Who is Riccardo Cappa?

Yesterday Roma took part in their first pre-season friendly of the summer against amateur side Pinzolo Val Rendena. Emerging as 7-0 victors, a few young players stood out for their performances.

For example, Marco Tumminello scored a brace from up front, generating discussion about his potential. But there was one other young player who stood out in particular, alongside Tumminello in the attacking trident: Riccardo Cappa.

While several Roma fans would have already been fairly familiar with Tumminello’s name, Cappa was a less well-known inclusion in the line-up. Despite this, he impressed in his 45-minute outing, adding one goal himself and creating several other chances. Roma fans may be eager to find out more about this young player after his impressive display. Here is what you need to know.

Riccardo Cappa was born on the 29th April 1999 in Latina, meaning he is currently 18 years old. He is a left-footed forward and was yesterday deployed on the right wing. As is customary with Eusebio Di Francesco’s wingers, he came inside to get involved with the team’s attacking play, but also appeared comfortable playing directly down the wing towards the byline, making assists for his teammates from such areas. This was seen in Roma’s fifth goal yesterday, when he set up Matteo Ricci from the touchline with the outside of his left foot, an impressive piece of quick thinking and technique. Cappa’s goal – Roma’s third – came from a central area, a position he is also often found in. But it was not just yesterday that people at the club have seen his potential.

In 2013/14, Cappa helped Roma’s Giovanissimi Nazionali academy side (Under 15s) win the Scudetto, scoring a couple of goals along the way beyond the regular season. He continued to contribute goals from a centre-forward position as he progressed through the age ranks, though often his opportunities came from the bench. He was clinical enough to make the most of whatever time he got on the pitch, ensuring he still made a valuable contribution to the team. An important moment came in February 2015 for Cappa, as he wore the iconic number 10 shirt in an Under 16s derby against Lazio. The responsibility that comes with wearing this shirt for a Roma player is huge, but Cappa rose to the occasion, helping the team to a victory with a goal and an assist.

The next season, Cappa went on to impress further. Scoring 20 goals in 29 matches, he was a key player for the Under 17s (Allievi Nazionali). He scored important goals in the Final Eight, as the team reached the semi-finals. His impressive goals-to-game ratio did not go unnoticed and he was keen to continue his upwards trajectory.

During an international break in November 2016, Cappa, now with the Primavera, had the opportunity to train alongside some of Roma’s first team, with the rest of his Under 19 teammates. A 75-minute friendly match ensued, with Cappa’s Primavera up against a Roma XI that featured the likes of Radja Nainggolan, Kevin Strootman, Diego Perotti and Federico Fazio. Seemingly unfazed, it was Cappa who scored the Primavera’s only goal in a 2-1 defeat. He was now playing his part alongside some major footballers, as well as progressing at the top youth level.

A late addition to the squad list for the Pinzolo training camp, Cappa has certainly made the most of his opportunity so far, drawing praise from head coach Eusebio Di Francesco. After yesterday’s match, Di Francesco said that he “enjoyed” Cappa’s performance, complementing all the youngsters who have made the trip as being “receptive” to his methods.

Should Cappa continue to impress, he may have a chance to go with the squad on their pre-season tour of the US. If not, he will be in line for a big Primavera season under coach Alberto De Rossi, as he will look to continue to stand out and carve out more opportunities for himself. He is certainly an exciting prospect, and we may become accustomed to seeing more of Riccardo Cappa in the future.

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