With no matches assigned in the domestic league and Europe for the next 10 days due to international fixtures, the attention has turned to some of the rumours emanating from the capital outfit. On a positive note for Roma, the International Football Federation of History and Statistics (IFFHS) has ranked i Lupi as number 12 in the world, while Juventus and Inter occupy positions 16 and 19 respectively. The distinction of being the top-ranked Italian club by the IFFHS might not hold any intrinsic value but it could be used as a motivational tool by Coach Claudio Ranieri to promote pride and commitment to the Giallorossi cause.
On another front, and building on reports that emerged a few weeks ago claiming Coach Ranieri wants to move for Juventus full-back Cristian Molinaro, it is now rumoured that the Bianconeri are interested in signing Roma’s right-back Marco Motta during the January transfer window. In a likely scenario, the move could entail Motta and Molinaro swapping clubs in addition to a certain exchange in funds. Without being too harsh on la Vecchia Signora’s left-back, the deal would seem to favour the Old Lady since Motta showed plenty of potential last year despite failing to impress in this campaign so far. On the other hand, Molinaro does enjoy tremendous pace and is undoubtedly a dedicated player yet his defensive frailties and unimpressive displays are all too familiar to Juve supporters. Ranieri might fancy the player based on his previous experience of the player, who worked under him during his time in Turin.
With Italy’s qualifying campaign to the World Cup in South Africa reaching a critical stage, Daniele De Rossi, a favourite with the tifosi and the Giallorossi’s sole representative in the Italian squad, has touched upon a number of topics pertaining to the Azzurri and i Lupi. The midfield dynamo has admitted that he would be happy to see Roma talisman Francesco Totti return to the Italian line-up amid the increased interest in the event scheduled to take place next summer. De Rossi argued that Totti’s international comeback would be welcome, yet he pointed out that his captain took the decision after the 2006 World Cup to stay away from la Nazionale since he cannot participate in close to 60 games per season. Turning his attentions to a potential Totti replacement, he also praised Sampdoria’s Antonio Cassano as one of the most entertaining forwards in Italy, before pointing out Cassano’s mediocre goal return as perhaps the main reason for his continued exclusion from the Italian national team. Clearly, others would beg to differ with De Rossi’s take on the topic as the situation is construed as a character struggle between Azzurri Coach Marcello Lippi and the unpredictable Cassano.
Moving back to discussing club captain Totti’s situation in Rome, the proposed terms of his deal have led some voices to question the benefits of such a long-term contract which ties the forward till 2014. He has just matched Argentine Gabriel Batistuta’s Serie A tally of 184 goals after scoring a brace against Napoli last weekend and his natural abilities have never been in doubt, but his age and his record with injuries the past few years remain issues of concern. The player addresses some of these arguments and claims that his scoring record this season, six league goals after the opening seven rounds of Serie A, speaks for itself. He seems determined to let his contribution on the pitch do the talking and silence the critics who have questioned his ability to lead the club at this stage of his career. Former Italy and Lazio forward Giuseppe Signori predicts that Totti will not only surpass legendary Italian forward Roberto Baggio’s mark of 205 goals in the domestic league, but also go on to score over 230 goals if he remains fit and honours his proposed contract. Signori mentioned to La Gazzetta dello Sport that he feels only Silvio Piola, with his 274 goals, will be out of Totti’s reach. The retired Signori should know a thing or two about goal-scoring exploits since he netted 188 goals in Serie A during his career. The contract talks have somewhat stalled in recent weeks following concerns about his fitness, as well as the fact that Roma is in a precarious position financially. A new stadium plan was unveiled recently and Totti mentioned that he would like to score goals in the proposed arena once it opens to fans (not expected anytime soon).
Roma Club Focus 2009/10
The senate is adjourned – August 25, 2009
Houston, we have a problem – August 28, 2009
The time of Penelope – September 1, 2009
Good move, bad timing – September 4, 2009
International week (Georgia-Italy, Italy-Bulgaria)
Break means homework time for Ranieri – September 7, 2009
A win that means more than three points – September 15, 2009
Ranieri chases team spirit – September 18, 2009
Champagne! – September 22, 2009
Children of Chaos – September 25, 2009
Catania is beginning to get on our nerves – September 29, 2009
Ranieri has yet to stabilise i Lupi – October 3, 2009
A solid win at a heavy price? – October 6, 2009
Rumours as IFFHS ranks the Giallorossi as best in Italy – October 9, 2009