Roma coach Luciano Spalletti admitted he was struck by a strong sense of 'belonging' following a week where the club and its fans have come together to help others. Saturday's friendly against San Lorenzo - which the Giallorossi won 2-1 - became an event focused on raising money and support for those affected by the recent earthquake in central Italy, something that the coach admits came with special emotions.
“We'd like to say a big thank you to everyone involved because they all played their part," Spalletti began by saying. "We've made an important contribution by showing up today.”
An audience with Pope Francis yesterday and the Festa della Famiglia today...
“It's times like this when you feel a sense of belonging to a world where we all work for the same cause, where are no differences and where we all want to help create something better than what we found, regardless of our individual situations and personal interests.”
It shows that football can help to convey positive values.
“That's always been the case if you ask me. We must be aware of the role we have. You can see people getting involved emotionally: they want to work together to achieve the same things.”
The game itself was an opportunity to have a look at some of your players. Now it's back to work on Monday.
“Winning a game like this carries significance in itself – not a lot, but some. We mustn't give up at the first sign of difficulty. If you do that then you lose before you've actually lost. Our players are professionals and they know that. We represent Roma and that comes with responsibility. Having the opportunity to meet one of the most important figures in the world yesterday should make us realise that playing for this city and these colours is a commitment, a burden, even, that we must carry, but we should be happy to carry it.”