Ibanez Open to Italy Call-Up, Reveals Roma and Mourinho Tidbits

Roger Ibanez stated he could make the jump to the Azzurri and touched on a few Roma-related topics in an interview: “I was born in Brazil, and I would like to play with the Seleçao. But we will see. I also have an Italian and an Uruguayan passport. I will listen to anybody that calls me up. Football has changed, and a few players are switching national teams nowadays. Rafael Toloi is a friend of mine, and he was a reference point to me at Atalanta.”

The defender spoke to Corriere dello Sport: José Mourinho knew I wanted to play in the Olympics. However, I would have had to make up for the ground lost as far as the physical preparation goes afterward. Still, I had made up my mind about going as it was a major opportunity. But Roma decided I should not, and that was fine. I have learned a lot from the coach. He changes the way you think and makes you follow him blindly. He has taught me a lot already.”

Ibanez addressed the upcoming clash with Juventus: “It is a special match. We have been thinking about it for days. They are great, but we are improving too.”

Ibanez joined Roma after struggling to find playing time at Atalanta: “Maybe Gian Piero Gasperini thought I was too inexperienced at the time. They had a really strong squad that season. Surely, I presumed I would get more minutes; otherwise, I would not have gone there. Bologna wanted me in January 2020, and we had reached agreement. But I stalled, and the possibility of transferring to the Giallorossi emerged. I believed it would have been better to move to a big team, despite the risks of riding the pine. I managed to carve out a decent role.”