In the football world everyone knows his name and fame. Fabrizio Romano (28) is therefore not a journalist like any other. You rarely find him in stadiums, nor does he make analyses. In recent years, the Italian has become the reference when it comes to football transfers. “I sleep 5 hours, the other 19 I’m on my phone.”
“Cristiano Ronaldo naar Manchester United: HERE WE GO!”
It was the tweet millions of football fans had been waiting for.
Not the official announcement sent out by the English top club – it came 3 minutes later – but the green light from Fabrizio Romano.
An Italian journalist from Sky Sports, among others, who sends transfer news into the world at an insane pace. And his numerous tweets are invariably taken as truth by the football community.
Romano has acquired the reliability of a Swiss timepiece in recent years.
4.9 million followers
Even the strict Sporza editors dare to rely on the news of transfer king Romano to make an article about an upcoming international top deal.
Is it always 100 percent correct?
No – nobody is perfect. Romano announced last week that Racing Genk paid £5 million for Chelsea’s Ike Ugbo. The press secretary of the Limburgers (rightly) quickly corrected that the actual transfer fee is a lot lower. It just goes to show that Romano’s tweets have resonance in the football world.
The figures of his social media account do not lie. Meanwhile, the Italian has 4.9 million followers on Twitter – that is more than 2 million more than, say, Thibaut Courtois – and 4.6 million on Instagram.
Whoever follows Romano will receive news all day long on his social media feed. He is working overtime, especially with the transfer deadline in sight.
From Dennis Praet on his way to Torino to Cristiano Ronaldo’s deal with Manchester United, everything is covered.
Having a scoop feels like scoring in a Champions League match.
“Transfer news is like playing football,” he once said of his pursuit of transfers. “Having a scoop feels like scoring in a Champions League match. My goal is not to be first, by the way, it is correct. So that people have something like: when I see something from Fabrizio, I know it’s really there to come.”
Resentment at competition
Romano’s almost divine status among his followers does cause resentment among the competition. Because: just as the Italian is not always 100% correct, neither is he always first. Many other specialized journalists have often already unloaded the relevant news.
Only Romano will walk with the feathers.
A colleague with excellent knowledge of the world describes Romano as “the ultimate confirmator of everything that appears elsewhere”.
There is no doubt that the journalist maintains excellent ties with club directors, brokers and intermediaries. “The secret is to maintain a good relationship with them. I try to be their friend.”
It’s like searching for Pokémons. You have to try to find the right one.
This gave him his first major scoop at the age of 18, when he was still writing for a small Italian football site. A real estate agent friend called him with news that Mauro Icardi would be moving from Barcelona to Sampdoria.
His name was made. In the following years, Romano ran through Milan for major television channels. Especially in the vicinity of starred restaurants and hotels, where club directors and real estate agents like to stay. “It’s like looking for Pokémons,” he laughed. “You have to try and find the right one.”
Romano’s hunt seems to go on day and night. Tweeting, appearing as a specialist in TV broadcasts or podcasts, and so on. The Italian seems to be busy with his job 24/7. And always with his phone in hand.
“I sleep about 5 hours during transfer periods. From 5 to 10 in the morning,” said Romano. “The other 19 hours I’m on my phone. Because anything can happen at any time of the day.”
But his efforts are paying off. News from Fabrizio Romano has become a strong brand. He always announces transfers that are all the way around with his catchphrase: “Here we go!” It has now become a household name.
It even goes as far as clubs enlist the Italian to make the arrival of players official in flashy announcement videos.
Tomorrow, on the last day of the mercato, it will be extra hard to look forward to Romano’s tweets.
You never know that there will be a “Here We Go” about Kylian Mbappé…