The education of Michael Bradley started when he was born to a father who would become the United States national team coach. It continued through high-level training as a child, a short stint in Major League Soccer, and a number of teams in Europe.
Everywhere he has gone, he has succeeded, in part because of his exceptional background (and also his overwhelming desire to succeed).
But none of that compares with what he’s learning at Roma.
In an interview with The New York Times, Bradley explained what it means to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world.
The 25-year-old midfielder’s wise words:
The idea of stepping on the field every weekend with the pressure to win regardless of who you’re playing, home or away. The pressure is always there. You look at how special a city this is in the context of the world and realize how much focus and attention is on us every time we step on the field. There’s real competition for places on the field, two or three players for every role. You can train at your best every day, but even then decisions go against you. You have to be ready whenever your time comes. Maybe it’s in the second half or as a starter a few days later in the next game. You have to learn to deal with the fact that a big team has a lot of players. There’s no way to explain this. To understand you have to be here and live it every day.
If you’re a United States fan, you have to love hearing about the competition he faces, the training he’s doing, and professionalism he brings every day. Not that you should be surprised, but it’s still impressive to read him talk about, and see him succeed at Roma.
A bit later, Bradley talked about the upcoming World Cup qualifying.
“We’re all very excited. It’s a big challenge, but that’s the exciting part. We’re in the home stretch,” he said. “I feel really good about the team. It’s growing and improving.”
It is. Just like its best player.