''In England, you're just a viewer. At Legia, a part of the match''
legia.com: How did you get to Poland?
Roberto: The whole family moved here. From the start I’ve lived in Warsaw. For the first six years, I went to a British school, and for three years I have studied Electrical Engineering at Politechnika. In England I lived in London. I was born not far from Highbury and I supported Arsenal.
When did you first come to Legia?
It was the match with Jagiellonia in May, when Legia won 1-0 after the penalty in the 99th minute. Earlier the fans presented an impressive display. Wow… That’s when I knew that I’m going to be at every match. Now I have a season ticket and I’m always here - with my friend, his father and brother, and another friend.
Did you decide to come yourself or did someone bring you?
My Polish friend brought me to the stadium, a Legia fan, who wanted me to be interested in something new, after I broke up with my girlfriend. When I went to the match with Jagiellonia, I immediately bought a ticket for the next match (laugh).
How would you compare the atmosphere at Legia matches, with the atmosphere from England?
It’s completely different. There you need to sit 90 minutes, which the security guards always remind us. It was the same at the match between Poland and Gibraltar at the National Stadium. Everyone around me told me to sit down. It bored me a bit, even though I got to see so many goals. At Legia, there’s passion, which is great to watch. I love being at the stands at Łazienkowska 3.
Do you feel at home here? You don’t feel different for being a foreigner?
There’s no chance for anyone feeling different here. On the stands, I hear more and more English and other languages, so even more and more foreigners are coming to Legia and are spending their time here.
How do your friends in England feel that you support Legia?
They always ask me: isn’t it dangerous at Legia? But there are so many children here in the stands! And I’ve never seen anything, that would in any way worry me.
Have you brought any compatriots with you to #Ł3?
I took my sister, who isn’t interested in football at all, but she was really impressed. I don’t remember what match it was, but it had a high attendance. And there was a display. My sister doesn’t live in Warsaw, but she said that the next time she comes, I have to have a ticket for her for Legia. She was at an Arsenal match once, but… she got bored (laugh).
You’re saying alot about the atmosphere at #Ł3. What do you think of the sport?
There were some good games in this season eg. the first match with manager Cherchesov, with Cracovia. I was very excited, watching that match. And that Nikolić… When Legia plays on the far end from sector 210 and I don’t see who scores a goal, I can safely bet that it was “Niko” (laugh). I also really like how the team fought for the win in the home match with Napoli. Even if it didn’t work in the end.
How important on the map of Warsaw is the Legia stadium for you?
For me, a football fan, it is a very important place. I would recommend every tourist who comes to Warsaw, to come to a match. It’s a beautiful city which has worthwhile tours, but it’s also worth seeing the passion of Legia fans. Everyone should experience it at least once
How would you compare the experience of watching a live match at Legia, to watching an Arsenal match at the Emirates Stadium?
There, I only felt like a viewer, and not a part of the match like at Legia. It’s a different relationship between the player and the fan. There, you go to the stands to watch a match, and at #L3 everyone plays together. After what I have lived at the Legia stadium, I couldn’t go back to calm supporting sitting down.
What is Legia Warsaw for you?
Legia for me is not only entertainment, or a way of spending free time. I’m not only a watcher, I’m a supporter, and I really want the team to be successful. I was very disappointed when we didn’t manage to leave the Europa League group.
Despite everything, is Arsenal still at the top of your heart?
I’m not so sure any more (laugh). The more I come to Legia, the more I move myself away from Arsenal. I don’t know how to explain it, but Legia is in my heart more and more.
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