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Di Francesco: 'I want a proactive Cagliari'

Eusebio Di Francesco has revealed Cagliari President Tommaso Giulini’s ‘great desire’ persuaded him to join the Rossoblu and hopes to build ‘a strong identity’ for the upcoming season.

Cagliari presented their new head coach in the Teatro Doglio today and Di Francesco, who arrived in Sardinia this morning, was eager to start again after ‘three difficult months’ with Sampdoria in 2019-20.

“First of all, the President’s great desire to bring me to Cagliari convinced me,” Di Francesco said at a press conference. “He wanted me at all costs.

“I really want to start again after three difficult months at Sampdoria, where I accepted but without much conviction.

“There was immediately a great empathy here. Many have written that I was sacked from Sampdoria, but I resigned after three months, in which I didn’t do well.

“Unlike then, I’m overwhelmed. We will start from 4-3-3, even if I’m not a fundamentalist. I have to get to know the players in training.”

Cagliari started the 2019-20 season in spectacular fashion but plummeted down the table in the second half of the campaign.

Di Francesco wants to lift the spirits again and build a ‘proactive team’ for the upcoming season.

“It’s essential that you have a strong identity, you need specific players for the different roles.

“I want a proactive team. Sometimes you succeed, sometimes less. But the desire to compete becomes decisive, also because the enthusiasm of our fans derives from this.

“We leave the past in the past, I want to start again, giving a strong identity to this team.

Di Francesco hopes he can count on Radja Nainggolan next term but concedes that Inter have the final say.

“I know Radja very well, but he’s an Inter player. It won’t only depend on us but also on their choices.

“We hope to keep him, given his attachment to the shirt. For the rest, we have talked about a lot of things and now we must put things together."