Number 7: Federico Ricci
Age: 22 (born May 27, 1994)
Height: 1.75m (5 ft, 9 in)
Position: Winger / Forward
Previous Club: Crotone (on loan for two years)
Current Club: Roma
Future Comparison: Giuseppe Rossi
Who Is He?
The first Italian to appear on our list, Federico Ricci was born on May 27th, 1994 in the great city of Rome. He’s been around Trigoria for quite some time at this point (especially compared to many of our other U23 prospects); Ricci started playing for the Primavera in 2012, and garnered enough attention to get his first Serie A debut on December 1, 2013.
After such a quick rise to the senior squad, it was certainly surprising that Ricci made little to no noise for the next few years. When he was loaned to Crotone for the past two seasons, many expected that we had seen the last of Federico. Yet, not unlike his Roman friend Alessandro Florenzi, Ricci was able to use a loan to Crotone to turn heads. Ricci notched 12 goals in 60 appearances for the Calabrian side over two years, with eleven of those goals coming from last season alone. The goals weren’t fluff either; Ricci was unquestionably a key cog in a squad that earned promotion to Serie A for the first time.
What Can He Do?
Ricci’s calling card is his technical ability and eye for goal. He’ll never be a speed demon like many in our current stable of wingers, but his time at Crotone (and even his limited minutes with the senior squad a few years back) showed that he has the dribbling ability and the brains to be a successful attacking player on the Italian peninsula. His successful loan to Crotone isn’t the only way that he’s similar to Alessandro Florenzi, either; he’s played well in nearly every attacking position while on loan, and it seems as if he can fit in to nearly anywhere on the field for Luciano Spalletti, which bodes well for his future with i Lupi.
What Can He Become?
I hope to do what Florenzi did. My aim is to perform at the highest level and my dream is to play for Roma, as I am a Giallorossi fan. Alessandro has trodden this path before me and I want to follow in his footsteps.
Ricci is a bit of an outlier in our countdown in the sense that he’s both on the older end of the spectrum and has not received significant top-flight first-team minutes. Yet he’s certainly showcased his talent while on loan at Crotone, and if Luciano Spalletti and the Roma management decide to hold on to Federico Ricci (which is looking more and more likely as rumors of a Juan Iturbe sale begin to take shape), it looks like Roma’s new #27 may be able to put in good minutes as a backup to any of the attacking positions.
At the very least, Ricci is valuable in the sense that he can fill one spot in Roma’s homegrown quota for the long-term. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have Romans in the squad, and for many the heart and ability of players like Francesco Totti, Daniele De Rossi, and Alessandro Florenzi are a huge reason to support the Capitoline club. Will Ricci follow in their footsteps? It’s too early to say, but it certainly makes me smile when a Roman fights for a spot in the first team.