Zbigniew Boniek is “convinced” that Roma will beat Ajax and reach the Europa League semi-finals.
Boniek spent three seasons as a Roma player in the 1980s, before retiring with the club. The Polish midfielder retained a special relationship with Roma though and still lives in the Italian capital to this day.
The final of this season’s Europa League will be held in his native country, but before Roma can think about that, they must first navigate past Ajax and a semi-final opponent (probably Manchester United).
Roma are leading 2-1 from the first leg of their quarter-final with Ajax and Boniek thinks Roma have what it takes to finish the job on Thursday.
“Ajax are very strong, but light,” he told Radio Radio. “They are strong technically, but concede a lot and have their difficulties.
“The match has a difficult interpretation, thinking of drawing 0-0 would be an error.
“Roma need to stay aware, but I am convinced they will reach the semi-finals.
The Europa League is a crucial competition for Paulo Fonseca this season, with his contract expiring in the summer. But Boniek has given him his backing even though the coach is “out of fashion” at present.
“I like him even if he has gone a bit out of fashion,” Boniek said. “He has been left a bit alone.
“Since you can’t aim for someone like [Pep] Guardiola, I would think hard before abandoning him.”
Many of Fonseca’s supporters believe he has been let down by a lack of world-class players, and Boniek echoed that view – even if he knows it is hard to attract such athletes.
“They are lacking one or two top players, but they won’t arrive because Roma as we know is not among the best in the world,” he said of the current squad. “However, it is a squad that defends well.”