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The Long & Winding Spirals

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The Long & Winding Spirals, Part I

They could hardly be more different. One has a history of hype, of celebration, and of celebrity; never wanting for press attention, as it was never far around the corner. The other the consummate underdog, the perpetual never was, never coulda been, scrapping for every morsel of respect never to arrive on a silver platter.

Juventus is not Roma and Roma is not Juventus; never will be. The two are linked, if ever so slightly, in that they are complete opposites. They derive from the same source, a similar heritage, occasionally employing similar methodologies, but their paths to the present would be to compare apples and clementines.

At least until recent. Of late Juventus has been tainted while Roma has continued an unexpected rise into relevance. The former is no longer the darling of yore, and the latter is no longer the afterthought, the “once in a blue moon”.

Juventus was once the prized jewel of Italy to the outside world; a veritable titan of talent. A cocky swagger with a limitless ceiling and a destiny calling for it to be broached. Overwhelming, the aura suddenly became hype personified, but of promising and often fulfilling hype. And then it all came crashing down; forced to go away, to do a year's worth of penance before returning to the big time, offering but a fraction of the once gilded whole: hype. Still all the talent in the world, but having to put it together consistency to reclaim what once was, what once could have been.

And then there's Roma. No press, no respect, no chances but those which were earned through years of hard work and a bit of luck in the form of the misfortune of others. A product formed from within through little to no outside help, running without looking back, leaping forward eyes closed and grabbing onto any ledge available, hoping to latch on. Now, undeniable legitimacy has been achieved; a genuine force. More than that, it’s the darling story, the almost annual search for miracle, finally found.

With directionalities reversed, they now stand atop equal pedestals; Juventus having stepped down, Roma having taken the long and winding staircase up, unexpectedly overtaking a few on the way.

Both, this year, finally seem to be rising together. Juventus through a moment here, a moment there; Roma with a blinding surge into form and relevance amidst a wave of midfield injuries in October. Both nearly there, both with the ultimate goal to put the past behind and to slowly but surely climb to discover a true self, an ultimate identity.

And as we inch towards kickoff, we’re left with a question; unthinkable a few years ago, today it requires considered, if foreign, thought. Taking away the hype, the past, the history and the name...

Which one is the underdog now?

***


The Long & Winding Spirals, Part II

They could hardly be more different. One has a history of hype, of celebration, and of celebrity; never wanting for press attention, as it was never far around the corner. The other the consummate underdog, the perpetual never was, never coulda been, scrapping for every morsel of respect never to arrive on a silver platter.

Alberto Aquilani is not Leandro Greco and Greco is not Aquilani; never will be. The two are linked, if ever so slightly, in that they are complete opposites. They derive from the same source, a similar heritage, occasionally employing similar methodologies, but their paths to the present would be to compare apples and clementines.

At least until recent. Of late Aquilani has been tainted while Greco has continued an unexpected rise into relevance. The former is no longer the darling of yore, and the latter is no longer the afterthought, the “once in a blue moon”.

Aquilani was once the prized jewel of Italy to the outside world; a veritable titan of talent. A cocky swagger with a limitless ceiling and a destiny calling for it to be broached. Overwhelming, the aura suddenly became hype personified, but of promising and often fulfilling hype. And then it all came crashing down; forced to go away, to do a year's worth of penance before returning to the big time, offering but a fraction of the once gilded whole: hype. Still all the talent in the world, but having to put it together consistency to reclaim what once was, what once could have been.

And then there's Greco. No press, no respect, no chances but those which were earned through years of hard work and a bit of luck in the form of the misfortune of others. A product formed from within through little to no outside help, running without looking back, leaping forward eyes closed and grabbing onto any ledge available, hoping to latch on. Now, undeniable legitimacy has been achieved; a genuine force. More than that, it’s the darling story, the almost annual search for miracle, finally found.

With directionalities reversed, they now stand atop equal pedestals; Aquilani having stepped down, Greco having taken the long and winding staircase up, unexpectedly overtaking a few on the way.

Both, this year, finally seem to be rising together. Aquilani through a moment here, a moment there; Greco with a blinding surge into form and relevance amidst a wave of midfield injuries in October. Both nearly there, both with the ultimate goal to put the past behind and to slowly but surely climb to discover a true self, an ultimate identity.

And as we inch towards kickoff, we’re left with a question; unthinkable a few years ago, today it requires considered, if foreign, thought. Taking away the hype, the past, the history and the name...

Which one is the underdog now?


Squad

1 BOGDAN LOBONT
2 CICERO JOAO DE CESARE (CICINHO)
3 PAOLO CASTELLINI
5 PHILIPPE MEXES
8 RIBEIRO LEITE ADRIANO
9 MIRKO VUCINIC
10 FRANCESCO TOTTI
16 DANIELE DE ROSSI
17 JOHN ARNE RIISE
19 JULIO CESAR BAPTISTA
22 MARCO BORRIELLO
23 LEANDRO GRECO
25 GULLIERMO ENIO BURDISSO
27 JULIO SERGIO BERTAGNOLI
29 NICOLAS ANDRES BURDISSO
30 SIMPLICIO FABIO HENRIQUE
32 DONIEBER ALEXANDER MARANGON (DONI)
33 MATTEO BRIGHI
77 MARCO CASSETTI
87 ALEANDRO ROSI
94 JEREMY MENEZ

XI

Julio Sergio
Cassetti, Mexes, Burdisso, Riise
Simplicio, DDR, Greco
Menez
Borriello, Vucinic.


Game:
2045CET


Forza Roma