We talk a lot about Roma lifers around here, mostly as it pertains to the local kids who rise through the ranks and carve out a career with the senior team, but when it comes to the Roma women, we can apply that tag literally. Since their inception in the summer of 2018, the Giallorosse have been led by a handful of stalwarts who signed on the dotted line that summer and remain with the club to this day. Club captain Elisa Bartoli is perhaps the most well-known Roma lifer, but midfielder Vanessa Bernauer—she of the Coppa Italia winning penalty kick—has been at the Tre Fontane since day one.
With a trophy cabinet full of accolades from her days with Wolfsburg in the Frauen Bundesliga, including two league titles, four cup triumphs, and two Champions League runners-up medals, Bernauer brought a level of class, sophistication, and experience to Roma's start-up midfield back in 2018.
And since then, the Swiss midfielder has been an integral part of Roma's progress through Serie A Femminile, logging nearly 60 appearances in all competitions, filling a variety of roles for Betty Bavagnoli's Giallorosse sides.
With the club transitioning to life under new manager Alessandro Spugna, and with the general contractual uncertainty that comes with being a Serie A Femminile player, we weren't quite sure whether or not Bernauer would extend her stay in the Italian capital.
Well, worry no more:
Another year!— AS Roma Women (@ASRomaWomen) July 20, 2021
Vanessa Bernauer will extend her stay at the club until 2022! ️
#ASRomaWomen #ASRoma pic.twitter.com/zzZXmluJfg
Moments ago, the club announced that the 33-year-old Zurich native has signed a new deal through June 2022. On her new deal, Bernauer spoke about her continuing story with Roma:
I am delighted to renew my contract, and to wear this shirt for a fourth season,
By winning the Coppa Italia last season we achieved something historic, in an historic match, one where I was lucky enough to score the decisive penalty. It was a result that we had worked so hard to achieve.
The story is not over, however, and as a team we now need to focus on the new targets that we want to be celebrating with the club and our fans next season. Daje Roma!
In her three years with Roma, Bernauer has been (no pun intended) a Swiss army knife for the club, playing all over midfield, providing defensive cover, doing the dirty box-to-box work, and even playing in more advanced roles—her importance to the squad cannot be overstated, so this is no run of the mill contract extension.
With Bernauer back for another year and Giada Greggi now fully healed from her ACL surgery, Roma's midfield is arguably the deepest component of Spugna's new squad, particularly if/when the club officially announces the signing of Brazilian veteran Thaisa.
Either way, this is a happy day. Bernauer has joined the ranks of players like Kevin Strootman and Radja Nainggolan; outsiders who have wormed their way into the deepest recesses of Roman hearts—the Giallorosse wouldn't feel quite the same without her.
Roma will begin their pre-season training regime this weekend at the Enrico Leoncini sports center in Terminillo, so look for our season preview series to start in early August.