I don’t follow ESPN’s football coverage terribly closely, simply because they ignore Serie A like the plague, but out of curiosity (and a little extra time at lunch) I decided to take a peak and what they had to say about our beloved AS Roma. While they do your standard match recaps and provide a bit of extra analysis, it’s clear as day that Italian football isn’t ESPN’s top priority, nor should it be. So when I came across this story (linked below), one that weighs and measures one of Roma’s own against the best in the world, needless to say I was surprised.
While we’ve all quite rightly reveled in Cengiz Under’s recent ascendancy, for the reasons mentioned above, it would have been natural to assume that the rest of the footballing world hadn’t yet taken notice. First you have the Serie A blindness of ESPN, and second, as great as Under has been lately, his marquee matches have come against Verona and Benevento, which is not to denigrate what he’s done, but it’s a context that must be considered.
Nevertheless, the folks at ESPNFC were quite high on Under’s torrid run of form, ranking him as the 8th hottest/most powerful player of the week. Hopefully that link is still valid because ESPN’s embed code wasn’t jiving with our internal editor. On Under, Steve Nicol was quite effusive in his praise saying “I’ll tell you what he’s exciting, he’ s got pace, likes to get forward...he’s a guy that looks as though he’s enjoying playing the game. If you enjoy the game, and you’ve got quality, you’ve got half a chance.”
How about that? Our little Cengiz Under is getting some attention from the self-proclaimed world wide leader in sports, pretty cool!
If Under can carry these performances through the tougher, more compact spring schedule, we may very well have a star on our hands.