"The real Galacticos are the Giallorossi"

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Just when it looked as if Italian football was about to be written off again in Europe along came AS Roma to the rescue.

Twenty-four hours after Milan had relinquished their Champions League crown, the Romans handed out a football lesson to Real Madrid.

Faccia un bella figura, ‘making a good impression’, is an abiding preoccupation of Italian life and nowhere more so than in the capital, so it’s no surprise that when it comes to football, victory must be achieved with a certain style.

Luciano Spalletti’s team produced plenty of that in the Bernabeu although it also came with a newfound ruthless streak more in keeping with the likes of Milan and Juventus sides of the past.

The Giallorossi have certainly learnt their lesson from last season’s humiliation at Manchester United where they crumbled at the slightest hint of a setback.

This was never going to happen in Madrid even when Raul equalised from a clearly offside position.

Spalletti summed it up nicely when he said: “The players responded to the occasion and we won because of our attitude and efforts on the night.”

“The real Galacticos are the Giallorossi,” crowed the Rome-based Corriere Dello Sport, reflecting the mood not only in the Eternal City but throughout the country.

Even the northern La Gazzetta dello Sport splashed their front page with a giant: ‘GRAZIE ROMA’.

Outsiders such as Porto, Arsenal and Liverpool have all reached recent Champions League finals and it may be worth taking a punt on the much-maligned new kings of the Med this time around.