After seven memorable years at Juventus, a tearful Paulo Dybala struggled to bid farewell to the Allianz Stadium crowd at the end of last season.
The Argentine then found himself a home in the Italian capital, cementing himself as the ultimate star at Roma. La Joya received an iconic welcome upon his arrival in the Eternal City.
Yet, the striker admits that leaving the Bianconeri was both difficult and unexpected. The management, at the time, decided to put an end to contract renewal talks, allowing the player to leave on a free transfer.
“It wasn’t easy or expected. A few months earlier I discovered that the club is no longer considering me for the future,” said Dybala in his interview with AS via JuventusNews24.
“But until a few days before, the situation was different. So it was a really tough blow, I had been there for a long time.
“That was my home. I knew everyone, the stadium, the fans, I was the vice-captain. My desire was to stay, but that’s football. I wasn’t the first and I won’t be the last.
“I am and will always be grateful to the club, which made me grow as a person and as a footballer. They were seven very beautiful years.”
The 2022 World Cup winner also discussed his great friendship with former Juventus teammate Alvaro Morata.
“I kept calling him to join me at Roma. We are very close friends, he is almost family. I have known him for a long time.
“Obviously it’s not a viable option, but I would have loved to have him here in Rome with us.
“We met in my first year at Juve. From the beginning, a great friendship developed and it has grown over the years.
“When Bella was born, Alvaro and Alice surprised us by choosing me and my partner as godparents.”
Finally, Dybala revealed what it’s like to play alongside his former Juventus teammate Cristiano Ronaldo and his compatriot Lionel Messi.
“Playing next to them, you learn. If you’re smart enough, just by observing them you realize many things about the way they work and how they take care of each detail.
“You have to try to absorb, but it’s hard to replicate what they do, because nobody else has done it.
“I am privileged. I have played and won with both of them. I had three seasons with Cristiano in which we won a lot and had a great team.
“I have also shared the locker room with Leo for many years. The last few have been incredible. After all the struggles, he deserved to win, and in the end. he established himself as the best.”