Roma has had some iconic celebrations over the past decade. Who can forget the Totti selfie that defined his derby double back in 2015? Or Federico Balzaretti unleashing tears of joy after his own derby goal in 2013? Then, of course, there was the delirious arms outstretched sprint of Kostas Manolas when Roma shocked the world on that fateful night at the Olimpico. All make for great memories.
Yet, there’s another celebration that belongs up there with the best of them. It may not have meant as much in footballing terms. There wasn’t a derby victory or Champions League semifinal on the line, but, on a human level, the Alessandro Florenzi “nonna celebration” was a beautiful thing.
Back in 2014, before right back was a thought in anyone’s mind, and before he became one of the most divisive players at Roma, Florenzi was a young talent establishing himself in Rudi Garcia’s side. After a three goal and five assist campaign to start his Roma career, Giallorossi fans were excited to see what he could bring to the table.
Florenzi’s second season at his hometown club commenced in memorable fashion simply because he loves his nonna. Early that season in Roma’s third league match, Florenzi doubled Roma’s lead against Cagliari at the Olimpico. What followed turned into one of the most beautiful moments of the decade. After slotting home a Gervinho pass, Florenzi ran into the Olimpico stands. Where was he going? Well, to hug his nonna, of course.
This celebration showed us just how much many of our heroes are just like all of us. They may be blessed with loads more athletic talent and have much bigger bank accounts, yet, they are still human. And just like us, they have families who they love.
A young Florenzi, in his youthful exuberance, ran to the person in the stadium that meant the most to him. Someone who was with him through his entire calcio and life journey to that point. It was a beautiful reminder of just how human much of a human side there is to calcio.