Depending on how deeply one dives into the Romasphere, Alessandro Florenzi can be seen as quite a controversial figure. While the traditional narrative holds that Florenzi is the perfect standard bearer to carry on the tradition of Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi, homegrown players who eschewed bigger and brighter clubs to remain loyal to the club of their birth, in certain circles Florenzi isn’t worthy of that praise. Seen as an overhyped product of the Roma media, many scoffed at Florenzi’s early wage demands, reportedly as high as €4 million a year, deeming Ale as unworthy of that wage packet.
Well, following today’s news, that debate is effectively dead in the water:
While the official announcement didn’t release the financial figures, Florenzi’s new deal runs through the 2023 season, by which time I think we’ll all have flying cars, right? The club didn’t detail Florenzi’s new wages, but Sky (among others) reports that he’ll earn approximately €3 million per season, which could increase if certain bonuses are met.
So after months of tacit negotiations, it seems as though Florenzi and the club met somewhere in the middle and the club’s vice captain will remain with Roma for the foreseeable future.
Now that Florenzi’s contract is no longer up for debate, we can resume the time honored tradition of arguing over where he should play on the pitch. As we saw against Barcelona the other day, there is a marked difference in Florenzi the fullback vs Florenzi the wingback or even winger, but when push comes to shove, Florenzi will do what he’s always done: play where he’s needed.
Regardless of where Florenzi plays, he will always remain a symbol of what makes Roma special. For a club that can’t buy trophies at will, and probably has no chance of unseating Juventus this year, you have to have something to hang onto, and that something has always been the connection between the Romans in the stands and the Romans on the pitch. And the sheer joy with which Florenzi plays the game and the manner in which he revels in that symbolic role has given him his own unique niche in the Totti Dynasty—Florenzi has always embodied the innocence of a kid just kicking a ball around with his friends, the kid whose first thought after scoring an outrageous goal is to run to his gramma’s open arms.
Never burdened by those expectations, Florenzi has always been a beacon for everything that is pure and joyful about this sport. The Roma that we know and love, the one that we can’t quite describe or explain, just wouldn’t exist without him.
And sure, that makes no sense and is completely irrational, but that’s precisely why you follow this club—don’t ask questions, just appreciate the beauty of being different.