Some news and notes from around the realm of Roma.
Roma U19 Eliminated from UEFA Youth League
Alberto De Rossi’s Primavera squad was eliminated from the UEFA Youth League on Wednesday by Danish side FC Midtjylland. After finishing second in their group, Roma had to play a one match second round play-off against Midtjylland. The Giallorossi took an early lead through a Salvatore Pezzella goal. However, the Danes tied the score on a penalty kick a short time later. The match went scoreless the rest of the way and after 90 minutes went straight to PKs. In the shootout Roma was outscored 4-2, eliminating i Lupi from the tournament. A heartbreaking way to end the team’s European run.
On Tuesday, Kostas Manolas was recognized as the top Greek footballer playing abroad at the PSAP Awards. Manolas beat out notable players such as Mitroglu of Galatasaray and Sokratis of Arsenal. Besides the strong defending that Manolas has displayed in Giallorosso for five seasons, his 2018 calendar year was highlighted by the goal that completed Roma’s historic comeback against Barcelona.
Manolas wasn’t able to attend the award ceremony, but was represented by his uncle and released the following statement:
“I would like to be there with you, but my commitments with Roma do not allow it. I want to thank you for this award, for me it is an honor and a great motivation to continue like this.”
Zaniolo Rejects Raiola
According to reports, Nicolò Zanilo and his family have rejected advances from Italian super agent Mino Raiola. Raiola already has a star-studded list of clients, but for the time being Zaniolo won’t be joining the roll-call. Zaniolo is currently represented by Claudio Vigorelli and Nicolò’s father confirmed he will be staying with him, telling Gazzetta dello Sport, “We’ll stay with [Claudio] Vigorelli.”
Bombers on Defense
The old adage usually says that the best offense is a good defense; usually referring to a strong defense that means not much scoring is needed to win. However, Roma have interpreted that motto slightly differently this season. The normal meaning might have applied to Roma last season, but the Roma rearguard is contributing in a different way this term despite its struggles keeping opponents off the board.
With Aleksandar Kolarov and Federico Fazio finding the back of the net Monday against Bologna, Roma’s defenders have scored 15 goals. That means that 28% of the goals scored by the team have come from a defender. The leader of the back line scoring is Kolarov who has scored seven times in the league this season, making him the highest scoring defender in Europe’s top five leagues.
That's it for today's updates, but we have stories on Zaniolo, Florenzi and Kolarov in the hopper. Stay tuned!