Roma fans descend on club’s training ground with banners and flags to wave players off to Manchester

Hundreds of Roma fans descend on club’s training ground with banners and flags to wave players off to Manchester ahead of crunch Europa League semi-final first leg at United

  • Roma face Manchester United in the Europa League semi-final tomorrow
  • Hundreds of adoring fans waved them off to the airport with flares and flags 
  • Roma have not won a trophy since 2008 or had European success since 1961 
  • They are in seventh in the league so Europa League glory is hugely important

Roma fans showed their team exactly how much the Europa League semi-finals mean to them after hundreds turned up at the training ground to send them off to Manchester on Wednesday.

The Serie A giants have not lifted a trophy since the Coppa Italia in 2008 and only have one European honour in the 1960-61 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, which they lifted by beating Birmingham City.

And it is another English side standing in their way of more glory this season as the team get ready to line up at Old Trafford against Manchester United on Thursday.

If the game itself wasn’t enough motivation, the fans ensured the players are well aware of how important it is by cheering them off in huge numbers at the club’s training ground this afternoon.

As the players headed to the airport for their two-and-a-half hour flight to Manchester, they were met by a sea of Roma fans, desperate for a glimpse at their heroes as they boarded the bus.

The players stood on a balcony from inside the training complex to wave at their adoring supporters, before boarding the coach to the airport.

Fans let off flares and held up banners and flags, as they prepare to watch their team face Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men in the last four of the Europa League.

Roma are well off the pace in Serie A, sitting seventh and six points off a European spot, so the club will be well aware that Europa League glory could be their only avenue into European competition for next season.

They would need to beat United over two legs and then down either Arsenal or Villarreal in the final to secure a place in next season’s Champions League, and – importantly – their first major trophy in 13 years.  

The Italian side beat Ajax over two legs in the quarter-finals, and Shakhtar Donetsk and Braga before that in the last 32 and last 64 respectively.

Now, from over 200 teams, they are down to the last four and the fans are understandably desperate to go one step further and make the final in Gdansk.