earlier, I am very happy to be here, working. I really like it here, the people that work for the team are helping me from every angle. It’s my first steps here, and I’m very happy with what we’re doing, and I can't wait to start the season and play with this shirt.

And how influential was the thought of being coached by Mourinho in your choice?

Quite a lot obviously, because he's a winning coach, sure of himself. What we discussed gave me a lot of confidence and made me want to come here to win, to help the team, my teammates, to share what I experienced in the last few years. The coach and I share a very similar outlook, so we get on well on this.

And how were the first few moments with him?

Well, I didn't really know him that well before, but then we started talking... He's a very humble person who lives for football and he shows it every day, in each training session. I believe having someone who has won so much, who is part of the history of football, who is still motivated to give his best with his team, it proves how passionate he is about football. And he is able to convey this to all of us.

How did it feel to wear the Roma shirt for the first time?

It's clearly a great joy to be able to represent this shirt, with everything that it means. We need to be aware of all the people behind it, of all the people that come to see us. So, first of all you need to respect the shirt, honour it. And as I mentioned earlier, I hope to be able to play right away in the first match at the Olimpico with our fans.

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And how motivated are you by the prospect of playing at the Olimpico?

Very. From what I could see at the presentation, that certainly motivated me to be with them even more.

And what about Rome as a city, are you looking forward to it becoming your home?

I believe it would be difficult to describe Rome and what it means. Rome has always been my favourite city since I was a child. I believe I know very little about the city, so I’m also very curious to get to know new places. Certainly, when my family get here we’ll find the time to get to know it.

The roaring coming from the audience when they'll hear your name, that will be a special moment, won't it?

Totally. As I mentioned before, I hope the first goal will come soon so it will be even more special.

You've experienced many incredible moments in your career. Does feeling the love of the fans still give you an adrenaline rush?

Of course. Us Latinos are used to playing with very loud fans at the stadium. Whatever the result, they are there jumping, singing throughout the whole 90 minutes. I believe these fans are very similar to the ones from Latin America, so it will be like being back home.

This is a new chapter of your story, what are your ambitions?

The same as always. I want to win. I believe that at the end of the day this is a game, and everyone plays to win. Obviously, we need to bear in mind what we need to do, of what the coach will ask us to do. We have objectives and I believe it's very important to be aware of what we can do and give a bit more altogether.

Roma has just won the Europa Conference League, how does that alter the approach this season?

I believe winning a trophy was very important for my teammates, because winning helps you to win, that's for sure. Then having a coach like Mourinho, that always gives you extra energy in the changing room and gives you extra awareness when you get on the pitch.

And what are the moments you are most looking forward to experiencing?

Certainly, playing at the Olimpico with our fans and obviously scoring goals.

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Paulo Dybala wears the COPA Sense+, which you can pick up at

Daniel Jones

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