Tuesday, January 28, 2014
28 January 2008 - A Record That Will Never Be Broken
The Italian Footballers' Association ("AIC") first announced the honor in 1997, along with additional superlatives including Best Serie A Footballer and Best Foreign Footballer. While the first award went to Sampdoria's Roberto Mancini, Totti was the recipient for 2000, in the middle of Roma's title-winning season, then again in 2001, 2003, and 2004.
Roma finished as runners-up to Inter in 2007 and won the Coppa Italia, due in large part to Totti, who ended the season as the league's top scorer with 26 goals (32 in all competitions). In 2007-08, they were again chasing Inter Milan for the Scudetto, sitting in second at the winter break, seven points behind the defending champions. (Roma eventually finished in second again, but closed the gap to three points in the final table).
The combined performance across both seasons led to Totti receiving the award for a fifth time, when no other player has received it more than twice (Christian Vieri in 1999 and 2002, then Alessandro del Piero in 1998 and 2008), though Milan's Kaká was named 2007 Serie A Footballer of the Year award.
In 2013, the AIC changed the format of their annual awards and no longer name an Italian Footballer of the Year or the other specific honors. Instead, they have a general Footballer of the Year award, claimed by Andrea Pirlo for 2013.