AS Roma have summoned the gladiator spirit of their ancient city in a final bid to wrestle the Serie A title from Inter Milan and coach Jose Mourinho.
Leaders Inter, two points above Roma, visit Siena on Sunday (1300 GMT) on the final day of the league season while their title rivals travel to Chievo.
Roma captain Francesco Totti met actor Russell Crowe, star of the film Gladiator, inside Rome’s Colosseum for a publicity photo shoot and Roma boss Claudio Ranieri was keen to take the analogy further.
“We still have lots of nervous energy and want to satisfy our fans — they are our true gladiators. We want to reward our fans with one last triumph,” Ranieri told a news conference on Saturday.
Inter’s colourful coach Mourinho, whose side meet Bayern Munich in the Champions League final next weekend, continued his Serie A press blackout on Saturday but has still managed to sneak in a few jibes at Roma in recent weeks.
He is facing an Italian soccer federation probe for joking Roma would pay relegated Siena to beat Inter and slammed Ranieri for taking his side to the movies ahead of their Italian Cup final defeat by his team earlier this month.
Ranieri has had enough of the man who succeeded him at Chelsea.
“Clearly I’m very much in his heart because he talks about me often. Honestly I don’t care what he thinks or says, in fact, he bores me,” Ranieri said.
(Writing by Mark Meadows; Editing by Alison Wildey
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