Ago, forever in our hearts
April 8, 1955, Rome
Agostino Di Bartolomei is born
There is one image that explains not just who Agostino Di Bartolomei was to Roma, but indeed represents everything he did for the club. Ago would have been 60 years old today, but will instead remain forever young. The photograph in question depicts his celebration after the first penalty in the European Cup final against Liverpool on May 30, 1984. Just for that moment, Roma were champions of Europe, and Ago’s leap after scoring his penalty is the perfect representation of what is still the closest the Giallorossi have come to football’s top prize.
It’s an image that sums up everything Ago was: his Roma jersey, his captain’s armband, his Giallorossi heart and his Roman soul. When, on May 15, 1983, he led his Roma side on a lap of honour to celebrate the club’s first Scudetto win in 41 years, he left the procession for a moment to grab a vase full of flowers and launch it high into the stands. A beautiful gesture, and one that once again spoke volumes about the man.
Agostino Di Bartolomei was the captain of the best, most exhilarating, most popular Roma side in the history of the club. He was – and still is – the eternal Giallorossi captain. And not just because he’s no longer with us. As long as Roma lives on, Ago lives on in all of us. At Tre Fontane and at Trigoria, in his interviews and in his moments of silence, Ago demonstrated what Roma is all about. “Roma is the ancient heart of this ancient city, as ancient as the world itself,” he once declared. You merely had to gaze into his eyes to understand what the club meant to him. Roma was his life and he taught us to respect it and be respected, to stand up and shout our allegiance from the rooftops.
One day in 1994, Ago left us forever. From that moment, Ago has been in the hearts of us all. “There are football fans, and then there are Roma fans,” he once said. True. But there will never be a football player – a man – quite like Agostino Di Bartolomei.