The scudetto dream of Roma vanished in an evening in late April, against the Storari wall. And with the desperate Frenchman at the end of the game.
There are days that a fan would like to remove from the calendar. Those of Roma would like to forget April 25, 2010. A date that still causes shivers down the back of the Giallorossi people. Roma-Sampdoria 1-2, a match like many others at the beginning of the 2009/10 season: with a great rivalry, not even a prohibitive commitment on paper, although that was the team of Cassano and Pazzini that reached the Champions League preliminaries. Before. From 11 pm that evening, the realization of a real nightmare. Culminated in the tears of Philippe Mexès, that evening a reserve. A tough guy, who melted into the emotion of a vanished dream. To sew the second championship on the piece in 10 years.
Two weeks earlier, Inter’s draw in Florence and Roma’s simultaneous victory against Atalanta had brought Totti and his teammates to the top. A team that started with two defeats, with the farewell of Spalletti on the second day and the arrival of Claudio Ranieri. A team that after 11 days was in 14th place. Who was looking upwards at Mourinho’s Inter who would have closed the historic Triplete at the end of the year. In Rome very few, very few believed in such a comeback. Yet, 360 minutes from the end, the Giallorossi were fully masters of their own destiny. +1 on the Nerazzurri.
Mexès watched that game from the bench. The central couple made up of Juan and Burdisso offered solidity and quality. The former Auxerre defender had never come this close to winning a championship. He had won national cups, super cups. And he wouldn’t have won any more even in the course of his career. He was getting used to the bench. His attachment to the shirt and his connection with the environment were not undermined by a contract expiring in June 2011, which would never be renewed. Who knows, maybe even for that dream that vanished in one night, that of the Olimpico, against Sampdoria.
“In the first half we won and missed several goals: if it had ended 3-0 there would have been nothing to say – said Ranieri following ‘Sky Sport’ – Then there were two inventions by Cassano for Pazzini. It had to go like this. There was great euphoria. In the first half we had 4 chances to close it, then there was the double goal that cut our legs ”.
After 14 minutes, Totti’s goal had already set the Roma game down. It looked like a target practice, with Marco Storari in goal to ring a stunning series of saves on the attempts of Ranieri’s team. Insult and insult. Pazzini’s brace in the second half, goals number 16 and 17 of his season. Minute 52 and minute 85. With the complicity of an ex never forgotten like Antonio Cassano and another ex who ended up in oblivion (for his unmemorable months) like Luigi Delneri. 1-2. Desperate assaults in recovery, while on the bench Philippe Mexès looks dejected, with tears in his eyes. An emotion too strong to hide, even for a tough guy like him. A year ago he told it to ‘Roma TV’.
“That evening is a very bad memory. I was on the bench, I felt helpless, it was one of the worst moments of my career. We believed in it so much, it’s a lifelong regret ”.
The cry of the Frenchman has become the manifesto of a nightmare evening. Rosella Sensi in the post appealed to the referee and errors in the direction of the race. Inter 24 hours earlier had made their own by beating Atalanta, they had returned to the top of the standings. He was waiting for the result of Rome. Defeat. After 24 consecutive useful results. Mou’s men would have won the last three games, keeping the hitting Giallorossi behind. Triumph in Siena, the second step of the Triplete. Roma, also defeated in the final of the Italian Cup, to pick up the pieces.