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I understand
Me and AS Roma

Me and AS Roma

5th February 2014 Hits: 1142 Il Calciatore as roma. vincent candela

"I owe so much to AS Roma: success, fame, wealth. And that's not all: I have built my family here in Rome, here my four sons were born.

And even after I stopped playing I chose this city, where the boy I was has become a man, and now I live the life of an adult entrepreneur.

I still remember - as if it were yesterday – when I arrived at the beginning of 1997: it was a strong impact, a real shock to me, coming from a small city like Guingamp. At the airport there were so many fans waiting for me, to the point that the police had to escort me! I really could have not even imagined it, just a couple of months before...

At the time it had been written that I had been noticed during the UEFA Cup between Guingamp and Inter Milan, but the truth is rather different: it was the end of May 1996 and in Barcelona (Spain), we were playing the U-21 European Championship finals. After being defeated by Italy, we conquered the bronze medal. In the stands, watching at me, there were Giorgio Perinetti and Carlos Bianchi (at that time, respectively DS and AS Roma coach) and they decided to bring me in the Capital city.

In Rome, I immediately felt like being at home: in particular, I made friends with three Romans like Di Biagio, Petruzzi and Totti. On the pitch, however, things did not go the right way: Carlos Bianchi was sacked very soon, and after some months with Nils Liedholm, then Zdenek Zeman came. The bohemian coach did not appreciate me very much, I was not - so to speak – his "first choice": they were difficult times (it was also rumored about a possible transfer to Inter Milan), but with tenacity I overcame those difficulties, until becoming a regular starter in the Eleven of Fabio Capello, the coach of the Scudetto.

Yeah, that Scudetto... I do not think you can describe in words the emotion – one and only – that Roma fans can give you: a strong and overwhelming passion, able to involve everyone.

After eight years I changed my shirt, but AS Roma and Rome always remained as stainless marks in my heart, so when I decided to stop (it was 2009) I did it at the Stadio Olimpico.

And yet today, now as a simple fan, I always - or almost – go and watch the games from the stands".