There were twelve months in 2014 (yes, I’m a very smart man). Literally every month gave us something special, memorable or downright unbelievable. Just think of Florenzi’s last gap winner against Torino in March, the Bayern drubbing in October or the transfers of Iturbe and Manolas in the Summer. Or the controversial 3-2 loss against Juve not so long ago. It’s difficult to pick one out, let alone three, so I call for your help. Which actions, interviews, articles,… defined Roma’s 2014 in your eyes? Feel free to share them in the comment section. I’ll start with my top moments.
3. Roma’s Russian rollercoaster
The first 45 minutes of AS Roma – CSKA, September 17. What. A. Comeback. It’s safe to say the return of the Champions League in the Stadio Olimpico was everyone’s wish for 2014. And Roma opened its CL campaign with a bull’s eye. Admittedly, the second half they changed gear and left their foot of the gas but my oh my, the first half was nothing short of one big Olimpico festival. By half-time, I was blown away, baffled. It all went by so fast.
But that’s what Champions League is all about, right? Big games, high expectations, big attendance,… The management must’ve loved it. Ironically, it was also Roma’s only win this campaign but it sure was a sweet one.
*A worthy mention: Totti’s two goals which made him the oldest scorer in the CL, surpassing another legend, Ryan Giggs.
2. Strootman’s soiree
Minute 83 of Roma – Torino, November 9. What. A . Comeback. Part 2. For approx. eight months (238 days to be precise) Kevin was absent from Roma’s team. The man who was so important for us in 2013-2014. A warrior in midfield, a perfect piece of Roma’s puzzle. An ideal partner for not only Pjanic and De Rossi but also the defence and the whole club in general. When he left the hospital, he had only one thing on his mind: make his comeback ASAP and stronger than ever.
Who ever doubted the man’s passion for the shirt must be ashamed. In the last minutes of Roma-Torino and at a safe 3-0 scoreline, Garcia opted to give Strootman his debut this season, with Keita coming off. Now the hardest part is yet to begin: regain his best form from last season. Hopefully we’ll see the old Strootman very soon. And not in a ManU shirt but the Roman red, let’s be clear about that.
1. The dream was dead
The final whistle of Catania-Roma, May 4. There were a lot of painful losses in 2014. Do you remember Juventus celebrating their freshly conquered Scudetto at the Olimpico on May 11? Of course with a last minute Osvaldo goal (who else?) to top it off. Or the 7-1 embarrassment at the hands of Bayern. Still, one of the most emotional moments for me was right after Catania-Roma. The Giallorossi’s title hopes were slim but nonetheless alive and Catania should have been an easy victim. Before the game, Roma was on fire: nine wins in a row in Serie A. Surely Catania would be no 10.
Two goals from Izco and one from Totti in the first half. Mmm ok, 2-1, unexpected but everything was still possible I kept saying to myself. Sadly, Bergessio and Barrientos abruptly ended Roma’s Scudetto hopes and dreams before minute 80 arrived. Ouch. What a shock. And minutes after the game, I had to read through a tonload of online articles that showed Juve celebrating its 30th title (and that, dear Bianconeri, is a fact) without having to fight for it on the pitch. What a blow. I was disgusted, yet I felt proud of Roma’s overall performance.
It was a sad day but one with a more or less silver lining: the belief that we witnessed something truly special that season. If there was ever one team that could challenge Juve in the near future, it’s this Roma. Not Milan, Inter, nor Napoli. But AS Roma. It looks like we weren’t wrong after all and 2014-2015 looks to go down to the wire. After all, revenge is a dish best served cold. Preferably in the month of May.
So guys, that was it for me. Thanks a lot to all of my readers and for all the comments left behind. Totti Today will take a short break now but I will see you soon somewhere in January. Enjoy New Year’s Eve with your loved ones, keep it safe and start 2015 with a bang!