The Czech coach has given a damning verdict on the state of Italian football, as he questioned the nation's competitive nature following the Scommessopoli scandal
The 65-year-old, who has spent the majority of his managerial career on the peninsula, was in a bullish mood when describing the country's competitiveness, but was more buoyant when asked about his side's chances in the coming season.
“In Italy, you know, they don't know how to lose,” he told La Repubblica. “They don't even know how to win anymore.
“I've been here for more than 40 years. I feel Italian. We have lost credibility [as a nation]. Isn't football a game? We should play it then.
“In order to be on par with the big clubs, [Roma] must prove something on the pitch,” he continued. “I hope the team can have a positive campaign and compete with everyone.
“Usually they say the favourites are those who did well last year – Juventus, Milan, Inter, Lazio and Udinese.
"However, this term we're starting from scratch and I think everyone has a chance to prove themselves.
“I feel at home here and I am starting from scratch on a personal level too. I left Roma 13 years ago and now I want to do something new for the fans and players.
"I hope to fix and improve the things that went badly, and play football the way it's ought to be played.”
When quizzed about players currently in the squad who are surplus to requirements, Zeman added: “At this moment, I bring players who I think I can use. [Marco] Borriello and [Simone] Perrotta are not in my plans.”
And when asked if Maarten Stekelenburg would start the league game against Pescara on Sunday, he replied: “Will Stekelenburg start? I will give my line-up tomorrow, not today. I think he's one of the best goalkeepers in Europe, but that doesn't mean we can't play without him.”
The one-time Lazio boss concluded the interview by commenting on the culture of the players currently in the game: “Football has become an individual sport. “You see these kids with their headphones on, listening to their music. In the past, they used to talk.”