Monday, May 19 th, 2014
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2009, Fiorentina-Roma: the end of two eras for the Giallorossi
Two heroes of the last Roma title, Vincenzo Montella and Francesco Totti, will be rivals in one of the most entertaining clashes in Serie A. Five years ago, la Viola gave a hammering to Spalletti's side. Roma's history was at a turning point
by Federico Formica
Five years ago, Fiorentina-Roma coincided with a landmark in the Giallorossi's history. The long (for Italian standards) and successful experience of coach Luciano Spalletti was near to an end, while rumours about an imminent change of property were unrelenting.

After the death of Franco Sensi in 2008, the era of the Sensi family, which lasted since 1993 and had its peak with the 2001 title, was at its sunset. The game at Florence was played in a burning environment as Italian newspapers were reporting about a FIFA agent, whose name was Vinicio Fioranelli, ready to buy AS Roma together with a Swiss-German network. The alleged investment would have been huge: 500 € M, plus 40 millions to reinforce the team right away.

Fioranelli managed to mislead everyone: the club (that openly admitted to have received an official offer), the fans, the newspapers (and that was definitely the easier task). Because Fioranelli had not, and he never could have had, enough money for such a gigantic financial operation. The deal faded like smoke in the air, Fioranelli was investigated and, in 2011, arrested for stock manipulation. The quotation of AS Roma's stocks increased by 124% due to the disclosure of such false news. Seven months ago, Fioranelli was fined for € 400k by Italian stock exchange commission CONSOB.

That 25th April, 2009 Roma lost to Fiorentina with a humiliating 4-1, also losing the chance to play the next Champions League, whereas la Viola managed to reach the fourth place, qualifying for the main European competition (nostalgic note: at that time, Serie A still qualified four teams to the Champions League). The Spalletti era would have ended some months later, whereas Roma fans should have waited two more years, when a USA fund led by Thomas Di Benedetto and James Pallotta, aquired the club with a serious strategic business plan.

Today, Fiorentina-Roma is the clash between the two most entertaining sides in Serie A, led by two young and innovative coaches as Rudi Garcia and Vincenzo Montella. Yes, Montella, the Aeroplanino that made Roma tifosi dream 13 years ago with his beautiful goals, that helped the Giallorossi to win their third scudetto. In 2001, Montella's captain was... Francesco Totti, that next Saturday will be the most dangerous threat for Fiorentina.

Montella is a double ex for Roma: he was a Roma player and coach, after Claudio Ranieri's layoff in 2010-2011. Montella managed to win 7 games out of 13, he qualified the team for the Europa League. But that wasn't enough, because Luis Enrique replaced him in the following season. Now, Montella and Roma's destiny will cross once again. Will the Aeroplanino beat his past for the first time after 2 draws and 3 defeats?

Saturday, April 19 th, 2014
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