We'll admit being prone to hyperbole around here, but it was hard to understate how huge a signing Manuela Giugliano was for Roma last summer. Fresh off their first season in existence, one in which they finished a respectable fourth place, the Giallorosse were lacking a bit of punch and creativity in the midfield. So when they signed Giugliano, who was fresh off an impressive season with Milan and an even more impressive run with Italy at the 2019 World Cup, it was the perfect marriage of player, talent and need. Giugliano was everything Roma needed at that moment: a steady, creative and silky smooth midfielder.
With injuries limiting her to only 12 appearances and fewer than 1,000 minutes, Giugliano's first season in the capital wasn't quite as glamorous as we'd hoped, but she still managed two goals in her dozen starts.
Despite that somewhat lost season—she played twice as many minutes the prior year—Giugliano, who turns 23 next week, remains a pillar for Betty Bavagnoli's side, and earlier today the club proved that faith by signing Giugliano to a new deal:
Financial details of the deal weren't disclosed but Giugliano cited the family atmosphere as a reason for extending her stay with Roma:
I’ve changed clubs a lot but I’ve never been able to find stability at any team. Roma showed they really wanted to sign me and when I came here and spoke to the club, I felt at home right away. Because of the way I am, it’s really important for me to feel like I’m part of a family. I knew that I was making the right decision straight away, and everything that happened last year only confirmed that.
The team welcomed me from the start and made me feel like an important part of the group. When you have a good relationship with your team-mates, it helps you to express yourself better on the pitch. I decided to sign a new deal to 2023 because I feel good, I’ve found a family here and I hope to stay here for as long as possible and win a few trophies for the club.
The club's family atmosphere has been cited by several players when signing and/or extending with the club, and it's certainly a feeling that transmits when watching the match or following the players on social media; they have a bond and rapport that you seldom see in professional sports.
Giugliano's new deal marks the third extension the club has handed out to their core players, following earlier deals inked by Agnese Bonfantini and Allyson Swaby over the past several months. With Italy transitioning to the professionalization of women's sports starting in the 2022-2023, laying the groundwork with their star players should hopefully ensure a smooth transition to that long awaited day. Giugliano is one of several standout players under the age of 25 that should serve as the platform for what will hopefully be a brighter and more lucrative future for the club in 2022 and beyond.
Giugliano and the rest of the Giallorosse will kick off their 2020-2021 campaign on August 23rd against Sassuolo. Look for our pre-season coverage next week.