Part of our bread and butter at the Chiesa di Totti is tracking the performances of Roma's youth players. Heck, we spend nearly two weeks every summer ranking the top 10 U-23 talents in the system, so we tend to get excited when one of the club's up-and-comers gets recognized outside of our little corner of the world.
While José Mourinho and Tiago Pinto have been lauded for their work with the Giallorossi's youth sector, giving debuts and prominent roles to several U-23 players, they can't hold a candle to the work done by Head of Women's Football Betty Bavagnoli and Giallorosse manager Alessandro Spugna. From Giada Greggi to Lucia Di Guglielmo to Annamaria Serturini to Oihane Valdezate, Spugna and Bavagnoli have always given substantial responsibilities to the club's youngest players.
And while she hasn't entirely carved out a role with the senior side yet, 17-year-old Zara Kramzar is as talented as any kid to come through Roma's ranks since the club's inception in 2018. A tall and combative midfielder, Kramzar is slowly proving she can hack it against players with more than a decade on her. Still, her greatest gifts come on the ball, where she can finish with either foot, perhaps forecasting a change of position later on in her career.
But that's a matter for another day. In the here and now, Kramzar is already earning plaudits from industry insiders. Earlier this week, the 17-year-old Slovenian was named the most promising young player in European women's football by Mundo Deportivo, an award previously captured by current Ballon d'Or winner Aitana Bonmati.
After accepting the award, Kramzar immediately thanked the club and her teammates:
"First and foremost, I want to thank AS Roma for giving me this opportunity and for allowing me to be a part of such a great club."
"I also want to thank my agents and family for always being there for me. It means a lot to me, at only 17 years old, to be here and to have accomplished so much."
While she hasn't featured much for Roma over the past 18 months, Kramzar has found the back of the net four times in fewer than 400 minutes in all competitions. With veterans Manuela Giugliano, Saki Kumagai, and Giada Greggi entrenched in Roma's midfield, Kramzar is facing an uphill battle. Still, you can only keep a kid this talented down for so long, so don't be shocked if she makes her way into Spugna's rotation this season.