Football Manager 2018: Roma guide, player ratings & tactics

One of the most respect clubs in Europe, but can you fire Roma towards silverware on FM 2018?

Alastair Pusinelli by Alastair Pusinelli

Roma have been giants of the Italian game as long as we can remember, but silverware has avoided the club in recent seasons. They have not won the Serie A title since 2001 and have only lifted the Coppa Italia twice since. Considering the club has had the likes of Francesco Totti, Cafu and Miralem Pjanic since the turn of the century, that is simply not good enough. Is it now up to you to correct this on Football Manager 2018, and lead Roma to consistent glory at the Stadio Olimpico.


Roma director Mauro Baldissoni will welcome you to the club and present you with their philosophies. These are negotiable, but the default is to sign young players and develop players using the club’s youth system.


Director of Football Monchi will then issue the expectations for the season. The higher the target, the more you will receive in your transfer budget. You should stick with qualifying for the European Champions Cup and reaching the first knockout stage of the Champions Cup. The Italian Cup is marked as not important.  


Transfer: £13.37 million

Wage: £1.70m per week (Current spend: £1.57m)


Due to their pace out wide, Roma like to use a 4-3-3 based system, and we’ve gone for the 4-1-2-3 DM Wide setup.

Alisson is in goal, with Bruno Peres, Kostas Manolas, Federico Fazio and Aleksandar Kolarov in the back four.

Daniele De Rossi is the holding midfielder, and he is joined by Radja Nainggolan and Kevin Strootman in the engine room.

The versatile Alessandro Florenzi and Diego Perotti provide the width, with Edin Dzeko the marksman up front.

On the bench, go for Lukasz Skorupski, Hector Moreno, Juan Jesus, Maxime Gonalons, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Stephan El Shaarawy and Patrik Schick. 

Key players

They may no longer have club legend Francesco Totti and fellow veteran Daniele De Rossi is waning, but there are still some top players at Roma.

Radja Nainggolan – CA 4 star (170), PA 4 star (170)

Powerhouse, engine, enforcer. There are so many ways to describe Radja Nainggolan, and he will be the first name on the team sheet at Roma. The Belgian midfielder can do everything – tackle, pass, score from range – and his strength will not be rivalled by many.

The 29-year-old Nainggolan has reached his potential of 170 on FM, and his best stats include 19 bravery, 18 balance and 18 work rate.

Edin Dzeko – CA 4 star (158), PA 4 star (166)

An all-round forward, Edin Dzeko can head, hold up the ball and get in behind the defence. 39 goals for Roma last shown how prolific the Bosnian is, but he would love nothing more than to lift some silverware in Italy.

Now 31, Dzeko’s 158 current ability rating has fallen off from his 166 potential, but he still offers 18 finishing, 17 strength and 17 heading.

Kevin Strootman – CA 3.5 star (157), PA 3.5 star (164)

Perhaps an underrated player, Kevin Strootman provides the tempo at Roma. The Dutchman has been in Rome for close to five years now, but almost two seasons were lost to injury which stalled the 27-year-old’s career.

Strootman has a 157 CA which can still rise to a 164 potential, so his 18 composure, 18 work rate and 17 balance could yet improve.

Young talent

Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi are the most famous and successful players to come out of the Roma academy, but who can follow in their footsteps?

Luca Pellegrini – CA 2 star (98), PA 3.5-4.5 star (140-170)

Yet to make his bow for the first team, but Luca Pellegrini has been working his way up through the Italy youth teams. The left back has played from U16 to U19 level, and if he continues to develop, it is surely only a matter of time before he enters the senior team picture at the Stadio Olimpico.

Pellegrini, 18, has a respectable 98 CA, which can rise to a superb potential between 140 and 170.

Keres Masangu – CA 1.5 star (96), PA 3.5-4.5 star (130-160)

Another youth international, Keres Masangu is a regular for Belgium U18s. The defensive midfielder or centre back only joined Roma last summer, so keep an eye out for his name in the coming years. 

The 17-year-old Masangu offers a 96 current ability rating, rising to a potential between 130 and 160. 

Mirko Antonucci – CA 1.5 star (91), PA 2.5-3.5 star (130-160)

A regular for Roma’s youth sides, expect winger Mirko Antonucci to be given a first team opportunity in the near future. The 18-year-old won the youth championship in 2016, and followed that with a youth cup win in 2017, so he already knows what it takes to win silverware.

Antonucci’s 91 CA will increase to a potential between 130 and 160.

Team Report

Central midfield depth Attack depth
Youth prospects
Defensive midfield depth
Star midfielder (Daniele De Rossi)
Work rate
Star attacker (Edin Dzeko)
Goalkeeper depth
Scouting staff
Overall depth
Transfer budget
First touch


Team leaders – Daniele De Rossi (C), Alessandro Florenzi, Radja Nainggolan

Highly influential – Kevin Strootman, Edin Dzeko, Kostas Manolas, Luca Pellegrini

Dynamics is the main new feature for Football Manager 2018, and it shows the atmosphere inside the dressing room at the club. Be sure to choose your words carefully with the more influential members of the squad as upsetting them can have horrendous consequences. An unhappy team leads to poor performances on the pitch. 

Transfer targets

£13 million is not a lot of money by any means, and you try your upmost to bring in one player in the summer to strengthen your squad. 

Right winger – Pione Sisto (CA 140, PA 155)

There is a dilemma on the right-hand side for Roma, but if you bring in a right winger, you can slip Alessandro Florenzi in to right back, and your side will look much stronger. Remember, you need to lean towards bringing in younger players. So we have opted for Celta Vigo man Pione Sisto. The right winger has starting CA of 140, but can become a first team regular with his 155 potential. The Dane holds attributes of 17 technique, 17 long shots and 16 dribbling. You should look to pick him up for £13 million with starting wages of £25,000 a week. 

Alternative options

  • Jesus Corona – Age 24, FCP, Mexico, CA 144, PA 155, Value: £9.6m, Wage: £27k
  • Keko – Age 25, Malaga, Spain, CA 144, PA 152, Value: £11m, Wage: £25k
  • Pablo Sarabia – Age 25, Sevilla, Spain, CA 146, PA 155, Value: £13m, Wage: £48k
  • Sofiane Feghouli – Age 27, Galatasaray, Algeria, CA 152, PA 155, Value: £7.5m, Wage: £78k


With Roma not having the wealth of the other big clubs around Europe, their financial situation looks uneasy. The balance of the club is already in negative, and this will continue to get worse as the season go by. The club’s losses are to worsen until the end of the season, and it looks as if you will not get much cash to spend in the transfer market in the next few years. 

End the wait

Those worrying finances are perhaps stopping you from going on and challenging for silverware, so it is vital that you perform well in your first season in charge. Lifting a trophy may just be beyond you, but if you can qualify for the Champions Cup, that should be the foundation for a squad which has a great blend of youth and experience. That said, you may only have three seasons maximum to win something as the older players will need replacing by that point. 

Roma first team squad, player roles and ratings

Role Ability
Starting lineup
Alisson 24 GK Goalkeeper Defend 3 star 145/
Bruno Peres 27 DR Complete/
3 star 140/
Kostas Manolas 26 DCR Central defender Defend 3 star 153/
Federico Fazio 30 DCL Defensive centre back Any 3 star 147/
Aleksandar Kolarov 31 DL Full-back Attack 3 star 145/
Daniele De Rossi 34 DM Deep lying playmaker Defend 4 star 156/
Radja Nainggolan 29 MCR Box to box midfielder/
Support 4 star 170/
Kevin Strootman 27 MCL Mezzala/
Deep lying playmaker/
box to box midfielder
3.5 star 157/
Alessandro Florenzi 26 AMR Winger Support 3.5 star 154/
Diego Perotti 29 AML Winger Attack 3.5 star 148/
Edin Dzeko 31 STC Target man Attack 4 star 158/
Lukasz Skorupski 26 GK Goalkeeper Defend 2.5 star 134/
Hector Moreno 29 D (C) Ball playing defender Defend 3 star 139/
Juan Jesus 26 D (LC) Defensive full-back Defend 2 star 136/
Maxime Gonalons 28 DM Ball Winning midfielder Support 3 star 141/
Lorenzo Pellegrini 21 DM
M (C)
Advanced playmaker Support 3 star 141/
Stephan El Shaarawy 24 AM (RL)
ST (C)
Inside forward Attack 3.5 star 145/
Patrik Schick 21 AM (RC)
ST (C)
Complete forward Any 3 star 140/
Bogdan Lobont 39 GK Sweeper keeper Attack 2 star 108/
Leandro Castan 30 D (C) Central defender Stopper 2.5 star 130/
Cengiz Under 20 M (RL)
Inside forward Support 2.5 star 127/
Gregoire Defrel 26 AM (RL)
ST (C)
Complete forward Any 3 star 139/
Rick Karsdorp 22 D (R)
WB (R)
Full-back Attack 2.5 star 138/
Emerson 23 D (RL)
WB (L)
Complete wing-back/
3.5 star 145/

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Alastair Pusinelli

First console: GameBoy Color / Favourite Game: Assassin's Creed 2 / Currently playing: Football Manager 2020