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Totti Today #95: Live, laugh, Lobont

Totti, De Rossi, Florenzi, Lobont. One of those doesn't belong on that list you say? Think again my dear Sir or Madam. Lobont has every right to be on that list. Let me show you why.

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Of course, there's room for a bit of nuance first. The other three players are Roman born and bred, hugely popular in the city and already deserved their place in Roma's hall of fame. Totti is a living legend. Daniele is his heir and has been Francesco's sidekick since 2003. Young Alessandro is destined to follow in their footsteps and already has collected 150+ appearances for Roma since 2010 (his debut), at only 25 years of age. The future is safe. But Lobont, well, he's special too...

The Romanian joined Roma in 2009, making him one of the last Sensi transfers, a true survivor. But why exactly? Why did Bogdan stay around after all those years while others came and quickly went away with the speed of light? That remains a mystery as Lobont never really excelled or showed his skill set in Rome. His best season was 2011-2012 with a total of 9 Serie A appearances. He didn't even go out on loan, he just... well, existed. It's part of his 'legacy' I guess.

To be fair, sometimes we even joke about it in Church. "Oh Mancat, the world's greatest third-choice keeper", claiming he's far better than Woj or Curci or every other keeper that Roma had since 2009. But the truth is Lobont played zero official games for Roma since September 2013 and hasn't won a single prize in his Roman career. He could be described as the ideal training cone and a friend/mentor for the kids. Yet, that would be too little credit for the big man.

True, he's no material for a let's say PSG, Real or Bayern. Far from it. In his prime he played in the Netherlands and Romania and even won titles there. He was succesful at the two biggest clubs from Boekarest (Rapid and Dinamo), later he joined Ajax and celebrated the title in 2004. But a big offer never came his way. It was his ceiling. After a while at Ajax he rode the pine thanks to a certain Stekelenburg while a short stint at Fiorentina in Italy was also forgettable.

A return to Dinamo in 2007 was best for him but he still longed for one big name. AS Roma offered him that chance where he mainly acted in the shadows, the obvious choices were Morgan De Sanctis, Szczęsny and yup, that bloody Stekelenburg again. Zeman, Ranieri, Montella, Garcia and most recently Spalletti never got the balls to promote him as our true no1.

Still after all this time he rarely complains about his position in the team and helps people out where he can. He's a professional and he acknowledges that he isn't a world beater.  Plus he doesn't earn much, Every team needs a second and third keeper, hell even a fourth. To keep them all happy is a difficult thing. Unless they are named Lobont.

Some might say he's simply cashing in the easy way and enjoying life in Rome, but ask yourself the question: wouldn't you do the same damn thing at 35+? Would you feel more at ease with a 18-year-old Primavera keeper on the bench with zero experience or chemistry with his team mates? Lobont has won 4 titles in his career in two different countries and has been part of the club for seven seasons now, not a lot of people can say that in Rome. He's one of the last pieces of consistency this club has to offer. Every bit of respect for this man is justified.

The reason why I wrote this is because Bogdan recently got a contract extension from the management. Normally he was a free agent, but he decided to prolong his Roman career with two more years, until 2018. By that time he will be 40 when he retires in the Eternal City. Just like that other Roman God, Francesco Totti.

And that, my friends, is why Lobont deserves to be on that list.