There are many reasons why Francesco Totti has gained an unparalleled place of honor in the Roma supporters’ pantheon, as well as in any good calcio lover’s. The most simple is that perhaps he was just an awesomely talented football player, capable of scoring such unique goals as the one by which he stunned the Luigi Ferraris Stadium in a 2-4 win against Sampdoria.
Lazio won the platonic Derby of the Posts in Rome, hitting the sticks four times against Roma’s two in a vibrant version of the Italian Capital cross-town battle. The count of goals, however, read 1-1, with Luis Alberto answering to Aleksandar Kolarov. It was an abnormal derby, if only for being the first in a long time without either Francesco Totti or Daniele De Rossi.
A cap, a bandage on his neck, a hollow-cheeked appearance that still did not affect his proud look. Sinisa Mihajlovic dropped like a bomb on the Serie A opening round as he sat on Bologna’s bench for their debut in Verona. His appearance was the icicle on the cake of a Serie A Round 1 which saw Juventus, Napoli, and Inter win, whereas Milan lost to Udinese.
The last thing Sinisa Mihajlovic would want is to be commiserated. That’s exactly what the Bologna manager said during Saturday’s press conference where he announced he was diagnosed with leukemia. And so, rather than going along the line that the disease picked a tough one to mess with, we will make it evident by taking a look at his 30-year-spanning career.
They called him Capitan Futuro (“Captain Future”), as Daniele De Rossi was meant to be Roma’s new captain after Francesco Totti’s retirement. But he ended up wearing the Giallorossi captain band for two years only, as the club’s board communicated today their decision not to renew the 35-year-old midfielder’s contract for the next season.
The 2005-2006 season was the last for Zlatan Ibrahimovic with Juventus. Ibra had moved to the Bianconeri one year earlier, and even if his second season in Turin was far less impressive than the debut one, he still found the way to show dazzling glimpses of his talent – like the magic trick that helped Juventus trample Roma 4-1.
Roma triumphed 3-1 in a vibrant Derby della Capitale today, with substitute Lorenzo Pellegrini suddenly finding himself on the pitch to replace injured Javier Pastore, and turning into hero for a day as he scored the first and participated in his side’s additional two goals by Aleksandar Kolarov and Federico Fazio. Ciro Immobile temporarily equalized for Lazio.
Higuain? No, Cutrone. Better, both. Milan’s 2-1 win over Roma in Serie A Round 2 bears the mark of the 20-year-old home grown striker, but his extra time goal wouldn’t have been possible without a providential filtering pass by El Pipita. Gennaro Gattuso’s side thus collected their first three seasonal points, in a game which saw two goals disallowed by the VAR.
Chelsea’s new coach Maurizio Sarri recently argued that when a team goes up 2-0 in Italy, the score doesn’t change anymore. Well, Roma and Atalanta proved him wrong yesterday, drawing 3-3 their game at the Stadio Olimpico in Serie A Round 2, and providing an excellent example of champagne football, ignited by a true gem by Javier Pastore.
It’s still summer football, but whoever decided the fixtures of these initial Serie A rounds knows how to capture people’s attention. The second campionato matchday sees Juventus facing a Lazio side shaken by some alleged tension between President Claudio Lotito and coach Simone Inzaghi, while Milan make their seasonal debut at Napoli.
The hype surrounding Serie A 2018-2019 has been unprecedented in the recent seasons of the Italian top flight, but not many fans will have the will to celebrate at a goal scored on a football pitch this weekend, as the whole of Italy is still shocked at the tragedy that struck the city of Genova, where last Monday a motorway bridge collapsed taking 41 lives.
The purchase of Javier Pastore from Paris Saint Germain, and of young prospect Justin Kluivert from Ajax were not enough to put a smile on Roma supporters’ faces, as they were rather disappointed at the sales of some of their top stars like Radja Nainggolan and Alisson Becker, replaced by second-choice or mostly unknown players.