AS Roma. This club. This fuckin’ club. Never shy to amaze people or leave them in tears in the space of two minutes. While we had our fair share of drama in the last few days, I think it’s time to once again put a smile on that face, Heath Ledger style.
The year is 2010. The month is January. And everybody in and around Rome is as happy as can be. Ranieri’s Roma is on fire, with five wins on the trot including Juventus away and two Coppa Italia matches. They’re not only aiming for the Italian cup but also the ultimate comeback in Serie A, chasing Mourinho’s Inter Milan at the top.
On January 31, a certain Tuscan side visits the Olimpico and everyone expects a sixth consecutive win for Claudio’s men. Siena were one of the relegation contenders while Roma was on the rise. However, after 87 minutes the score is still surprisingly 1-1, after goals from John ‘Jar Jar Binks’ Riise and Vergassola. The crowd is nervous, so are the players. Then, it happens. Roma happens. But in a good way, not the ‘hey, let’s throw away this 2-0 lead because who needs points when you can have mediocrity’-way.
A quick free-kick from Pizarro to Pit (LOL, PiPi, ahem, don’t mind me). Adrian Pit ‘Pronounced Piz’ with a sneaky cross from the left side to Okaka in the centre… Boom! A backheel goal of which Javier Pastore would be proud. No keeper on earth would have saved that. 2-1 and three unexpected points in the bag, a very important victory in the race for the Scudetto. The Olimpico explodes.
But what the fans will always remember is the following celebration after the goal, with main actors Okaka and Daniele De Rossi. Our dear Daniele, who’s in the spotlights these days. After his goal, Okaka runs to the Curva Sud with Dani behind him. You see Daniele gesticulate: ‘Cosa hai fatto? What have you done?! This is it, boy. THIS is your moment. You’ve done it. Enjoy! Go on. Run! Run like your life depends on it! Run to our fans!’ Don’t forget Stefano was only 20 years and hailed as the next big thing from Roma’s Primavera. He was only a kid back then.
Together they jump on the fences like a madman, celebrating with the crazy tifosi on the front rows. Dani hugging the crap out of Stefano. And look at that! A third hero, Pit, the one with the assist, joins the festivities. We also see Baptista, Cerci among others. All this while Carlo Zampa is screaming ‘Jay-Jay, Jay-Jay’! It truly was a magical moment. Babies were made in Rome that evening (and they are probably all named Stefano).
De Rossi, Pit, Okaka. Three men with very different career paths. Two have quit AS Roma a long time ago. The third one, Dani, will leave the club next week after 18 seasons and after giving 110% each game he featured.
These are moments we must savor as a fan, in order to forget all the misery or decisions this club has taken time and time again. This is what Roma stood/stands for. Emotions. Drama. Feeling warm and fuzzy inside.
Whether you were in the Stadio that day, or 8000 km away in the US or, like me, 1500 km away in Belgium, you felt it too. That feeling. This is exactly why we chose Roma. Never regret that. Ever.
Grazie Jay-Jay, grazie Pit. And grazie Daniele for making this goal even more special thanks to your youthful enthusiasm, fire and energy.