Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Spalletti's Giallorossi pride

Luciano Spalletti praised Roma’s maturity and their strength in depth as they knocked Real Madrid out of the UEFA Champions League in Spain tonight.

The Giallorossi won both the first and second leg by a 2-1 scoreline, reaching the quarter-finals 4-2 on aggregate.

"It is certainly a very satisfying experience. The lads played a perfect game and must now enjoy this joy we are all sharing," Spalletti said.

"It was a great performance and we had to suffer a little after the equaliser when Real had nothing to lose, but overall we utterly deserved to qualify.

"The side showed maturity. Those who played and those who came off the bench did very well and took the right approach, transmitting enthusiasm and character to their teammates. With a mental attitude like that we can get results anywhere."

Spalletti’s substitutions proved inspired, as Mirko Vucinic scored the winner on an assist from Christian Panucci.

"If you see those who came off the bench made a crucial contribution, then in terms of the collective we have more advantages to having players of quality in all areas.

"They also helped their teammates from the sidelines with encouragement and comments that you need in big games like this."

The Romans reach the last eight for the second year on the trot and hope to do considerably better than last season’s exit to Manchester United.

"It is experience and things you live through that teach you to improve upon past mistakes. The players know how to recognise their errors and use them to grow. That is the maturity you can only gain from experience."

The draws for the quarter-final and semi-final stages will be held on March 14.

Source: C4 Football Italia

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