Whilst everyone focused on the potential comeback from three goals down of Manchester City against Liverpool, very few felt that Italian side AS Roma could do the same against Barcelona. How wrong they were. The Giallorossi pulled off a stunning comeback against the La Liga giants with goals from Edin Dzeko, Daniele De Rossi and Kostas Manolas securing a 4-4 away goals passage to the semi-finals.
Of the many Roma players who excelled in the fixture, Argentine defender Federico Fazio has to be mentioned. The centre-back was imperious in defence throughout against one of the more potent attacking forces in world football. Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi could not get past the man-mountain who put in one of his finest performances for the Italian side.
For Tottenham Hotspur fans, it was something of a shock.
Fazio was, for most people, a flop at Spurs.Tottenham signed Fazio from Sevilla in a deal reported by Sky Sports to be in the region of £8 million in August 2014.
He played 32 times in his first season at Spurs. However, the following summer, Toby Alderweireld and Kevin Wimmer arrived and Fazio was no longer needed at the club after struggling to adapt to the demands of the Premier League.
After a poor loan spell back at Sevilla he was sent to Roma, first temporarily and eventually permanently – in a deal worth just £3.4 million, according to the Daily Mail.
So did Spurs give up on Fazio too soon?
The 31-year-old was incredible against Barcelona and it was a display any of the current Spurs players would have been proud of. The fact a Tottenham flop is now in the semi-finals of the Champions League is also not lost on Spurs, who were knocked out by Juventus in the last eight.
With Toby Alderweireld now looking like leaving, Tottenham could certainly do with a central defender of Fazio’s class in their ranks. The fact they sold him for such a small amount of money certainly does seem like a mistake on Tottenham’s part.
The truth however, is that Spurs were right to let Fazio go. He was not featuring for the first-team and in his time in England, did not seem suited to playing Premier League football week-in and week-out.
His performance against Barcelona was admirable and Tottenham fans are right to be impressed by what they saw. But the move away from London was needed for the player to become the defender he is today.
Now he will try to push Roma toward an unlikely Champions League final appearance.