AS Roma may still be relative newbies to women's football, but the pride and passion of the city, the club, and the people of Rome have found a new home in Serie A Femminile thanks in large part to left-back and club captain Elisa Bartoli. Like Agostino Di Bartolomei, Francesco Totti, and Daniele De Rossi before her, Bartoli represents this club as only a true Roman can, showcasing the same skill, grace, passion, and ferocity as her male predecessors. Through good times and bad, she carries herself with dignity, distinction, and class, personifying everything we love but can't quite describe about Roma.
In mind, body, and spirit, Bartoli is a worthy heir to those Roma legends and a fitting standard-bearer for the club's new venture into women's football. And, as it just so happens, she's also one of the best players in the league, providing Roma (and the national team) with a level of two-way play that only top full-backs can provide—a trend she continued throughout this hellscape of a year.
Given the almost complete lack of publicly available statistics for Serie A Femminile, we can't wholly quantify what makes Bartoli so special, but with three goals in little more than 1,100 minutes, Bartoli was the second-highest scoring defender in the league during the 2019-2020 season.
And if you follow the Giallorosse closely, you know that Bartoli is equally effective in defense, where she works in close concert with Tecla Pettenuzzo to limit the opponent's opportunities down the left flank while jump-starting Roma's counters in the blink of an eye. Bartoli isn't the biggest defender on the pitch, but her technique, commitment, and complete lack of fear make her an active and effective defender, while her ability on the ball and sheer pace facilitates Roma's ability to transition from defense to attack.
Roma's results may have been disappointing in 2020, but it was seldom because of Bartoli, whose unique blend of attacking acumen, athleticism, and defensive work rate makes her an exceedingly rare commodity: the full-back who can do it all.
And with 44% of your vote, she edged out Annamaria Serturini to become Chiesa di Totti's Female Player of the Year.