Alberto Aquilani has been one of Roma's unsung heroes. The Italian international has progressed rapidly for his home-town club. Rising up through the youth ranks and confirming himself year after year. It was England coach Fabio Capello who gave Aquilani his senior Roma debut in 2003. Here are the player's top 10 magical moments with the famous Lupi jersey.
10) A Pearl Against Reggina, September 20, 2008.
Aquilani won the ball in the last third of the pitch and started to sprint towards the left hand side of the box. He skipped past a defender, and smashed the ball with a vicious strike into the top corner. The Amaranto goalkeeper could only watch in vain as the balled rippled into the net under the famous Curva Sud. It was one of Aquilani's best goals for Roma.
9) His First Roma Trophy, May 17, 2007.
Luciano Spalletti's Roma beat Roberto Mancini's Inter to lift the Coppa Italia. The first leg ended 6-2 for the Giallorossi, and Aquilani was outstanding during the game. His invaluable contribution helped the Giallorossi break Inter's dominance of the trophy.
8) An Excellent Start To The 2007/08 Season, August 26, 2007.
Aquilani's 2007/08 campaign got off to a flying start. He stunned Palermo with an awesome right-foot finish which gave his side their first points of the season. A week later, he grabbed another goal during a vital win over Siena at the Stadio Olimpico. Two goals in as many games showed some hot goalscoring form from the midfielder.
7) An Almost Great Goal, March 5, 2008.
Roma completed the double against Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League during the 2007/08 season. The return leg at the Santiago Bernabeu will stand out for what could have been a contender for European goal of the season. Aquilani smashed the ball towards Iker Casillas from 40 yards. The Spanish goalkeeper only knew about it when the crossbar rattled as the ball crashed against it.
6) Debut For The Famous Azzurri, November 15, 2006.
Just months after Italy won the World Cup in Germany, the Roman got his first call up to the 'Giro Azzurro' from the then coach Roberto Donadoni for a friendly match against Turkey in Bergamo.
5) A Brace For Italy, October 15, 2008.
Italy clashed with Montenegro for a World Cup 2010 qualifier. Marcello Lippi shows his trust in the midfielder by playing him from the first minute. The decision paid off as Aquilani scored a double and Italy won 2-1. Three crucial points that could mean the difference for the Group 8 World Cup qualifying standings.
4) Serie A Debut, March 10, 2003.
Roma welcomed Torino to the Stadio Olimpico. The then Giallorossi coach Fabio Cappello launched two stars of the future. Daniele De Rossi scored his first goal in a Roma jersey, while Aquilani made his full Serie A debut for his side - the start of a fine career in the capital.
3) A Record Derby, February 26, 2006.
The Roman derby is always a special occasion, but there were fears as club captain Francesco Totti was injured for the clash. A consecutive Serie A win record was also in sight. After Rodrigo Taddei gave his team the lead in the first half, it was Aquilani who stamped his hallmark on the game. Amantino Mancini fed the midfielder with a great pass, and he did not miss. It was a historic night for Roma.
2) A Magical Assist, November 11, 2006.
Alberto Aquilani marked a sensational performance in the San Siro against Milan. His sublime flick assist allowed Amantino Mancini to feed Francesco Totti with a great pass, and the captain scored to make it 2-1 and the Lupi won. Known as a Rabona, Aquilani's flick brought back memories of Roberto Baggio's sublime cross for Juventus against Dortmund in the UEFA Cup Final of 1993.
1) The Supercoppa Italiana Show, August 26, 2006.
The Supercoppa Italiana of 2006 between Inter and Roma was one of the best ever cup finals. Roma threw away a 3-0 lead to lose the game 4-3 to the Nerazzurri. However, Aquilani's performance was notable as his first half supershow saw him the protagonist as he scored twice with some stunning goals.
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