Midfielder Claudia Ciccotti has explained what it means to her to be able to represent the club she grew up supporting.
Ciccotti, an almost ever-present for coach Betty Bavagnoli this season, has established herself as an integral member of the Roma Women squad in its first season – stepping in at centre-back during an early season injury crisis, but more frequently being seen in her preferred midfield role.
Born and raised in Rome, Ciccotti can still scarcely believe she has the opportunity to play for the team she grew up idolising.
“When Roma decided to start a women’s team, it was very emotional for me,” Ciccotti told Roma TV.
"I could finally achieve my dream, to wear this shirt and represent this club.
“I’m Rome-born, I’ve been a Roma fan since I was born. It’s something special for me because when I started playing football, that opportunity [to play for Roma] wasn’t available to me. Now, like me all the little girls that start playing football have the chance to perhaps one day wear these colours and be a part of this great club.”
Ciccotti has chipped in with a number of goals already this season – including the opener against Florentia earlier in the campaign, a strike that helped Bavagnoli’s team win the game and start a five-match unbeaten run that is yet to come to an end.
“Even now, I cannot really describe what it was like to put on the Roma shirt for the first time – so you can imagine what it was like to score my first goal too,” Ciccotti added.
“I was just buried under the hugs and congratulations of my teammates, I couldn’t really believe it at the time. Even now it is hard to put into words.”