Having won Serie A as a player with Roma, Eusebio Di Francesco will also be immortalised as a Coach for his part in their historic comeback against Barcelona, but memories are very short in football.
Though his future seemed uncertain after a 3-0 Serie A loss to fierce rivals Lazio at the weekend, all would have been forgotten if they found their way past Porto in the second leg of their Champions League last 16 clash.
But a 3-1 extra time loss piled on top of many dismal performances this season meant DiFra has paid the ultimate price. UK betting sites widely expect Claudio Ranieri to take over, the Premier League winner having previously been in charge in the capital a decade ago. He defied the odds to take Leicester City to the title but his most recent posting, at Fulham, was little short of a disaster with the London club odds-on to go down. That's a fate not likely to befall Roma anytime soon but given Juventus' dominance domestically, it'd be only slightly less of an upset if the Lupi emulated Ranieri's Foxes in the near future.
Sure, the Champions League has already thrown up bigger shocks with Manchester United coming from 2-0 at home to beat PSG and Ajax demolishing holders Real Madrid, but this was a tie Roma expected to win.
As meetings with Manchester City, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and PSG were all a possibility, Porto – thumped 4-0 by Liverpool at this stage last season – were a welcome sight in the Last 16 draw.
Having reached the semi-finals last season, maybe expectations were too great, having punched above their weight. Some of the foibles in the 49-year-old's tactical plans reared their head during that run, as he gifted Liverpool the time and space to nearly put the tie to bed in the first leg of the semi-final.
In fact, Roma faltered in every first leg of their run through the knock-out stages, as Di Francesco seemed only able to motivate his side once they were down in the tie. Comfortable being the chasers, but never the leaders.
Their defence, or seeming lack thereof, might be the biggest gripe fans have with the way the side have played under the Italian of late. The Giallorossi have kept only one clean sheet in their last 10 matches, conceding eight more league goals than the entirety of last season with a third of the campaign left.
A naturally attacking Coach, few expected him to turn the Romans into Juventus, but the dearth of defensive solidity is starting to cost them as they fail to outscore opponents.
Also dumped out of the Coppa Italia in embarrassing fashion (7-1 to Fiorentina), Roma have nothing left to fight for but fourth place.
For a club that wants more than to battle for a top four spot season on season, it was a performance worthy of breaking out the P45. But not all the blame for Roma’s malaise this season rests on his shoulders.
President James Pallotta has cashed in on many of the club’s assets, leaving Di Francesco without stars like Mohamed Salah, Alisson Becker, Kevin Strootman and Radja Nainggolan.
Those sought out by sporting director Monchi to replace them, such as Justin Kluivert and Javier Pastore, weren’t even on the bench in Portugal. Some very loudly argue he should be the next out the door.
The wonders he did of constantly flipping players for big money is only sustainable if a Coach can deal with the tumultuousness of an ever-changing figures and if those around the club keep expectations low.
Moreover, Di Francesco has been forced to surrogate experience for youth in the hope the club can make a buck or two in the future. Building something long lasting and meaningful is difficult in those conditions.
Whomever takes the reins full-time in the summer will have to deal with the same complications, but as of now the duty of steering the ship back on course falls to former Roma boss Ranieri.
It is easy to point at his recent failings at Fulham and question his appointment, though the problems at the West London club run deeper, stemming from their expensive, but poorly-built squad.
More worrying might be his spell at Nantes, who after a dazzling start quickly trailed off with only four wins in their last 19 matches. His odds-defying Premier League title win with Leicester City clearly did wonders for his stock among those who hire and fire managers, but that’s not really why he was chosen for this role.
Roma only want to secure a Champions League spot for next season, which will help them find a more permanent new Coach. Ranieri fits the bill, as he has just been fired by Fulham and is a committed lifelong Roma supporter, so will be content to step aside for the good of the club.
This is now Year Zero. Monchi is surely out the door too, so the Giallorossi can spend the next few months preparing for a whole new era.
Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £9.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://www.premiersports.com/subscribenow