2020-21 in review: Giallorossi Yorkshire’s Roma Women awards

Roma Women’s third season was a successful one as they concluded it with victory in the Coppa Italia, making up for a mixed campaign in Serie A.

Earning their first ever trophy proved the progress Roma have been making, while a fifth-place finish in the league wasn’t too much of a step down from the previous two seasons.

The mood at the season’s end was certainly positive, as the three years of work under Betty Bavagnoli got a reward with a major honour.

Now, it is time to look back upon the season as a whole and give praise to those who gave the biggest contributions.

Here are the winners of the Giallorossi Yorkshire awards for Roma Women in 2020-21.

Signing of the Season – Elena Linari

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Sometimes, a team is just missing one ingredient that can unlock their potential. For Roma, that ingredient was Elena Linari.

The defender’s signing in January coincided with the team’s upturn in form, which inspired their surge to becoming Coppa Italia champions.

Roma might have been wary, as previous big-name signings at the back hadn’t always paid off. But Linari took no time at all to prove herself and cement her place in the starting lineup.

As soon as she made her debut, she became undroppable. Her acquisition could be the best example yet of Roma Women noticing an area to strengthen and finding the perfect player to do so.

Most Improved Player – Angelica Soffia

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One of the original members of the Roma Women squad, Angelica Soffia was first-choice right-back in their formative campaign, before the more senior Kaja Erzen overtook her in 2019-20.

This time around, Soffia deservedly regained the starting berth – and thoroughly impressed. Expressing a newfound confidence, she was a threat going forwards but also showed significant development as a defender.

A first call-up to the senior Italy squad was a well-deserved marker of her progress, and she continued to keep her place ahead of Erzen as the campaign came to a close.

By the end of 2020-21, Soffia had gone from a promising prospect with areas for improvement, to one of the most reliable full-backs in Serie A…

Young Player of the Season – Angelica Soffia

… And she’s still only 20 years old. That context made her performance levels even more impressive, as she played like a seasoned star.

Soffia has progressed ahead of her age throughout her career and she is well on track to become even better.

Her potential has always been clear, and in 2020-21 she truly began to fulfil it. Now the world is at her feet; Soffia will surely add to her debut Italy cap and, as long as she stays, can become a leader for Roma in the future.

Most Consistent Player – Vanessa Bernauer

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Someone at the opposite end of her career, 33-year-old Vanessa Bernauer showed no signs of slowing down. Always a reliable presence in midfield, she was another founding Roma player who remained important.

Bernauer will be remembered for scoring the winning penalty in the cup final, which was the perfect ending to another solid season in Roma colours.

She may not have expected to play so often this season due to competition for places, but injuries to Giada Greggi and Andrine Hegerberg opened more opportunities for her. Bernauer took them in her stride and never let her side down.

Goal of the Season – Marija Banusic vs Inter

After arriving in February, Marija Banusic only scored one goal for Roma – but what a goal it was.

The Swedish striker earned a place on social media timelines all around the world, with all viewers in awe of the technique and power on display when she scored against Inter.

As the ball looped in from the left wing, Banusic shifted her positioning and acrobatically rose into the air. Connecting cleanly, her overhead kick sent the ball flying into the net.

Technique, precision, power – this goal had it all.

Player of the Season – Elena Linari

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Roma were inconsistent in the first half of the season, but after Linari arrived in January, everything changed.

The defender quickly proved herself as a leader after settling in and immediately reached high performance levels. She was committed at the back and inspired all those around her, never letting her standards slip.

Her experience proved crucial in Roma’s run to cup glory, as she showed her teammates the way in terms of the qualities required to succeed.

With her strength and ability to win individual battles, Linari transformed Roma’s defence – and entire team. Even though she was only involved for six months, she was an easy pick for player of the season.

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