“Roma have risen from their ruins! Manolas, the Greek God in Rome! The unthinkable unfolds before our eyes. This was not meant to happen; this could not happen; this is happening!”
Peter Drury Football commentator.
It was the 10th April 2018; Roma was on the verge of Champions League elimination. It was a night when the Stadio Olimpico became the Coliseum for 90 minutes. Even astrologers of Roman times could not have foreseen nor predicted Roma’s comeback win over the reigning champions, Barcelona. It was the stuff of legends. It was a moment that mattered much. The ultras were crying in the stands. Players had become legends. Their 3-0 win that incredible night, epitomised the character of Roma, their partisan fanbase, and the unique DNA of the team.
DAJEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeifefefbejfwjofnwjfnwjfbrufbwfubweufbewfuewbewbfwejfwjlfjfwfjlwfjbfjwfbwjfbwjofwjfnewjofnewjofnwjfnweAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!! #RomaBarca 3⃣-0⃣#ASRoma #UCL— AS Roma (@OfficialASRoma) April 10, 2018
Footballing greats have always played at the Stadio Olimpico. One such great is a Roman himself – the club’s Er Bimbo de Oro (the Golden Boy), Francesco Totti.
He was the captain and leader and now legend to the Roma faithful. God to the giallorossi part of Rome. The feeling is naturally reciprocated – the ultras love their loyal servant and he loves them. As his retirement neared, he sent a message to his fans on his 38th birthday.
“I would like to say one special thank you to the heart Roma – to our wonderful supporters. For the motivation, they give us, their passion and unconditional love.”
One of the very few to have the honour to publicly do so.
Strongly considered as the greatest player to play in the Roma shirt, he became the club’s youngest captain at just 22 years of age. What was unique about Totti was that he played for Roma his entire career. A stellar 25-year love affair at Roma. A quarter of a century playing for one side – only AC Milan legend Paolo Maldini has matched that achievement.
Following Italian football from afar, it is hard not to be swept away by the fascinating rivalries in Serie A. What also adds to the unique atmosphere is Roma’s hate-hate relationship with city rivals Lazio.
The Rome derby is arguably the fiercest rivalry in world football. Unlike the Old Firm in Scotland and El Clasico in Spain, Roma against Lazio is solely a battle for capital supremacy. The derby can is a battle to the end, and for the hungry ultra, it is a derby that underpins the mad footballing capital. It truly means something to all.
Daniele de Rossi once declared “himself the property of the Romanisti’. The very core and essence of Roma, the firm belief that far from being just a team, they are an accurate representation of the capital city, unlike Lazio, who Roma supporter label as peasants.
From the intimidating Eternal City to the intimidating atmosphere of the Stadio Olimpico, there is a more relaxed approach to the club from behind the scenes.
The admin team at Roma need regular pay rises for their sheer wit and comedy value. With a selection of memes and gifs, the club’s social media accounts add a unique dimension to a strongly associated football club. Roma now houses a global fanbase like never before.
Zlatan Ibrahimović? https://t.co/Cx9sTVQith— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) December 6, 2018
For people outside the city walls – many follow Roma because of what Totti achieved for the club. But for the people inside – Roma is more than that. To many, it is the beating heart of the city. It is their first love. It is their life.