The father of Roma’s American star Bryan Reynolds has opened up about why his son chose to join the Giallorossi rather than make a move to Juventus.
The Bianconeri were also interested in signing Reynolds, but the player had a more direct path to the first team at Roma and would have needed to spend time out on loan at another Serie A side had he joined La Vecchia Signora.
“The determining factor [behind joining Roma] was that Bryan wanted to go to a team where he was needed and would stay,” Bryan Reynolds Sr – the player’s father and agent – told The Italian Football Podcast. With Juventus, he would have had to go to Benevento first. We didn’t know how long they were going to keep him there.
“But Juventus were very interested and he was ready to go to Juventus. And Juventus had every intention to play him quickly. We learned that in Europe the younger players are thrown into the fire quicker than the MLS.
“But the determining factor was Bryan wanted to go straight to a team, he didn’t want to go the long way and then have to leave to go back to Turin. Roma gave him a straight shot at the non-EU spot, he loved it. He wanted to be in one place. He didn’t want to pick up and leave and then have to go and learn another system and everything all over again.
“He’s a smart kid, it’s hard to turn down Juventus. To Americans Juventus is Juventus. That’s all you have to say. Juventus is Juventus.”
Had he accepted the move to Juventus, though, he would have had the chance to play and train alongside his idol growing up, Cristiano Ronaldo.
“He loved Cristiano Ronaldo,” Reynolds Sr said. “Everybody has this debate between Cristiano Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi, but as he got older and people that know soccer know that they are different players. They’re two great players in this era but different players.
“The kids that followed Messi were the shorter kids, that’s the beauty of soccer, it doesn’t matter what size you are, you can still play. Whilst Ronaldo was like Bryan more athletic person, and usually people say athletic players don’t have skills. But Cristiano was the player who was super athletic but was also extremely skilled.
“And because of Bryan’s size, that’s who he gravitated to. Because you don’t want to be the athlete playing soccer, you want to be the soccer player who is an athlete. That’s what we push Bryan to be a soccer player first, then an athlete.”