Cafu discusses Roma to Milan move and Istanbul final: “We felt too calm”

By Euan Burns -

Former AS Roma and AC Milan defender Cafu has discussed his move between the two sides in the early 2000s, as well as the infamous Champions League final that Milan lost against Liverpool.

Speaking to Il Messaggero (via Radio Rossonera) ahead of the Europa League quarter-final between Roma and Milan this week, Cafu explained that he was very surprised to be given the chance to sign for Milan.

He left Roma as a 33-year-old defender who was being phased out in favour of younger players, so he was actually going to join a club in Japan. Carlo Ancelotti thought otherwise and signed him.

As he explains, he went on to win trophies with Milan and it was certainly a successful move for all involved.

“I was at Roma for six years and it was a crazy time. With that team we will forever remain in history. When I went to AC Milan, initially it seemed easier to win. Then we succeeded but it wasn’t easy,” he said.

“Roma had been clear with me, explaining that they wanted to change and focus on younger players. I accepted the choice and had decided to have a different experience. That’s why I had signed with Yokohama, a Japanese team. Then one day Leonardo called me and put me through to Braida who told me that Ancelotti wanted me at AC Milan for two seasons. My first reaction was: ‘But are you sure? I’m almost 33 years old, do you know that?’ And they said, ‘Yes, yes, we’re offering you a two-year deal’. With these terms it was impossible to refuse. In the end I did well, the two years became five and I won a Scudetto, a World Club Cup, the Super Cup, I played two Champions League finals, winning one. It could have been worse.”

Unfortunately for Cafu, the move also meant he was on the losing side in arguably the most infamous Champions League final ever as Liverpool came from 3-0 down at half time to beat Milan on penalties.

Cafu admits that the team may have been too calm at half time with their 3-0 lead over the Premier League side.

“It was a strange, unusual final, because Milan had never conceded three goals in a match that season. In that case we got them in six minutes. I don’t know, we were completely out of sorts. Maybe at the end of the first half, once inside the locker room, we felt too calm. You can make all the speeches you want, but three goals to that Milan team seemed impossible to score. After the 3-3 draw we couldn’t believe it. There is little to say, congratulations to Liverpool, they managed an incredible feat,” he said.

Tags AC Milan AS Roma Cafu

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