As we begin the exciting build up to our Champions League semi-final we decided to get a sense of the mood in Rome.
Paul Rogers, Head of Digital Media at AS Roma, gives us his thoughts.
Paul is a Red and was previously Head of International Digital Development at LFC.
- Paul, Liverpool vs AS Roma! Was this the draw you were hoping for? And, as a Red, are you excited or do you have mixed feelings?
Personally speaking, from a selfish point of view, it wasn’t the draw I wanted – as I wanted Roma and Liverpool to face each other in the final. The two clubs closest to my heart meeting in Kiev would have been my preferred choice. From a club perspective, it didn’t matter who we drew. The choice was Bayern Munich, the current German champions, Real Madrid, the current Champions League holders, or Liverpool, who have been fantastic this season and just knocked out the future English champions. So, any draw was going to be a massive game. We actually ran a poll on the club’s Twitter page for fans to Retweet the fixture they most wanted. More Roma fans Retweeted the Liverpool fixture than the other two.
- There will obviously be much made about Mo Salah facing his former club: how is his form being viewed from the Eternal City?
We love Mohamed Salah. He was amazing for Roma and always gave 100% for the club. He was ultra-professional on and off the pitch and he left on great terms with everyone at the club. He’s an amazing player, enjoying an amazing season with Liverpool. We posted a Tweet after the draw saying, we’ll be opponents for 180 minutes but friends for life. He replied immediately, 100%. That says it all.
- Like Liverpool, this has been Roma’s most successful European season in a long time – you’re obviously not missing Salah too much! Who have been your stars this season? Who should we be nervous about?
It’s hard to single out an individual player, as Roma really do play as a team. It’s a bit of a cliché, but it’s true and that’s how the coach likes it. If I had to pick a contender for Roma’s Player of the Season, I think Alisson Becker would get the fans vote.
- You were obviously the stars of the quarter finals with the win over Barcelona – how is the mood around the club?
The mood is positive. The win over Barcelona was an unbelievable result – not many people expected Roma to win 3-0 on the night after losing the first leg 4-1. The scenes of joy after the final whistle on and off the pitch have been seen all around the world – so things are good. But we face Lazio in the Rome derby on Sunday, so no one is thinking about the Barcelona result any more.
- Finally….what’s your prediction for the game?
I don’t make predictions – as I’m usually wrong. I certainly didn’t predict a 3-0 win against Barcelona. I hope the team that qualifies from this semi-final wins the Champions League.