Roma have won Serie A three times, first in 1941–42 then again in 1982–83 and 2000–01. As well as winning nine Coppa Italia trophies; on the European stage Roma won an Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1960–61, but have had come close to success finishing as runners-up in the European Cup in 1983–84 and the UEFA Cup in 1990–91.
Home games are played at the Stadio Olimpico, a stadium they share with rivals SS Lazio. With a capacity of over 81,903 it is the second largest of its kind in Italy, with only the San Siro able to seat more. Currently A.S. Roma are the Coppa Italia holders in Italian football.
Associazione Sportiva Roma was founded in the summer of 1927 by Italo Foschi, who initiated the merger of three older Italian Football Championship clubs from the city of Rome; Roman, Alba-Audace and Fortitudo. The purpose of the merger was to give the Eternal City a strong club to rival that of the more dominant Northern Italian clubs of the time. The only major Roman club to resist the merger was Lazio who were already a well established sporting society.
The club played its earliest seasons at the Motovelodromo Appio stadium, before settling in the working-class streets of Testaccio, where it built an all-wooden ground Campo Testaccio; this was opened in November 1929. An early season in which Roma made a large mark was the 1930–31 championship, the club finished as runners-up behind Juventus. Captain Attilio Ferraris along with Guido Masetti, Fulvio Bernardini and Rodolfo Volk were highly important players during this period.
Roma returned to form after being inconsistent for much of the late 1930s; A.S. Roma recorded an unexpected title triumph in the 1941–42 season by winning their first ever scudetto title. The eighteen goals scored by local player Amedeo Amadei were essential to the Alfréd Schaffer coached Roma side winning the title. At the time Italy was involved in World War II and Roma were playing at the Stadio del Partito Nazionale Fascista.
In the years just after the war, Roma were unable to recapture their league stature from the early 1940s. Roma finished in the lower half of Serie A for five seasons in a row, before eventually succumbing to their only ever relegation to Serie B at the end of the 1950–51 season; around a decade after their championship victory. Under future national team manager Giuseppe Viani, promotion straight back up was achieved.
After returning to Serie A, Roma managed to stabilise themselves as a top half club again with players such as Egisto Pandolfini, Dino Da Costa and Dane Helge Bronée. Their best finish of this period was under the management of Englishman Jesse Carver, when in 1954–55 they finished as runners-up, after Udinese who originally finished second were relegated for corruption.
Although Roma were unable to break into the top four during the following decade, they did achieve some measure of cup success. Their first honour outside of Italy was recorded in 1960–61 when Roma won the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup by beating Birmingham City 4–2 in the finals. A few years later Roma won their first Coppa Italia trophy in 1963–64, by beating Torino 1–0. Their second Coppa Italia trophy was won in 1968–69 when it was competed in a small league like system. Giacomo Losi set a Roma appearance record during 1969 with 450 appearances in all competitions, the record he set would last for 38 years.
The dawning of a newly successful era in Roma's footballing history was brought in with another Coppa Italia victory, they beat Torino on penalties to win the 1979–80 cup. Roma would reach heights in the league which they had not touched since the '40s by narrowly and controversially finishing as runners-up to Juventus in 1980–81. Former Milan player Nils Liedholm was the manager at the time, with prominent players such as Bruno Conti, Agostino Di Bartolomei, Roberto Pruzzo and Falcão.
The second scudetto did not elude Roma for much longer; in 1982–83 the Roman club won the title for the first time in 41 years, amidst joyous celebrations in the capital. The following season Roma finished as runners-up in Italy and collected a Coppa Italia title, they also finished as runners-up in the European Cup final of 1984. The European Cup final with Liverpool ended in a 1–1 draw with a goal from Pruzzo, but Roma eventually lost the penalty shoot-out. Roma's successful run in the 1980s would finish with a runners-up spot in 1985–86 and a Coppa Italia victory, beating out Sampdoria 3–2.
After that a comparative decline began in the league, one of the few league highs from the following period was a third place in 1987–88. At the start of the 1990s the club was involved in an all-Italian UEFA Cup final, where they lost 2–1 to Internazionale in 1991; the same season the club won its seventh Coppa Italia trophy and ended runners-up to Sampdoria in the Supercoppa Italiana. Aside from finishing runners-up to Torino in a Coppa Italia final, the rest of the decade was largely sub-par in the history of Roma; especially in the league where the highest they could manage was fourth in 1997–98.
Roma returned to form in the 2000s, starting the decade in great style by winning their third ever Serie A title in 2000–01; the scudetto was won on the last day of the season by beating Parma 3–1, edging out Juventus by two points. The club's captain, Francesco Totti was a large reason for the title victory and he would become one of the main heroes in the club's history, going on to break several club records. Other important players during this period included Aldair, Cafu, Gabriel Batistuta and Vincenzo Montella. The club attempted to defend the title in the following season but ended as runners-up to Juventus by just one point. This would be the start of Roma finishing as runners-up many times in both Serie A and Coppa Italia during the 2000s; they lost out 4–2 to AC Milan in the Coppa Italia final of 2003 and lost out to Milan again by finishing second in Serie A for the 2003–04 season.
A Serie A scandal was revealed during 2006 and Roma were one of the teams not involved; after punishments were handed out Roma was re-classified as runners-up for 2005–06; the same season in which they finished second in the Coppa Italia losing to Inter. In the two following seasons Roma finished as Serie A runners-up, meaning that in the 2000s Roma have finished in the top two positions more than any other decade in their history. Meanwhile in the Champions League during both of these seasons they reached the quarter-finals before going out to Manchester United. Both these campaigns bring mixed emotions for Roma fans. During 2006-07, Roma became the first team in over 3 years to beat French side Olympique Lyonnais on their home ground, going on to meet Manchester United in the quarterfinals. After an impressive 2-1 over the English giants at the Stadio Olimpico, Roma crumbled to an incredible 7-1 defeat at Old Trafford (8-3 aggregate), the heaviest defeat in a UEFA Champions League quarterfinal. During the 2007-08 edition of the Champions League, Roma eliminated Spanish giants Real Madrid in the first knockout round, becoming the first Italian team to beat Real Madrid in a two-leg encounter and also becoming the first team in Europe to record two victories at the Santiago Bernabéu. They would exit the competition in the quarterfinals to Manchester United once again in what was a much closer encounter.
Including all competitions, Francesco Totti is the all-time leading goalscorer for Roma, with 188 goals since joining the club, 151 of which were scored in Serie A (another Roma record). Roberto Pruzzo, who was the all-time topscorer since 1988 comes in second in all competitions with 136. In the 1930–31 season, Rodolfo Volk scored 29 goals in Serie A over the course of a single season, not only was he the league's topscorer that year, but he set a Roma record for most goals scored in a season, which still lasts today.
The first ever official game participated in by Roma was in the Italian Football Championship of 1928–29, the predecessor of Serie A, against Livorno; Roma won 2–0. The biggest ever victory recorded by Roma was 9–0 against Cremonese during the Serie A season of 1929–30. The highest defeat Roma have ever suffered is 7–1, this has happened three times; first against Juventus during 1931–32, then against Torino in 1947–48 and most recently against Manchester United in 2006–07.
The kit itself was originally worn by Roman Football Club; one of the three clubs who merged to form the current incarnation in 1927. Because of the colours they wear, Roma are often nicknamed i giallorossi meaning the yellow-reds. Roma's away kit is traditionally white, with a third kit changing colour from time to time.
A popular nickname for the club is i lupi (the wolves), the animal has always featured on the club's badge in different forms throughout their history. Currently the emblem of the team is the one which was used when the club was first founded. It portrays the female wolf with the two infant brothers Romulus and Remus, illustrating the myth of the creation of Rome, superimposed on a bipartite golden yellow over maroon red shield.
In the myth from which the club take their nickname and logo, the twins (sons of Mars and Rhea Silvia) are thrown into the River Tiber by their uncle Amulius, a she-wolf saved the twins and looked after them. Eventually the two twins took revenge on Amulius, before falling out themselves; Romulus killed Remus and as thus was made king of a new city named in his honour, Rome.
|Period||Kit manufacturer||Shirt sponsor|
|1994–1995||Asics||Nuova Tirrena (Insurance)|
|1995–1997||INA Assitalia (Insurance)|
|2005–2006||Banca Italease (Banking Group)|
The traditional ultras group of the club was the politically left-leaning Commando Ultrà Curva Sud commonly abbreviated as CUCS; this group was founded by the merger of many smallers groups and was considered one of the most historic in the history of European football. However, by the mid-1990s CUCS had been usurped by rival factions and ultimately broke up. Since that time, the Curva Sud of the Stadio Olimpico has been controlled by more right-wing groups; A.S. Roma Ultras, Boys, Giovinezza and others. The oldest group Fedayn is apolitical however and politics is not the raison d'être of Roma, just a part of their overall identity.
The club anthem and motto is La Roma non si discute, si ama by local singer Antonello Venditti. The title roughly means "Roma is not discussed, it is loved" and is sung before each match, the song Grazie Roma, by the same singer, is played at the end of victorious home games. Recently, the main riff of The White Stripes song Seven Nation Army has also become widely popular at games.
In Italian football Roma are a club with many rivalries; first and foremost is their rivalry with Lazio, the club who they share the Stadio Olimpico stadium with. The derby between the two is called the Derby della Capitale, it is amongst the most heated and emotional footballing rivalries in the world. A Lazio fan, Vincenzo Paparelli was killed at one of the derby games during the 1979–80 season after being hit in the eye by a flare thrown by a Roma fan.
A second extreme incident happened during the Rome derby in 2003, when it was called off after Roma ultras spread untrue rumours that a child had been killed by police during the game. The game was called off but there was trouble on the streets outside of the stadium, with battles between police and ultras in which 150 police officers were injured, as well as a number of tifosi; nobody was killed. With Napoli, Roma also compete in the Derby del Sole rivalry meaning the "Derby of the Sun"; the two cities are within close proximity to each other and the two clubs are the most successful in Central and Southern Italy. The fans also consider Juventus, AC Milan and Inter amongst their rivals.
Along with Lazio and Juventus, i Lupi is one of only three Italian clubs quotated in Borsa Italiana (Italian stock exchange). According to The Football Money League published by consultants Deloitte, in the season 2005–06, Roma was the twelfth highest earning football club in the world with an estimated revenue of €127 million.
In April 2008, after months of speculation, George Soros was confirmed by Rosella Sensi, CEO of Italian Serie A association football club A.S. Roma, to be bidding for a takeover. The takeover bid was successively rejected by the Sensi family, who instead preferred to maintain the club's ownership. On August 17, 2008 club chairman and owner Franco Sensi died after a long illness; his place at the chairmanship of the club was successively taken by her daughter Rosella.