Roma forward Nicolò Zaniolo thanked everyone for their support during the ‘dark moments’ and stressed ‘it’s a new beginning’ after scoring his first goal in 400 days.
The Giallorossi attacker helped Roma win 3-0 over Trabzonspor on Thursday and the 22-year-old revealed his goal against the Turkish side was an emotional moment.
Zaniolo: ‘It seemed like the end of the world, but I’m back’
“After the goal, I thought about many things, about when I had to watch my teammates play, about the fans who have always encouraged me,” Zaniolo told Sky Sport Italia.
“Tonight, I’m very happy, it’s a new beginning, I thank everyone who was close to me, I have to thank the staff, the coach, the club and everyone.”
Mourinho revealed he wanted to give the Italy international two days off, but the youngster said he wanted to continue.
“I have already rested too much, I’m a Roma player and I’ll be alongside the team even if I can’t be in Salerno,” Zaniolo said, as he’s not able to play against Salernitana.
“It’s my work culture, I want to be close to the team and always give a positive contribution.”
Zaniolo will also return to the national team, as Italy prepare for the World Cup qualifiers next month.
“I’m very happy, because you tell me that I’m called up,” he said. “It’s an honour to wear the jersey of the European champions and being with them will help me even more. I can’t wait to catch up with my teammates.”
Roma qualified for the group stages of the Conference League with a 5-1 win on aggregate over Trabzonspor and Zaniolo revealed the presence of Jose Mourinho in the dugout has given him ‘an incredible boost’.
“From day one, he gave me an incredible boost, he’s a fantastic coach,” Zaniolo said. “He puts the winning mentality into our heads, to give our best in the difficult moments.
“When you turn around and see Mourinho on the bench, it charges you.”
Inevitably, Zaniolo had to talk about the long spell out, as he has recovered from back-to-back ACL injuries.
“There were some dark moments, but this also helped me, made me grow as a man, made me understand what it means to work,” he said. “It taught me a lot, and let’s say that not all evils come to harm, I have to grow up and I’m on the right path.”