Kings Of Rome, Or: How Totti & Co. won the Scudetto ’00/01 (w/ Marco Ciarla of @CurvAmerica)

Amadei, Falcao, Totti: a lineage of great footballers and, as far as Romanisti are concerned, kings; for each of them had been instrumental in Roma claiming their Scudetti. Amedeo Amadei was the side’s top goalscorer during the 1941/42 campaign. Paulo Roberto Falcão pulled the strings in midfield as the Giallorossi for the first half decade of the 1980s, in ’82/83 Roma came out on top.

In 2000/01 AS Roma won their third, and to date last, Scudetto. Led by 24-year-old playmaker Francesco Totti the Giallorossi beat out an incredibly stacked field to claim the league. The other team from Rome had broken Juve’s stranglehold the year before. They, as well as Parma, relied on seemingly inexhaustable war chests, luring many of the world’s best players to Serie A. Juve, of course, wanted their crown back and still boasted an amazing side including Zidane, Davids, del Piero…

So, just how did Roma do it? Well that’s what we’re trying to figure out with this episode, talking tranfers, tactics, and performances. To help us, Marco Ciarla jumps in mid-way through the show. Marco is an avid Romanisti and part of the CurvAmerica podcast who talk Serie A on a weekly basis. As a bonus we get to pick his brains about where Roma (and Serie A) are headed in 2017. In between we, of course, talk about a lone match in way too much detail: Roma’s final league match against Parma.

Minutes if you want to jump around:

  • 0:01:45 Southern challengers for the Scudetto appear (Parma & Lazio)
  • 0:13:00 The 101 on AS Roma club history
  • 0:24:14 Franco Sensi buys Roma for 20 billion Lire in 1993
  • 0:34:45 Totti at loggerheads with Bianchi, center-piece in Cappello’s system
  • 0:43:00 Marco on the landscape of Serie A in ’00/01,
  • 0:53:15 And on Roma’s team set-up in ’00/01
  • 1:07:00 Quick run-down of Roma’s season
  • 1:17:15 Capturing the Scudetto on June 17th against Parma
  • 1:43:15 Aftermath
  • 1:58:30 Marco on Totti’s place in Roma’s club history,
  • 2:05:15 On Roma in 2017, Juve’s push for the triple
  • 2:13:45 And on what might happen in Serie A ’17/18

And some further reading for your perusal:

S01E02: CL Final 1993/94, Milan vs Barcelona

Change of plans: Turns out these episode tend to be longer than expected. Way longer. Going from episode one to two we nearly doubled the runtime. Our second ever episode clocks in at a whooping 2 hours and 35 minutes. Since we’d like to release more than a handful of episodes a year, we’re putting the video part on hold.

While recording that will also allow us to go into some rabbitholes without worrying too much about how that syncs up to video. Or where to even get highlights to random Bundesliga games from the early 90s.

Instead you’ll get extended shownotes, links to more background and maybe video highlights on this website. We’ll also embed the full games as long as we find them. Lastly we’re now on iTunes, so hit subscribe over there.

Without any further ado…

Milan are back with a vengeance. Having lost to Marseille in ’93 after dominating the early phase of the game the Italian champions are now facing Barcelona. However the Rossoneri are more reliant on their defence than ever as Marco van Basten missed the complete season. Other injuries and suspensions (Lentini, Baresi, Costacurta) saw Milan go into the match as underdogs. Especially when looking at the opposition.

The Blaugrana had re-emerged from 80s obscurity thanks in no small part to Johan Cruyff. The Dutch legend revamped the tactical approach as well as the club academy. A slew of Spanish players coming through the youth ranks and foreign stars Koeman, Romario, Stoitchkov and Laudrup formed an impressive team. In 1993/94 they seemingly peaked just at the right moment. Going into the final they had not lost a match in three months.

Enjoy the show! You can also download the mp3 by clicking on the little arrow button in the top right corner.

The protocol to the episode:

  • 0:02:00 Pop culture in 1993/94, including Academy Awards, celebrity power couples and Wrestlemania 10
  • 0:08:00 Fallout of L’Affaire OM and rundown of first time participants
  • 0:19:00 Linfield go to Tiblisi and Bulgaria eliminates Germany from the WC94
  • 0:29:30 Van Basten was injured all along, Cruyff takes over at Barcelona in ’88
  • 0:45:00 The finalists join the action against Kiev, A. Vienna and Aarau, Copenhagen respectively
  • 1:00:00 Group stages rundown, who remembers Wynton Rufer?
  • 1:15:00 Referee trivia, Semi finals and league run-ins
  • 1:25:00 Your advertisement here?
  • 1:28:30 Line-ups, match expectations, kick-off
  • 1:42:00 Barca distribution from the back, Desailly, more Desailly, 1:0
  • 1:57:30 Tactical observations
  • 2:05:30 Milan break Barca physically (2:0) and psychologically (3:0)
  • 2:16:30 Desailly secures MOTM award, 4:0
  • 2:26:00 Final thoughts

Awards! Desailly won Man Of The Match by a landslide. Bakero got Best Hair through a lack of options. The match itself garnered a very favourable rating and a clear viewing recommendation.

If you watch anything from this match, make it the 3:0 of Savicevic. If you want to watch the whole match: