Rome is exhausted by the heat, and even a thunderstorm this afternoon has not cooled the stones of the eternal city. But when it comes to soccer, the Italian tiffosi make no allowance for the weather. And certainly not if Paulo Dybala joins Roma.
At 21:21 the Argentine forward appeared in front of a crowd of ten thousand fans, coming out of the door of the Palazzo Italiano on Rembrandt Boulevard. Dibala was overwhelmed by the encounter: flags, pyrotechnics, songs - the joy of the Roma fans was overflowing, so Paulo could not even cut in with his opening remarks.
Who is the new idol of the red and yellow half of Rome?
The road to Italy, where he became a world-class star, began in his homeland, at Argentine club Instituto from the second division. People talked about Dibala when he was seventeen: then he broke the record of the famous Mario Kempes, becoming the top scorer with 17 goals.
Obviously, European scouts could not ignore the talented forward, and in the summer of 2012 Dibala made his debut at Palermo. Naturally, the Sicilian club with its modest opportunities and ambitions could not become his main club of life. But for three years in the pink shirt Paulo matured and got used to the difficult forwards in the Italian championship - here they are not given a lot of room, as, for example, in Spain.
2015 was a landmark year for Dibala. First, in June he moved to the stellar Juventus and helped Palermo to gain an impressive 32 million euros for his transfer. Secondly, he made his debut for Argentina. At the The Lady Killer things took off immediately: Dibala scored the first goal in the Turin team in the first match. Following the results of the debut season he became the second sniper of the Italian championship, scoring 19 goals and giving way only to compatriot Gonzalo Iguain.
The following season Paulo showed that he is also a flexible player: when Massimiliano Allegri switched Juventus to a new scheme, the role of pure forward went to the newcomer - the same Iguain, and Dibala became more of a playmaker. Of course, he scored less, but his contribution to the club's results became more impressive and Paulo himself revealed himself as a creative footballer. The 2017/18 season was the most productive of his career with 26 goals in 46 games.
Five years at Juventus were not a straight path to success: Dibala had disagreements with the club managers, and injuries plagued him. And not all the additions to the club have had a positive impact on him, as was the case with Iguain. After Cristiano Ronaldo joined the club, Dibala had to go lower in midfield, and here he could not prove himself to the fullest extent, being forced to carry the piano rather than play it. Paulo was sent to Tottenham, Manchester United, Manchester City, PSG, Atletico, Bayern, but he continued to play for Juventus and believe in himself. And in Allegri's departure. And Allegri eventually left - he was replaced by Maurizio Sarri and moved Dibala to the "nine" position, the usual playmaker. He gradually began to find himself, and even Allegri's return did not make things worse. But after two years Juventus decided it was not worth extending the Argentine. The black and white vice president Pavel Nedved explained that it was about money - Dybala's demands are too big, and Juve already have someone to be creative. The parting was touching and tinged with injustice.
After all, Dibala is still good, and he still has something to prove. But now it's Jose Mourinho at Roma. He has already received the advance of people's love.