Saturday, November 18, 2017

Florenzi thrilled to make Roma return after 10-month absence

SoccerNews in Serie A 2 Sep 2017

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Alessandro Florenzi is ready to make an impact for Roma after returning from a 10-month lay-off, although he is not yet feeling 100 per cent fit.

Florenzi missed most of last season with two ACL injuries but made his return in a friendly against Brazilian side Chapecoense at the Stadio Olimpico on Friday.

The Italy international, who captained Eusebio Di Francesco’s side, opened the scoring from the penalty spot after his own shot was handled in the box, with Diego Perotti also on target and teenager Mirko Antonucci adding a brace in a 4-1 win.

“Today it was all about supporting Chapecoense and helping them after the [air crash] tragedy they suffered,” Florenzi said. “They’ve picked themselves up brilliantly.

“In any case, I’m glad to be back. It was about time – I’ve had far too much rest! I’m working day in day out to get myself back up there. Obviously I’m not 100 per cent yet – or I’d be Superman.

“But I’m in good enough shape to do my bit for the team. Obviously it’s up to the gaffer to decide how, when and how long he wants me to play. He and the fitness staff know how much I’ve got in me. I’m not 100 per cent but I feel better by the day. I’m ready to give my all for the Roma cause.”

Di Francesco was delighted to welcome Florenzi back into the fold and the Roma coach also praised new striker Patrik Schick, who made his first appearance for the club after completing his initial loan move from Sampdoria.

“That part of things is behind him: he is training well with intensity and a real desire to be back,” Di Francesco said of Florenzi. “After 60 minutes he did not have much left but I was very satisfied with the quality and composure he showed in his play.

“[Schick] arrived with only a bit of training in his legs and hasn’t played in any friendlies. He has to work hard to get up to speed with the others but he has an impressive talent that perhaps we can start to use for a few minutes in a game, depending on the situation.”

Schick and Florenzi have both been named in Roma’s squad for the Champions League, alongside new signings Cengiz Under, Gregoire Defrel, Maxime Gonalons, Rick Karsdorp, Hector Moreno and Aleksandar Kolarov, although injured defender Emerson Palmieri misses out.

Di Francesco’s men have been drawn with Premier League champions Chelsea, LaLiga giants Atletico Madrid and Azerbaijani title winners Qarabag in a tough-looking Group C.

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