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01 December 2008
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20/09/2007 18:09

Roma - Juventus: A Historical Look looks back at the last 25 years or so of the rivalry between Roma and Juventus, and at just what makes Sunday's Serie A clash between Roma and Juventus special...

Finally, the Giallorossi and the Bianconeri once again have a chance to face off, following a one year break due to the calciopoli scandal that sent Juventus to Serie B.

The Roma-Juventus rivalry is one of the most lasting and bitter in the whole of Italian football. Some Roma fans even think that their sworn enemy is not Lazio, but Juve, while the Old Lady supporters have far too many rivalries going on: maybe for them Roma is not on top of the list, but it’s definitely in the top five.

It all started back in the Thirties, when a famous 5-0 Roma win at old Campo Testaccio (the “grandfather” of Olimpico) was so notorious that it even inspired a movie!

Until the start of the Second World War both teams were in the top flight, but in the postwar era, Roma lost a bit of their lustre and even spent some time outside the top flight, so what few derbies took place were often predictable.

In the eighties, the Giallorossi had a much-awaited revival, thanks to president Dino Viola, Swedish manager Niels Liedholm and Brazilian star Paulo Roberto Falcao. They had such a cracking side in 1980-81 they nearly overcame a very strong Juventus outfit in the quest for Scudetto.

The Bianconeri, lead by gaffer Giovanni Trapattoni, won by a narrow margin. That said, that season will always be remembered for the Turone affair.

Turone, a rocky Roma defender, scored an apparently vital goal in the clash between the two teams just two games from the end of the season, Juventus being on top of the table but the gap with Roma being only one point.

Referee Bergamo – later on appointed designator and even involved in last year's scandal – disallowed it for offside, but the TV pictures showed that was quite a big mistake.

Roma recriminated about that missed opportunity to beat Juventus on their home ground and probably win the league. There were endless arguments between President Viola and his counterpart Giampiero Boniperti, a real Juventus legend and possibly the very last to embody the so called “Juventus style”.

A couple of seasons later, though, they had revenge.

Roma finally won the League after a 41 year drought, even though the Bianconeri could field a plethora of world champions - Cabrini, Gentile, Rossi, Tardelli and Zoff had just won the ultimate football trophy, beating West Germany in Madrid in July 1982. They even had two truly world class stars: Boniek and especially le Roi Michel (I’m referring to Platini, for those young of age.)

But even then, Juventus recorded a famous win at Olimpico, as a perfect Paltini’s free kick and a glorious header by defender Brio secured a 2-1 victory in front of some 80,000 shocked Roma fans. The rivalry of the Eighties had just started.

In 1983-84 Juventus regained the title, even though the two face-to-face matches ended in as many draws, the one in Turin enhanced by an astonishing last minute goal by prolific striker Roberto Pruzzo. His terrific bicycle kick which made it 2-2 is one of the best goals of that decade - along with a few Platini’s masterpieces.

Polish star Boniek moved to Roma in July 1985 and he was part of the “unfinished” team which just squandered its chance to regain the title. They lost to rock bottom team Lecce when everybody thought they were about to overcome Juventus, right after closing a nine points gap (please bear in mind that, at that time, in Italy a win was worth only two points).

But before the “Lecce tragedy”, as it was labeled by the tifosi and the press, they managed to thrash Juventus 3-0 at Olimpico, playing a perfect game and taking their revenge after a 3-1 defeat at the old Comunale in the first game.

Eriksson was sitting on Roma bench. I know you would not believe me, but Roma played in a very offensive way thanks to the Swedish manager's game plan! After that unbelievable season, though, the matchesbetween the two sides proved never to be decisive for the title, as both teams were overshadowed by some impressive Milan and Napoli sides.

Despite that, Juventus fans will never forget an awesome 5-0 win over Roma in 1990, when Schillaci had one of his few glory days wearing the Bianconeri shirt and scored a hatrick in a very turbulent game, as Roma’s Nela and Juventus Julio Cesar and Di Canio were all sent off.

What the Old Lady fans tend to forget, and I can’t blame them, is the name of their coach during that season: Gigi Maifredi. He could employ Roberto Baggio, nonetheless he “managed” to keep Juve out of the European competitions for the first time in ages.

In 1994-95 Juventus flourished again. Baggio had to fight to find a place in the starting eleven as, up front, Vialli, Ravanelli and a rising star called Del Piero were battling to impress an ambitious coach called Marcello Lippi. Roma were doing quite well and had a youngster like Totti surely on the rise, so they made the trip to Turin without any fear.

They lost 3-0 with yet another strange episode linked to that match. While throwing the ball in, Roma defender Aldair had the ball slightly touched by the lineman, who was standing right behind the Brazilian player. The deflection favored Ravanelli, who scored the opener. Let’s say bemused Roma players and fans were not very happy with the referee decision to award the goal and that the press, inevitably,  made another incredible fuss about that.

After a few more defeats and controversies Roma took the ultimate revenge in 2001. They won the league, the 2-2 draw in Turin proving instrumental in that success. And what a match it was: they almost immediately had gone 2-0 down. Some 15 minutes to go and Roma were still losing, but then Nakata and Montella (in the last minute!) made it 2-2 with the kind support ofthe hapless van der Sar in goal.

After that season Juventus won a couple of Scudetti, but the end of the Lippi era was marked by a gruesome 4-0 defeat in Rome in February 2004. Talentino Cassano played one of the best games of his career, scoring a brace. That seems quite a distant memory now, doesn’t it?

2004/05 was a disappointing campaign for Roma as they nearly were relegated to Serie B. They lost both games played with Juventus, 2-0 in Turin and 2-1 in Rome, those defeats being even more frustrating for the Giallorossi people as former idols Capello, Emerson and Zebina were under contract for Juventus.

Actually the Olimpico clash is one of the matches the Neapolitan magistrates investigating on the Calciopoli scandal singled out for being “pre-arranged”, but we stil have to wait a final penal verdict on that story.

The last game held at the Olimpico finished with Juventus hammering the first version of Spalleti's Roma, clearly a work in progress. Ibrahimovic and Trezeguet made a fool of the Giallorossi defenders just to seal a famous 4-1 victory. Now Roma are favorites and Juventus are the underdogs.

Will this situation last for long? A true Giallorossi fan like Claudio Ranieri doesn’t hope so…
Commenti Articolo
  • 14:47 25 Sep 07 Eugenio Ferrari Moldova Juventus Reborn has begun... Keep an eye on... We are the power of Europe =)
  • 11:20 24 Sep 07 Adelani alias Lanos isolo,Nigeria Forza joventus,i thank the team for the team work and their spirit in that game and i think if they continue like this the sky will be limit for them..forza juventus for life
  • 01:32 23 Sep 07 Anthony Canada Does anyone remember when Sensi admitted to buying lavish gifts for all the referees, linesmen and referee designers in 2001. Roma won the scudetto that year but no one seemed to mind. Must be nice to have the then FIGC President as your #1 investor. This article seems to leave that little fact out though.....
  • 01:29 23 Sep 07 Anthony Canada Andi, Jakarta is 100% right. Everyone forgets all the calls that go against Juventus and only remember what they want to. The fact that Milan and Inter control most of the media in Italy and do their best to show Juventus in a bad light probably has something to do with it. Forza Juve! I hope Juve win tomorrow.
  • 11:02 22 Sep 07 End Kuching, Malaysia either way, i hope the best team win. Juve or Roma. For me, both are one of the best team in Italy alongside AC Milan. Any of the three team will beat internazionale. This match is one of the biggest match in european football. Who will triumph? Alex or Totti. May the best team win. Forza Serie A.
  • 19:40 21 Sep 07 gauz jakarta we are not an underdog, we are the wolves! argggrrr cmon boy, bite the lady
  • 19:33 21 Sep 07 Andi Jakarta Juve have lost many games due to refereeing decisions as well, most recently before serie B were Italian cup loss to Inter for a Trezeguet ruled offside goal which turned out to be wrong! And Loss at Anfield with a Del Piero goal ruled offside which replays showed to be incorrect decision. But do we weeep, and cry and complain? No, we move on, ref mistakes are part of the game. Inter got the most help in 2204/2005 and 2005/2006 season from ref calls but no big deal was made of it.
  • 14:45 21 Sep 07 End Kuching, Malaysia Roma and Juve, one hell of a match. Can't wait!!!
  • 11:57 21 Sep 07 aldie malank,Indonesia I think Roma will beat Juve with scores 3-0.. Forza Roma..
  • 10:30 21 Sep 07 Marko Rijeka, Croatia Bashar, NJ and Daniel, Sydney - You are completely in a state of illusion. Are all Roma fans that stupid and ignorant? Nevermind, there is probably 50% less Roma fans than Juve fans in the world. Roma as a club and their fans are meaningless in the world of football and cannot even slightly be compared to the great Juve. About trophies, well I think 50 trophies is a slightly bigger number than what? 5-6 trophies? LOL. Pathetic whining Romanistas are only jealous of the great Old lady and its success, like the rest of Italy. That´s why they made up the Calciopoli and rest of the false accusations on the account of invincible Juventus. However, justice will prevail. Juve will get back their well deserved, but stolen Scudetti. At the moment, Roma is stronger, but not for long. See you, ya apes!!
  • 10:28 21 Sep 07 Dhani,Rama Surabaya,Indonesia Forzza roma..You are a good team now.I think you can beat the juventus out till they need a great help to back in serie a
  • 07:55 21 Sep 07 Daniel Sydney Good call Bashar (your a regular on theoffside forum, hey ??) .... heaps of fools think that Calciopoli only started in 2004. Juve has been helped ever since the 80-81 season (refer above) yes that's one stolen scudetto that should be giallorossi. The 94-95 Aldair throw-in affair was an absolute disgrace - I just couldn't believe that blatant cheating from the linesman and ref. Anyway Juve fans, the only recent thing you can be proud of or consider yourself champions, is of Serie B - or have you forgotten they got relegated for being found cheating (FRICKEN FINALLY AS WELL). You better hope your weak defence can hold us. Forza Roma, lets make Juve pay for these unjust results in the past. You black and white donkeys
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