You sitting down? If not, sit down. Not there. There. Good? Cicinho is official. Yeah, that's right. Official. After only four score and seven years, Rosella, whose closing ability has been replicated by Eric Gagne lately, has given The Grand Imperial Poobah his man. Let the man crush and ass slaps begin.
Considering the amount of rumors we've been bombarded with since last year, we should know everything about Cicinho right down to his preferred boxers (I'm guessing boxer-briefs, I don't know why) and last blood panel results. But I'm going to introduce him formally anyway. Why? I don't know. Just am.
Real name: Cícero João de Cézare
Fake name: Cicinho
Date of birth: 24/06/1980
Weight: 68 Kg
Height: 172 cms
Nationality: Take a wild guess
Place of birth: Pradópolis
Position: RB, damnit. And don't ask him to play anywhere else.
Shirt Size: XXXL (seriously, have you seen those things?)
Still sitting down? Rosella got her price - or close to it. The deal is €9m sent to Real whenever she gets around to it, and not a penny more. As we all know, Rafa Benitez and his Spanish Armada of American dollar$ drove that price up to €12m (uh huh), with Rosella standing firm at €7m and a pack of Junior Mints. If you failed 1st grade math, that's why I'm here. Real dropped their price €3m, while Rosella only rose €2m to meet them 2/5th of the way. Advantage: Rosella. The price paid was fair considering his past two seasons since jumping across the pond from Sao Paulo, but it has the potential to skyrocket. This is the same guy whose future starting spot on the Selecao was all but written in permanent marker and had Dani Alves being touted as his future backup - now Dani is being sold for half the GDP of Lithuania. Moderate risk, potentially massive reward ( a common theme this summer).
Cicinho will also make some decent bank, around €2.2m per annum, which will leave some significant room for an extension under the cap once Daniele De Rossi smashes the current salary cap to smithereens. He also penned a five year deal, which will keep him in Rome until he is 32 years old. Also the minimum age needed to get onto the Milan super ride over at the San Siro (you know you can totally see it happening).
Cici is like Marco Cassetti on an 8 ball (that's 3.5 grams of cocaine for anybody who hasn't seen a movie in the last 17 years). Offensively? He's all that and a bag of chips. Defensively? You might as well throw a Wallbanger* up there. He's elicited comparisons to that Cafu guy Roma fans heard so much about a few years ago,but Cici is still a long way from that type of lofty status. Yes, he's got all the talent in the world, but he's thisclose from knocking down that door and becoming the superduperstar he's supposed to be. The bad news? He's 27 and reaching that point in his career where it's fairly difficult to teach an old dog new tricks. The good news? He just arrived at Stadio Olimpico. Home to one of the few managers and tactical systems in Europe almost tailor-made for his skill set, presumably the reason he is lucky enough to be the recipient of one of those vaunted Spalletti man crushes.
As far as that skill set goes, it's based around one main ingredient: speed - and lots of it. In addition to The French Pocket Rocket acquired from Barca earlier this summer, we now have the Brazilian Pocket Rocket - so Roma can be cultured by all sorts of speedy international types. A lot of players are characterized as fast, or pacy, or speedy - but Cicinho is fast. And he knows how to fly up and down that right flank to contribute offensively. Aside from the speed, he also has a cheeky bag of tricks not usually found up the sleeve of defenders. He can certainly take guys on 1 v 1, and plays more as a winger than a wingback. On top of that, he has a Howitzer for a left peg and can cut in from the wing and shoot from distance. Not to mention set up his beach chair in the opposition's penalty box if the situation calls for it.
Defensively? Uh. Don't know what to tell you. It's going to be an adventure to say the least. But he wasn't acquired for his ability to take teams out single-handedly like Canna pre-Madrid. Of course, there's also that whole "the Santiago Bernabeu is a graveyard for defender's careers" thing, so who knows? Maybe he'll shock the world and suddenly turn into a world conquering defender once he exits stage right in Madrid. Not that you should bet the house on it. Nor would I recommend betting the change in the couch, either. But it's always fun to dream.
* - If you've graduated high school and still have a Wallbanger, I don't know what to tell you. I'm still not sure if that's the coolest thing ever or you seriously need to re-evaluate your life. I think we'll go on a case-by-case basis. Steven Gerrard? Totally acceptable. Theo Walcott? Seek professional help. Landon Donovan? Kill yourself.
Here's where it gets tricky. It's kind of hard to justify having Cassetti and Cicinho on the roster together, but those Monaco rumors are completely dormant, and there hasn't been another name linked in the last 1-2 months. Obviously they could find a buyer for Marco in two weeks, but I wouldn't be 100% shocked to see him stick around, even in the event that Rosella proves she has at least evolved beyond Homo Erectus and picks up a quality back-up/apprentice LB. He isn't making that much cash, he wasn't going to play all that much anyway, there are a ton of lingering injuries along the back line and they can always sell him in January when the depth chart is stacked once again. Of course that's using logic, which isn't exactly prevalent in the Roma management offices.
As far as playing time goes, I suppose we can consider Cici the starter as long as Christian Panucci is giving us all heart palpitations while in central defense, and then a platoon situation once Juan and/or Matteo Ferrari returns. As mentioned thousands of time by Panucci, there will be 50-60 games this year and he can only play 98% of them, so somebody will need to be there to play in the other game. Prediction? 25-30 games for each Panucci and Cicinho. Yeah, I'm a fence sitter. So what.
What It Means For Roma:
The unique Spalletti attacking-style has always been considered very good. Now it's scary good. This isn't one of those "oh, well now Roma is the Scudetto" favorite type moves, but it does improve the squad greatly and therefore set the bar a little bit higher. Should they finish within the Champions League spots? Absolutely, especially after that impressive display yesterday. Are they the favorite? No. Should they contend more so than last year? Without question. Inter's class and depth will still be a difficult carrot to chase (apologies for that uber-corny reference), but this is a squad that can beat any given team in Europe on any given day. This move may reap more dividends in the Champions League immediately than it will in Serie A. But it's huge no matter how you look at it.
Apologies for the repeats but, well, he's a RB damnit.
Best of the Lot (5 stars):
I need a hero.
Welcome to the greatest club in the world, Cici.