We've talked a lot (like a lot) about goalkeepers in these spaces over the past two years or so. The men/women between the sticks was never really a hot topic of conversation for Roma fans, mostly because we accepted the fact that, when it came to Roma keepers, chaos ruled the roost. But that all changed in 2015 when the club signed Wojciech Szczesny on loan from Arsenal, ushering in a golden era of goalkeeping in the Eternal City, a brief three-year span in which Roma sported two of the best keepers in the game: Woj and Alisson Becker.
However, following Alisson's transfer to Liverpool in the summer of 2018, we've slipped back into the dark ages, with Roma relying on snake oil rather than genuine medicine to solve their goalkeeping crisis. And unfortunately, this approach has afflicted the Roma women, too.
Since the club's inception in 2018, the Giallorosse have experimented with four different keepers: Rosalia Pipitione, Valentina Casaroli, Rachele Baldi, and Camelia Ceasar, who the club brought aboard last season from AC Milan.
During her debut season with Roma in 2019-2020, Ceasar was arguably the second-best keeper in Serie A, trailing only Juventus’ Laura Giuliani for the league lead in clean sheets. What Ceasar lacked in stature she more than made up for with athleticism, possessing the kind of “ups” you typically only see on an NBA hardwood, which she used to her advantage numerous times last season, delighting Roma fans with an array of acrobatic saves.
However, with Pipitone entering the twilight of her career and slipping down the pecking order, Roma opted to sign Empoli's Rachele Baldi last summer, who ostensibly replaced Casaroli as Roma's number two keeper. Baldi, who has a definitive height and strength advantage over Ceasar, started the year as Roma's number two before earning a surprising start in Roma's week three matchup against Empoli.
Ceasar's first two starts of the season were solid enough—one win, one draw—so it's hard to explain why Betty Bavagnoli made that change, but with Baldi between the sticks for the next six matches, the Giallorosse's defense was suddenly suspect, leaking eight goals in that span.
Bavagnoli came to her senses in week nine, reinserting Ceasar as Roma's starter, and since then the Romanian keeper has pitched four clean sheets in eight matches, helping Roma rip off 10 wins in their past 11 matches.
And today the club rewarded the 23-year-old keeper with a new one-year contract extension, keeping her in the capital through 2022.
I’ve always associated Roma with passion...But I only realised the truth of that when I put on this shirt for the first time and saw the fans at Stadio Tre Fontane.
The atmosphere they create at our ground pushes me on to give my best in every game - it’s something magical.
It is an honour and a privilege to be able to continue to represent this club.
Roma have done well to lock down the core of this team, extending a handful of new contracts to players like Agnese Bonfantini, Manuela Giugliano, Elisa Bartoli, and Claudia Ciccotti over recent weeks and months, and with the capture of Elena Linari and the looming professionalization of women's football in Italy, Roma's future is incredibly bright.
And while she doesn't necessarily cut an imposing figure on the pitch, Camelia Ceasar will be a huge part of that future.