Paulo Dybala Roma 2022Getty

Dybala explains rejecting No.10 at Roma - but admits 'one day' he may wear Totti's iconic number

After Paulo Dybala completed his transfer to Roma, he was offered the No. 10 jersey. But the Argentine refused it out of respect to club legend Francesco Totti. Instead, he chose to wear No. 21 for the upcoming season, the same digit that he had at Juventus.

The attacking midfielder is already in Portugal where the Giallorossi are holding their pre-season training camp under the guidance of coach Jose Mourinho.

After signing a three-year contract with an option for a fourth, Dybala is eager to propel Roma back to Champions League after last season's Europa Conference League success.

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What did Dybala say about choosing No.21 instead of 10?

Dybala wanted to stick to 21, a number he is attached to, as he knows the responsibility and pressure that comes with the No. 10 jersey at Roma.

"The director had suggested that I take 10, which is very important here for what Totti has done. That shirt must still be his. I thanked them, because for such a shirt there must be respect and responsibility," he stated.

"Maybe one day I'll wear it, but today I'm happy with 21. It's a number I'm tied to and with which I started to win."

Dybala revealed that Mourinho called him and explained his ideas which convinced him to choose Roma ahead of other options like Inter and AC Milan.

"It was a lot of things. The call of the coach and the manager and the talk with the owners. They were very important things that gave me so many certainties. The coach was one of the main causes, he was clear with his ideas.

"We all know him for what he has done and for what he will do. We talked a lot, it was a good chat. I was lucky enough to play with the greatest players in history and now I can say that I also work with one of the best coaches."

When can Dybala make his debut for Roma?

Roma are set to play a friendly against Tottenham at the Sammy Ofer Stadium in Israel on July 30. But it is unlikely that Dybala will play any part in that game as he has just started to train with his new team-mates.

Nonetheless, Dybala minced no words to express his goal for the club which is to win silverware. He is working hard to regain his physical fitness and it is likely that he would make his debut on August 15 in a Serie A fixture against Salernitana.

"I want to get back in shape, to contribute to the team. I want to be able to help Roma continue to win. They achieved a great mentality last year, the same one that the coach has. Clearly, the preparation will be aimed at doing the best possible with the team and to win some trophies," he mentioned.