Friday September 27 2013
Florenzi revives memories of Perrotta

As Roma sit at the top of Serie A, Michele Martinelli takes a closer look at an Alessandro Florenzi who is doing his best Simone Perrotta impression.

“Is Alessandro Florenzi the new you? Yes, but he can’t miss the amount of goals that I used to,” smiled Simone Perrotta. “He has that ability to throw himself into space. He is a player with great potential, one who importantly can do well for the Roma cause.”

Although a World Cup winner with Italy in 2006, the now 36-year-old was a substance over style player. He, like Florenzi, was a versatile midfielder, one wiling to do the donkey work that others with greater technical ability were exempt from.

The recently retired man, who was actually born in Ashton-under-Lyne, played a pivotal role in all of Roma’s most recent title challenges. And, on the evidence of this season so far, it looks like the 22-year-old could have a similar impact.

Perrotta began his professional career playing in Serie B before joining Juventus. Here he was deemed surplus to requirements and was farmed out to Bari on a co-ownership deal. Bari bought the other half of his contract for €300,000 in 2001. He spent another year at Bari and then moved to Chievo, before joining Roma in 2004.

In 2011, Florenzi, who is a product of the Trigoria youth academy, headed to Serie B club Crotone as part of a loan with option to buy deal. At the end of the season, Crotone exercised their right to purchase half of his contract for €250,000. Roma, realising their mistake, immediately signed him back for five times that price.

Part of the reason for his return was Zdenek Zeman, the demanding 4-3-3 Coach who had been impressed by Florenzi in the Second Division while he was in charge of Pescara. Florenzi, now an Italian international, has not looked back and in his breakout season made 25 starting appearances and scored three League goals. Exactly the same amount as Perrotta during his first term with the capital club.

This time around, more is expected of the young Roman – especially after his two strikes in five games so far. In Roma’s first tie he stepped into the starting line up against Livorno and scored. The goal in itself was a nice effort – a long pass from midfield, which Florenzi hit first time – but more importantly he brought a certain balance to a team which is now bossed by Rudi Garcia.

Although he lacks the touch and vision of club legend Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi’s ability to dominate the midfield, the youngster is viewed well by the fans given that he is Roman born and bred. That is inevitably seeing him hailed as a future captain once Totti and then De Rossi are dethroned at the Stadio Olimpico.

His ability and willingness to run himself into the ground for his teammates gives Roma a player they have been missing since they last challenged for the title. He also has a certain level of technique and pace, which have seen him fielded as an attacking midfielder, winger and even a full-back. Three positions which the under-rated Perrotta covered during his career.

“Perrotta, a key man in the changing room, was an example to me,” Florenzi noted of his former colleague in the capital. “On and off the field.”

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Have your say...
I certainly hope Florenzi grows into the role we need him to fill for The Azzurri. After the "missed generation" of italian players that the 2006 WC hangover left behind, many great players have come into the mix. There are still others that may show up. Im waiting for the likes of Marrone, Santon, Ogbonna, De Sciglio, Antonini to step up for defensive options. Meanwhile, Id like Giusseppe Rossi and El Shaarawy to be given a role next to Balotelli up front. Diamanti's a keeper too.
on the 29th September, 2013 at 12:19am
We should be using the financial crises in serie a to use young italian players and put us back on track for the future players like florenzi, insigne, gabbiandini etc can only become the players we hope with experience of a top league and champions league. I think pinning our hope solely on balotelli is the worst thing we can do, hes good but his attitude and mentality is and will hold him back.
Well done roma and well done florenzi
on the 28th September, 2013 at 9:52pm
I heard it's big ....
on the 27th September, 2013 at 9:06pm
Italy's World Cup squad




on the 27th September, 2013 at 4:02pm
florenzi is high quality. perrotta was high quality too, and a world cup winner. i view florenzi as an even greater talent then perrotta and has the time and the potential to accomplish the same or more. time will tell of course. i agree that roma has something very special on their hands. and i'm sure prandelli knows that too!
on the 27th September, 2013 at 3:44pm
Being compared to Perotta is an insult aha he was always garbage. I tip florenzi to be way better than him. Perotta was such a useless player
on the 27th September, 2013 at 2:26pm
Alessandro is an amazing talent. He is the future of Italian football along with De Sciglio & others. I really hope Roma use him a lot so he can show is full potential as he's amazing player and a big star in the future.
on the 27th September, 2013 at 12:17pm

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