“I have never seen anything like it,” Pallotta said. “People just going bananas.”
He did not leave the Stadio Olimpico for some time that night. There were news media interviews to do, guests to greet, each of them passing on breathless congratulations. He went to the locker room to celebrate with his players and his coach, Eusebio Di Francesco.
It was deep into the small hours of Wednesday morning when he arrived back at the steps of his hotel, the Hotel de Russie, around the corner from Piazza del Popolo. He has stayed there on every visit to Rome since he took control of the club, in 2012. When he returned, the Roma fans among the staff were decked out in the club’s colors — yellow and a red verging on burnt orange — to welcome him.
“One of them, Alessandro, told me that there were thousands of people on the piazza,” Pallotta said. “He said, ‘You go, you go.’ ” Pallotta obeyed. On the way, a member of his coterie suggested he should jump in the fountain that sits in the center of the square. Pallotta, 60, thought it sounded like a great idea.
He took off his jacket and removed his cellphone and credit cards from his pockets: This, it turns out,…