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Totti Today #79: Jewels of the Nile

Michael Douglas and Danny DeVito once searched after the most prized asset of the Nile in a decent, not too shabby Hollywood flick, yet it seems our very own Walter has beaten them all. Salah and Stephan El Shaarawy truly are the faces of Roma’s recent renaissance.

Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Let’s take a look at the numbers from both men since Roma’s winning streak started way back in January: SES scored 5 goals in 6 Serie A games to date, Salah scored 6 goals in those 7 consecutive wins. Out of those 7 opponents, the Egyptians (one half Egyptian of course but c’mon, Stephan’s family name sounds like a bell) only failed to score against Sampdoria. In the other games at least of one of the dynamic duo celebrated on the pitch. And then I’m forgetting the wonderful combinations, assists, counters and dribbles both men showed to the crowds of Sassuolo, Empoli or the Olimpico in Rome.

A marriage made in heaven, sometimes it concurs in football. Two players in the right place, at the right time. For example we had the Totti-Cassano combo in attack, Benatia-Castan in defence. In midfield we had a lot of matches since the new millenium. From De Rossi, Pizarro, Perrotta, Mancini, Aquilani to Strootman, Pjanic and Nainggolan. Good footballers on their own remain good footballers. But if it clicks with other good footballers, they make each other exceptional footballers. Just see how Messi became even stronger since the arrival of Neymar and Suarez.

Salah was already considered a succesful transfer before the Pharoah came to town, but the arrival of his Egyptian buddy really kickstarted things in Rome. What a bunch of lucky basterds we are. To see this fairytale evolve right in front of our very eyes. If both men can perform in such a way, with only two months of training together and a trainer who barely knows both players… In Belgium we have a tv show called The Sky is the Limit. Well, who knows where their boundaries lie. We can only impatiently wait and look forward to Roma’s next match and see what everyone’s favorite duo has in store for us now.

*Obligated honorable mention to Diego Perotti who has settled in quite nicely as well. He eyes less spectacular and flashy than a Salah or El Sharaawy, still kudos to him and Sabatini for proving doubters wrong

Last but not least, we can’t and musn’t forget the brains behind this whole operation. The man who has completely transformed this team, put the faith back into the team and teached them the basics of neat and smart football (passing, movement), just like he did in 2005. From a club that disappointed its own fans (even when they won!!) to a club that is once again loveable and popular. It won’t be long until people find their way back to the stadium, we need a loud and imposing Stadio Olimpico once more. A strong fortress is always an advantage.

One question stays on the tip my tongue: Can Spalletti repeat or even break his Roman record of 11 consecutive wins in Serie A? In the next 6 Serie A games only Inter and the derby may turn out to be party poopers, but both games are at home. So can they eventually make it past 11? That will depend on exactly two players, you know who I’m talking about.

Somewhere out there, Michael Douglas and Danny DeVito must be punching themselves for letting such jewels get away.