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Friday, September 26, 2008
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  • Founded: 1927
  • Address: Via Trigoria Km 3,600 - 00128
  • Phone: +39 06-501911 +39 06-5061736
  • Chairman: Rosella Sensi
  • Club Director: Daniele Pradè
  • Stadium: 
Club History Foundation

Associazione Sportiva Roma, more commonly known as AS Roma, were founded on 22 July 1927 at a time when the city of Rome had several teams in the Italian football league, including SS Lazio (1900), Roman FC (1901), SS Alba-Audace Roma (founded in 1926 through the merger of Alba (1911) and Audace) and Fortitudo-Pro Roma SGS (founded in 1926 through the merger of Fortitudo (1908) and Pro Roma (1912)).

With the Italian government wanting each city to be represented by one major club, Alba-Audace, Fortitudo-Pro Roma and Roman merged to form AS Roma. The emblem chosen for the new club was the she-wolf suckling twins, the symbol of Rome, and the club's colours are those of the city of Rome, red for imperial dignity, and gold for the Pope or God in Christianity. Their first stadium was Motovelodromo Appio. The following grounds have been Testaccio, Stadio Flaminio and Stadio Olimpico (the latter was built in 1952).

Early Years

Roma's first professional manager was the Englishman William 'Billy' Garbutt, who had played on the right wing for Woolwich Arsenal (now Arsenal) from 1905 to 1908, scoring 14 goals in 58 appearances. Garbutt had been head coach at Genoa since 1912, apart from three years in the trenches in France during the First World War, before taking up the challenge with Roma in their inaugural season.

He was succeeded by Guido Baccani (1929-1930), Francis Burgess (1930-1932) and Lajos Kovács (1933-1934). Roma took part in their first national league campaign in 1929-30 and won their first Scudetto in the 1941/42 season under coach Alfréd Schäffer. 

First Title and Unexpected Decline

After a drastic slump in league form and the unfortunate departure of key players, Roma eventually managed to rebuild their squad, adding potent goal scores, such as Argentine striker Enrique Guaita. In the 1935/36 season, the Giallorossi came close to winning their first Italian title, finishing just one point behind eventual champions Bologna, under the management of Luigi Barbesino.

Following an extremely inconsistent end to the late 1930s, AS Roma recorded an unexpected maiden title triumph in the 1941/42 season. At this time, Italy were involved in World War II, which led to Roma playing their home fixtures at the Stadio del Partito Nazionale Fascista. However, this did not stop local player Amedeo Amadei scoring eighteen goals in their first ever championship season. 

In the years immediately following the completion of the war, Roma failed to recapture their stellar league form from the early 1940s. They finished in the bottom half of the Italian Serie A for five successive seasons, before eventually succumbing to relegation to Serie B at the end of the 1950/51 season.

Re-development of the Giallorossi

Under future national team manager Giuseppe Viani, promotion back to the top flight was immediately achieved. On the return to the Serie A, Roma managed to stabilise themselves as one of the stronger clubs once again, finishing in the top half for a number of seasons in succession.

Players such as Dino Da Costa, Egisto Pandolfini and Dane Helge Bronẻe were the main protagonists in this revival. Their most successful campaign on return to Italy’s premier division, was is the 1954/55 season, when they finished runner up, after Udinese who initially finished in second position, were relegated for corruption.

Although Roma weren’t able to break in to the top four throughout the following decade, they were successful elsewhere. Their first success outside of Italy, came ten years following their relegation, on the season of 1960/61, when they won the Inter-Cities Fairs cup, by defeating English side Birmingham City 4-1 in the finals.

A few years later, Roma went on to win their first ever Coppa Italia tournament by beating Torino 1-0 in the 1963/64 season. Another Coppa Italia trophy followed in 1968/69, when the cup was competed for in a small, league-like system. In this same season, star player Giacomo Losi set the Roma appearance record, with 450 in all competitions, a record that would last for the next 38 years. 

Glory Years

After an undistinguished period in the late 1960s and throughout the most of the 1970s, Roma became a major force in Italian football in the early 1980s with players such as Roberto Pruzzo, Bruno Conti, Agostino Di Bartolomei and the great Brazilian, Paulo Roberto Falcao.

They controversially just missed out on the title to Juventus in 1981 but were crowned champions for the second time in the 1982/83 season, under Nils Liedholm, and reached the European Cup final the following year, losing to Liverpool on penalties in Rome, as the Roma revival continued. Throughout the rest of the decade, it was rare to look at the summit of the Serie A table and not see Roma there or thereabouts.

In the 1990/91 season, Roma reached the Uefa Cup final but lost to Inter Milan 2-1 on aggregate. Since then they have consistently finished in the top half of Serie A, and periodically mounted serious challenges for the title, which they won again in the 2000/01 season under Capello by beating Parma 3-1 on the last day of the season to deny Juventus by two points. 

A key figure in that triumph was the talismanic Francesco Totti, a Roman icon and the club's top scorer, bestriding their history like Pruzzo and Conti before him. While Roma came close to successfully defending their 2001 title, they were pipped at the death by Juve.

They missed out by just one point and had to settle for runners-up spot. Since winning their last Scudetto, Roma have finished second each season in either Serie A (2003/04, 2005/06, 2006/07) or the Coppa Italia (2002/03, 2004/05, 2005/06).

Spalletti the Savior

When the news spread that Luciano Spalletti had been offered, and had accepted a contract extension at AS Roma, this simply underlined the excellent job he had done for the Giallorossi, stabilising the ship after Fabio Capello had cast it adrift in 2004 by defecting to Juventus. Under the stewardship of Cesare Prandelli (Summer 2004), Rudi Völler (2004), Luigi Del Neri (2004-05) and Bruno Conti (2005, caretaker), Roma needed a savior, and they found one in Luciano Spalletti.

The former Udinese coach has impressed the Sensi family who control the club, especially after guiding Roma to a record-breaking run of 11 consecutive victories in Serie A last season (since eclipsed by Inter). Spalletti, who has brought in an array of talent to the club over the past couple of seasons, describes Roma as "a unique club," and certainly a club that holds a special place in the hearts of many Romans.

This is reflected in the fervour of the Roma fans, whose attitude to the team is encapsulated in their famous motto: 'La Roma Non Si Discute, Si Ama' - which translates as 'Roma Should Not Be Discussed, But Loved'. Such affection is partly attributable to appreciation of the club's strategy of remaining a top club while investing heavily in a youth set-up that encourages Roman-born players in particular.
Recent Times

The team secured second place in Serie A with three games to go, behind Inter Milan. Although the Nerazzuri dominated the championship, Roma managed to defeat their highly fancied opponents at the San Siro 3-1. The two clubs also faced each other in the two legs of the 2007 Coppa Italia final. Roma won the cup after an impressive 6-2 victory in the first leg, and an eventual 7-4 victory on aggregate. It was their eighth Coppa Italia title in their history.

AS Roma beat Olympique Lyonnais to reach the quarter finals of the Champions League in 2007, in what arguably is their most impressive performance in recent times. However, after taking a 2-1 lead over Manchester United at home and being undefeated in 10 games in all competitions, they suffered a 7-1 defeat in the second leg at Old Trafford (8-3 on aggregate

This was their first defeat in Europe since losing 1-0 to Shakhtar Donetsk in the group stage. It was also the biggest margin of victory in a quarter final match of either the European Cup or Champions League, since 1957-58, when Real Madrid beat Sevilla 8-0 (10-2 on aggregate). 

Of the current squad, captain Totti and De Rossi (both 2006 World Cup winners with the Azzurri), as well as Aquilani, Rosi, and Curci were all born and raised in Rome and are Roma fans - and there are more young players coming through with similar backgrounds.

After a more than respectable start to the 2007/08 season, in all competitions, the future looks bright for the Giallorossi. Just how far away that fourth Scudetto is, is a question that remains unanswered…
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