AS Roma striker Edin Dzeko insisted he is ‘very happy’ at Roma after knocking out Barcelona to reach the Champions League semi finals, addressing questions about his failed move to Chelsea in January.
Roma stunned the world of football by becoming only the third side in Champions League history to overturn a first leg deficit of three goals or more to knock La Liga leaders Barcelona out of the quarter finals at the Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday night.
Dzeko scored as his side secured the historic 3-0 victory, but he might not have been playing in the game at all had the January transfer window panned out a little differently.
The 32-year-old Bosnia international was subject to heavy interest from Antonio Conte’s Chelsea in January, but a deal ultimately fell through, with Roma sporting director Monchi claiming “the offer didn’t satisfy all parties”.
Chelsea ultimately signed Olivier Giroud from Arsenal instead, and Dzeko was reported to be frustrated at being denied the move. Back in February, in an interview, he revealed how the speculation had affected his performances.
He said: “It was not easy for me [the speculation]. A very complicated 10 days and you could tell from my performances on the pitch too.”
However, now following Roma’s European heroics, he is now more than happy to still be a part of Eusebio Di Francesco’s side.
“It wasn’t easy, but I stayed here and am very happy to be here,” he said after the game, as quoted by the Evening Standard. “I think the club is glad, too. Let’s not talk about [the move]. Money doesn’t matter.”
Speaking about the match itself, Dzeko waxed lyrical about his team’s performance and hailed his teammates’ belief.
“This was the best, but even better may well be yet to come. It proved we can play against anyone, as Barcelona are such a strong side,” the former Manchester City player said.
“Nobody believed in us and we have reached the semi-final for the first time in the Champions League. I am very happy that I can watch the draw for the semi-finals and see my Roma there.”