Guest writer: Jay Scardina – Ciao my fellow Romanista! What a great derby, I thought Roma was going to have a tough time coming back if Lazio converted on the penalty. Julio Sergio gets major props this week for such an awesome save. That save kept them in the game. When Roma tied, I told my brother, who was watching the game with me at the time, “Now we have a deby”.
There was plenty of time for both teams to take advantage and it kept me on the edge of my seat. Ranieri also deserves a lot of credit for having the guts to take out De Rossi and Totti. I kind of understood why he took out Totti, who was not having a good game at the time, and he picked up a yellow card. You don’t want to go down 10 men in a derby. The move was genius by Ranieri, and it paid off with a glorious win over Lazio. However, I would like to focus this week’s blog on the man who scored the two goals for Roma, Mirko Vucinic.
AS Roma’s Vucinic
Mirko Vucinic was born on October 1, 1983, in Niksic, SFR Yugoslavia. He played for a local club, Sutjeska Niksic from 1998-1999. He had nine appearances and scored 4 goals. He was then picked up by U.S. Lecce and played with them from 2000-2006, and had 111 appearances and 34 goals. He was signed on a one year loan to Roma in August of 2006 and has played for them ever since.
During his first season with Roma he did not play much due to having two knee operations. His first goal for the team came in a match against Siena on January 28th, 2007. His first goal in a Champions League game came when Roma played Manchester United during April of the same year. He scored goals against some heavy hitters in past Champions League games like Real Madrid, Chelsea, and Manchester United. He has played internationally since 2005,first for Serbia Montenegro then for Montenegro since 2007. He is also captain for the Montenegro national team, and he scored the first goal for them. Unfortunately, the Balkan nation did not qualify for this year’s World Cup in South Africa.
For club this season Vucinic has scored 17 goals and has passed Totti as the leading man for goals. This is the first time that Vucinic has surpassed Totti since he started playing for Roma. Could this be the new face of Roma? To add a little fairness to this comment, Totti has been injured for a large chunk of the season, and Vucinic has had to take over as their main man up front. At only 26 years old, he still has plenty of playing years left in him. He has scored 4 goals in their last 3 league games, and seems to be improving with every match. I did see the Roma vs. Udinese game today, and saw that he did not start. I think that Ranieiri wants him fit to to play Sampdoria this weekend. I think that Sampdoria is a team that gets underestimated sometimes, but they have bounced back and are in 4th place and making life difficult for Palermo right now. Ranieri knew that Roma would make it to the Coppa Italia final as long as they played a defensive game against Udinese. Putting in Vucinic at the end when it looked like Udinese had a chance to tie up the aggregate goals was a smart move. I think he had at least one shot on goal in that game. In any case he is becoming a threat that other teams want to shut down when they play Roma. Goal.com recently named him World Player of the Week. I think it’s great to see him getting some recognition, but he has definitely worked hard this year. Currently he is ranked 215 on the Castrol Ranking. He has a contract with Roma until 2013.
I really like Vucinic, definite hero of the derby, he has grown with Roma. Ranieri doesn’t seem to mind keeping him on the field, and, I have said it in the past, he and Toni make a great pair up front. Looking forward to seeing him play against Inter at the Coppa Italia Final next month. I think that for Roma to be contenders for two trophies this year is a huge improvement over last year, and Vucinic is one of the main reasons they are doing so well. Hopefully he stays Giallorossa for life.