April 24, 1991 – Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Roma 2-1 Brondby
UEFA Cup, semi-final second leg
42 minutes and 47 seconds into Roma v Brondby. Rudi Voeller and Ruggiero Rizzitelli were both on the scene and initially we didn’t know who took the shot, who made contact with the ball last, whether it was one or the other or both of them simultaneously in a moment reminiscent of the iconic photo of cyclists Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali and the water bottle (who gave it to who?). But then on 42 minutes and 48 seconds the stadium erupted into noise, and it was clear it was the German who had hooked the ball into the back of the net to turn around the match, the tie and set Roma on course for the final of the UEFA Cup.
At that moment in Roma v Brondby in the UEFA Cup semi-final second leg on April 24, 1991, the stadium produced one of the loudest roars ever heard in a football ground.
Roma attacked, the Curva Sud sang and the Giallorossi scored in the first half through Rizzitelli. Brondby then equalised courtesy of a Sebastiano Nela own goal. Roma then attacked again and the Curva Sud sang even louder but we couldn’t find the back of the net. We were playing brilliantly but couldn’t score. Until that moment. Until a run forward from Stefano Pellegrini, a header from Thomas Berthold and a mishit volley from Stefano Desideri which was pushed away by the brilliant Peter Schmeichel to the feet of Voeller and Rizzitelli. Actually the feet of Voeller and Roma fans everywhere. Goal! Ernesto Alicicco came onto the pitch to embrace his players, Nela looked up to the heavens in ecstasy as his side had reached the UEFA Cup final.
That match was famous for the red and yellow flares that filled the stadium but above all for that noise. Goal. Roma were in the UEFA Cup final.