While I remain intrigued by the concept of the UEFA Nations League, I can’t help but be annoyed by the international break two weeks after the start of the Serie A season; it’s far too early and brings the entire football ecosystem to a screeching halt. Not only are we just getting used to the new faces and names, but it has a strange way of warping our collective sense of time: we have a spate of weekend matches before we move into the real prize, the Champions League, but thanks to this two week break, we lose all sense of time and momentum. When is the Real Madrid match? Next week? Tomorrow? Three years from now?
But I digress, with the release of the 25 man Champions League roster, that distant competition now has a sense of immediacy. Yesterday the club released the two dozen plus one men who will represent Roma in this seasons competition. While there were no real surprises, Nicolo Zaniolo’s banner week continued on, as he made EDF’s cut after receiving a similar honor from Azzurri headman Roberto Mancini.
The full list can be seen here—it was a real bear to copy and paste it for some reason, but it’s the standard roster plus some guy name Zan Celar. Another point of interest; his name may not have an apostrophe, but Nzonzi (full name: Steven Nkemboanza Mike Christopher Nzonzi) checks in with the longest name on the team; his passport was printed on A3 paper with a landscape adjustment, fyi.
Roma’s Champions League campaign kicks off on September 19th at the Bernabeu against Cristiano Ron...I mean Luka Modric and the rest of Real Madrid.