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Francesco Totti - Il Gladiatore di Roma

A legend of the game taking Rome to a new empire. Like Julius Caesar except not as good.
Started on 28 November 2013 by Neal
Latest Reply on 25 September 2014 by Neal
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Neal's avatar Group Neal
9 yearsEdited


After two very different Serie A campaigns for these two clubs, AC Milan and AS Roma have been brought together in the final match of the Italian domestic season; the Coppa Italia final. Milan nearly had the Serie A title this year. However, a catastrophic final 10 games watched them fall from the summit into the Europa League places as Roma won their second straight Scudetto crown.

Today, Max Allegri and his men will have their chance for vengeance, while Francesco Totti and his Serie A champions will look to complete a domestic treble of the Supercoppa, the Serie A, and the Coppa Italia. Having already won the competition 10 times, the Giallorossi could set a new record today by winning their 11th Coppa trophy. First, let's take a look at the starting lineups.

AS Roma Starting XI (4-1-2-1-2)
26. Morgan De Sanctis; 2. Sebastian Corchia, 5. Tin Jedvaj, 17. Mehdi Benatia, 3. Dodo; 20. McDonald Mariga; 15. Miralem Pjanic, 16. Daniele De Rossi; 7. Clement Grenier; 9. Mattia Destro, 8. Adem Ljajic

AC Milan Starting XI (4-3-1-2)
1. Marco Amelia; 20. Ignazio Abate, 29. Facundo Roncaglia, 19. Federico Fazio, 24. Pablo Armero; 23. Andre Ayew, 16. Nigel De Jong, 14. Keisuke Honda; 7. Gylfi Sigurdsson; 15. Manolo Gabbiadini; 45. Mario Balotelli

Totti was forced into making a couple of changes to his usual side due to injury and suspension. Turkish playmaker Nuri Sahin missed out with a calf injury while Italian duo Marco Verratti and Paolo Cannavaro were not selected due to suspension; in their places, McDonald Mariga, Clement Grenier, and youngster Tin Jedvaj were selected.

It was a tight game from the very first whistle, neither side willing to give an inch of space anywhere on the pitch. Both teams were set up to play with 4 players in the central midfield area, and thus neither side's playmakers could really find lots of time or space on the ball.

19 minutes into the first half, though, reigning champions Roma nearly found the breakthrough. Sebastian Corchia had bombed down the right wing, surging past Pablo Armero and whipping in a cross to the near post. Mattia Destro flicked it on brilliantly but the ball ricocheted off the post and out, saving Milan's graces.

So close, yet so far: Mattia Destro nearly opened the scoring for the Giallorossi, only to see his brilliant flicked header cannon off of the post and out.

The remainder of the first half passed without any real incident as both teams continued to cancel each other out in midfield. Jedvaj and Benatia had thus far done a good job in staying tight to the Rossoneri's danger man, Mario Balotelli, and not allowing him any space with which to change the game.

In the second half, Super Mario started to get on the ball a little bit more and create opportunities for himself and his teammates. Ten minutes after halftime, Nigel De Jong heartily won the ball in midfield and launched it forward to the Italy international striker. Balotelli used his strength to turn against Jedvaj and slip in the run of Manolo Gabbiadini. The young striker was brilliantly denied by veteran Morgan De Sanctis, however, and the scores stayed level.

The scores remained level for the rest of the 90 minutes, and the two Italian giants were forced into playing Extra Time. Both sides were looking tired as the first period began, but as the first period dwindled to a close, Adem Ljajic certainly was looking lively. The Serbian attacker turned smartly after receiving from Miralem Pjanic and immediately chipped the ball, catching Marco Amelia off guard and nestling into the net to give AS Roma a brilliantly taken lead.

Just after the break, though, the monumental collapse began. Daniele De Rossi slid in on Gylfi Sigurdsson from behind, a reckless and impudent challenge, earning the club's midfield leader aa second yellow card and thus a sending off.

Utterly incensed: Club vice-captain Daniele De Rossi was sent off late in the second period of Extra Time, leaving Roma down to 10 men and defending their 1 goal lead with their lives.

Even down to 10 men, it seemed the Giallorossi would just about hold on. The clock was ticking down; only 1 minute was left before the final whistle would blow and Roma would win...Gylfi Sigurdsson, though, had other ideas.

The Icelandic attacking midfielder held his run outside the box as Riccardo Montolivo served in a delivery from the right wing to the top of the D, straight to Sigurdsson to lash at first time and score. It was an outstanding volley from all of 25 yards, and AC Milan, against all the odds, had equalized in the very last moment, shattering the hearts of the Roma faithful.

And so the match ended 1-1, and the two teams were forced into the dreaded lottery of penalty kicks. During these tense moments, the first three shooters for both teams held their nerve. Mario Balotelli, Riccardo Montolivo, and Gylfi Sigurdssno each scored, yet Francesco Totti, Adem Ljajic, and Alvaro Morata equalized each time.

Next up was AS Roma's player of the season, Miralem Pjanic, after Lacina Traore had made it 4-3. The Bosnian midfielder had scored 3 goals and assisted twice during the Giallorossi's cup run, including his assist on Ljajic's goal, but knew this spot kick meant more than any of that. He stepped up, fired, and was denied brilliantly by the sprawling Marco Amelia.

Nigel De Jong stepped up for the final penalty, and all Pjanic could do was stand with his head in his hands as the Dutch destroyer smashed home a vicious spot kick, securing the Coppa Italia final in dramatic fashion for the resilient AC Milan side.

Penalty Hero: Nigel De Jong scored the decisive penalty to give AC Milan a dramatic comeback victory, 1-1 in regular time after Sigurdsson's 119th minute equalizer, and 5-3 in penalties.

"Disappointed doesn't even begin to decide it," said a visibly upset Totti after the match. "We were this close to winning the Coppa, and we blew it. Late in a game, you can't get sent off. You must keep your head. Along with this, I never liked penalty shootouts, but when they come, again you must keep your head, and today Milan kept their heads better than we did and won."

Daniele De Rossi also spoke quickly with the press, telling them with a thick voice, "Today the result is very much my fault. As a leader, I cannot be getting sent off like this in such a crucial game, and I have apologized to my team and I would like to apologize to the fans. However, do not lose faith; we have had a great season, and next year we will return even better."

If it's any consolation to you Roma fans, the very next day Francesco Totti was voted Manager of the Year. Max Allegri, on the other hand, was sacked for his dismal finish to the Serie A season.

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Unlucky mate, must be heart breaking :(
Unfortunate defeat there. Better be careful, I heard Bergomi was after your job! ;)
Disappointed Neal. Yanoo, I thought you were OP but...You need to work on this.
tallery1164: It was shattering, really. To concede so late like that after the red card and lose in penalties... :(

TheMS99: Oh man I hear that guy is a tactical genius!! ;)

AaronHJFT96: Sorry mate...I haven't quite reached defcon OP yet :P
Neal's avatar Group Neal
9 yearsEdited


It was another exciting season for fans of Italian football and especially fans of AS Roma. Led by charismatic player-manager and legendary captain Francesco Totti, the Giallorossi stormed to another two trophies, winning the Supercoppa Italiana and Serie A. In this article, we'll recap Roma's season and give a brief overview of each competition they were in.

Supercoppa Italiana

Winner: AS Roma

Runner-Up: Udinese

Top Scorer: Miralem Pjanic - 2 (AS Roma)

Best Player: Miralem Pjanic (AS Roma)

Italian football's annual curtain-raiser is the Supercoppa Italiana. The cup final pits the winner of the Serie A against the winner of the Coppa Italia; however, as AS Roma won both of those competitions last season, they took on the runner-up of the Coppa, Udinese, in a rematch of the Coppa final. Miralem Pjanic led the way in this match, scoring twice to lead the Giallorossi to a memorable 2-1 victory, starting off the season with some silverware.

Serie A

Winner: AS Roma

Runner-Up: Inter Milan

Top Scorer: Mario Gomez - 21 (AFC Fiorentina)

Best Player: Miralem Pjanic - 13 goals, 20 assists (AS Roma)

Manager of the Year: Francesco Totti (AS Roma)

Dream Team (4-3-3): Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus); Sebastian Corchia (AS Roma), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Dodo (AS Roma); Andre Ayew (AC Milan), Miralem Pjanic (AS Roma), Arturo Vidal (Juventus); Fernando Llorente (Juventus), Mario Gomez (AFC Fiorentina), Sebastian Giovinco (AFC Fiorentina)

It was another fantastic season in the Serie A as capital city side AS Roma stormed to their second straight Scudetto under new manager Francesco Totti. Led by the midfield heroics of Miralem Pjanic, the Giallorossi stormed to a 26-11-1 record, leading the league with 68 goals. There were multiple times in which it seemed AC Milan or neighbors Inter would steal the trophy, but an incredible 11 match win-streak by Roma in their final 11 games ensured they took home the crown for the second straight year.

Coppa Italia

Winner: AC Milan

Runner-Up: AS Roma

Top Goalscorer: Jerry Mbakogu - 5 (Padova)

Best Player: Gylfi Sigurdsson - 2 goals, 5 assists (AC Milan)

The Coppa Italia this year was one of the most spectacular we've seen in years. AS Roma, who are the all-time leading winners of this cup with 10 previous competition wins, nearly defended their title, only to collapse to a late goal and penalties against AC Milan. The Rossoneri had an exciting tournament from the first whistle. They beat archrivals Inter in penalties after a 3-3 draw and beat Lazio 4-3 before their dramatic penalty win in the final itself.

UEFA Champions League

Winner: Manchester United

Runner-Up: Bayern Munich

Top Scorer: Jackson Martinez - 10 (FC Porto)

Best Player: Antonio Valencia - 4 goals, 6 assists (Manchester United)

Dream Team (4-4-2): Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona), Rafael da Silva (Man Utd), Jonny Evans (Man Utd), Mats Hummels (Bor. Dortmund), Patrice Evra (Man Utd); Antonio Valencia (Man Utd), Marouane Fellaini (Man Utd), Wayne Rooney (Man Utd), Shinji Kagawa (Man Utd); Robin van Persie (Man Utd), Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

The UEFA Champions League, Europe's most prestigious competition, came to an astounding close when massive underdogs Manchester United stormed to an extra-time 3-1 victory over reigning champions FC Bayern Munich of Germany. It was a competition to remember for the Red Devils as eight of the Team of the Year were selected from United. AS Roma endured a difficult time in the Champions League, losing to FC Barcelona in the first knockout round despite a strong showing in the group stage.

AS Roma Awards

Top Scorer: Adem Ljajic - 21 goals

Top Assister: Miralem Pjanic - 24 assists

Player of the Year: Miralem Pjanic - 18 goals, 24 assists

Young Player of the Year: Tin Jedvaj

Despite crashing out very early from the Champions League and losing the heartbreaking Coppa Italia final to AC Milan, it was another very strong season for AS Roma. Winning the Supercoppa Italiana and retaining the Scudetto is no mean feat, and Miralem Pjanic paved the way with his 18 goals and 24 assists. The Bosnia and Herzegovina attacking midfielder was in inspired form all season long, undoubtedly the best player in Italy. If Roma can hold onto their star players, like Pjanic, and add a few new talents, the Giallorossi could be a major threat in Europe next year.

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Great season all round, hopefully a longer UCL run next season, but well done winning other competitions. Nice update
Edited comment cause I can't read apparently! Roma looking good for next season treble?
You totally bossed this season as well. Hopefully you can do more of the same in the CL next season ;)
Superb season! Let's see you go one further next year, progressing well! :D
Great season, but you can win it all next year!
Ah man, unlucky about the Coppa Italia loss but it was still a great season!
As always enjoying every bit of the story Nealeo ;)
LFC: Thanks Adam, and yes the goal next season is to try and get a good bit further in Europe :)

TheMS99: That's the plan, my friend, the more trophies we bring to Rome the better ;)

dialsquare: The Serie A is no match for us; Europe will soon follow suit :P

AaronHJFT96: We are definitely continuing to grow quite well, hopefully with a few good signings we can make a push in the Champions League :D

tallery1164: Just maybe we can :)

Justice: That's me :)) B)

pompeyblue: A few tough results to take, but yes still a very successful year. Hopefully we can build on this next year :D
Neal's avatar Group Neal
9 yearsEdited

Big clubs begin attempting to bring in AS Roma's standout performers

  • Barclays Premier league clubs had bids rejected for Marco Verratti and Miralem Pjanic
  • Atletico Madrid fought off interest from a host of teams to sign striker Mattia Destro
  • Atletico also nearly signed Roma's Serbian top goalscorer Adem Ljajic

  • After a scintillating season that resulted in a second straight Scudetto success and the transfer window opening, AS Roma knew that they would have a bit of trouble holding onto their star players. Italy's financial climate and the decline of Serie A has meant that more and more Italian clubs have been forced to sell their world-class players. Francesco Totti, it seems, is willing to fight that idea.

    Miralem Pjanic was the top of the shopping list for quite a few Premier League clubs. The Bosnia & Herzegovina attacking midfielder was voted Serie A Player of the Year last season, racking up 13 goals and 20 assists in the league. Arsenal and Manchester United emerged as the early favorites to sign Pjanic.

    With only one year remaining on his contract with the capital city club and the star reportedly eager on making the switch to England's top division, most people were surprised when Francesco Totti rejected €25m bids from both Arsenal and Manchester United. Some people are wondering whether Pjanic will leave on a free next summer, but for now he remains a Roma player.

    After having a move to the Premier League this summer blocked, it is reported that Miralem Pjanic will not renew his contract with AS Roma and leave for free next summer.

    Arsenal was interested in more than just Miralem Pjanic, however. The North London club, along with archrivals Tottenham Hotspur, were heavily interested in Italy international Marco Verratti. The 22 year old central midfielder impressed in his box-to-box role in Totti's diamond midfield, resulting in both London clubs making €10m bids.

    Needless to say, Totti was not pleased, calling the bids "jokes" and rejecting them out of hand. Positively for AS Roma fans, Verratti, unlike midfield partner Miralem Pjanic, seems very content to stay at the Olimpico. The diminutive youngster has made 69 Serie A appearances for the Giallorossi over the last few years and looks like a true star of the future.

    Arsene Wenger's interest in Roma players didn't end there, though. Along with SSC Napoli and Shakhtar Donestk, Arsenal were heavily linked in purchasing Italy international striker Mattia Destro. The poacher enjoyed a solid season last term, registering 18 goals and 6 assists in 34 games in all competitions.

    Despite interest from a host of clubs in top divisions across the world, Mattia Destro has signed for Atletico Madrid for a fee of €15m, putting pen to paper on a 4 year deal.

    After all three aforementioned clubs had €10m bids turned down by Francesco Totti, Atletico de Madrid came calling with an upped offer of €15m. According to reports from within the club, Mattia Destro pushed strongly for the move to go through, and a contract was quickly agreed. "It was a wonderful experience here at Roma, but now I want to go on and test myself in other countries," said Destro upon the completion of the transfer.

    Destro was nearly joined at his new club by Roma's top scorer Adem Ljajic. A similar €15m fee had been agreed for the Serbian front-man, but Ljajic opted to reject the Rojiblancos' contract offer and stay with the Giallorossi in the end.

    After fighting off all of this interest in their very best players, Francesco Totti and the club hierarchy still have a lot of hard work ahead; there is deadweight to be sold and new stars to be brought in. If these first few days are any indicator, however, AS Roma is in for one hell of a transfer window.

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