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The Fabulous Fabio Simplicio

Taking a trip down memory lane with one of Roma’s unlikeliest of heroes

AC Chievo Verona v AS Roma - Serie A
The Kit, The Man, The Memories
Photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images

Post-election results still got you down? Post-Atalanta match still breathing down your neck? Is your significant other bustin’ your chops? Well, I got just the thing for you.

Fabio Simplicio, midfielder extraordinaire and super-sub, is not a glorified name written in Roma’s history. Transferring from Palermo in 2010, he arrived after Ranieri’s near title run where Roma fell short to Inter by two points. The Brazilian came for free, earning a lowly 1.8 euros a season. Not a signing that excited the masses, but his no frills, no flair, box to box style saved Roma on numerous occasions. If you still don’t remember, he was the jolly one with the big smile and a clutch goal in the 2-1 semi-final Coppa Italia win against the Goat F... Fraternizers in 2010. Here it is in all it’s glory:

At first glance this goal may not appear like anything special, but if you watch it again you’ll notice Simplicio sprinting from the midfield to pounce on the ball. There were seven defenders around the! But he wanted it more. And the finish... so simple and sweet, sending Giuseppe Biava (who is currently on Atalanta, by the way) tumbling into the net like a clown on ice.

If you watch Simplicio’s highlight reel for Roma, you’ll see many similar goals to the one above. An unbelievable goal against Novara comes to mind where he dribbled through a throng of defenders, lost the ball, only to regain it again and score. The point is that Fabio was never expected to do much for Roma, and yet he scored eight goals in 41 matches, most them key, second half goals.

While his Roma career was short-lived, he is not forgotten. There are many who have donned the red and yellow, come and gone, sealing their name in the club’s history, some adored, some despised. I like to think Simplico belongs in the former catagory. His actions on the pitch showed a player grateful for the belief of his coach. Just last year he spoke to AS Roma Live about his time under Ranieri:

Today’s Roma could use a few Simplicios—those who work hard and get the ball into the net no matter what. Pure grit. No, not like Iturbe (see: ball into the net). This guy was something different. Someone to be remembered. So, turn up the volume, and let Fabio bring some joy into your day.