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Nov 18, 2013

Bradley aiming high with U.S., Roma

United States international Michael Bradley says winning the Scudetto with Roma and beating either Italy or Germany at the 2014 World Cup would make for the perfect season.

Scotland 0-0 United States
Heneage: Kljestan willing to adapt

Bradley, 26, has had a varied career, having played for five clubs in four different leagues during his seven years in Europe.

Currently with Serie A leaders Roma, the midfielder believes his career has been on an upward spiral ever since leaving the New York MetroStars for Dutch outfit Heerenveen in January 2006.

“I have made a step up with every move, but for that one season for Chievo. Right now, at Roma, I play for one of the top clubs in the world,” Bradley told kicker.

“In a perfect world I would have only played for the club I love, just like [Francesco] Totti, [Paolo] Maldini or [Steven] Gerrard. That is impossible as a football-crazy American. If you want to play at the highest level, you have to go to Europe.”

Even with the MLS picking up and the ever-growing success of the U.S. national team, the Princeton-born player has little hope that football in his homeland will match the heights of the European game.

“Soccer is indeed a growing phenomenon in the U.S.,” he said. “But we have a different philosophy of life and a different culture to the one here. Football will probably never be as big as in Europe.”

Looking ahead to the upcoming year, Bradley said that the perfect season would be “to win the Scudetto and at the World Cup beat Germany or Italy”. 

And with Jurgen Klinsmann leading the U.S. national team to Brazil next summer, Bradley feels such results could well be possible.

“Jurgen has clear ideas,” Bradley said. “He already wanted to implement them at Bayern [Munich]. Possibly everyone would call him a great innovator if he had success there. He came to our national team with a confidence that sometimes resembles arrogance -- but in a positive way.

“He believes we have enough good players, are strong enough and can beat the opposition. That was a significant improvement for us, that someone with experience injected confidence.”

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