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Reliving Roma: Mancini Makes Fools of Lyon

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His post Roma-days haven’t been anything to be proud of, but he’ll always have this goal.

UEFA Champions League Quarter Final: AS Roma v Manchester United Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

So, Roma bottled it in a important match for the Scudetto. Regardless of team quality and the change of year, it always goes down to this. It's frustrating but such is the nature of the Roma love, isn't it? To love in the darkest of football's winters. Or something like that.

It's going back to Lyon and returning to the times of yore where things, ten years ago, were simpler and, in its nature, better. 2007 was, at least to yours truly, one of the best years in football: it was my first season watching the game from the get go and the aesthetics of Roma and United (my other love) were massive in me; their football just made me love the game even more.

So Roma goes to Lyon and they faced each other in a match that now may fill both sides with nostalgia. UEFA Champions League. Both teams playing great football. Just look at the freaking lineups and see the players on both sides: Juninho, Pizarro, Mancini, Taddei, Tiago, Malouda, Revelillere, Perrotta, Abidal. God, those were teams back in the day! That was when the Champions League was truly a marvelous tournament and not the elitist charade that is nowadays, thanks to football's overpowering super-clubs.

This one is not about the match (which Roma won in great fashion, by the way), but by a moment of sheer and immaculate beauty. One that still makes me love this sport and one of the first truly unforgettable goals that I ever saw live. Totti already made his mark in my little heart the season before and now it was Mancini's turn.

I don't know about you, but I always love Mancini's style and game. Sure, he was a bit of douche for leaving us for Inter (Roma has been a bridesmaid in every sense of the word in the last decade or so for footballers), but I'll never forget that, on his day, he was unplayable and a joy to watch. Perhaps it childhood-induced memories, but moments like that, like the moment that became eternal in my heart, soul and heart, cannot be undermined.

The finesse of his skills to attack Revelliere, one hell of a right-back, the speed of the whole thing and the clinical finish against Coupet was proof of how good could Mancini be on a Roma shirt with a consistency and determination. It was fast, it was full of technique and it had a certain aesthetic feel to it; very La Magica-like, really.

A goal for dreamers, if you ask me.

And of course, the Classical Roman Capitulation was near, as always: Roma faced United in a battle that torn my heart apart, with the English side thrashing the Italian one 7-1 at Old Trafford. That was the end for Roma in the competition, but things would not there for the club in Luciano's first stint in the capital: victories against Madrid, Chelsea, Inter and a Coppa Italia (Roma's last title) in 2008 were some of the greatest memories that the club's last truly great side gave us.

I'm not asking Roma for epic goals against Lyon in the upcoming match; I'm older now, I have a different view of the world that I live in and I just want a good result that could secure the next round for the Giallorrossi in the easiest possible way. I don't want an epic battle between Lacazette and Manolas, Memphis against Peres or Tolisso against Dani. I just want to win.

But I do want Roma to make me dream again; make me dream like in the times of the distant memories.