He may defy positional descriptions, but Alessandro Florenzi just has it—the touch, the tenacity and the thousand watt smile--that makes you think he can do anything, even though he may never be the best player on the pitch. From bicycle kicks to celebrations with his gramma, Florenzi has already made quite the name for himself in the Eternal City. Florenzi is a Roman through and through, so none of that is really surprising. The kid affectionately known as Ale could have the most non-descript career ever and never have to pay for meal in Rome—that's just the way it is with local boys who come good with the Giallorossi.
However, for much of his brief career, Florenzi remained a local legend. Sure, he was idolized in the City of Seven Hills and lauded among more serious Serie A circles, but his acclaim outside of the peninsula was effectively nil.
That all changed on September 16, 2015.
The play started off like any other match against Barcelona—defenders scrambling around, desperately chasing the ball and hoping one of Barca's 15 or so global icons doesn't torch you in the blink of an eye. So in that sense, it was just like any other day, but Florenzi and Roma managed to find the fatal flaw in Barcelona's blueprint--they seized the moment.
Barcelona has ruled the 21st century because they're the masters of the moment. By dominating possession and passing circles around opponents, Barcelona decides how, when and where the match will unfold; there is no room for discussion or debate, just accept your fate and hope it's not too demoralizing.
Moments do arise, periodically, when Barca let's their guard down—when flaws in their grand plan become exposed—and you knew from the second he intercepted the ball, Florenzi had captured one of those moments.
But who in their right mind expected that? Sure, Ale had momentum on his side, but with the Barca defense closing down on him, and with no teammates in sight, Florenzi did the only thing the moment allowed—the unthinkable.
Place Florenzi in that exact same moment, in that exact same match, and against that exact same opponent a million times and he may never pull that one off again.
But that's just what Ale does, the unthinkable.
Cast your vote for Florenzi's wonder strike here.