De Zerbi: Di Rossi is my friend but I want to win

Head coach will be up against a 'big friend' when Albion face AS Roma in the Europa League.

By Bruce Talbot • 24 February 2024

By Paul Hazlewood
Roberto De Zerbi is looking forward to a reunion with his friend Daniele Di Rossi in Rome next month.

Roberto De Zerbi says he is looking forward to returning to Italy and a reunion with a ‘big friend’ after Albion were drawn with AS Roma in the Round of 16 in the Europa League.

De Zerbi will come up against former Italy captain Daniele Di Rossi, who replaced Jose Mourinho as Roma coach last month.

He has guided them to four Serie A wins in the last five games and they reached the Round of 16 by beating Feyenoord in a penalty shootout.

He said, “Di Rossi is my friend. We have a group who are big friends. I have big respect for him. I knew he could be a great coach because as a player he showed an incredible personality.


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Barber: Roma draw is exciting

“I like him he thinks the same as me about football. He is a passionate person and we are friends, but I hope to win.”

De Zerbi says Albion won’t be focusing on the game until their trip to Rome in early March.

“I want to keep my eyes on the Everton game today,” said De Zerbi. “Then we play FA Cup against Wolves which is an important competition for us and then Fulham. Then we will think to Roma and being back in the Europa League.

“For sure it’s a tough game but if we want to progress we have to win against Roma.”