“You have to leave Rome.” Blitz of fans in Casal Palocco
The “We loved each other so much” between Nicolò Zaniolo and the Rome he will know his (not happy) ending by today at eight in the evening. Even if “the end” could even reach the overtime of the English winter market which, compared to the Italian one, will close at midnight. What is certain is that if the young talent of Ligurian origin does not abandon the yellow and red shirt, then the climate of hatred and threats that has broken out in the city against him could experience a further and dangerous escalation. Because now between the twenty-three-year-old attacker and the people of “Magic” there is a total break.
Banners, chases and intimidation: Sunday night under the home of Zaniolo a Casal Palocco, a residential district between Rome and the sea, the ultras presented themselves. An ambush: the boy had been intercepted on the street, chased by car, threatened, even with death, right up to the gate of his house: «M…, you have to go. If we lost in Naples it’s your fault », one of the phrases repeated together with the hateful and inevitable sexist slogans against the mother. It was 1.25, the athlete, frightened, called 112, fearing that the situation would escalate: «There are the fans barricaded outside here, they insult me». When the police arrive, the ultras, about fifteen, had already disappeared. On the same night, the banner appears in front of the Trigoria sports center: “Away from Trigoria men of little account, cowards and profiteers … Unconditional support only for those who respect our colours!”, signed by the ultra group “Roma”. Already earlier on the Ponte degli Annibaldi, a stone’s throw from the Colosseum, the fans had hoisted: «Zaniolo traitor M without honor!». In short, an unequivocal series of invitations from the Curva Sud not to tread the Olimpico’s terrain anymore as landlord.
One came from the Giallorossi club firm condemnation to “every possible form of violence” against his number 22. His sister Benedetta defended him on social media: “No words are needed, just a lot of pain for you”. The mother, on the other hand, posted a photo of an offensive writing on Instagram, commenting: “Having originated this hatred seems a little excessive to me”, in controversy with the company.
The agents of the Ostia police station have ordered constant vigilance near the home of the young footballer even if, then, yesterday Zaniolo decided to leave the capital by deserting training. Trigoria is also monitored, awaiting the results of the transfer campaign and where, in any case, the attacker is called up.
Hate and love. Love and hate. And as in any liaison that has come to an end, it is the alleged betrayals and economic interests that hold the court, millions of euros that evaporate or materialize between a sale and a new arrival. Then there are the words never said and those reported, the promises not kept and the disappointed expectations. The contract between Zaniolo and Roma formally expires in June 2024. In the meantime, there is no sign of renewal, while the first part of the championship goes by for the player without ever really exalting his fans who, just a few months earlier – it was May 2022 – had acclaimed him for the winning goal in the Conference League. We had loved each other so much.
Jose Mourinho he lets slip in a press conference that Zaniolo wants to leave. He refuses to leave for Spezia-Roma (and for this behavior he will forfeit a fine from the club). CEO Tiago Pinto says he was taken aback by Nicolò’s decision. Also because up to that moment, no official offers had arrived for Roma on the transfer market. In the footsteps of the 23-year-old, AC Milan would have joined, but the deal did not go through. Low-ranked English page Bournemouth steps forward. The proposal is attractive: almost 30 million that the company would cash in instantly, freeing up liquidity useful for new engagements. The prospect (completely archived last night, while Leeds came forward), however, does not satisfy Zaniolo who rejects the offer to the sender. It is at this point that the anger of the fans explodes, intent on sending him away. By hook or by crook.
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