Thursday August 22 2013
The rise and fall of Osvaldo

Having initially silenced his critics after a promising first season at Roma, Pablo Daniel Osvaldo couldn’t wait to get out of the capital. Michele Martinelli writes.

Back at the beginning of the 2012-13 Serie A season, Pablo Daniel Osvaldo was gearing up to establish himself as one of the peninsula’s best strikers. He was well loved by the Roma fans and had the passion, style and fiery character that goes down well in the capital city. The Argentine-born forward even got away with replicating Gabriel Batistuta’s infamous machine gun goal celebration.

Fast forward to his last weeks in a Giallorosso shirt and he was being booed and insulted by a very vocal section of the support. Just a few days before his move to Southampton, Osvaldo tweeted a photo of a pavement outside his home where someone had written ‘Osvaldo a piece of s***’. “How sad…” was his response.

And during his official unveiling as a new Premiership player, he noted: “Leaving Roma for Southampton wasn't difficult, not at all. In fact, from the moment I signed, I was relieved…”

So how did it come to this? Despite being the team’s preferred striker, and often paired with the creative Francesco Totti and Erik Lamela, a combination of injuries, suspensions and a lack of cold blood saw him score 28 goals in two seasons. Not enough for the main striker in a team manned by attack-minded Coaches such as Luis Enrique and, in particular, Zdenek Zeman.

Osvaldo is unpredictable both on and off the pitch, but seldom in a way which made the fans sing his praises. For every bicycle kick against Catania, there were three red cards, dressing room arguments and insults hurled at staff and supporters alike. The fans, however, still recognised his talent and the squad as a whole continued to support him.

Teammate Daniele De Rossi and Italy boss Cesare Prandelli have been two of the Osvaldo’s most strident supporters. The Azzurri CT has continued to call him up even after he was dropped for the Confederations Cup. A “champion” was what Prandelli described him as, while the midfielder noted that his friend was a “good lad” who would be a big loss for Roma if sold.

Despite the backing, Osvaldo made his exit inevitable. The final die in his Roma career was cast when he stopped club legend Totti from taking a penalty at Sampdoria, which he then missed, and then called interim Coach Aurelio Andreazzoli “incompetent” following a Cup Final loss to Lazio. Osvaldo seemed determined to burn every bridge and responded to jeers at training by telling fans he would take each of them on “one after the other”.

Both Roma and Osvaldo have now paid the price for such behaviour. The club has had to settle for an initial fee of about £13m for an Italian international, whereas Osvaldo has had to join a club on an inferior level to La Magica. Roma will feel particularly unlucky as the main benefactor of the move, striker Mattia Destro, is suffering from a long-term injury and the sale has left a gaping hole in their front line.

For Osvaldo, however, the move to Southampton could see him get back to his scoring best. The forward, who has played for eight clubs since 2005, should be able to thrive in a lower pressure environment like he did for Espanyol and could once again command the attention of Europe’s biggest teams. He has the talent, but does he have the temperament? 

Keep up to date with the latest news and action from Spain's Primera Division with Football Espana - from the team behind Football Italia.

See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with

Have your say...
Not that I would care too much about Osvaldo, but seeing him leaving to Southampton is a very bad signal for Serie A. Add Giak, Donati and Caldirola to the players which could have played important roles in upper half Serie A clubs and the picture becomes depressing. Instead, a tsunami of mediocre, at best - foreigners is flooding Italian football, narrowing the space for home-grown talents further. Fine with Higuain, Tevez or even Gomez, but the squads are full of players, I had never heard of.
on the 28th August, 2013 at 5:33pm
Roma fans should be far more concerned about the impending loss of Lamela. He has what it takes to be one of the best players of a generation.
on the 24th August, 2013 at 8:26pm
@mustafaaaaa Poor you. You can't even understand a perfectly well written sentence. "Sue the one that taught me English" what are you twelve? In case you haven't noticed Italy is using ses as partner with balo, noone else. They are the future yea de scigilio is another talent. iPhone changed the word provoke but you're too dumb to realize that. 
on the 24th August, 2013 at 2:55pm
Selling both your top scorer a is suicidal..!! I'm a Roma fan and love my club, Osvaldo shame but I can understand the club but selling Lamela when he was supposed to be the future of the club..... This I don't understand. Then they talk about Demba Ba, I would be happy with Nani and Adrian Lopez but we need a world class striker especially as Roma have just got rid of 30+ goals per season
on the 24th August, 2013 at 2:14pm
Roma owners are businessmen who are used to the American sports system of trading players like the NFL or MLB. These guys are not passionate about football and are all about making a profit. Having said that i don't understand why Roma had to sell Osvaldo and replace him with a probably worse performing player. Granted Osvaldo hasn't been that impressive but considering that there are very few options available on the market i would have kept Osvaldo for at least another season. Now Roma are in need of a forward and will have to fight off Arsenal, Schalke, Lyon, Dortmund, Porto, Napoli and a few others who have been actively searching for an attacking player.
on the 24th August, 2013 at 1:12pm
"For Osvaldo,however, the move to Southampton could see him get back to his scoring best. The forward, who has played for eight clubs since 2005, should be able to thrive in a lower pressure environment like he did for Espanyol and could once again command the attention of Europe’s biggest teams"

Why would he want to "thrive", then leave and fail again at big club?
on the 24th August, 2013 at 1:10am

I would snap your arm off for a top 6 finish at the moment! I think struggling to a top half finish is more likely right now. And another summer like this next year could see us fighting relegation, because we'll have sold strootman, florenzi and DDR and replaced them with pub league standard players like gervinho.
on the 23rd August, 2013 at 10:55pm
@ Viktoria

I think we're talking about Osvaldo here. I don't know why you directed that Balotelli essay to me. So, easy Altobelli, save your thinking.

Then, If you think for one single second that Italy future is around SeS and De Sciglio, I'd say go have a frozen yogurt. Balo, Verratti yes but the others still no.

In addition,

I don't what provacating people mean.

And, "I would chose my parallels to football athletes abit wiser in the future"

I would sue who taught you English. Quite.
on the 23rd August, 2013 at 5:01pm
look people, in the end, the sale of ovsaldo was likely. and good. but the sale of lamela (as reported very close), is bad. no club should ever sell many of their big players in the same summer for huge amounts of cash. selling lamela, marquinhos and osvaldo seems to me as a bad idea. if roma doesn't reinvest that cash back into the squad, then i'm afraid that there will be another 6th place finish next season. roma can't just take that money and run! they sold, sold, sold. now, buy, buy, buy!
on the 23rd August, 2013 at 4:05pm
What on earth is going on at Roma? I can understand them selling Osvaldo as he was too hot-headed & inconsistent. But Lamela? Do they really need the money, after the sale of Marquinhos? Or maybe Lamela wants to leave because things are just too turbulent at Roma.
As for who is Italy's best striker, I still say that it is Di Natale. Balotelli, has great ability, but he wastes numerous chances & isn't as clinical as Toto. Take away Balo's spot kicks and his goal record isn't that great.
on the 23rd August, 2013 at 3:40pm
@ osvaldo sucks

We haven't had to worry about UEFA, European football or Financial Fair Play for the past couple of seasons. We certainly won't have to worry about them again for a while if we continue to dismantle our squad at the current rate. The more I think about the more I think Babu might actually have been a genuine signing rather than a bid to clear a work permit slot!
on the 23rd August, 2013 at 2:20pm
At first I was glad to see the back of him, but subsequent events have shown all these stories about having to get rid of him for the sake of the dressing room were probably just a convenient excuse to cash in. The Americans should be run out of town.
on the 23rd August, 2013 at 2:16pm
to osvaldo sucks...
the olny problem with your logic is that Roma won't get into Europe with the forwards they have got. It's pretty clear that Lamella and Boriello are off so is Florenzi going to play up front with Totti and Gervinio? Which one of those is going to get 15+ goals? Who knows when Destro will be back before getting injured again. They need a primo punto and fast! I'd take Lilac and Nani at 10/12 M each.
on the 23rd August, 2013 at 1:46pm
I've always said great players are those who are focused and determined to play the game without any antics.Osvaldo is just another clueless and crazy player just like his twin Balotelli.Players like Del Piero,Baggio,hell even Vieri all exhibited maturity at young ages and these players were much more skillful and influential.Balotelli,Osvaldo and Mancini are all in the same class.Controversial with nothing to show for
on the 23rd August, 2013 at 1:37pm
Roma is 72mill in debt and accoridng to FFP you can't make European competition unless you clear it forst. By selling Lamela+Marquinhos+Osvaldo+that piece of junk of a goalie-Strootman they have balanced the books. James Palotta should be thanking Zeman for the work he did - he single handedly made roma major cash by developing talent.
on the 23rd August, 2013 at 1:24pm
Good article.

I'm surprised nobody is stating the fact..He has gone to Southampton! Surely there were bigger clubs interested in him? Arsenal would have been a good choice, the guy is a international for petes sake.
on the 23rd August, 2013 at 8:34am
Mustafaaaa = king of trolling
on the 23rd August, 2013 at 7:01am

Ps. Comparing balotelli to a fictions character that's deformed might be abit harsh. I would chose my parallels to football athletes abit wiser in the future, you come out as rather pathetic.
on the 22nd August, 2013 at 9:45pm

Insigne, ses, balo, veratti, de scigilio etc. Italy in my point of view has so many promising young players. I'm not sure if your watching football or just enjoying provacating people on the Internet just cause your a lonely person? If your follow Italian football or football in general you outta know Italy's future looks promising. I can understand people who dislike balo for he's attitude, but in terms of performance he's very skilled. That's actually not up debate.
on the 22nd August, 2013 at 9:41pm
Osvaldo has quality?

What quality ? Romanistas are pieces of joke.
on the 22nd August, 2013 at 8:39pm
Also we wont get Nani or Hernandez or Ba or anyone decent. We will get another second rate player like Gervinho. Arsenal must be having a good laugh at our expense. He is awful,a joke signing. The Americans just want to cash in and not spend any real money on new players. Wheres the Marquinos money? I am hopeful this season will be better, lets face it, it cant get worse than last year. Just thinking about the coppa final makes me cry.
on the 22nd August, 2013 at 6:57pm
As a big Roma fan I am sorry to see Osvaldo leave. I rate him. What makes me really mad is the that it looks likely we are going to lose lamella. This is a joke, he is a top player and we need him. The owners are just trying to cash in on our star players. If we lose Lamela to we have just Totti, Tello, Destro who is injured,and Boriello. They are clueless. Fair play to the fans that jeered the other day. The Americans are all talk, you don't win things by selling your best players.
on the 22nd August, 2013 at 6:52pm

Balo is the best Italy have?

God help Italy then lol

The film 300 just sprung to mind with that deformed creature that wants to fight but is turned down for being crap.

Balo is that creature, only Italy dont have a bag of other stars, he is their only hope.
on the 22nd August, 2013 at 6:27pm
Southampton will be lucky to be in the top 12 of the league yes they are inferior and will not be competing in Europe unless the rest of the league decide to field a team of cats
on the 22nd August, 2013 at 3:41pm
Osvaldo is a great striker. I wish him all the best. Its better to have him in your team instead of the opponent. His temper is little wild but with a great coach you can use his temper on the field. Take a look at the goals he scored last year, amazing quality. I totaly agree with the juve fan down below.
on the 22nd August, 2013 at 3:38pm
@Juve fan

hahaha that statement had to be from a juve fan. Osvaldo is better then Balo, are you mad??

Balo is the best Italy got at the moment. period.
on the 22nd August, 2013 at 3:13pm
You may think they are inferior but it just shows you how little you know about Southampton and Cortese
on the 22nd August, 2013 at 2:57pm
Osvaldo better than Balo? Funny. Just look at Italy's results with Osvaldo up front. Osvaldo is a good striker but Mario has bags more ability. He is just a bit self obsessed... A product of the times, I guess.
on the 22nd August, 2013 at 2:37pm
Osvaldo leaving is easily the best move of our mercato. So relieved.
on the 22nd August, 2013 at 2:10pm
U said it all,to me osvaldo has the heart of a lion,real fighter.i wish him all the best at saint
on the 22nd August, 2013 at 1:58pm

Post new comment

Your email address is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
If you have your own website, enter its address here.
Maximum 500 characters.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Your responses will be moderated, and sometimes edited, by Football Italia before appearing on the site. Please keep your comments clean and try to keep them relevant to the blog above. We reserve the right to reject views that we deem unsuitable for publication.