On This Day in History: 1998

New segment, let's try it out, see how she moves. The concept couldn't be more simple: when so appropriate, we will together reminisce about things that happened on that date years before. Much of it will involve Totti.

Below a game that took place twelve years ago in the real world, thus placing it in the era of recurring 60.000+ crowds and Zeman. In other words: it's still going on in the love fest in my mind.


It was a game for long haired Argentineans (aren't they all?): Batistuta, only a year and a half removed from his move to Rome, had kept true to himself and unsurprisingly scored. At this point, Batistuta was at his finest as he played out the second of four consecutive years in which he would surpass 20 goals. He dragged along with him Fiorentina, then making them a team largely Roma's equal. If Batistuta scoring was anything but a surprise, a far bigger surprise was that his opposite number, Gustavo Bartelt, would outdo him on the day. Bartelt had the physique of a prima punta, long fair hair, was from Argentina and wore the number 9: he was in all senses a caricature of Batistuta.

More famous for setting a pace in Rome's night life which Adriano couldn't emulate even if he tried than his AS Roma career, Bartelt nevertheless emerged the hero of the afternoon. One minute before full time, possibly his finest action ever with a football set up Alenitchev (a later CL winner for Porto) for the equalizer. Three minutes on the wrong side of 90', with only eight teammates left in the game, he set up Totti who scored the winning 2-1 goal.