04.05.07 11 years ago 5 Comments

Before Manchester United traveled to Italy to play AS Roma, the Italian club's players promised a physical match for Man U's gifted pretty-boy striker Cristiano Ronaldo.  Instead it was the English club's supporters who got roughed up, as police in riot gear busted some British heads.

[TV showed] Italian police wading in and flailing at Manchester United fans with batons with several United fans bleeding profusely from head wounds. The trouble [started] when Rodrigo Taddei put Roma ahead and the rival supporters started to trade insults and throw objects from one section of the ground to the other. One policeman was shown raining blows on a supporter who was lying motionless on the ground, and the pictures evoked memories of the 1970s and eighties when crowd violence and hooliganism was rife at European club matches.

…as opposed to now, when things are always peaceful in soccer stadiums.  Except here and here.  And here.  Oh, and don't forget this one.  And the bottle-throwing.  And the arrow-shooting.  And the racist slurs.  And killing cops.  But aside from that, it's reminiscent of 30 years, not 30 days, ago.

Anyway, hard to tell who I should support here.  Man U fans are the Yankee fans of soccer, so it's not like they didn't deserve it.  On the other hand, Italian soccer is a diseased abomination of the beautiful game, so in the end I'm gonna have to play it safe and not feel sorry for anybody.  Except myself.  I got a paper cut yesterday.  Ouch!

Thanks to MJD at the FanHaus for the story. And oh yeah, Roma won, 2-1.

VIOLENT UPDATE: Batoneriffic footage of the beatings here, via The Offside.

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