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Valentina Giacinti on Roma's progress to the UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-finals

Valentina Giacinti on being a new striker in a Roma team that has made it to the knockout stage of the UEFA Women's Champions League for the first time.

 Valentina Giacinti has sparkled on Roma's path to the quarter-finals
Valentina Giacinti has sparkled on Roma's path to the quarter-finals UEFA via Getty Images

Roma's women's team was only formed in 2018; five years later they are in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Women's Champions league for this first time. They are also the only new face in the last eight. How did that happen?

Valentina Giacinti has a theory. "We tackle challenges using our experience," she says. "Elisa Bartoli is a captain with whom we resonate, but our team is made up of many former captains. I thought about this the other day when Vicky Losada arrived, a former captain of Barça. There's Carina Wenninger, former Bayern captain, there's me from Milan, Linus [Elena Linari], Andressa Alves – all former captains."

Highlights: Roma 1-1 Wolfsburg

Giacinti also leads the way on netting goals: she has been Serie A top scorer on three occasions and in this, her debut season in the Women's Champions League (and with Roma), she has already notched up four strikes. Her team finished second behind Wolfsburg in Group B, and it is against the same side that she scored her "favourite and most important goal". She is referring to a laser-guided, left-footed strike into the bottom corner in Roma's Matchday 3 game against the two two-time winners, which "gave us the awareness that we are a strong team".

They will need to be when the quarter-finals get started, but Giacinti will enjoy the thrill of playing in a competition that means so much to her on a personal level. "When you find yourself there, with the music, you get all the energy you need – and I don't know where it comes from."

There has been a lot to take in during Giacinti's first season with her new club, but she has made time to explore her new city. "I'm visiting it a piece at a time because Rome is very big," she explains. "The Colosseum impresses me the most. The day I signed, we went to that area to have dinner in the evening. So that place is a bit magical for me." She will be hoping it inspires some magic in the knockout stages too.

This is an edited version of an article that appears in the latest issue of Champions Journal. You can buy your copy of issue 14 here: https://www.champions-journal.com/shop

Giacinti celebrates her finish against Wolfsburg
Giacinti celebrates her finish against WolfsburgAS Roma via Getty Images