Half-centurion Soffia showing how to fight for place

Angelica Soffia has become the fourth player in Roma Women’s history to make 50 appearances for the club.

There from the beginning, the right-back has been a young leader. Still only 20 years old, she is the youngest player to reach the milestone of 50 Roma Women appearances.

The manner in which she has worked to bring up such a landmark deserves nothing but plaudits. Soffia has shown the blueprint for young players looking to make their mark in a team.

Roma’s squad in their first season in women’s football was very youthful, with Soffia being a key part. She played in 19 of Roma’s 22 Serie A Femminile matches and four of five Coppa Italia games that season.

Despite still being a teenager, Soffia was a relatively senior player. In the season before she came to Roma, she had been captain of Verona – and while she has never worn the armband in the capital, she remains a reference point for the group.

As time has progressed, Roma have added more experience to their ranks. This quest for improvement led them to sign Kaja Erzen in 2019, providing competition for Soffia’s place.

It was through no fault of Soffia’s; Roma simply wanted more experience all over the pitch.

In 2019-20, Soffia started just seven Serie A games in comparison to Erzen’s 12. The Slovenian had overtaken her as first choice in the position.

Such a situation can be challenging for a young player, but Soffia has responded in an exemplary manner.

Refusing to give up on her first-team chances, the Italy under-19 international began to take on the responsibility of covering for Elisa Bartoli on the left-hand side of defence when the captain was unavailable.

Soffia adapted well to her new territory, showing the kind of attitude required by players who want to make it to the top.

Her efforts have seen her reinstated as the main choice back in her usual position of right-back. Erzen’s absence due to Covid-19 earlier this season helped Soffia build up a rhythm, but even since her teammate has returned, she has remained ahead of her in the hierarchy.

Against Empoli on February 28th, Soffia made her 50th appearance for Roma with her 11th league start of the season. By contrast, Erzen has started just four league games this term.

Obviously, Erzen remains a reliable option as well, but Soffia has risen to the challenge of fighting for her place. She has become a key player once again.

With the character and quality she has shown in her first 50 appearances for Roma, Soffia has carved out a bright future for herself.

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