Ever-since their last top-flight title in 2000/01, up to 2016/17, Roma finished second on nine occasions, with a further three third places.
Despite featuring great teams and making huge income in selling top players, Roma didn’t win a single trophy in the 2010s and only reached one Coppa Italia final, lost against city rivals Lazio.
Considering there was the Juventus domination, which also proved to be a top European team, reaching three European semi-finals in the period, the challenge was hard.
However, Roma should have done a better job with what they had, in order to take a challenge to Juventus.
Manager: Zdenek Zeman, then Aurelio Andreazzoli
This season saw Roma finish out of the Champions League for the third year running, two of which without playing in any European competition. Roma finished sixth with 62 points, while Juventus finished first with 87.
The team featured interesting players like Marquinhos, Miralem Pjanic, Pablo Osvaldo, Erik Lamela and Mattia Destro, with Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi still on top level. There was margin for improvement with investments in the right areas.
Topscorer: Osvaldo (17 goals)Embed from Getty Images
Manager: Rudi Garcia
Top signings: Kevin Strootman (16,5), Medhi Benatia (13.5), Gervinho (1,75), Maicon (0)
Top sellings: Marquinhos (31), Lamela (30), Osvaldo (15), Bojan (13)
*every number quantifies million eurosEmbed from Getty Images
Roma go on to sell multiple players and the Giallorossi actually do invest some of that money in the right areas, still managing to keep the profit. Coach Garcia is brought in and Roma have the best start in Serie A history, winning all of the first 10 games.
Few injuries hamper their progress, causing them to pick up a few draws on the way. Roma reach the head-to-head with Juventus on Matchday 18 five points behind, but lose to the champions and have to give up title hopes.
Juventus will coronate a great campaign with 102 points, while Roma score their personal points record by finishing second with 85 points, a number that would have seen them very close the previous season. There are the basis to do something big and build a team that could challenge in Italy and Europe.
Topscorer: Destro (13 goals)Embed from Getty Images
Manager: Rudi Garcia
Top signings: Juan Iturbe (24), Radja Nainggolan (15), Kostas Manolas (15), Seydou Doumbia (14), Davide Astori (2), Leandro Paredes (0.25) Ashley Cole (0)
Top sellings: Benatia (28), Destro (0.5 loan), Alessio Romagnoli (0.5 loan)
Income: 42Embed from Getty Images
Roma invest the money made in the previous season and seem to have a strong team, which could challenge Juventus. The starting 11 is full of stars, with Maicon, Manolas, Astori, Cole, Pjanic, Nainggolan, De Rossi, Totti, Gervinho and Alessandro Florenzi.
The true problem is that Juventus simply have a stronger team. Roma start the season with five wins, once again losing their unbeaten streak to the hands of Juventus, with controversy due to Leonardo Bonucci’s winning goal being offside.
The Giallorossi don’t lose too much ground and are just a point shy after 17 games. Eight draws in the following nine games see them slipping behind and once again giving up on title hopes.
Juventus end up winning with 87 points, two more of Roma’s previous year’s tally, but the Giallorossi are actually far with 70 points. In the Coppa Italia and in the Europa League, Roma are knocked out by the hands of Fiorentina, who will be semi-finalists in both competitions.
Topscorer: Totti (10 goals)Embed from Getty Images
Manager: Rudi Garcia, then Luciano Spalletti
Top signings: Iago Falque (7), Mohamed Salah (5 loan), Edin Dzeko (4 loan), Antonio Rudiger (4 loan), Lucas Digne (2.5 loan), Stephan El Shaarawy (1.4 loan), Emerson (loan), Wojciech Szczesny (loan)
Top sellings: Pjanic (32), Romagnoli (25), Andrea Bertolacci (21), Gervinho (18)
Income: 134Embed from Getty Images
The previous season, Roma only scored 54 league goals and the absence of a real goalscorer was felt, with Totti being the most prolific player at 38-years-old.
They will buy Edin Dzeko, who was coming off a season with a lack of playing time at Manchester City and his poor form will be a reason for Roma’s disappointing year.
They once again make huge incomes and invest them for good players, but losing the core of their midfielder Pjanic, selling it to direct rivals Juventus (although it was at the end of the season) was arguably a huge mistake. Juventus are off very poorly, only getting 12 points in the first 10 games, while Roma lead with 23.
However, another end-of calendar year lack of form sees them drop to fifth place by Matchday 19. At that point, given also the loss in the Coppa Italia to Serie B side Spezia, Garcia is sacked and Spalletti is brought in.
The Tuscan manager had led Roma to three consecutive second-places in the late 2000s and ended up having the best points-average of any manager, scoring 46 points to lead Roma to third. They finished with 80, 11 points behind Juventus and two behind Napoli.
Topscorer: Salah (15)Embed from Getty Images
Top signings: Alisson (8)
Top sellings: Adem Ljajic (9), Matteo Politano (8), Iago Falque (6)
Roma focused on carrying on the previous year’s project, spending their budget to finalise the signings of Salah, El Shaarawy and Dzeko among the others. Their lineup featured Szczesny, Manolas, Rudiger, Florenzi, Emerson, Nainggolan, Strootman, De Rossi, Salah, El Shaarawy and Dzeko.
This could be their year and with Pjanic remaining rather than moving to Juventus, fortunes could have changed a lot. Roma’s problem was in fact that they had to challenge a team who would go on and reach another European final.
Dzeko was on full-form and ended the season with 29 league goals, while Salah and Nainggolan got 19 and 14 respectively in all competitions. Roma reach the head-to-head on Matchday 17 just four points behind, but once again Juventus come out on top.
What follows is a vain chase, where Roma close up with 87 points, just four behind the champions. They are out in the Coppa Italia semifinals by the hand of Lazio and also lose in the Europa League rounds of 16 to Lyon.
Topscorer: Dzeko (39 goals)Embed from Getty Images
Manager: Eusebio Di Francesco
Top signings: Rick Karsdorp (15), Cengiz Under (14), Bruno Peres (12), Lorenzo Pellegrini (10), Aleksandar Kolarov (5)
Top sellings: Salah (42), Rudiger (35), Paredes (23), Emerson (20)
Income: 155Embed from Getty Images
Roma probably weren’t yet a top European team, but selling your best players doesn’t help becoming one. The end of the 2010s revealed that Roma could make huge profits, but was hardly any good at investing the money.
With Szczesny ending his loan, Alisson was promoted in goal, but selling Salah, who would go on to set numerous records at Liverpool, had huge repercussions. Roma still had a decent team, which in fact finished third, despite once again being a point shy on matchday 17.
Roma finished a comfortable third but didn’t look like they could fight for the title. However, things went very differently in the cups. They lost immediately to Torino in the Coppa Italia, but they went as far as the Champions League semi-finals after beating Barcelona, losing 7-6 on aggregate to Liverpool.
Once again, close, but never to the point. Roma needed to buy and build a team around their top players, but next season will be a repeat of this one.
Topscorer: Dzeko (24 goals)
Manager: Di Francesco, then Claudio Ranieri
Signings: Patrik Schick (42), Steven Nzonzi (27), Javier Pastore (24), Justin Kluivert (17), Robin Olsen (9)
Top sellings: Alisson (62), Nainggolan (38), Strootman (25)
Income: 150Embed from Getty Images
The trend that no Roma manager lasted for a full three years since Spalletti departed in 2009, was confirmed in 2019, with Di Francesco sacked mid-season. Roma receive huge money from their sellings, but once again invest them on the wrong players.
They sold three of their key players and brought in Olsen to replace a goalkeeper like Alisson. With Pau Lopez joining the following season, Roma still remain without a top goalkeeper after featuring Szczesny and Alisson in their team at the same time.
Dzeko has aged and Roma yet have not bought a replacement. 2018-19 will see Roma drop out of the top three for the first time in six years, something that happened in 2020 and has a high chance of occurring in 2021, too.
Topscorer: Edin Dzeko (14 goals)Embed from Getty Images
It’s true that Roma were up against a Juventus side that dominated Italy and also did well in Europe, but considering the total income they made from selling top players, it can be said that they should have done better at rebuilding their team.
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