Speaking to Radio Uno, Alessandro Del Piero has urged Luciano Spalletti to play Francesco Totti in what is likely to be his final game for Roma against Genoa. There are just two games left this season, and the Juventus legend has called on the Roma coach to play Totti in next week’s clash at the Olimpico – even if the Giallorossi are still fighting to hold onto 2nd place.
La Repubblica (Matteo Pinci) On 24th May, 2008, Barack Obama hadn’t yet been elected President of the United States, Rome was about to elect Alemanno as mayor, and the following month Spain would win their second European Championships. 3275 days have passed since then, and Obama is now a tourist in Milan, Alemanno is the opposition and Spain have won everything; but the Coppa Italia that Roma lifted on that day 9 years ago, beating Inter 2-1 at the Olimpico, was the last trophy the club have been able to celebrate. The football world has radically changed since Spalletti first took charge, but the team that bears the capital’s name seems to have been paralysed. The coach – after his successful ‘exile’ in Russia – is the only survivor along with De Rossi and Totti, but despite all the talk and the investment from the club’s owners, nothing has been won – although their league record is excellent: if they finish ahead of Napoli, they will have finished 2nd for the 4th time in 9 seasons, practically once every 2 years. But there’s no trophy for that.
Roma’s new sporting director Monchi was presented to the media on Wednesday afternoon, and the ex-Sevilla director touched on a number of key subjects regarding the Giallorossi including the futures of Luciano Spalletti, Daniele De Rossi and Francesco Totti.
AS Roma Match Prgram (Tiziano Riccardi) The UEFA Cup/Europa League Round of 16 hasn’t been kind to Roma fans for a long time. For nearly 20 years, in fact. The Lira was still being used in Italy, Massimo D’Alema was Prime Minister and Francesco Rutelli led the Roman government. Their last success in this round came on 8th December 1998 in Switzerland, in the Letzigrund-Stadion, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception: Zeman’s Giallorossi drew 2-2 against Lima’s FC Zurich (the same Lima who played for Roma between 2001 and 2004) and led by coach Ponte (not the DJ Gabry, but the coach Raimondo). The draw was enough for the capital club to reach the quarter finals.
Corriere dello Sport (Guido D’Ubaldo) Roma left it until the last possible moment to reach the Coppa Italia semi-final. It needed a penalty from Totti, scored in the 7th minute of injury time, to seal the Giallorossi’s qualification to a two-legged tie against Lazio. Roma made life difficult for themselves against Cesena, who are currently in the relegation zone in Serie B, and were on the verge of going to extra time. Camplone’s team troubled the Giallorossi even in the first half, when they hit the post and created more opportunities than Roma. In the second half, after Dzeko had scored the opener, Garritano scored an equaliser and it took a last minute penalty for Roma to win a game that should have been a gimme. Roma looked distracted, particularly in defence where Manolas was a shadow of the player that has previously played so well this season.
Ex-Roma forward Antonio Cassano has said that his former-team mate Francesco Totti can keep playing at the highest level for Roma for at least another couple of seasons yet.
Il Tempo (Tiziano Carmellini) It’s OK to dream, and it’s free. Roma followed up their positive start to the year with another crucial three points away in Udine, but most of all they made the most of Juventus’ slip up as the league leaders were defeated by Sousa’s side in Florence. The defeat showed that, after all the effort that they have put into recent games, Juventus (like all great sides) can be beaten and the leaders now find themselves in a slightly more fragile position.