Roma full-back Maicon intends to prove he is not past his best as he prepares to make his Serie A return.
The Brazil international joined the Giallorossi from Manchester City this summer and is keen to resurrect his career in a country where he enjoyed his greatest successes so far.
Playing for Inter Milan, he won a host of trophies including the Treble, before moving on to the Premier League where he failed to make an impact.
“Have Roma taken a gamble on me? I’ll prove my real value on the field,” the 32-year-old said. “[Brazil coach Luis Felipe] Scolari has not promised he will give me back a place in the national team, but he has told me he will be watching what I do on the field.
“Last year didn’t do very well due to injuries, but now I’m happy and I hope to repay back the faith shown in me by the national team boss. Sometimes things don’t go well on the field and people grumble, but I always try to work hard every day.”
Maicon struggled to take the next step in his career for City and was ultimately unable to adapt to life in England after having emerged as one of Serie A’s finest full-backs.
He won four Serie A titles with the Nerazzurri and is now back in Italy looking to replicate that success with Roma, a side he says that can cause problems for anybody.
“When I played for Inter, we always struggled against Roma,” he said. “If things are not going the way the fans want, then I certainly never noticed that on the field because there are numerous top players here.
“I hope the results are good because this side is famous throughout the world. We must take things game by game and it would be wrong to set aims such as the Champions League or Europa League, but we do have to work towards finishing inside the top three. I have faith in my team-mates. There has never been a lack of personality within this team.”
Arguably the biggest of all those personalities is club captain Francesco Totti -- a player Maicon is “delighted” to be lining up alongside.
He said: “Words cannot describe a champion like him.”