If Roma's return to the Champions League last season wasn't a microcosm of life as a Roma fan, I don't know what is. The pure elation of qualifying for the tournament after the 2013-2014 season was quickly torn asunder once Roma was slotted into the group of death, facing Bayern Munich, Manchester City and CSKA Moscow, each champions of their respective domestic leagues.
That depression soon turned to cockeyed optimism as Roma destroyed CSKA and managed to steal a point from City on the road. While they probably weren't going to win their group, survival in the group of death was a real possibility, but then, well, you remember what happened, Roma were embarrassed by Munich, coughed up two points at the death to Moscow and were ultimately sent packing by City on the final group stage match day.
So, it is with our eternal sense of cautious optimism that we watched this season's Champions League draw, anxiously awaiting the teams that would alternatively crush our spirits and inflate our optimism to dangerous heights.
In contrast to last season's group of death, Roma's adversaries this year, Barcelona, Bayer Leverkusen and BATE Borisov, represents a different sort of challenge. Barca is obviously the heavyweight of this group, and considering how easily they handled Roma this summer, the odds will be stacked against the Giallorossi in those fixtures.
While it's easy to dismiss Leverkusen as a German also-ran, they've started the Bundesliga season a perfect two-for-two after finishing fourth last season, reaching the group stages by defeating Lazio in the playoffs earlier this week.
As far as BATE is concerned, well, let's just hope Roma doesn't drop any points because odds are those two matches will make the difference between second and third place in this group. Barca's winning this group, don't kid yourselves.
While Roma could've been casted into an easier lot, at least they avoided Group A, where PSG and Real Madrid should reign supreme.
Champions League play kicks-off on September 15th and 16th , by which point Roma's squad should finally be solidified....we hope.