Excluded Eurosport – Fabrizio Romano, king of the transfer window: “My battery lasts an hour, no more”

The telephone appointment is set at 5 p.m. sharp. With Fabrizio Romano, every second counts. “Afterwards, I have to intervene on the American channel CBS“, he warns, before being able to go back to his sheep. Or at least his news, always from the transfer window, which has punctuated his days for many years, in addition to those of millions of supporters around the world. Fabrizio Romano, c It’s just over 10 million “followers” on Twitter, 7.7 on Facebook, 1.19 on Youtube and almost 500,000 on Twitch.

But despite this ever-increasing popularity, the Italian journalist remains on the simple side. When we asked for an interview, he didn’t take ten minutes to respond favorably. The kid from Naples doesn’t forget where he comes from. For about twenty minutes (an eternity for him), he does not evade any question. 5 p.m. “Here we go !“, he says before starting by retracing his unique journey.

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Everything was very fastsays Fabrizio Romano, 29 years old since last February. When I was in high school, I was already writing for Italian transfer window sites. It allowed me to have opportunities and to understand if it could really please me in the long term. This moment, since I started having small contacts at 17-18 years old, I no longer wanted to leave this path. From Naples I decide to move to Milan to join the university and have an opportunity with Sky Sport.”

The transfer window is always with me, from my discussions to my dreams

For him, sports journalism is a matter of course. But even more the “calciomercato”, a real tradition in Italy and especially in the Lombard capital. Every year, thousands of managers, agents and players meet there to discuss, if possible out of sight. In other words, mission impossible, since the meeting points are known (hotels, restaurants, etc.) and journalists watch them night and day. Fabrizio Romano was no exception.

When I arrive at Sky, I meet Gianluca Di Marzio, who is a university unto himself, or even better, does it often. He makes you understand the importance and obsession of a job well done. Working at Sky is a key moment for me, where I once again had confirmation that this path was the right one. I wanted to do this job, that was a certainty. But there are also two other crucial moments in my journey. The first is when I had the opportunity to work for the British daily “The Guardian”. Our collaboration is the fruit of a disagreement. In 2015, they announced that Stevan Jovetic would have stayed at Manchester City, while I, for my part, persisted in his departure to Inter. Fortunately, I was right (laughs). And the second is when Bruno Fernandes signs for Manchester United (2020).“ There, everything changes.

I understood that I could make the transfer window my daily jobhe points out. And not only the Italian one, but also the foreign one. Anyway, I didn’t have a plan B.” On the social media side, his popularity exploded. The young journalist, who published the majority of his tweets in English, was quickly considered one of the most reliable there. His name and face became public knowledge. are expected, scrutinized, shared and commented on. From changing rooms to offices, from bars to stadiums. His days? Many calls, quite a few meetings and thousands of messages. “For me, it’s not a profession, but entertainment and a passion. I am lucky to be able to love and talk about football. There have been more difficult times, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. But the transfer window is always with me, from my discussions to my dreams at night. It’s my life 24 hours a day.”

“My battery doesn’t last more than an hour”

The transfer window never stops, the Milanese by adoption can draw his info at any time. Day and night. “I sleep very littlehe smiled. In reality, it depends on the period. But I developed an ability to understand when I could rest, and when not. Anyone who wants to do this job knows that sleeping is dangerous. The transfer window is still in motion“In fact, even his phone has a hard time keeping up with him.”My battery does not last more than an hour, I spend my whole day with two or three external batteries. I remember, three or four years ago, I went to an “Apple Store” in Milan to complain about my battery that does not contain. The salesman looked at my phone and said, ‘I’ve worked here for 13 years, and I’ve never seen a phone used so much. You can change it as many times as you want, it doesn’t solve your problem.'”

Fabrizio Romano and Samuel Eto’o

Credit: Getty Images

Very popular on Twitter, Fabrizio Romano does not hide known “the weight of responsibilities“with such an audience.”Having so many people behind you is very beautifulconfides the journalist. Me, I have always believed in the transfer window on social networks, even when I was told ten years ago: ‘But you work at Sky, you have to take advantage of your time and stop with the networks’. Interaction has always been very important. Today, it’s positive pressure and a way to stay alive every day. The problem is that after a formalization, people always want other info. You can’t stop. You always have to be present in this pretty boxing ring. It’s adrenaline. But the feeling you get when something is confirmed… Recently, I followed the negotiations between Arsenal and Gabriel Jesus for months. When the transfer was formalized, I was positively released. It was an incredible feeling. Like scoring a goal in the Champions League final.”

Where does the “here we go” come from?

Among his millions of followers, many wonder why the journalist does not collaborate more with Italian media, even if the requests are numerous. “I still have a very strong relationship with the entire Sky teamreplies Romano. I had this possibility, but if I am where I am today, it is thanks to them, their advice and their contacts. I would have the impression of betraying them by working elsewhere in Italy, the link is too strong. I prefer to do it abroad.” And if he also does video and streaming, or even podcasts with Francesco Porzio, also a journalist but also a friend, Fabrizio Romano works alone “99%”. I would never have someone else write a tweet on my behalf, it’s impossible, he admits. I often rewrite my tweets (laughs). I don’t have a team behind me, I don’t like don’t delegate too much. I think those who read my posts like to know that they are really from me. If anyone knows my password on Twitter? No one, and no one will ever know (laughs)”

Lucid, the journalist also knows that with each glory, a ransom is inflicted. Certainly popular and appreciated, it is sometimes criticized. “I read all the negative commentsassures Fabrizio Romano. It is important to understand why something does not please. When you are followed, it is normal to have criticism. We see a lot of people attacking Ronaldo and Messi, so I might as well tell you that they have the right to criticize a journalist. It’s normal. In addition, we are talking about social networks. For me, it’s important to understand and move forward to do better. I’m always eager to learn, especially when the criticism is constructive. On the other hand, if the but is only to attack… The important thing is to always be happy with yourself.”

But who says Fabrizio Romano also says “here we go”, his famous expression with each transfer unofficially completed, sometimes even taken up by clubs. But where does it come from? “Probably by chanceadmits our colleague. I can’t remember exactly when, but certainly after Manchester United-related negotiations. When they ended, I wrote ‘here we go’ to say ‘ok, it’s finally over’. And since that moment, everyone said to me: ‘we can also say we are going there for such and such a transfer?’ Seeing these comments, I said to myself: ‘ok, then we will put it back for the next transfer’. I never stopped since, but there was no communication strategy around. It was just natural.”

Beware of the Cristiano Ronaldo file

To close our discussion (twenty minutes, it’s fast), impossible not to ask him for a potential surprise by the end of this summer transfer window. Not information, just a prediction. “Beware of the Cristiano Ronaldo filehe warns. Jorge Mendes, son agent, uses exactly the same strategy as last year with Juve. I think they will do everything to find a way out until the end, even if it is difficult, this year, to find a solution up to CR7. But I think they will try.”

He wants to leave, but… A new club has just failed Ronaldo

And the info he’s most proud of so far? “The departure of Zinédine Zidane when he was on the Real Madrid bench. But more than proud, this info also changed my career. Me, I rarely enjoy things. But there, the day after the formalization, I realized. We were still talking about Real and Zidane… I’ll never forget him for sure.”

fabrice romano

Credit: Getty Images

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