It's contract extension season in the Italian capital. After Roma inked Riccardo Calafiori, Roger Ibañez, Rick Karsdorp, and a host of Primavera prospects to new deals over the past several weeks, the club has turned its attention to arguably the most important player on the women's team: club captain Elisa Bartoli.
The born and bred Roman has been showcasing her talents in Serie A Femminile for over a decade, plying her trade with Roma CF, Sassari Torres, and Fiorentina before joining up with her hometown club during Roma's inaugural season in 2018. Bartoli has made 58 appearances for the Giallorosse, scoring 10 goals along the way.
A captain since day one and one of the most intense players in the league, Bartoli has been the face of the franchise in many ways and earlier today the club rewarded Bartoli with a new contract, signing the 29-year-old left-back through 2023.
On her new deal, Bartoli touched upon the unique nature of playing for her hometown club:
As a Roman and Romanista, it is an honour and a privilege to continue to represent this club and my city.
As Giotto said, ‘Rome is the city of echoes, the city of illusions, and the city of yearning’ – and continue to yearn for more great wins and performances for this club.
I want to thank the club for giving me the chance to do that. Playing for Roma is a dream for me.
If you haven't had a chance to watch Bartoli play, I urge you to correct that mistake as soon as possible. If you miss the sight of a born and bred Roman leading and bleeding for the club, you'll love Bartoli. No offense to Lorenzo Pellegrini, who recently ascended to the ranks of Roman captains this season, but the passion and pride that comes with leading Roma beams off Bartoli's face whenever she's on the pitch. Much like Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi before her, you get an immediate sense that Bartoli understands and appreciates the weight and significance that comes along with a Romanista leading Rome.
With the full professionalization of women's football in Italy looming around 2023, Bartoli is set to usher the club into this new era, one that will hopefully see the Giallorosse become one of the most dominant sides in women's football.
But whether they climb they genuinely challenge Juventus and AC Milan for Serie A dominance or remain at arm's length, Bartoli's legacy as an ambassador for everything that makes Roma special and unique remains safe.