All the Roma players to have ever made 50 appearances or more in a single season

There have now been 20 Roma players – some more than once – who have made 50 appearances or more in a single season across their history.

Thanks to their involvement in various competitions over the years, in addition to league seasons ranging from 30 to 38 games, a select group of players have managed 50-appearance seasons.

Here are each of their stories in chronological order.

1969-70 – Sergio Santarini (50)

The first Roma player to make 50 appearances in one season was defender Sergio Santarini, who was ever-present in the 1969-70 campaign.

During that season, Roma competed in Serie A, the Coppa Italia, the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, the Anglo-Italian League Cup and the Anglo-Italian Cup.

Santarini, who was in his second season with the club after following Helenio Herrera to the capital from Inter, started and played all 90 minutes of all 50 games on the schedule. He would end his Roma career in 1981 after more than 450 appearances.

1983-84 – Franco Tancredi (50)

Prior to Rui Patricio in 2021-22, the only other goalkeeper to have reached a half-century of games in a single season for Roma was Franco Tancredi. It came the year after he had guarded the Giallorossi net in their second Scudetto-winning campaign.

They were subsequently involved in the European Cup, which Roma went all the way to the final of, as well as reaching and winning the Coppa Italia final.

Tancredi was everpresent in Serie A and the European Cup, only missing two matches in the Coppa Italia. He kept a clean sheet in the second leg of that final, one of 19 shutouts across his season. In fact, he only conceded 41 goals from his 50 games.

1983-84 – Toninho Cerezo (50)

Another player to feature heavily that season was Brazilian midfielder Toninho Cerezo. Making the same number of appearances as Tancredi, Cerezo was a starter in each of them.

In the process, he became the first non-Italian player to hit a half-century of appearances in one Roma season.

He contributed 14 goals in all competitions along the way. His efforts eventually caught up with him when he went down with cramp in extra-time of the European Cup final.

1990-91 – Rudi Voller (52)

Embed from Getty Images

A European cup run was also behind Rudi Voller setting a new record (at the time) for the most games by a Roma player in one season. During his fourth and penultimate season with the club – after becoming a World Cup winner with Germany – Roma reached the final of the UEFA Cup.

He scored 10 goals from 12 appearances on that journey, although couldn’t find the net in either leg of the final, which Roma lost.

Still, he did score penalties in both legs of the Coppa Italia final to win his only piece of Roma silverware. His return of 25 goals across all competitions that season was the best of his five campaigns with Roma.

2005-06 – Rodrigo Taddei (53)

After arriving on a free transfer in the summer of 2005, Rodrigo Taddei instantly became a dependable player for Roma. During his debut season, which was also Luciano Spalletti’s first at the helm, the new recruit only missed three games.

Starting all 38 Serie A matches, he showed his versatility right from the start of his Roma spell. Across the campaign, he played on either wing, up front or in midfield.

Roma reached the final of the Coppa Italia that season, but Taddei missed its second leg. He was busier in the UEFA Cup, starting five games among 10 appearances until elimination in the round of 16.

His 2005-06 season was the foundation of a long career in the capital. Taddei eventually made 296 appearances for the club, putting him in their top-20 most-used players of all time.

2005-06 – Christian Panucci (51)

Another trusted member of Spalletti’s squad that season was experienced defender Christian Panucci. The vice-captain was 32 years old by the time the season began but showed no signs of fading away.

All but one of his 51 appearances that season – including 36 in the league – were starts. Largely playing at right-back, Roma’s highest-scoring defender ever found the net five times that term.

It perhaps helped Panucci’s longevity that he did not play for Italy in 2005 or 2006 (thus missing out on becoming a World Cup winner) – yet he was back among the national ranks for the next couple of years after, remaining reliable for club and country.

2006-07 – Daniele De Rossi (55)

Embed from Getty Images

In the 2006-07 season, as many as four players played at least 50 games for Roma. The busiest was Daniele De Rossi, whose tally of 55 appearances remains a record for any player to represent the club in one season.

He ended it by winning the Coppa Italia, his first honour with his boyhood club, having started both legs of the final.

In fact, all but two of De Rossi’s appearances in the busiest season of his career – on the back of a World Cup win, too – were starts.

This also happened to be the campaign in which De Rossi first captained a Serie A game for Roma, having done so once in the previous term’s UEFA Cup.

2006-07 – Christian Panucci (50)

Becoming the only player to have clocked up more than one 50-plus-game season for Roma, Panucci did so in back-to-back campaigns.

Still taking on a lot of responsibility, the full-back scored a career-best eight goals in all competitions that season. It included a brace in the first leg of the Coppa Italia final, which Roma won 6-2 before completing a 7-4 aggregate win.

2006-07 – Simone Perrotta (50)

Simone Perrotta’s involvement upped season by season for the first three years after his arrival from Chievo. In 2004-05, he played 39 times; in 2005-06, it was 47 appearances for him; and in 2006-07, he enjoyed the busiest year of his career with 50 outings.

The English-born midfielder also hit double figures of goals for the only time in his career as a result, finding the net 13 times. Only his captain (more on him below) scored more.

Perrotta would remain with Roma until retirement in 2013. Only in his last two seasons did he fail to surpass the 30-appearance barrier.

2006-07 – Francesco Totti (50)

Embed from Getty Images

Finally, 2006-07 was one of the greatest seasons in Francesco Totti’s career. The captain, fresh from winning the World Cup with Italy along with De Rossi and Perrotta, claimed the prize of the European Golden Shoe for his 32 goals in all competitions. His tally included a Capocannoniere-worthy 26 in Serie A.

Totti was certainly sharpening up his skills as a centre-forward under Spalletti, flourishing as a false nine who was so good in front of goal it became his natural role from then on.

All 50 of his appearances that season were starts. Despite entering his 30s that season, he made the most of his gametime, also adding 15 assists. Little was it known at the time that Totti still had a decade of his career left.

But for Roma’s most-used player of all time, this would be the only season in which he made 50 appearances. He broke the 40 barrier on three other occasions out of his 25 seasons.

2009-10 – John Arne Riise (52)

One of the most committed players in recent Roma memory, John Arne Riise had surpassed the 50-game barrier in four of his seven seasons with former club Liverpool.

In Italy, he played 42 matches in his first and last seasons, with a 52-game campaign sandwiched in between.

In the process, the left-back matched his career-best tally of eight goals, including a memorable late winner against Juventus. Roma fell two points short of Jose Mourinho’s Inter at the top of Serie A that season; it was the closest they had been to the title since the season after their last Scudetto in 2001.

2016-17 – Radja Nainggolan (53)

Reaching the Coppa Italia semi-final and Europa League round of 16, Roma played 54 games in the 2016-17 season. And in the best year of his career, Radja Nainggolan played in all but one of them.

The only game he missed was a routine win over Crotone in September that season, for which he sat on the bench. In every other match – 47 of which he started – Nainggolan was dynamic.

Thriving in an attacking midfield role, he scored 14 goals in all competitions, which remains the only time he has hit double figures. Also increasing his responsibility, he captained the club on 12 occasions that season, something he had only done once before.

It was testament to his form that season that he was voted Roma’s player of the season, despite Edin Dzeko breaking a club scoring record in a single campaign and Mohamed Salah putting in the groundworks for a big move by the end of it.

2016-17 – Edin Dzeko (51)

Joint-top scorer of that season’s Europa League was an Edin Dzeko enjoying the best ever campaign of his career. As stated, he scored more than any other Roma player had ever managed in a single season – not even Totti – with 39 goals in all competitions.

They came from 51 appearances, as Dzeko quickly put his difficult debut Roma season behind him with his best effort yet. Claiming the Serie A golden boot with 29 goals, the Bosnian more than justified his role as the club’s main centre-forward – a role he would keep for four more seasons.

He was one appearance short of hitting 50 games again the following season, when he scored in every round of the Champions League as Roma reached the semi-finals.

2021-22 – Rui Patricio (54)

Embed from Getty Images

Six Roma players made 50 appearances or more in a busy 2021-22 season – the highest ever number of individuals to do so for the club in a single campaign.

During Jose Mourinho’s first season in charge of Roma, the legendary coach certainly relied on some players more than others – none more so than his goalkeeper signing, Rui Patricio. The Portuguese veteran played in every Serie A game, both Coppa Italia matches and all but one of the 15 ties on route to winning the Europa Conference League.

As such, Patricio set a new record for the most starts by a Roma player in a single season, and was one short of matching the overall appearance record. Another record he set was the most apps in a debut season with Roma.

He was making an impact in that time, too, equalling the highest number of clean sheets a goalkeeper had kept in their first campaign with the club, with 22.

2021-22 – Tammy Abraham (53)

In fact, the 2021-22 season surpassed 2006-07 as the one in which the highest number of Roma players hit a half-century. The most-used outfield player was another Mourinho signing, Tammy Abraham.

Despite sometimes appearing to struggle physically in matches, Abraham found a way through the pain barrier. Ultimately, he was only absent from two matches in his debut Roma season.

As such, the club benefited significantly. His tally of 27 goals was a record for a player in their first season at Roma, and also his personal best for a single campaign.

2021-22 – Rick Karsdorp (51)

One of the players who didn’t have much competition for his place in Mourinho’s first season was Rick Karsdorp. In his second campaign since returning to the club, the Dutchman was once again trusted significantly on the right flank.

With 45 starts, Karsdorp clocked up more than 4000 minutes of gametime. His seven assists represented a personal record for his Roma career so far.

By the end of it, Karsdorp was finally back in contention for the Netherlands’ national team – recognition many felt was long overdue.

2021-22 – Roger Ibanez (51)

Of the four centre-backs Roma used in 2021-22, Roger Ibanez was the one given the most responsibility. Gianluca Mancini sometimes missed games through suspensions, Chris Smalling through injuries and Marash Kumbulla was still building up experience.

Mourinho put his faith in Ibanez, who endured a season of ups and downs in terms of his individual form, yet ended it with statistics to be satisfied with.

Starting 47 matches from 51 appearances, he became the third Brazilian-born player – after Cerezo and Taddei – to reach that region of games. Ibanez was also the only member of the Roma squad to feature in all 15 Conference League matches during the trophy-winning campaign, starting 13 and being subbed on in two group games.

2021-22 – Bryan Cristante (50)

Embed from Getty Images

Roma’s third-captain during Mourinho’s first season was Bryan Cristante, who embarked on his fourth campaign with the club.

After appearing 48 times in Paulo Fonseca’s final season, Cristante proceeded to hit the 50 mark for Mourinho. He was captain for four of those games.

Although it wasn’t his busiest season in Serie A, he made more European appearances than any of his previous campaigns. In total, Cristante featured in 14 of the 15 Conference League matches. The only one he missed was due to Covid-19, which also kept him out of two domestic games. Hence, he could have reached an even higher tally.

2021-22 – Jordan Veretout (50)

While Mourinho had issues with his midfield in 2021-22, Jordan Veretout was one of those under the spotlight. For a long time, it felt like the club and player were preparing for a future apart.

Yet the Frenchman, somewhat under the radar, built up a decent amount of gametime. Ultimately, he hit a half-century of appearances, including 35 starts, for the first time in his career. This was also the season in which he finally became a full France international, adding to his commitments.

Veretout finished the season – which did indeed turn out to be his last at the club – with 10 assists, double his tally from the previous campaign. In fact, it was a career-best total for him and the best among the Roma squad for the season.

2022-23 – Tammy Abraham (54)

Mourinho’s second season at Roma would be another busy one, with 55 games on the schedule as the club reached another European final. Abraham featured in all but one of the matches – only missing the Europa League opener due to injury – meaning his appearance tally was even greater than the season before.

Sadly, his goalscoring tally seriously declined; he only managed to get nine goals over the course of the campaign. It ended with him suffering an ACL injury, which would make the prospect of him hitting a half-century again in 2023-24 impossible.

2022-23 – Bryan Cristante (53)

Once again, Cristante was relied upon heavily in his fifth Roma season, only missing two Serie A matches, which was because of suspension in both cases.

Playing a part in every cup match on Roma’s schedule in 2022-23, the midfielder enjoyed what was arguably his best season with the club since his 2018 arrival from Atalanta.

His last kick of the campaign saw him become Roma’s only scorer in the Europa League final penalty shootout defeat to Sevilla.

2022-23 – Rui Patricio (51)

In contrast to his debut season, the spotlight was on Patricio for some errors in goal during his second campaign with Roma. However, the inexperience of the club’s backup goalkeepers enabled him to surpass 100 appearances in his overall spell with the club.

Patricio still conceded fewer goals than the number of games he played. From the 51 outings within his second season, his net was breached 46 times, while he otherwise kept 20 clean sheets.

However, having reached the age of 35, the reliability that Patricio had previously exhibited was starting to fade. Mile Svilar started the last game of the season in his place – and would overtake him definitively in the pecking order midway through the following campaign.

2022-23 – Gianluca Mancini (51)

Embed from Getty Images

After three seasons with more than 40 appearances for Roma, Gianluca Mancini made it over the line for 51 outings at the fourth time of asking.

Previously hampered by suspensions, his discipline noticeably improved as he matured at the age of 27. The number of yellow cards he received in Serie A more than halved compared to 2021-22.

Subsequently, Mancini was Roma’s most-used centre-back in 2022-23, ahead of Ibanez (48) and Smalling (47) in the appearance stakes. During that time, he led his side out as captain on six occasions.

2022-23 – Nemanja Matic (50)

The fifth and final Roma player to make 50 appearances in 2022-23 was a newcomer, Nemanja Matic.

Defying his age, the 34-year-old was a dominant presence in midfield once he had adapted to the Italian game. A trusted Mourinho pupil from their time together at Chelsea and Man Utd before, Matic’s form made it easy for his manager to keep relying on him.

Perhaps the most impressive encapsulation of Matic’s longevity was how he lasted for more than 100 minutes on a yellow card in the Europa League final. Indeed, he came into his own in that competition, starting 13 matches and missing two due to injury or illness.

Matic actually only started 16 Serie A games, but came on as a substitute in 19 more and featured in both Coppa Italia matches (once as a starter and once as a substitute) in a season that was busier for him than people were perhaps expecting. Given the context, it was maybe even more unexpected that he left after just one season.

2023-24 – Bryan Cristante (52)

Despite Roma reaching another European semi-final in the 2023-24 season, only one of their players made 50 appearances across the season.

For the third season running, Cristante clocked up a half-century of games for Roma, this time ending up on 52. He retained the trust of Mourinho in the first half of the campaign and then his former teammate Daniele De Rossi – who always held him in high regard – in the second.

Cristante returned four goals, equalling his tally from his first season at Roma back in 2018-19, which he had achieved in six fewer games. By the end of the season, though, he appeared considerably burnt out – and in a battle to convince some supporters he was worth the amount of gametime he got – after another intense campaign.

This article was originally published on 2nd June, 2022 and has been updated since.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.