Boniface and Tella: De Rossi admits Roma have reasons to fear Leverkusen

Victor Boniface and Nathan Tella will hope to help Bayer Leverkusen avenge their defeat to Roma last season in the UEL.

Boniface and Tella: De Rossi admits Roma have reasons to fear Leverkusen

Izuchukwu Akawor 10:52 - 02.05.2024

Bayer Leverkusen and AS Roma will reunite again in the UEL with Nigeria's Victor Boniface and Nathan Tella set to play active roles.

AS Roma manager Daniele De Rossi has admitted he fears everything about the threat Bayer Leverkusen pose ahead of their mouthwatering Europa League semifinal first leg in Rome.

Nigeria’s Victor Boniface, Nathan Tella and their Leverkusen are guests in Rome looking for revenge after the club under Jose Mourinho eliminated them at the same stage last season.

De Rossi speaks on Boniface, Tella and Leverkusen

Ahead of the important first leg, the Italian is aware that Xabi Alonso’s in-form team possesses enough danger as they continue to chase an unprecedented treble.

"There's everything to fear. The way they play, they have a long streak of results. I respect their coach a lot," De Rossi stated per Football Italia.

Bayer Leverkusen remain unbeaten this season.
Bayer Leverkusen remain unbeaten this season.

"They have more work behind them with the same coach. There's a lot to fear."

What particularly impresses the Roma boss about the German champions-elect is their ability to grind out results even when things aren’t going their way.

"One thing to respect is that they are unbeaten despite often going behind," he added.

Victor Boniface was a sub on both matches against West Ham United. (Photo Credit: Europa League/X)

"In addition to being strong and playing well, they have awareness and tenacity even until the final minutes. It's one more thing that I fear and respect about them."

The Roma legend also knows his side will have to match Leverkusen’s mental fortitude if they are to get something out of the tie.

AS Roma boss Daniele De Rossi || Image credit: Imago

“It also depends on our mental and physical strength,” the former player added.

Praising Leverkusen's Quality

The Roma boss took time as well to express his admiration for some of the individual players possessed by his opposite number, Alonso, including Super Eagles duo Boniface and Tella.

Jose Mourinho and Xabi Alonso during their clash in the Europa League last season.
Jose Mourinho and Xabi Alonso during their clash in the Europa League last season. (Photo Credit: Imago)

"Several things (impress me). They have strong players put in the ideal conditions to do well. They have a physical, solid team, but they also have great quality. Wirtz, Grimaldo. Schick has always been strong, but now he is a man. Boniface is strong. They have strong replacements," De Rossi said.

"If Frimpong doesn't play, Tella plays. They have quality players but also with great skill. They know how to play but they also know how to be direct. They have built a really strong team thanks to the coach's ideas but also thanks to important signings."

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Boniface and Tella will hope to help Leverkusen not only continue what has been a remarkable season but also to get one over Roma.

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