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Totti Today: Memoirs of an Old Lady

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Before the ultimate clash between good and evil, JonAS rakes up some memories of Juve-Roma battles

Serie A - Roma v Juventus

Juventus, aaah, welcome back my old nemesis. Ever since I started watching Roma, there’s always been some sort of hate towards the Bianconeri. Perhaps because they’re the most success club in Italy. Perhaps because they can brag with the best players in Serie A since, like, forever. Perhaps because their jerseys remind me of jail and I don’t wanna go back there (just kiddin’, I’m no convict). Unless Roma lose 5-0 on Saturday, then I’m going to murder someone.

I just can’t help it, I can’t put up the least bit of sympathy for that club. The only players at Juve who I kinda admired or liked since I follow Serie A are Buffon and Del Piero. That’s about it. But I’m not the only one, oooh no. Ask some random tifosi around Rome to give their top 3 of most despised clubs in the world and Juve’s bound to be up there somehow, next to Lazio.

Back when I was just a little Giallorosso with pubes, around 2002, Juve’s squad was bursting with talent and big names: Buffon, Del Piero, Davids, Zambrotta, Conte, Nedved, Trezeguet, Camoranesi, Thuram to name a few. A couple of years later you had household names like Zlatan, Vieira, Tiago, Diego, Grosso, Chiellini and Cannavaro.

Then you had the Antonio Conte era with guys like Marchisio, Vidal, Bonucci, Pirlo, Barzagli and Pogba. Fast forward to 2017 and there’s Higuain, Dybala, Pjanic, Mandzukic and Khedira. In short: Juve’s always had the firepower and talent in abundance. A relatively big and stacked squad. A well-oiled machine.

Winning six titles in a row also doesn’t help your popularity outside of Turin. Since 2012 Juve has won the Scudetto each season. Even worse, they did a double (Serie A and Coppa) three consecutive seasons now. Since 2015 every mayor prize in Italy went to the Bianconeri (bar the Supercoppa but that’s just a prestigious friendly anyway). So not only the Giallorossi hate them, but also the Laziale, Milanese fans and the ones in Napoli.

Their condemnation to Serie B in 2006 was amusing for us fans, but it only lasted one year. Which was predictable to say the least. They had some hiccups when they returned to Serie A (twice seventh in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011) but since 2012 it has always been Juve Juve Juve. Mostly with a boulevard of points between them and the rest. They also reached the Champions League final twice, so yeah, that made them even more arrogant. For an ambitious team like Roma, this was painful to watch.

This season though Roma, Inter and especially Napoli seem to finally stand their ground and keep up with the Bianconeri. It looks set to be an exciting season once again, the pace set by the top teams is extraordinary.

Anyway, back to the whole point of this Totti Today: even though we all love to hate them, Juventus have always been formidable foes, you gotta respect that. They provide interesting match-ups, controversial refereeing and heated moments. Just think about Totti’s gesture with four fingers after winning 4-0 or the two dubious penalties in the 3-2 defeat in 2014. Or the booing when Emerson, Zebina, Osvaldo, Vucinic or Pjanic returned to Rome in black and white kits?

On Saturday things are going to be fiery as usual, because both teams are in the middle of a Scudetto race so losing points against a direct rival could be fatal. But let’s just put that game aside for a moment and relive some of the best clashes between Roma and Juventus in recent times.

2004 : Roma - Juve 4-0

Probably the most popular one since the 2000s. Rarely had Roma beaten Juve with such a high score. Cassano’s final celebration tops it all off. A classic.

2010: Juve -Roma 1-2

Mainly thanks to Riise’s amazing last-gasp winner. You’ll be forever in my heart, John. 2009-2010 will always be a very special season and this was one of the highlights of it. After four consecutive defeats against Juve (home and away), Roma finally took the scalp of the Bianconeri, in Turin by the love of God! Tip: look for the Zampa celebration after Riise’s goal on YouTube as well, it’s gold.

2013: Roma Totti - Juventus 1-0

Heeeeeere’s Zampa again! What a screamer by Francesco against his old friend Buffon. The then 36-year-old Totti beat Gigi with a rocket after a rebound, 25 or so meters from goal. According to some sites, the speed of the shot was approx. 113 Km/H. One of the finest goals ever in a Roma-Juventus match, that’s for sure! It was Roma’s first win against Juve in six attempts.

1995: Roma - Juventus 3-0

This one’s a bit older. It was Totti’s breakout season with 4 goals in 21 games as a teenager and he also started this game. Led by Giannini, Balbo and Aldair, Roma convincingly beat Juventus on its own turf. Carlo Mazzone was head coach back then. It didn’t really made a difference in the league though as Juve easily won the Scudetto while Roma ended fifth.

2014: Gervinho’s goal in the Coppa

Of course there are a lot of other memorable games, especially in the Coppa Italia. For instance Roma knocked out Juve in 2006 and 2011, twice on their own turf. Gervinho’s goal in 2014 at the Olimpico as an absolute beauty though. Yao is and will forever remain a mystery as a professional football player. IMO one of Roma’s weirdest players, but thanks to goals like this his name lives on in Giallorossi hearts and minds.

So what are your favorite moments against the Jailbirds? I’m particularly curious about the older fans here in Church (games from the seventies and eighties perhaps?). Just let all the emotion loose in the comment section below!