Friday, July 18 th, 2014
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Michel Platini (Juventus) and Sebino Nela (Roma). Photo by Wikipedia
Roma-Juventus, 1986 and 2006: the curse of the winner
The two sides have a long lasting rivalry and, on two occasion, who won the clash had a huge disappointment at the end of the season
by Federico Formica
Roma and Juventus will clash today in their penultimate game of 2013-2014 season. Both Giallorossi and Bianconeri already know their destiny, as Juventus mathematically won the 30th title last week and Roma secured the second place (that will bring them to the Champions League group stage) one month ago. As every calcio addicted knows, Roma-Juve is something more than a football game: between the two clubs (and fans) there's one of the harshest rivalries in Serie A.


Dozens of precedents deserve to be remembered. Even in the 30s this game touched off intense emotions, with the 2-3 Juventus victory in the “sacred” Campo Testaccio, a legendary stadium where i Lupi remained unbeaten for a long time, or Roma's 5-0 to the Bianconeri (that would win the title) that inspired a film. But today we picked two more recent precedents: the 1985-1986 Roma-Juventus 3-0 and 2005-2006 Roma-Juventus 1-4. The two games, separated by twenty years, have two things in common: - they coincided with two periods of strong rivalry, as both clubs were the strongest in Serie A or for collateral reasons; - both seasons ended with a missed win (the first one for Roma, the second for Juve) that produced a huge disappointment destined to endure and to affect the following years.

Roma-Juventus 3-0 - Graziani, Pruzzo, Cerezo. Three years after their second title, Roma were ready to win another with a spectacular team led by a young and offensive coach, ready to take Liedholm's legacy: the Swedish Sven Goran Eriksson. While Juventus played a typical Italian style football with Giovanni Trapattoni, Roma applied the zone defence. The Bianconeri seemed ready to dominate Serie A as, at Christmas, they were 6 points clear of Napoli and 8 of Inter and Roma (at that time, only 2 points per victory were assigned). But with the end of the winter, Juve started to melt down. The 3-0 win at the Olimpico was crucial for Roma's recovery, as they climbed 3 points shy of Trap's boys. The attacking duo Graziani-Pruzzo punished la Vecchia Signora, with the final mark impressed by the Brazilian Toninho Cerezo. Finally the Giallorossi managed to fill the gap and, with three games to go, they reached the leaders. Everyone thought a playoff game would have been necessary to assign the title, but Roma incredibly lost against Lecce – a team that was already condemned to relegation – while Juve defeated Milan, flying towards their 22nd title. Still today, when Roma is fighting for the title with a few games to play, the phantom of 1986 reappears and scares the Giallorossi fans.


Roma-Juventus 1-4 - Nedved, Ibrahimovic, Trezeguet (2), Totti (pen). The 2005-2006 Juventus was a dream team, maybe one of the strongest ever. Just a few names to understand the strenght of that squad: Buffon, Thuram, Cannavaro, Zambrotta, Emerson, Vieira, Nedved, Del Piero, Ibrahimovic, Trezeguet. Roma was a good team: coach Luciano Spalletti had just arrived but they were unable to fight for the Scudetto. In that period, the rilvalry between the two clubs reached one the highest levels ever: in the previous year, Fabio Capello left Rome (where he won a title in 2001) headed to Turin. He signed a contract with Juventus. But he wasn't alone: the Brazilian midfielder Emerson – a player that earned much affection from the Roma fans - followed him in the Piemontese new challenge. Roma fans were enraged and received Fabio Capello with a wall of boos and a chants: “Traditore” (traitor). At the Olimpico Stadium there was no match as Juventus dominated outright. The 90-minutes-long nightmare for the Giallorossi had its peak in the 56' minute, when Zlatan Ibrahimovic passed himself the ball with his backheel and ran for 50 meters before scoring with a powerful right-foot shot. Juve ended the season on top with 91 points, but their joy lasted a few days as football justice condemned them to the last place (with resulting relegation) and revoked them the 2004-2005's title. Those were the most resounding outcomes of Calciopoli, the scandal that shocked Italian football. A story that Italians still debate about. 

Sunday, May 11 th, 2014
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