In the fourth installment of a new series that turns the spotlight on passionate Roma supporters all over the world, asroma.com travels to south east Asia to meet Kittipong, a Thai fan who fell in love with the Giallorossi over 20 years ago...
Name: Kittipong Lertvuttiviwat
Where did you grow up?
“I grew up in Nonthaburi, just 20 kilometers north of Bangkok.”
Why did you choose Roma?
“I really loved and honoured Rome – a very beautiful city with great historical sites. AS Roma represents this city and then I followed the club and found it’s great! I love the players, the club traditions and the fans’ passion.”
What is your first memory of Roma?
“During the 1995-96 season, I saw Giuseppe Giannini and Francesco Totti playing together, coached by Carlo Mazzone. I still remember it was the first season in Serie A with the player’s personal number on their shirts.”
Who was your first Roma hero and why?
“Francesco Totti because he is the local boy from the club academy and then he became the captain. He is a unique one-club man - the outstanding symbol of AS Roma. He became my idol ever since he captained the club.”
Who has been your favorite Roma manager and why?
“Luciano Spalletti because of his style of football. I saw the great goal-machine Totti in his era. His personality is also very nice. He respects his players and other colleagues.”
What has been your lowest point supporting Roma?
“During the 2004-05 season Roma had many problems. [Fabio] Capello resigned and joined title-rivals Juventus, Prandelli left before the new season started for personal reasons and there was the FIFA transfers ban. However, the problems never took me away from supporting Roma. I just felt sad because I loved the club so much.”
Have you been to a Roma match and if so, what was your memory of your first game?
“I have been to a Roma match just once – during the 2010-11 season – and it was the Rome derby. The match was played in the afternoon but there was really heavy rain until the end. I could not ask for anything more with this great experience. My hero Totti scored a brace and Roma won 2-0. The crazy celebrations on the streets will remain in my memory forever.”
Where were you when Roma last won the Scudetto?
“I have watched the Roma – Parma match on TV at my house. The day after that I went to the party with Roma fans in Bangkok. We’ve re-watched the highlights of that match so many times.”
Do Roma have a passionate fan base in Bangkok?
“In Bangkok, I believe there are a lot of passionate Roma fans. I founded a group with my friends to support Roma and then created our website named Romathai.com, the first and probably the only Roma fans’ website in Thailand. We have a lot of members to chat about Roma on every match day.”
Which team do you most enjoy seeing Roma beat?
What makes Roma so special to you?
“It’s the feeling like Roma and I have grown up together. I have followed the club every day – on websites, newspapers or on TV since 1995. Roma is in my blood. It’s has been and will always be my football passion forever.”
What does Totti mean to you?
“He means everything to me. He is my idol, my hero, my football world. He has given me the greatest memories. I have created a Totti Facebook page named Francesco Totti Club Thailand and am very proud to manage this page.”
Who is your favourite current player and why?
“Totti. He will be my favorite player for my whole lifetime.”
If you could meet anyone connected to Roma - past or present - who would it be and why?
“Totti is the person I would like to meet the most. He is my all-time favorite player.”
What makes you most proud to be a Roma supporter?
“The club respect traditions and respect the symbols like Totti. I have seen Del Piero leave Juventus, Raul leave Real Madrid but Totti could stay with Roma for life. It’s incredible for a top European club to offer a four-year contract for a 34 year-old forward and then follow that with a two-year contract until he is 40! Just Roma could do that.
Finally, what would be your perfect day as a Roma fan?
“The Day Roma win the UEFA Champions League trophy would be my perfect day as a Giallorossi fan. I believe Roma can win it in future. Daje Roma daje!”