Roma protest hits American papers

The protests from Roma fans against President James Pallotta have hit the headlines in Boston after the family restaurant was targeted.

The decision not to offer club icon Daniele De Rossi a new contract infuriated the ultras, who were already unhappy with Pallotta’s approach to the transfer market and sale of top stars.

These protests have now spread all over the world, with banners appearing in support of De Rossi and criticising Pallotta in England, America, Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and even Australia.

However, the tactic that really caught the eye of American media was the targeting of several Facebook pages based in Boston, including that of a restaurant run by Pallotta’s sisters.

“Thousands of Facebook comments directed at Pallotta have peppered Boston pages for much of the past week. As passionate as Boston sports fans are, their Roman counterparts have taken things to the next level,” it read in the Boston Globe.

It is not entirely new as an approach, because Milan supporters bombarded a cake shop run by goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma’s family with fake negative reviews when he seemed to be pushing for a transfer.

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Wolves push Roma for Marega

Roma face competition from Wolverhampton Wanderers in their bid to sign Porto striker Moussa Marega, as they’d pay the €40m release clause.

The 28-year-old Mali international scored 21 goals in 46 competitive games this season, along with 11 assists.

He was particularly effective in the Champions League, finding the net six times in nine appearances, while also assisting three for his teammates.

According to The Mirror and A Bola newspapers, Wolves are the new favourites to sign Marega, as they are prepared to pay the full €40m release clause in his contract.

Roma are hoping to negotiate the price-tag down instead.

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Ranieri: ‘Love Roma, but lower expectations’

Claudio Ranieri feels “emotional every time” he sits on the Roma bench, still believes in the Champions League and insists he’s just trying to “keep a lid on expectations” for the future.

When called as caretaker manager to replace sacked Eusebio Di Francesco in February, Ranieri said he’d only have done it for his beloved hometown club.

“Overall, I feel positive. When I arrived here, there was a sense of disappointment around the team – the boys were downbeat because they had high hopes,” he told asroma.com.

“Nobody can come in and wave a magic wand. I needed to make the defenders feel better protected and, little by little, things have improved for us. This team has a positive future, because there are young and talented players here. I’m sure they will do well.

“Roma mean everything to me. Which fan wouldn’t accept the opportunity to manage the team they love, even for just one game? I got the call at a difficult time. Had it been another team, I’d never have said yes – I would never have taken such a risk. Can you imagine, had we carried on losing after the matches against SPAL and Napoli? I would have had all the criticism.

“I thought all of those things, but love takes you beyond cold and practical reasoning. I agreed to take this risk.”

Sunday against Parma will be his final game as Roma Coach and Ranieri expects it to be emotional.

“Every time I’m in the Roma dugout, I get emotional. I always arrive out on the pitch after the anthem, because otherwise I get too emotional. I want to stay cool and have a clear head.

“Since it’s my last game, I must thank the club president, who gave me the opportunity to guide the team I love once again.

“I’ve never taken my supporter’s hat off. I am and will always be a fan.”

There is still a very slim chance Roma could qualify for the Champions League, but it’d require several different results to interlock.

They’d have to win by five clear goals, Inter to lose 1-0, Atalanta to avoid defeat and Milan lose.

Alternatively, the Giallorossi win while Inter, Milan and Atalanta all lose.

“There’s still a remote possibility that we get a Champions League place. We’ll need to score five and see what happens in the other matches. We’ll do our best. That’s the sort of person I am – I never give up and always strive, until the very end. If we don’t manage it, credit to the other teams.

“This team has fought hard to get into the Champions League. As I’ve said before, you have positive and negative campaigns. It’s like in wine-making: the vineyard can do the same work over and over but there will be years when the wine they make is marvellous and others when it’s not how they’d like. There are so many factors that have an impact. Unfortunately, this is how things have gone, however we’ve always had commitment, sacrifice and a sense of belonging.”

Ranieri rang alarm bells for fans and the club hierarchy when stating in his interviews that Roma probably wouldn’t be back in the Champions League for a long time.

“We’ll need to see how the team changes next year and find out which manager is coming in. This team is still fighting, in a season that hasn’t gone well. I don’t want to put pressure on my successor – that would be too easy. What I mean is this is a good team, which has always got into the Champions League in recent years.

“If we say the next team should go for Europa League qualification, we’re keeping a lid on expectations. Should the team then have a good season, getting into the Champions League, then that would come as a nice surprise. That’s the way I’ve always been. I think it’s better not to raise fans’ expectations and, as a result, those of managers, the club and everyone around it.

“If we manage to qualify for the Champions League in the game against Parma, obviously that will bring in more money for the club. The club has always been clear that they want to keep the balance sheet in order and I think that’s right.

“When I came back here, I saw lots of changes, compared to the last time I was Coach – it shows that money has been spent and things have been done in the right way. Obviously fans aren’t concerned by all those things behind the scenes – all they care about is seeing their team fight out on the pitch. It’s fair for a fan to think in those terms. As a Coach, I can say that there’s a great set up here, a great club that is on the up.”

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‘De Rossi to Boca 60% likely’

Boca Juniors’ chances of signing Roma captain Daniele De Rossi are rated at 60 percent by the Argentine Press.

De Rossi will leave Roma once his contract expires this summer, and Boca are one of the clubs who have been linked with the midfielder.

“There’s a Final on Sunday and we’re focused on that,” President Daniel Angelici told Fox Sports, referring to the Copa de la Superliga semi-final against Argentinos Juniors.

“There’s time to talk about reinforcements in June and July. Then it’ll also be necessary to see if there are offers for our current players.

“If someone leaves then someone else will come in, but for now we’ll think about Sunday because there are lads here who got us to the Final.”

Fox adds the 35-year-old has already asked former Giallorossi teammates Dani Osvaldo and Leandro Paredes for information about the Argentine club.

Furthermore, it rates Boca’s chances of landing the former Italy international at 60%, verging more on likely than unlikely.

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Fiorentina lose Montella

Fiorentina will be without Vincenzo Montella for their Serie A decider against Genoa after he was given a two-match ban.

The FIGC ruled on Tuesday that Montella addressed officials with a ‘threatening and intimidating’ attitude, using ‘insulting expressions’ three times and ‘violently punching an advertising board’ as he was sent off during Fiorentina’s 1-0 defeat to Parma on Sunday, which caused slight injury to a steward.

Consequently, the Coach will not be in the Viola’s dugout for their do-or-die clash with Genoa this weekend, with both sides playing to stay up on the final day.

Elsewhere, the Tuscan side, as well as Roma and Napoli, have been fined for fan trouble in Week 37. 

Chievo have lost Federico Barba for three games after he was shown a straight red card against Sampdoria and insulted the referee.

Finally, Juventus pair Federico Bernardeschi and Blaise Matuidi, Genoa’s Giuseppe Pezzella, Udinese’s Marvin Zeegelaar, Lazio’s Joaquin Correa, Atalanta’s Hans Hateboer, Napoli duo Kalidou Koulibaly and Allan, plus Chievo’s Mariusz Stepinski will all sit out Week 38’s fixtures.

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