Roma Women 2022-23 review: The Giallorossi Yorkshire awards

Roma Women enjoyed their best season yet in 2022-23, largely because they won Serie A Femminile for the first time.

Rising to the summit at the start of the professional era for women’s football in Italy, Roma finished 13 points above Juventus, who had won the previous five editions of the competition.

It was quite an emphatic changing of the hierarchy by Roma, who also beat Juventus to the Supercoppa Italiana trophy but narrowly lost to them in the Coppa Italia final.

Furthermore, Roma were in the Women’s Champions League for the first time in their history and impressively made it to the knockout stage, succumbing to eventual champions Barcelona after fixtures at Stadio Olimpico and Camp Nou.

The 2022-23 season will go down in history for Roma Women, who have many members of their squad to thank for their consistent application.

Here, in Giallorossi Yorkshire‘s biggest ever dedicated end-of-season awards feature for the Giallorosse, are the winners of 10 accolades.

Signing of the season – Valentina Giacinti

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Roma made a few useful recruits in the build-up to their title-winning season, such as Carina Wenninger and Moeka Minami (and even, to a lesser degree, Zara Kramzar and Norma Cinotti).

After finishing as runners up to Juventus in 2021-22, Roma had to ask how they could strengthen their squad to take the next step. Adding a striker who could score 20 goals or more in a season was perhaps the main way.

And in Valentina Giacinti, that’s exactly what they got. The established Italy international scored 20 goals from 43 appearances in her first season with the club, which was a record for one of their players in a single campaign.

Giacinti was a difference maker for the Giallorosse, upgrading their attack with her work rate and keen eye for goal.

Most improved player – Benedetta Glionna

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There was only one player who played some part in all 44 of Roma Women’s matches in 2022-23 – it was Benedetta Glionna.

In her first season with Roma, the winger had only managed to score five goals from 25 games. But at the second time of asking, she restored the levels that she had been showing before under Alessandro Spugna at Empoli.

This time around, Glionna got 11 goals from 44 games, averaging one every four appearances rather than one every five.

She scored their historic first two goals in the Champions League and began to become more dependable on the flank. There are still some inconsistencies in her game, but when she found her form, she became a frightening prospect. Still only young, she could yet have more improvements to make.

Most consistent player – Giada Greggi

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Giada Greggi just keeps defying the odds for Roma. Whether it’s dealing with competition for places or coming back from a serious injury, there seems to be no stopping the dynamic Romanista in midfield.

Often partnering Manuela Giugliano in the middle of the park, Greggi continued to impress with her energy and also added new elements to her game, such as goalscoring. She ended the campaign with four goals, as many as she had got way back in her first season (having failed to score at all in the three in between).

Her best effort was her goal against Inter, which encapsulated everything that is good about her. Aggressively pressing to dispossess an opponent before driving forward and striking from distance, it was a highlight of Greggi’s season. Of a wider significance, she also scored on the day in which the team confirmed their status as league champions.

One of five players to only miss one league game all season, Roma knew they could rely on their number 20 throughout.

The fact that she won Giallorossi Yorkshire’s most improved award last season and then backed it up with the most consistent award this term reflects how the Roman has just kept getting better and become almost a complete midfielder.

Goal of the season – Manuela Giugliano v Sassuolo

Giugliano scored a couple of belters over the season; her powerful long-range strike against St. Polten was also worthy of consideration for this award, though a fumble from the opposing goalkeeper slightly tinted it on reflection.

Instead, the goal chosen as this season’s best was the one she scored against Sassuolo in January. After a couple of attempts of clearing the ball by the opposition defence, it dropped to Giugliano on the edge of the box.

Almost effortlessly, the midfielder struck a clean, first-time volley that looped over the goalkeeper. Her accuracy had to be spot on, since there was only a narrow gap between the keeper’s outstretched arm and the crossbar.

But Giugliano found the gap, winning the FIGC Calcio Femminile goal of the week award with a convincing 73% of the votes on their three-choice Twitter poll.

Assist of the season – Manuela Giugliano to Annamaria Serturini v St. Polten

Roma’s home win over St. Polten in the Champions League group stage was a significant task due to the adverse weather conditions that affected the game. With that in mind, the long-range assist Emilie Haavi made for Glionna towards the end of the game, showing awareness of her surroundings and taking opponents out of the play, was a close runner-up for this award.

But in fact, the assist of the season came from earlier in that match, before the heavens had opened and the playing surface was closer to the norm.

For the opening goal, Roma confidently played out from the back, before Giugliano received the ball within the centre circle. Aware of a marker being close, she executed a precise drag-back turn to open up space before splitting the defence with a through ball for Annamaria Serturini.

The pass was perfectly weighted, leaving Serturini needing just one touch before being able to prod the ball home at the near post.

Another Giugliano assist – a backheel flick for Kramzar against Fiorentina – could also have earned this award, but it goes to the one against St. Polten for the overall build-up and how easily she put the ball on a plate for her goalscorer.

Young player of the season (under-21) – Zara Kramzar

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It’s incredible to think that Kramzar was only 16 years old when this season began. Despite her tender years, the newcomer in midfield has already amassed 19 appearances for the club.

Becoming their youngest ever scorer shortly after her 17th birthday, she had four goals to her name by the end of the campaign.

Although only five of her appearances so far have been starts, Kramzar has expressed a maturity beyond her years throughout the opportunities she has been given, including in the Champions League.

Useful in attacking phases of play, Kramzar’s impact recently earned her a contract renewal until 2026.

Experienced player of the season (over-30) – Carina Wenninger

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All good things must come to an end and 2022-23 was the final year of Wenninger’s career. The Bayern Munich legend chose to spend it on loan at Roma, adding another degree of security to their defence.

Making 36 appearances, Wenninger actually featured less than fellow defenders Elena Linari and Minami, but was just as important.

Just like Linari had provided unprecedented stability to the Roma backline when she arrived in 2021, Wenninger’s seniority shone through and made the defence even more water-tight. It was no coincidence that they conceded fewer goals than any other team in Serie A Femminile over the season.

When the news of Wenninger’s retirement filtered through, it came as a blow to Roma, who would have gladly enjoyed her services for another year if she had desired.

Italian player of the season – Valentina Giacinti

Roma will be hoping to have several Italian representatives at the upcoming Women’s World Cup. There were impressive seasons by the likes of Greggi, Linari (voted the best defender in Serie A Femminile) and Elisa Bartoli, who scored the goal that confirmed the Scudetto.

Yet it was Giacinti who gave Roma the new element they had been lacking up front, drawing upon her vast experience in Serie A Femminile.

Giacinti was the joint-third leading scorer in the league, with only one Italian player (Juventus’ Cristiana Girelli, by one goal) above her.

For a while prior to her arrival at Roma, Giacinti was one of the best Italian players in the league and she justified her reputation in her new surroundings.

Foreign player of the season – Andressa Alves

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It turns out that this was the last season in Andressa Alves’ legendary Roma Women career, but the Brazilian star has certainly gone out on a high note.

In 2022-23, Andressa made more appearances than in any of her previous three campaigns with the club, while her tally of 17 goals was also a personal best.

Playing in a supporting role to Giacinti, she was particularly effective after the winter break, scoring more goals since the start of January than anyone else ever has for the club over a full calendar year.

Creative as an attacking midfielder but also effective in front of goal when pushing further forward, Andressa continued to carve out the kind of unique role that will make her so hard to replace.

Player of the season – Valentina Giacinti

Haavi may have won the Serie A Femminile MVP award for 2022-23, and full credit goes to the versatile wide player for that achievement, but Giallorossi Yorkshire is sticking with Giacinti as the player of the season for Roma.

Of course, goalscorers get most of the attention anyway, but as stated earlier, it was the way Giacinti raised Roma’s overall standards that made the difference. Thanks to her input into the development of the team’s structure, the Giallorosse could become title winners.

With 20 goals in all competitions, she set a new scoring record for a single season by a Roma player. Prior to her arrival, the previous best was Annamaria Serturini’s 13 in 2018-19.

None of Giacinti’s goals were penalties, either, proving her predatory instincts within the flow of the games. She also created 28 chances in total in the league, getting four assists in the process.

Of her 13 league goals, 10 came from in the box and three from outside it, as she demonstrated a range of aspects of her game.

The value Giacinti has brought to the team was perhaps the most noticeable of all, but it hardly seems fair choosing just one outright player of the season after such a productive campaign for the club.

Collectively, the team fully earned their success this season and have a lot to look forward to next term as defending champions.

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