Straight from the dark heart of Italy
And so Italy bids farewell to this season’s Champions League, with more of a whimper than a roar it has to be said.The Italian press have been quick to jump on AS Roma’s shortcomings over the two legs against Manchester United.“Roma out without getting on the board,” lamented La Gazzetta dello Sport at the 2-0 and 1-0 defeats to the English champs.They did have the chance to reopen the tie at Old Trafford but Daniele De Rossi squandered the opportunity when he blasted his first-half penalty-kick over the bar.“De Rossi wasteful, Tevez no,” summed up the Pink’Un after a header from Carlos Tevez decided the outcome. The Roma midfielder, for his part, was in rueful mood and claimed that he had never felt so bad.“It’s the worst moment of my career,” admitted the player who had scored one of the decisive spot-kicks for Italy in the 2006 World Cup final and only last weekend converted a similar effort to grab victory for the Romans against Genoa.
De Rossi's penalty soars high into the Stretford End
However, all was forgiven by the 5,000 or so Giallorossi fans who had travelled from the Eternal City more in hope than with any real high expectations, as they gave the local-born lad an extra cheer when the players trotted over to salute them at the end of the game.The capital-based Corriere dello Sport felt that coach Luciano Spalletti’s side could take heart from being amongst the top eight teams in Europe.“Roma out but with their heads held high,” was their take but claimed that Serie A needed a wake-up call. “For the first time in four years there isn’t an Italian club in the semi-finals.”There is, however, little time to get too remorseful, not when Inter and AC Milan are set to go toe-to-toe for Ronaldinho.According to both Gazzetta and Corriere, Inter are willing to go as high 25million euros for the Brazilian although Rossoneri owner Silvio Berlusconi is set to match that offer especially if he wins the Italian elections this weekend.A sort of ‘thank-you’ to the Italian people if you like for putting him back in power.Tuttosport, of course, were falling over themselves to splash the news that Juventus were going to be the latest club to acquire an Eastern European sugar-daddy.“Boom Juve!” they crowed, over reports that Severstal, Russia's largest steel producer, was about to acquire a substantial holding in the Turin side which of course would be used to lure Frank Lampard into the arms of the Old Lady.“With the new stadium given the green light and the Russians onboard Juve will be back where they belong: out on top,” triumphed a smug editorial on how wonderful things are now in the Bianconeri world.
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