Living several thousand miles away from the center of the Serie A universe, there is nothing I loathe more than the dreaded lunchtime kickoff. What must be great for Italians, a nice midday match at 12:30 when you’ve already had your cappuccino and biscotti and done your daily ablutions, is a complete nightmare for us in the Western Hemisphere. Waking up before sunrise on a Sunday was a crime in colonial days, punishable by days, if not weeks, in the stockades, where children in buckled hats would throw cabbage at you and curse your name.
However, with Roma’s week 25 victory in the books, I didn’t have to worry about any pre-dawn calcio today. But, as is my routine, one of the first things I do every morning is check for Serie A news. And, well, the news today was not good.
While the Scudetto is decidedly a two horse race between Napoi and Juventus, that doesn’t stop the Old Lady from channeling their inner New England Patriots, cheating and whinging all the way to a win.
Exhibit A: Giorgio Chiellini
What is the meaning of life? Is there a superior being? Is the universe finite? What is consciousness? How does Chiellini keep getting away with it? pic.twitter.com/IxbZZ9DprM— DeRossi’s Tattoo (@RomaThings) February 18, 2018
While that’s not the most egregious thing Chiellini has ever done on a pitch, it was nevertheless a blatant strike to Andrea Belotti’s face, was it not? Yet there was no foul, no card, no retribution of any sort.
But that’s fine, Chiellini was once a Roma prospect and gets a lifetime pass from me for baiting Luis Suarez during the horrific 2014 World Cup, but this next clip really knocked the sleep out my eyes, not to mention nearly making me vomit.
#TorinoJuve quando il dolore è lancinante... pic.twitter.com/lcaggmQtWk— Maurizio Zaccone (@maurizaccone) February 18, 2018
My Italian is, shall we say, still developing, but even I can sense the seething sarcasm in that caption, which was just, muah! Perfetto! Miralem Pjanic must have some adamantium in him because he recovered from that agonizing pain in an instant, popping up to give the ref (whose paycheck must have been delayed this week) a piece of his mind.
All of this got me to thinking...I really do not miss Miralem Pjanic one iota. I try to refrain from cursing on here, particularly in relation to the character of a particular player, but suffice it to say, I don’t think highly of Pjanic anymore. Loved him while he was here and delighted in watching him orchestrate Roma’s attack and his free kicks were must see TV, but after clandestinely scheming his Juve move, he moved to the top spot of my Dunzo List, where his *%&@ like behavior since then has kept him firmly planted.
This, then, got me thinking—well, which former Roma player do I miss most? Which guy tugs hardest at my heartstrings?
Unfortunately, given Roma’s financial situation, there are no shortage of candidates, but for me it’s Marquinhos. While Roma’s backline has been fine without him, something about his backstory makes his meteoric rise all the more impressive. While I’m sure those in the know where at least aware of his existence, Roma signed him at the behest of Leandro Castan, who saw something in Hos spry legs and charming yet crooked smile.
We all know the story from there, Marquinhos became a lock in Zeman’s starting lineup by October 2012, and by July of the following year he was gone, shipped off to PSG for a cool €31ish million, a record for an adolescent at the time.
Roma has done well enough without him, as they were able to recruit Mehdi Benatia and then Kostas Manolas to take his place, but just imagine Hos, Greece Lightning and Federico Fazio in a three man backline—oof, that would have been a site.
So, which Roma line-item budget note do you miss most?
Which former (sold) Roma player do you miss most?
This poll is closed