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By ESPN Staff

Roma - Squad profiles

Francesco Antonioli (goalkeeper)
Born: 14.09.69
Nationality: Italian

Antonioli

Underrated, authoritative keeper who seems to improve with every passing year. Experienced a major career setback when discarded in 1993 by Milan after a handful of unconvincing first team displays.

But regained lost ground with good work at Pisa, Reggiana and Bologna before signing for Roma in 1999. He has not looked back since and his experience will be vital to coach Fabio Capello in the second phase of this Champions League competition.


Group A: Barcelona | Bayer Leverkusen | Inter Milan | Newcastle
Group B: Ajax Amsterdam | Arsenal | AS Roma | Valencia
Group C: AC Milan | Borussia Dortmund | L Moscow | Real Madrid
Group D: Basle | Deportivo | Juventus | Manchester Utd

Cafu (defender)
Born: 07.06.70
Nationality: Brazilian

Outstanding right-back or wing-back who skippered Brazil to World Cup glory last summer and now has appeared in the last three Finals of the game's greatest competition.

Not for nothing is he known in Italy as 'Pendolino' after the country's express trains.

His pacy overlapping runs are his trademark and he takes every opportunity to get forward.

Started out at Sao Paulo and has also played for Spanish side Zaragoza, Brazilian club Palmeiras, from whom he joined Roma in 1997.

Leandro Cufre (defender)
Born: 09.05.78
Nationality: Argentine

Central defensive back-up signed from Argentine club, Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata in 2001.

Quick off the mark and powerful, he used to partner Walter Samuel in the Argentine Under 20 side.

Now a full international, he is a bit part player for boss Fabio Capello and he played his part in the first phase of the Champions League, appearing against Real Madrid and AEK Athens.

Traianos Dellas (defender)
Born: 31.01.76
Nationality: Greek

Tough-tackling defensive marker who arrived this summer on a Bosman free transfer from Perugia.

However, it was certainly not an uncontroversial deal and the newspaper stories surrounded it rumbled on for some time.

When Perugia chairman, Luciano Gaucci heard early this year that Dellas intended to move to Roma at the end of the season, he banned him from the first team squad for the rest of the campaign. It was worth the hassle as he is now at home in Rome.

Christian Panucci (defender)
Born: 12.04.73
Nationality: Italian

A mainstay for Roma on the right-side of their three-man defence, though he also has the versatility to operate at right-back or wing-back.

Physical and competitive, strong in the air and comfortable on the ball, but he can be overly temperamental and suffer from lapses in concentration.

Previous clubs include, Atalanta, Milan, Real Madrid, Chelsea and Monaco, he is a master of his art and played his part for Italy during their World Cup campaign during the summer.

Walter Samuel (defender)
Born: 22.03.78
Nationality: Argentine

Walter Samuel

A solid, uncompromising centre-back bought from Buenos Aires club, Boca Juniors for £13 million two years ago.

An excellent man-marker, tenacious, ruthless and a good reader of the game, he goes about his business with the minimum of fuss.

The lynchpin of Capello's rear-guard, he rarely seems to have an off-day and his willingness to fight for the cause cannot be underestimated. Played for Argentina during the World Cup finals during the summer.

Luigi Sartor (defender)
Born: 30.01.75
Nationality: Italian

A much-travelled journeyman full-back or central defender, who is usually to be found on the bench.

Made his Serie A debut as an 18-year-old with Juventus and later went on to play for Reggiana, Vicenza, Inter and Parma, joining Roma at the start of this season.

Not one of the stars of the side, but his importance to Fabio Capello should not be underestimated now that he has finally found a settled home for his talents.

Jonathan Zebina (defender)
Born: 19.07.78
Nationality: French

Roma coach Fabio Capello appreciates the young central defender's athleticism and marking skills.

But a number of mistakes this season have led to him becoming the whipping boy of the Roma crowd and recently some fans angrily confronted him after a training session.

Began with French club Cannes and then played for Cagliari in Serie A before joining Roma in 2001. With the manager on his side, he will have a role to play in the second phase of the Champions League.

Vincent Candela (midfielder)
Born: 24.10.73
Nationality: French

Swashbuckling, incisive and determined, Candela plays on the left-side of midfield for Roma but is used at left-back by France, for whom he has largely had to play second-fiddle to Bixente Lizarazu.

Made his professional debut as a 20-year-old with Toulouse, moving on to Guingamp and joining Roma in January 1997. Forced his way into the France side during the 2002 World Cup, but he could not avert their disastrous first round exit.

Emerson (midfielder)
Born: 04.04.76
Nationality: Brazilian

Emerson was supposed to skipper Brazil at World Cup 2002, only to dislocate a shoulder while keeping goal in a practice match and be forced out of the entire tournament.

A powerfully-built midfield all rounder, who can both destroy and create.

Moved to Roma from top Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen in 2000 and he has plenty of experience in Champions League football. One of the first names on Fabio Capello's team sheet.

Josep Guardiola (midfielder)
Born: 18.01.71
Nationality: Spanish

Bought from fellow Serie A club Brescia in the close season, 'Pep' has been through trying times of late, testing positive for nandrolone and though he claimed he was innocent, he had to serve a ban.

But he bounced back well and was in such good form for Brescia in the latter part of the campaign that Capello snapped him up.

An outstanding deep-lying playmaker, he was part of the furniture at Barcelona for eleven years and remains a legend at the Nou Camp.

Gianni Guigou (midfielder)
Born: 22.02.75
Nationality: Uruguayan

Utility man bought from Nacional of Montevideo in 2000 but for whom first team opportunities have proved limited.

Used on either side of midfield or at left back, he is a neat and tidy player with lots of tactical discipline and good distribution.

This is not the sort of performer who will get Roma through a tight spot in the Champions League, but he is valuable back-up for Fabio Capello.

Francisco Lima (midfielder)
Born: 17.04.71
Nationality: Brazilian

Roma had hoped to use Lima as part of the bait to lure Edgar Davids away from Juventus this summer but the latter would not play ball and the versatile Brazilian midfielder remains.

Just as capable of creating as breaking down opposition attacks, he lists Lecce and Bologna as his previous employers. Even though they were willing to let him go, Lima has been in fine form for Roma this season.

Damiano Tommasi (midfielder)
Born: 17.05.74
Nationality: Italian

Tomassi

Hard-working, disciplined central or right-sided midfielder whose goal was controversially ruled out for offside in Italy's World Cup 2002 loss to South Korea.

That incident is still being talked about in Italy to this day and Tommasi will forever be associated with the incident.

One of the most improved players in Italian football over the past two years, he is in his seventh season at Roma, having made his name at Verona. Tends to chip in with a crucial goal when the side is facing a battle.

Gabriel Batistuta (forward)
Born: 01.02.69
Nationality: Argentine

Undoubtedly one of the best marksmen in the world over the past decade, but the signs are that 'Batigol' is now past his prime.

Injuries are taking their toll and his finishing is not as explosive as it used to be.

Began his career in his native land with Newell's Old Boys, River Plate and Boca Juniors before heading to Italy to rack up the goals for Fiorentina and now Roma, whom he joined for £22 million in June 2000.

A living legend of the game, he may still have a final say in the destiny of the Champions League this season.

Antonio Cassano (forward)
Born: 12.07.82
Nationality: Italian

Extravagantly-gifted young attacker who first burst upon the Italian scene with a memorable solo goal for Bari against Inter in 1999 and was subsequently bought by Roma for £18 million.

No question about his wonderful touch and dribbling ability. But he is being held back by his wild child ways, having clashed with Capello and Italian Under 21 boss Claudio Gentile.

Scored the winner against Genk in the first round of the Champions League.

Marco Delvecchio (forward)
Born: 07.04.73
Nationality: Italian

The long-haired front runner often does not get the credit he deserves. He is very adaptable - he can play as a central striker, in the 'hole' or out wide on the left - and is a man for the big occasion; Delvecchio scored Italy's opener in the Euro 2000 Final defeat to France.

Formerly with Inter, Venezia and Udinese, he is regularly linked with Premiership sides. Hit the target in the Champions League clash with AEK Athens in the first phase.

Vincenzo Montella (forward)
Born: 18.06.74
Nationality: Italian

Opportunistic, quick of thought and movement and with a goal scorer's sixth sense, he has developed into a fully-fledged Italian superstar in recent times, notching 42 League goals for Roma in the last three seasons following a 1999 move from Sampdoria.

Surprisingly only enjoyed 35 minutes of playing time at the last World Cup, but Montella has proved his worth with some fine goals in Serie A this season.

Francesco Totti (forward)
Born: 27.09.76
Nationality: Italian

Totti

Faithful to Roma since making his first team debut as a 16-year-old back in 1993, he is the most naturally gifted attacking-third player in Italy, an exciting blend of brilliant technique, creativity and devastating finishing from set-pieces or open play.

Where is his best position? Italian national coaches have often used him in attack, while Roma coach Fabio Capello prefers to give him a free role on the shoulder of the strikers.

He started the Serie A campaign in wonderful form and scored a famous winner against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu Stadium in the first phase of this competition.