“That shirt must still be his” : Paulo Dybala explains rejecting Totti’s No.10 at AS Roma


“That shirt must still be his” : Paulo Dybala explains rejecting Totti’s No.10 at AS Roma

Paulo Dybala and Francesco Totti

Paulo Dybala received the No. 10 shirt after completing his move to Roma. But out of respect for club veteran Francesco Totti, the Argentinean turned it down. Instead, he opted to keep his Juventus-issued No. 21 for the forthcoming campaign.

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The offensive midfielder has already arrived in Portugal, where coach Jose Mourinho’s Giallorossi are spending their preseason training camp. The Argentine said that Mourinho’s call influenced his choice to join the capital club more quickly.

After helping Roma win the Europa Conference League last season, Dybala is keen to help Roma return to the Champions League after signing a three-year deal with a fourth-year option.

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Here is why Paulo Dybala didn’t take the No. 10 shirt at Roma:

Due to the burden and responsibilities that come with wearing the No. 10 shirt for Roma, Dybala chose to continue with the number he is tied to 21.

 “The director had suggested that I take 10, which is very important here for what Totti has done. That shirt must still be his. I thanked them because for such a shirt there must be respect and responsibility,” he said.

“Maybe one day I’ll wear it, but today I’m happy with 21. It’s a number I’m tied to and with which I started to win.”

Dybala disclosed that Mourinho phoned him and gave him an explanation of his reasoning for selecting Roma over rivals Inter and AC Milan.

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On July 30, Roma and Tottenham are scheduled to play a friendly game at the Sammy Ofer Stadium in Israel. Dybala, though, is unlikely to participate in that game given he has just recently begun training with his new teammates.

However, Dybala did not hold back while expressing his desire for the team to win trophies. He is putting a lot of effort into getting back in shape, and it seems possible that he will make his Serie A debut on August 15 against Salernitana.

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