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Edin Džeko on Manchester United vs Roma

The former Manchester City forward tells UEFA.com "anything is possible" for Roma in the UEFA Europa League semi-finals.

Edin Džeko celebrates after scoring against Ajax in the last eight
Edin Džeko celebrates after scoring against Ajax in the last eight DeFodi Images via Getty Images

With four goals and an assist in this season's UEFA Europa League, Edin Džeko is still going strong at the age of 35. The Roma forward was on target with a crucial strike in the quarter-final second leg against Ajax, setting up a last-four encounter with a team he knows well: "favourites" Manchester United.

Ahead of returning to the city he called home for six years, albeit with local rivals Manchester City, Džeko insists that his side's belief in their own quality could be their recipe for success.

On scoring at Old Trafford

My first goal at Old Trafford against Manchester United is something that I'll always remember, especially because it was the first goal of the game, my first goal in the UEFA Champions League and my first appearance at one of the greatest stadiums in the world.

Edin Džeko celebrates after scoring for Wolfsburg against United in 2009
Edin Džeko celebrates after scoring for Wolfsburg against United in 2009Getty Images

It's one of my favourite goals. It came from a cross from the left by Makoto Hasebe. I was at the far post, and I think [Patrice] Evra was in front of me. I jumped higher and scored with my head. Not only is that one of my favourite goals, but it was a fairly beautiful goal, too.

On the joy of scoring

I celebrate every goal as if it was my first. That's how I feel. Some say that there are more important and more beautiful goals, but I look at them all in the same way because that’s my job. That love of scoring goals is in my blood. As long as the ball crosses the line, I don’t care if it was scored from one, 20 or 50 metres. At the end of the day, it says "Džeko", not how the goal was scored.

Watch Džeko goal that clinched Roma last four spot
Watch Džeko goal that clinched Roma last four spot

On scoring now compared to being younger

I think that when you gain a certain level of experience, you obviously put less pressure on yourself in terms of scoring goals. When you're young, you just have to show what you're about, and each new goal brings you something new. I'm 35 now and I still want to score. Every new goal gives you more strength. When I score an early goal, it gives me strength to play even better.

Great Roma Europa League goals
Great Roma Europa League goals

On returning to Manchester

Since I left Manchester City six years ago, I've never been back. It will be a special game for me, since it was a derby for me until a few years ago. European games, especially against those kinds of opponents, are something special. I expect the game against Manchester United will be special for all of us, and I hope that it turns out well for us.

On how Roma can beat United

You don't get to play semi-finals every day. We know their strength, and Manchester United are certainly favourites, but the very fact that we've got to the semi-finals gives us the right to believe. We know that we have quality, too, and first of all, as a team, we have to act as one. Then, anything is possible.

Džeko looking forward to United clash with Roma
Džeko looking forward to United clash with Roma

On Roma's hopes of lifting the trophy

When you’re playing in the semi-finals, [lifting the trophy] is certainly the ultimate aim. Maybe, at the beginning of the Europa League you don't think so long term, but when you're so close it’s certainly the aim. Ahead of us, we have one of the strongest opponents of the last 20 years in European football, and it won’t be easy at all. We're aware of that but we don't have to be scared. Anything is possible.