Julio Sergio Departs Roma

Posted by Julian De Martinis

Julio Sergio, RomaGettyImagesJulio Sergio departs Roma after a topsy-turvy time in Italy.

The other Brazilian 'keeper has now gone.

Four short months ago, Alexander Doni retired from the sport of football altogether, with health issues and age precluding any kind of future on the pitch. As of this week, the man who replaced him has departed from Roma as well, though not from the sport; Julio Sergio has been released from his contract by mutual consent and looks set to join a club in Sao Paolo.

The two Brazilian goalkeepers had similarities; both seemed solid for a while before their weaknesses came through the cracks and undermined their stability in the capital. Sergio spent seven years at Roma but only played regularly for a couple, totaling less than fifty appearances. Under Claudio Ranieri he became a staple of the side, pushing Doni out of the starting eleven after it became apparent that Alex was really no longer a viable option.

For a while, Julio Sergio proved to be a hell of a shot-stopper. His most famous and enduring match may well be the derby against Lazio where he came up with a fantastic double save to keep Roma in the match. He perfectly embodied the emotion and passion of the club when he played on through a broken leg away at Brescia in September 2010 for ten minutes as the side were down to ten men and Ranieri had used up all of his substitutions. That unfortunate incident and incredibly painful sacrifice proving to be a defining moment of his passion and time on the team.

Once Vincenzo Montella became the coach after Ranieri left, Doni was reinstated into the lineup and Julio Sergio never really played a part for Roma afterwards. A loan move to Lecce in 2011-2012 proved unsuccessful, partially because of injuries, but neither Zdenek Zeman, Aurelio Andreazzoli nor Rudi Garcia seemed particularly interested in utilizing the Brazilian.

His time at Roma was not a complete bust; though certainly not integral to the side at the time, he was around for the back to back Coppa Italias of 2007 and 2008 as well as 2007's Supercoppa Italia. Were in not for the infamous Sampdoria match at the end of the 2009-2010 season, he may well have been a starter in a Scudetto-winning Roma team as well.

Truly his release is far from unexpected; in fact, his contract was due to expire this summer, so this early termination only speeds up an inevitable process. Julio Sergio may have only been good for Roma briefly, but in that short time he truly put in a memorable shift between the posts.

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