Eight years have passed since that memorable June 17 and only Totti is still gracing the Olimpico pitch. But what about the other Gladiators? In his weekly Wednesday column Goal.com's 'Roman Soldier', Vince Masiello, reveals all...
Francesco ‘Batman’ Antonioli was Fabio Capello’s first choice goalkeeper throughout the campaign, but he had an extreme love-hate relationship with the fans and lived difficult moments in the capital. The 40-year-old is still active and plies his trade in Serie B with Cesena, the club he joined this summer after a long spell at Bologna.
Marco Amelia has gone from strength to strength after leaving his hometown club Roma in 2003 and has become Juventus star Gianluigi Buffon’s understudy in the Italy squad. He has never hidden his desire to return to the Olimpico one day and left Palermo after a single season last summer to move to Genoa.
There has not been much glory around the peninsula for Cristiano Lupatelli in recent years and after parting with Fiorentina in 2008, the 31-year-old is now playing second fiddle to Italian goalkeeping prospect Federico Marchetti at Cagliari.
The memories of Cafu’s legendary runs still linger around the Olimpico. The ‘Pendolino’ became a cult figure in his six-year spell in the capital where he also won an Italian Super Cup and ended his playing days at Milan two years ago, returning to his native Brazil.
Il Pendolino with hands on hips
Antônio Carlos Zago
Former Brazil international Carlos Zago was one of the three pillars of the Giallorossi three-man defense in 2000-01 and had a spell at Turkish side Besiktas after leaving Italy in 2002 before returning to his homeland where he retired in 2007. He has just begun his management career with Sao Caetano last June.
An injury prevented Aldair from going wild on Scudetto day, but ‘Pluto’ is still going strong at the ‘tender’ age of 43 and is currently playing for San Marino side Murata. He also enjoys the odd beach soccer tournament on Italian beaches.
Aldair spent 13 years in Rome
Jonathan Zebina made 22 appearances in that stellar season following his move from Cagliari, but left the Lupi for Juventus on a free transfer in 2004. The 31-year-old has been plagued by injuries in recent seasons, but featured against Bordeaux in the Champions League last week.
Argentine centre-back Walter Samuel was outstanding at the heart of Capello’s rearguard and his performances quickly earned him the nickname ‘The Wall’. After a disappointing spell at Real Madrid, he joined Inter in 2005 and stole the show last week as he almost single-handedly kept Barcelona at bay in the Champions League.
Vincent Candela tried his hand in the Premier League after leaving Roma before stints at Udinese, Siena and Messina where he hanged up his boots in 2007. Roma paid tribute to the 35-year-old last June with a testimonial match between the 2000-01 side and the France team that claimed the World Cup in 1998.
Cristiano Zanetti played a big role in Roma’s triumph in 2001 but left the club for Inter at the end of the season. After being dogged by injury problems during his three-year spell at Juve, he joined Fiorentina last summer.
Ex-Brazil international midfielder Marcos Assunção enjoyed a successful spell at Betis after leaving Rome in 2002 and after spending two years in the United Arab Emirates, the 33-year-old is now back in his home country playing for Grêmio Recreativo Barueri.
Eusebio Di Francesco
Eusebio Di Francesco made 168 appearances for Roma between 1997 and 2001 and retired from football at 36 in 2005 to begin a managerial career. He was sacked as Lanciano boss last January and has just been named technical director of the youth academy at Pescara.
Japanese legend Hidetoshi Nakata spent only one year in Rome but scored some crucial goals for the Giallorossi, with his strike against Juve obviously standing out. After spells at Parma, Bologna, Fiorentina and Bolton he sensationally retired from football at 29 and travelled the world.
Nakata in Japanese colours
Emerson’s adventure at Roma started off in the worst possible way as he damaged knee ligaments and only returned to action for the last four months of the 2000-01 season. His acrimonious transfer to Juve was followed by spells at Real Madrid and Milan and the 33-year-old signed for Brazilian outfit Santos last July.
Gaetano D'Agostino has finally managed to prove his worth at Udinese and his superb performances have earned a regular place in Marcello Lippi’s Italy squad. He seemed on the verge of a big move to Juventus last summer before the Old Lady turned to Felipe Melo.
Former Italy international Damiano Tommasi was the heart and soul of Roma’s midfield in 2000-01 and he proved his attachment to the Giallorossi colours when he accepted a minimum wage contract after a devastating knee injury in 2004. He moved to China last January to play for Tianjin Teda.
Uruguayan midfielder Gianni Guigou left Serie B side Treviso last summer to return to his homeland where he currently plays for Nacional.
Neapolitan striker Vincenzo Montella netted 13 crucial goals in 2000-01 and returned to Roma last season after stints at Fulham and Sampdoria. He announced his retirement last July to begin his coaching career in charge of one of Roma’s youth teams.
Francesco Totti is the only member of that side still wearing the Giallorossi shirt, but his popularity among the Roma faith has dramatically decreased since. The Curva Sud fans snubbed his shirt last weekend and his proposed five-year extension has been met with widespread criticism.
Gabriel Omar Batistuta
Roma paid almost €40 million to sign Argentine legend Gabriel Omar Batistuta in the summer of 2000 and the move paid dividends as he bagged 20 goals. He had a troubled stint at Inter in 2003 before ending his playing days in Qatar and switched sports earlier this year, making his debut as a polo player in his homeland.
Argentine striker Abel Balbo returned to Roma in the summer of 2000 but his second stint in the Eternal City was not as successful and he ended his career at Boca Juniors in 2003. He began his managerial career at Serie B side Treviso last year but stepped down after just four games.
Capello carved out a new role out wide for Marco Delvecchio to accommodate new signing Batistuta and the former Italy international excelled as part of a three-pronged front line. He retired last summer after spending a season in the Italian lower leagues with Pescatori Ostia and is now a coach in the Giallorossi youth setup.
Fabio Capello masterminded the third Serie A triumph in Roma’s history but was branded a traitor after leaving the club to join Juve in 2004. After winning another title in charge of Real Madrid in 2007, he is now hoping to end England’s 44-year drought on the international stage when he leads the Three Lions to the World Cup in South Africa next year.
Vince Masiello, Goal.com