UEFA competitions have allowed Roma to travel far and wide over the years, but sometimes the destination – or at least the opponent – is the same two years in a row.
For example, Roma won the 2022 Europa Conference League final against Feyenoord and went up against them again in the Europa League in 2023 and 2024.
Here, Giallorossi Yorkshire looks back at all previous examples of Roma coming up against the same opponent in consecutive UEFA tournaments.
1998-99 UEFA Cup, 1999-2000 UEFA Cup
In the second round of the 1998-99 UEFA Cup, Roma were drawn against Leeds United. A Marco Delvecchio goal secured a 1-0 advantage in Rome before a 0-0 draw in Yorkshire.
Roma eventually reached the quarter-final that season, before participating in the competition again the following season. This time they met in the round of 16, drawing 0-0 at home but losing 1-0 away in a match they finished with nine men.
2000-01 UEFA Cup, 2001-02 Champions League
Roma will remember the 2000-01 season mainly for their Serie A triumph, but they also competed on the European stage. In the UEFA Cup round of 16, they lost 2-0 at home to Liverpool before winning at Anfield, but only by one goal, thus exiting the competition.
After winning Serie A, Roma earned the right to be in the subsequent Champions League, where they again met Liverpool. In the second group stage, there was a goalless draw at Stadio Olimpico and a 2-0 loss on Merseyside.
2001-02 Champions League, 2002-03 Champions League
Roma’s first ever Champions League campaign had begun with a 2-1 loss to Real Madrid at home in the first group stage, despite Francesco Totti scoring a penalty. The captain scored again at the home of his long-term admirers a few weeks later in a 1-1 draw.
The following season, Roma and Real again met in the group stage, which commenced with a 3-0 loss to the Spaniards before a 1-0 win on their turf, again courtesy of Totti.
2006-07 Champions League, 2007-08 Champions League
Playing against Manchester United was something of a rollercoaster for Roma in the 2006-07 and 2007-08 Champions League campaigns. Initially, Luciano Spalletti’s side won a home quarter-final 2-1, but the subsequent 7-1 defeat away remains one of the most painful results in the club’s history.
Roma would have to visit Old Trafford again a few months later in the following season’s group stage. Man Utd won 1-0 there, before a 1-1 draw back in the Italian capital.
Both sides progressed to the knockout phase, where they faced off yet again at the quarter-final stage. It was the final hurdle for Roma again after a 3-0 aggregate defeat.
2009-10 Europa League, 2010-11 Champions League
After coming through the qualifiers of the rebranded Europa League for the 2009-10 season, Roma began the group stage with a 2-0 loss away at Basel. They rectified it with a 2-1 home win, ultimately topping their group but going out in the round of 32.
The next season, both sides secured Champions League status again and reunited in the group stage. Each side won their away fixture, Basel by a scoreline of 3-1 and Roma 3-2.
Basel dropped down into the Europa League in the end, but Roma reached the round of 16 in UEFA’s top tournament.
2020-21 Europa League, 2021-22 Conference League
Roma reached the Europa League semi-final in Paulo Fonseca’s final season in charge. One of the obstacles they found trickiest along the way came in the shape of CSKA Sofia, who claimed a draw at the Olimpico and a 3-1 win on their own patch during the group stage, despite finishing bottom of the pool.
Roma’s next European campaign would be even better as Jose Mourinho lifted the Conference League trophy at the first attempt. CSKA Sofia were in the Giallorossi’s group once more, this time posing less of a threat.
Mourinho’s men won 5-1 at home and 3-2 away, with braces from Lorenzo Pellegrini and Tammy Abraham respectively in either fixture. Again, the Bulgarian side finished bottom of the group, whereas Roma progressed – and this time went all the way.
2021-22 Conference League, 2022-23 Europa League, 2023-24 Europa League
Of course, the side Roma overcame in that Conference League final was Feyenoord, after a 1-0 win courtesy of a Nicolo Zaniolo goal.
Feyenoord’s manager Arne Slot insisted ever since that the outcome should have been different – and he got the chance for revenge in the 2022-23 Europa League quarter-final, only to not take it.
The Dutch side won their home leg, but Roma put them back in their place when a late Paulo Dybala goal secured a 2-1 win in the return fixture, taking the tie to extra time. From there, goals from Stephan El Shaarawy and Pellegrini put Mourinho’s side through to the semi-finals at the expense of their newfound foes, in what was a very satisfying outcome for the Roma fans and staff who had grown tired of Feyenoord’s constant complaints about the previous year’s result.
Remarkably, Roma and Feyenoord’s feud continued into a third season when they were drawn in the knockout play-off round of the 2023-24 Europa League after Roma came second in their group and Feyenoord (who had previously joked they wouldn’t be seeing Roma in this particular season on social media) came third in their Champions League group.
This time under UEFA managerial debutant Daniele De Rossi rather than Mourinho, Roma drew both legs 1-1 before winning a penalty shootout, meaning they had beaten Feyenoord in normal time, extra time and penalties in the three seasons in a row.
Same time next year, anyone?
This article was originally published on 10th April 2023 and has been updated since.