As we traverse the long, hot and boring summer, we find ourselves lost amid a desert of dullness — a boring expanse of time in which no football is actually played. No club football. No proper international tournament. Even the youth football has finished. Teams are barely beginning their preseason. Quite literally, there is no football to talk about. But the machine never ceases. Which brings us to the transfer market.
Last campaign, Roma set a club record in Serie A for most points in a season. They had never reached 87 points before, even when winning the Scudetto. So, obviously, the summer has consisted of parting ways with the manager, the sporting director, the legendary club captain, their most productive attacker and at least one of their coveted center backs. Of course, looking at the departures on an individual basis, they sort of make sense. But it’s still a weird summer for Roma.
Suffering from Champions League withdrawal?
It’s been less than a month since Real Madrid thrashed Juventus to claim the crown of top club in Europe, but teams are about to begin the quest to take away that crown.
The first qualifying round for the world’s premier club competition (go away, FIFA Club World Cup, no one cares about you) begins Tuesday and Wednesday.
Here it is: your complete guide to the 2017 summer soccer schedule.
For most sports, the offseason is a time of respite. Once the Super Bowl ends in February, NFL teams don’t suit up for another game, scrimmage or otherwise, for six months. Soccer, fortunately, doesn’t abide by such silly rules.
The European soccer season technically ends after the Champions League final around late May or early June, but preseason exhibitions pick up in early July. Then there are also international matches (friendlies and cups) to also fill the void.
Well, that’s that then. Football made a good run at it, but it's over now. Francesco Totti has played in his final professional match, and while it went exactly as Roma had hoped sporting-wise (they achieved direct qualification to next season’s Champions League), it was easily the worst day in the club’s history.
Francesco Totti's lap of honour pic.twitter.com/YhL4SqG1Yz
You've got to hand it to AS Roma's Stephan El Shaarawy. We've never seen a shot make Gianluigi Buffon look all of 39 years of age, but he accomplished it with this absurd effort in Roma's 3-1 victory over Juventus on Sunday. The goal ended up being the match-winner and kept Roma's fading title hopes alive. El Shaarawy has been in fantastic form for his side after scoring a great goal against AC Milan last weekend.
Despite calls from AS Roma coach Luciano Spalletti and fellow professionals to have the club extend Francesco Totti’s contract another year, new Roma sporting director Monchi has confirmed that plans for this to be Totti’s last season had been put in place before he was appointed on April 24.