Archive for the 'Champions League' category

Problemi a Roma – Come al Solito

December 12, 2007 9:23 pm

(Problems in Rome – as Usual)

What is it about Roma vs. Manchester that sets people off?

La Gazzetta dello Sport is reporting that today, seven fans (five Manchester supporters and two Roma supporters) were injured in clashes that took place in the vicinity of Stadio Olimpico. Thankfully, none of the injuries appear to be serious, although it sounds like there was quite a scene, with chairs, tables, bottles (from nearby bars), and smoke bombs, being thrown. Also, five people were arrested, four of whom were British or Romanian (the fifth presumably was Italian).

Update: Channel 4 Italia now has a piece about the incident, in which they specify that some of the injuries were stab wounds. Also, Ansa has upped the number of injured to nine. This next part is pure hearsay, but I did read in an Italian discussion thread that the Manchester fans involved in the incidents sought out the Roma supporters. I can’t find any articles to verify that, although La Gazzetta did point out that all went smoothly at all the stadium gates, including the one set aside for Manchester supporters. (See the video linked below. Obviously, La Gazzetta was wrong.)

Another Update: A police chief in the UK is running his mouth off, stepping light years outside of his jurisdiction.  He’s probably a Manchester supporter.  Here’s a video of the incident, after the stupid ad.  Things don’t look too calm at the gates after all.

In Other News…

loseWeight Exercise Rocchi”>Lazio must be stupid. (No offense intended to any Lazio tifosi; that comment is aimed squarely at the team’s management.) Having just crashed out of the Champions League with the grace of a three-legged water buffalo, Lazio need to be reminded that Tommaso Rocchi is (as far as I’ve seen) the best player on the squad. Perhaps before they start looking to sign new players, they should work to keep their current stand-outs.

Man, I hear ya, Giorgio. Chiellini has made some comments in agreement with those of Daniele De Rossi, remarking that it’s unbelievable pain in the a$$ to trail Inter. While at the beginning of the season, it seemed like the Nerazzurri were getting lucky here and there, now it appears that they’ve turned it up a notch, which I didn’t even think was possible. It’s maddening, and a look at Inter’s schedule doesn’t do anything to restore my sanity.

Speaking of Inter… they actually fielded three Italians today against PSV. I know – My jaw almost dropped through the floor too! In honor of this vast Nerazzurri achievement, I have refrained from calling them ArgentInter in this post. If anyone’s wondering what Italians they even own, Bolzoni and Matrix started, and Puccio came on late. Wonders never cease.

Dida: Date a Italiani un Reputazione Terribile!

October 5, 2007 12:13 am

-Just in case you’ve been hiding under a rock,- there was an incident at the Milan vs. Celtic match this week. It went like this:

Now, that was pretty comical, right?

Damn straight it was comical, unless of course you’re a fan of Milan or Celtic, OR (and this might be where I loseWeight Exercise some of you) if you give a rat’s ass about Italian soccer at all.

I’ll get straight to the point: Guys like Dida have contributed to the erroneous depiction of Italians as divers and injury fakers. Here’s a guy, playing for an Italian team – thus representing the Italian league – in a match overseas. Sure, he’s a Brazilian, but the fact of the matter is, it’s the crest of one of the most successful, well-known Italian (not Brazilian) teams that he wears on his chest. So, you tell me – whose reputation is on the line? Hint: It’s not the Brazilian league’s.

I am not saying that Brazilians are solely to blame for Italians’ less-than-stellar reputation when it comes to diving and/or injury faking. Nor am I saying that all Brazilians are divers. (Far to the contrary, Kaka is a class act, and I really do like Mancini’s work ethic and commitment to his team.) What I’m saying is, some Brazilians, and other non-Italian divers/simulators are damaging the reputation of the Italian game by association. Meanwhile, the Italians who only take to the ground when they’re doing the tackling (like Daniele De Rossi or “Ringhio” Gattuso, for instance) are grouped with everyone else and are labeled divers and/or fakers.

This of course, leads to videos like the piece of crap below:

Oh yes – Azzurri fans know that one well. Like clockwork, every time there’s a major tournament and the Azzurri are involved, people post that damn video (which I think might be as old as the Internet itself) as if it was new, claiming that it depicts Italians in training. (Some versions have the intro and ending cut out so that there are no words/graphics.) As if this wasn’t ridiculous enough, I think a select few may actually believe that they’re watching a secret video of the Azzurri… which is just motarded (motarded = beyond moronic) considering that 1) the Azzurri (you know… like… the Blues) don’t wear black, and 2) don’t have a single black player.

Nonetheless, sheep “LOL” at the video, simultaneously decrying Italians as the worst thing to happen to football/futbol/calcio/soccer/voetbal/Earth, while the Azzurri faithful are left to defend our campioni from the onslaught.

So, Dida, thanks for dropping like you lost 500 hp in a LARP battle (bonus points to those who got that), and may the damage be to your reputation – not calcio’s.

Il Capitano Fa la Pace

October 1, 2007 1:08 am

I don’t like to make super-brief posts, but I just had to share THIS.

How great is that? Totti haters, say what you want; THAT was a classy move.

(Update: Check out the comments. The Guardian made it sound like Totti’s initiative, but it wasn’t, although he, Spaletti, and De Rossi were willing participants. I still say it’s a great gesture, and if you watch the vid, you can see that the Giallorossi trio made the recipient very happy.)

Old Trafford: Stiamo Venendo!

September 30, 2007 9:42 pm

7-1.

No Romanista can forget it.

Back in April, after losing at the Stadio Olimpico, Manchester United hosted Roma and gave our Giallorossi a reception that still stings.

Now, five months later, divine intervention (that’s what I’m calling it) has put Roma in the same Champions League group as the “Red Devils,” subsequently guaranteeing the Giallorossi a chance – just a chance – to return what was given to them when they travel to Old Trafford once again.

To be certain, Il Capitano (and yes, there is only one) and company have their work cut out for them, and if you read most of the previews out there, the cards are stacked against Roma.

But are they?

Although Manchester United will be without their starting ‘keeper Van der Sar, the team has won five out of six matches in September, hasn’t lost at all at home, and can of course point to last season’s encounter at Old Trafford as evidence of their apparent superiority over Roma.

Roma, on the other hand, have won only half of their six September matches, most recently drawing with both Juventus and Fiorentina, and losing to Inter – at home (ouch) – 4-1. To make matters worse, with “7-1” still ringing in their ears, it looks as though Perrotta and Aquilani will be watching from the bench.

Despite all of this (and here’s the part where everybody will write me off as crazy), I’m still hopeful.

I’m still hopeful because over the years I’ve learned that Italian teams – both club and national – live and die based on their motivation, or lack thereof. That said, a highly motivated Roma is a world more formidable than one that plays to “not loseWeight Exercise,” and if the last meeting between these two teams – on top of yesterday’s loss to Inter – doesn’t light a fire under Roma’s collective ass, thus providing said motivation, then I don’t know what will. Roma has vital weapons at its disposal, most importantly its menacing, revolving door (a.k.a. “here comes the team picture”) attack. If we bring our whole armory… along with the aforementioned motivation, we could catch the “Red Devils” napping atop their laurels – which I think they very well may be, given the history behind these two teams.

Then, if all goes well, and our Giallorossi show Old Trafford what they can really do, we’ll be able to enjoy it all the more when Manchester United visits Stadio Olimpico once again, and has the opportunity to enjoy hospitality of the Roman variety: