Scudetto winner, Coppa Italia champion, a three-time Serie A Team of the Year member, and World Cup veteran. Elisa Bartoli has worn many hats in her career, but five years ago, an honor on her arm likely meant the most to the 31-year-old Bartoli.
When Roma made their first foray into women's football in 2018, Bartoli was the logical choice for captain. Not only was she a two-time champion and a stalwart for the Italian National Team, but she was also born in right Rome and even began her career with RES Roma, a sort of precursor to the Giallorosse.
And with nearly 100 appearances for her hometown club since then, Bartoli has seen the club grow from a glint in her eye to a legitimate title-contending team, one that also happens to be in the quarterfinals of the Champions League, to boot.
However, before Bartoli worries about toppling Barcelona at the Stadio Olimpico next month, she took care of some business today at Trigoria:
Earlier today, the club announced a new deal for Bartoli, extending her contract through the end of the 2024-2025 season, by which point she will be 34 years old. In effect, the club has locked Bartoli in for the remainder of her career, though given her grinta and love for all things Roma, don't be shocked if she plays well into her late 30s.
On her new deal, Bartoli could hardly contain her excitement:
"It always feels amazing to sign a contract with this club because Roma are Roma, say no more. It's my home," expressed Bartoli.
"I've been here since day one and have witnessed this team improve season upon season, with so much sacrifice and ambition. That's why I'm so proud to be here. Our objectives are ever more tantalising and I'm so excited to continue my journey here".
Head of Women's Football Betty Bavagnoli, Bartoli's first manager with Roma, echoed those sentiments:
"I know Elisa very well and while there are many words of praise I could use to describe her I'll go for these three: brave, responsible and determined.
"Everyone at the club is delighted to see her renew her contract. It makes us so proud knowing she'll keep on captaining this club and serving as a role model."
Much like Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi before her, Bartoli embodies everything we love about this club but can't quite express. You can see it in her rousing pre-match talks, the joy with which she celebrates her teammates' achievements, and how hard she chases after every loose ball.
She leads and bleeds for this club. Roma would be lost without her, so this honor is well-earned.