The World Cup has come and gone in a flash, and while no Romans, either through birth or employment, hoisted the Jules Rimet, it was a successful month for Roma's boys in Brazil nonetheless. Gervinho scored two goals and set up another for the Ivory Coast, Vasilis Torosidis played each and every minute during Greece's campaign, Daniele De Rossi looked like one of the few Azzurri who actually gave a damn, Maicon became an indispensable part of Brazil's rotation as they advanced through the semi-finals, and Miralem Pjanic's debut was as good as they come. Pjanic created a scoring chance once every 22 minutes and 30 seconds, the best mark in the tournament for those who played at least 180 minutes.
Despite the lack of hardware, this quintet served Roma fans proud, so hopefully they will get some much deserved rest before the pre-season really kicks off. While we unwind from the World Cup, let's take a quick trip through the rumor mill to see what, if anything, has changed now that the world's collective attention turns back to club football.
Roma shook off the World Cup hangover by introducing their first signing of the summer, Seydou Keita, though I have no clue why they waited so long to make it official. Keytou, most recently of Barcelona, signed a one-year deal with the Giallorossi, which, if you believe him, was at his behest.
I've got a one-year contract but I actually asked if I could focus on just one season...If things go well, both the club and I will be happy to extend my stay. A year is a long time - it's a daily battle over 9 months
Keita certainly said all the right things in his first press conference; he seems to already have a grasp on the clubs broader aims and his role within them. This signing wasn't meant to win the hearts and minds, but rather to help the club slog through the three-matches-in-ten-days spans they'll surely face on multiple occasions this season; a road which Keita has traveled numerous times in his career.
AS Roma (@OfficialASRoma) July 14, 2014
Keita will wear the #20 made famous by Michel Bastos.
The US version of RomaNews, which is, depending on one's POV, either a blessing or a curse, gives a full transcript of Keita's press conference, in which he touches upon everything from the Africa Cup of Nations (He's going if Mail qualifies) to his knee injury (its better) to Rudi Garcia (he's heard of him).
If ever there were a player in need of decompressing this week, its Maicon. Big Doug has been a fixture in the Selecao for years now, so you can rest assured, Brazil's humiliating performance this month is weighing heavily on his shoulders. But, that hasn't distracted Maicon from the next item on his agenda, extending his Roma career.
Now it is too early to talk about the Scudetto, but I see that we are buying players and they all seem good, let’s move forward and see...Certainly I do not want to leave Roma. Indeed, the first thing I’m going to do now the World Cup is finished will be to call Sabatini - I want to renew right away - I am not thinking of leaving
There is little doubt that Roma and Rudi Garcia aided and abetted Maicon's return to the national fold, and with many already questioning what motivation Maicon has left after achieving his World Cup dream, this is surely a good sign.
Now, whether or not it's smart for Roma to extend him beyond 2015 is an entirely different story; fullbacks don't age terribly well.
Hey, speaking of old fullbacks....
Cole is a fantastic player, now he’s got this chance at Roma, a very warm club. He’s going to love Italy, he played a lot in the Premier League, this move will do him well...Of course the Serie A will make him improve, he is already a great player, exceptional, and also a responsible guy, a professional. I’m sure he will be a great signing for Roma.
Well, if Roma's new fullback was to receive praise from anyone, you can't do much better than Cafu, right?
It's hard to tell if Bayern's latest assertion is valid or just part of the usual transfer song and dance. There are just a ton of variables in this transfer: Shaqiri is good enough for Munich, of course, but he's far enough down the teamsheet where it might make sense to sell, Roma may be the only legitimate suitors at this point, so Bayern can only hold so firm to their valuation, yet Bayern are admitted admirers of Mehdi Benatia, a player whom Roma might be forced to sell themselves.
At some point, these stars will align, but Roma's self-imposed Benatia deadline is just a week away. Stay tuned
Umm, yeah. If you're still curious as to why Roma can't really compete with the ultra-heavyweights, here's reason #1. United is set to ditch Nike after the impending season, signing a 10-year deal with Adidas, valued at some €945,000,000. That's not a typo, those zeros are legit. Fuckin hell, the annual payment on that alone is more than Roma spends in the transfer market in two years.
In American dollars, its a $1.3 billion deal, or roughly $130 million per year....for shirts and shorts. The previous high, set by Adidas and Real Madrid, paid a measly $41 million a year. And thats on top of the reported $560 million they're receiving from General Motors to sponsor those kits.
Whatever, that Chevy logo still looks like an abomination.