It’s one of the oldest clichés in the book – a picture tells a thousand words. I think this one tells at least 10,000…
Before the first derby under the American ownership of Roma, I noted that only two players on the pitch had ever experienced a derby della capitale before, such was the wholesale change the new owners had overseen. It felt like too much, too fast. How could this bunch of newbies possibly understand how much this fixture really means? And if you don’t know what it is like to win the derby della capitale, it can only mean that you don’t want that victory badly enough. Because once you’ve experienced it you will surely do anything, give absolutely everything, to taste it again.
Sure, they have all played in derbies before, for other clubs, but not like this, nothing is like this – only the Clásico, Superclásico and Old Firm rival the Rome derby for its intensity. How long would it take for these uninitiated bright young things to live and breathe what it means to play in, be a part of, and win this derby for this great club?
Five straight derbies without a victory followed, and perhaps now we finally have our answer.
In the early stages of his second season at Roma, I think we can now safely say that Federico Balzaretti knows what it means. His uncontrolled sobs of joy after he scored his first ever goal in a Roma shirt was one of the most moving things I’ve seen this year.
We’re back, and not with a team of mercenaries, not with a team of unproven youngsters, and not with a team of newbies – but with a team of winners, and most importantly, a team of Romanisti.
Oh, and THIS:
No, I am not getting as carried away as a Team New Zealand supporter a week ago in the America’s Cup. I know there’s still a looooooong way to go. But right now I’m stuffed if I’m not going to savour the best start to season Roma has had since 1960!
Categories: Roma/Italian Calcio
A grassroots football enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent club on earth - A.S. Roma. More info (including e-mail address) can be found here: http://in-the-back-of-the.net/about/