Associazione Sportiva Roma is now one of the most recognizable professional football clubs in the world, but there were certainly some ups and downs along the way. Between some of the matches they played in the early days to how they got their uniforms and stadium, there are a lot of things that the younger supporters of AS Roma might not know.
Let’s take a walk down memory lane through Roma’s history to find some of the more interesting aspects that make the club unique. Here are five things you didn’t know about AS Roma’s history and how they came to be a football powerhouse.
The Badge is the Founding of Rome
If you look at the badge for AS Roma, you’ll notice an odd image of two human infants suckling at the teat of a wolf. If you’re not from Italy or don’t know ancient Roman lore, then this could be a very confusing sight. However, this image is one of the most important in Roman history. It shows Romulus and Remus as infants, and the badge directly takes the image of the sculpture titled Capitoline Wolf.
The legend says that the brothers were raised by the she-wolf and would go on to found modern-day Rome. This was said to have happened more than 14,000 years ago while the badge shows a much more recent date of 1927, the founding year of the club. As for the colors, they are the traditional ones of Rome, so the entire badge is a tribute to the club’s home city.
Fascists Formed the Club
If you’re a sports fan, you probably don’t want to know too much about the people who founded your favorite team because many of them tended to be not-so-great people. AS Roma wasn’t an expansion club and was actually the result of a merger between three clubs. Roman FC, SS Alba-Audace, and Fortitudo-Pro Roma SGS were combined to make AS Roma in 1927, and it was the brainchild of Italo Foschi.
Foschi was one of the most instrumental people during the Benito Mussolini regime in Rome, and he wanted to form a club in the capital city to compete with the North Italy squads. Foschih passed away after collapsing in the stands during a match, passing away just after his 65th birthday and surviving all of World War II.
They Couldn’t Afford to Travel At One Point
It’s hard to imagine any top-flight football club having money issues these days, but that wasn’t always the case. AS Roma is no exception to past money troubles, and they happened during the 1960s. Roma had enjoyed success throughout the 1950s but got relegated due to front-office corruption. The club was left without much direction and had a massive money issue.
At its worst, the club was unable to pay its players, and then-manager Juan Carlos Lorenzo said that even affording to travel was out of the question. Thankfully, supporters of the club pitched in enough money to keep the team playing over the next few years. This resulted in a return to form for Roma and paved the way for a prosperous 1970s.
The Stadium Had Previous Names
Since 1953, AS Roma has played its home matches at Stadio Olimpico. However, the stadium had been constructed long before it opened and had undergone a name change. The stadium broke ground in 1901, but it wasn’t until 1927 that construction began on what was originally known as Stadio dei Cipressi in the then-Mussolini Forum. The stadium finished in 1932, but before expansion could begin, World War II rendered the stadium useless.
Following the war, new work was done to remodel the stadium, allowing Roma (and Lazio) to become tenants. After hosting the 1960 Summer Olympics, the stadium’s name was changed to Stadio Olimpico and has undergone several changes since then. This includes adding a roof as part of hosting the 1990 World Cup.
Their Largest Victory Was Nine Goals
Every club has its highs and lows, and the worst defeats in AS Roma’s history have been 1-7 losses to Torino (1947) and Juventus (1932). As for the winning side of things, AS Roma had one of the biggest blowouts that you’ll see in professional football. On October 13, 1929, Roma took on the now-defunct Cremonese club.
Arturo Chini Luduena netted the first goal in the seventh minute, then Luigi Ossoinak and Rodolfo Volk scored twice each in the next 42 minutes. Both men would complete their hat trick attempts in the second half of the match while F. Bernardini and Oreste Benatti also added goals, giving AS Roma its largest victory ever at 9-0.