Real Madrid have not won a European knockout tie against Italian opposition since 1987. Mina Rzouki explains why Roma are a team Los Blancos must respect.
Defeated 6-1 by Barcelona, Roma goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczesny didn’t seem angry. He didn’t even seem concerned. He was simply in awe. “It was beautiful to watch because we played against a team from another planet.” While certain members of the squad appreciated the skilful Catalans, the city of Rome mourned. Defeated 7-1 by Bayern Munich last season and 6-1 now, it seemed every big European challenge brought with it more humiliation and rather than provoke a proud reaction from the team, the side seemed content with accepting mediocrity.
Roma President James Pallotta, a business man who appreciates the importance of image, quickly realised a change was inevitable, especially as his side were drawn against Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League.
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