The 2018 World Cup final takes place in just three days’ time, as France and Croatia face off for the honour of being called world champions.
It’s been a strange tournament for Roma fans, with only three members of the current squad taking part. Federico Fazio was barely used by Argentina despite them looking shaky in defence, Alisson was rarely tested in Brazil’s goal despite playing every minute, and Aleksandar Kolarov scored a great free kick in his side’s opening game, but couldn’t stop Serbia losing out in the group stages.
The madness all began when Italy failed to qualify for the tournament, and with Kevin Strootman’s Holland, Edin Dzeko’s Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kostas Manolas’ Greece just three of the other nations to miss out, it became clear that Roma wouldn’t be largely represented at the World Cup.
The total of three Roma players participating in the tournament was the lowest since Italia 90, when again, only three Roma players made it.
However, the club have had a rich history of links with the World Cup in the past. Here is an lineup of players who have won the World Cup whilst being a Roma player.
GK: Guido Masetti
(Italy, 1934, 1938)
The only player in history to have won the World Cup twice as a Roma player, Masetti was Roma’s goalkeeper between 1930 and 1943. Despite being called up to the squads, he didn’t actually play in either of the tournaments. At club level, he played a big part in Roma’s first ever Scudetto triumph in 1942.
One of the best players to ever represent Roma, Cafu captained Brazil to World Cup glory in 2002. It was his third consecutive World Cup final, having also won the tournament as a Sao Paulo player eight years earlier.
Like Cafu, Aldair won both the World Cup with Brazil in 1994 and the Scudetto with Roma in 2001. One of the first inductees to the club’s Hall of Fame, Aldair made over 400 appearances for the Giallorossi.
DF: Thomas Berthold
(West Germany, 1990)
Sandwiched between Berthold’s two seasons with Roma was a World Cup victory with West Germany. Along with Roma striker Rudi Voller, the centre-back was one of two of the club’s players to inspire the Germans to victory in Italy, winning the final at their Stadio Olimpico home.
LB: Vincent Candela
Three years before he inspired Roma to the 2001 Serie A title, Vincent Candela was part of the France team that won international football’s top prize on home soil. Candela played in two of the matches.
DM: Daniele De Rossi
In his first ever senior major tournament with Italy, a young Daniele De Rossi forged a range of memories. Despite being suspended for four of the matches after an elbow on USA’s Brian McBride in the group stages, De Rossi replaced clubmate Francesco Totti in the final and went on to score a penalty in the shootout, as Italy won the competition for the fourth time.
CM: Simone Perrotta
English-born Perrotta was another member of Italy’s famous 2006 triumph, starting in all seven games. The midfielder had a long and successful career for both club and country, also winning the Coppa Italia twice with the Giallorossi.
CM: Attilio Ferraris
Ferraris was Roma’s first captain, and played more than 200 times for the club. In 1934, he helped Italy to their first ever World Cup trophy, being named in the tournament’s All-Star Team for his performances, alongside fellow Roma player Enrique Guaita.
AM: Bruno Conti
One of the glistening stars of Nils Liedholm’s powerful Roma side of the early 1980s, winger Bruno Conti is fondly remembered by fans. With spectacular skill and a lethal left foot, he was instrumental in Italy’s victory in 1982. So much so, in fact, that Pele described him as the tournament’s best player.
AM: Francesco Totti
Scoring a penalty against Australia and recording a tournament-high four assists, Totti was a major influence in Italy’s 2006 triumph. After recovering from an injury which saw him miss a portion of the season with Roma, he managed to start all seven games for the Azzurri, and was listed in the tournament’s 23-player All-Star Team. After coming home from Germany victorious, Totti called time on his international career, and went on to play for Roma for 11 more historic seasons.
ST: Rudi Voller
(West Germany, 1990)
Scorer of three goals in the 1990 World Cup finals, despite an unsavoury red card in the second round, Voller continued his good form in the country where he played at club level. After three seasons with Roma, Voller achieved World Cup glory in Italy, starting the final against Argentina. He spent two more seasons with Roma after, scoring just shy of 50 goals across his five-year stint with the club.
Subs: Eraldo Monzeglio (Italy, 1938); Aldo Donati (Italy, 1938); Pietro Serantoni (Italy, 1938); Enrique Guaita (Italy, 1934)