Who is Cristian Romero? The €55m ‘Ronaldo of defending’

Carlo Garganese

Cristian Romero is a Tottenham Hotspur player at last, having signed a five-year deal with the club.

He arrives with the Premier League side from Atalanta for a fee of €55 million and will likely be the club's marquee arrival of the transfer window.

It was a deal driven by sporting director Fabio Paratici, who had previously worked with him at Juventus, and that relationship was key to a deal being concluded.

The Atalanta star had quickly established himself as one of the hottest properties in the transfer market this summer and has become one of the most expensive defenders in the history of the Premier League.

But who is the Argentine defender?

What position does Cristian Romero play?

Romero is a central defender who is at his best playing in the centre of a back three, as he does for Atalanta.

However, he can also play as a central defender in a back four – as he did for Argentina in the 2021 Copa America.

How good is Cristian Romero?

Romero has developed into one of the best young defenders in the world over the past couple of years.

He was named Serie A Defender of the Year for the 2020/21 season, an impressive feat when one considers the presence in Italy of Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci, Matthijs De Ligt, Stefan De Vrij, Kalidou Koulibaly and Simon Kjaer among many others.

He is an aggressive and physical defender who is not scared to get stuck in and put his foot in.

In the past this has occasionally got him in trouble with referees, and he received 25 yellow cards and two reds during his two seasons at Genoa between 2018 and 2020. However, there was a notable improvement in his discipline last term at Atalanta.

Due to his aggression, he has naturally been compared to another former South American defender in the form of Paolo Montero.

Like Montero, Romero often tries to nip in and intercept the ball before his man, while he is not shy to make a professional foul if needed.

Romero is blessed with lightning pace and very rarely gets beaten for speed. He also often brings the ball out of defence and joins in with the attack, making him a modern defender.

The Argentine is a threat in the opposition box, too, especially in the air from corner kicks. He scored three times for Atalanta last season and also provided four assists. He furthermore found the net once for Argentina in World Cup qualifying.

He is excellent defending in a high line as he is exceptional at pressing to win the ball back quickly, while his speed means he can recover if he makes a mistake in the first action.

So impressive is Romero that his representative has even compared him to Cristiano Ronaldo.

“He’s a great player, very good,” Furio Valcareggei told TuttomercatoWeb.

“Cesare Prandelli, who managed him, said that he had never seen such a strong player. If I were Fabio Paratici and Tottenham, I would take him immediately.

“You will put the defence in place for 10 years. Just like if you take Kalidou Koulibaly, he sets your defence in one fell swoop. He’s the Ronaldo of defending.”

Romero has also established himself as a key member of the Argentina national team, playing an important role as they won the Copa America this past month.

How old is Cristian Romero?

Romero is 23 years old. He was born on April 27, 1998.

What height is Cristian Romero?

Romero stands at 1.85m tall, or 6ft 1in.

What boots does Cristian Romero wear?

He wears Nike Mercurial Superfly VIII Elite soccer cleats.

What clubs are interested in Cristian Romero?

Manchester United and Barcelona were interested in signing Romero before being beaten to him by Tottenham.

The Argentine was on Man Utd’s centre-back shortlist this summer, but he was below favoured option Raphael Varane.

Romero was also Barcelona’s favoured option to strengthen their backline, but the Blaugrana could not afford to make a bid because of their financial crisis.

That left Tottenham as the strong favourites for Romero’s signature, which they got over the line of 6 August.

Tottenham had to meet Atalanta's €55m asking price for the player, with terms having already been agreed with the player.

When does Cristian Romero’s contract expire?

Romero was halfway through a two-year loan spell at Atalanta from Juventus before moving to Tottenham.

Atalanta made the loan permanent for just €18m in order to sell the player on.

When Atalanta came to an agreement with Tottenham, they simply executed their deal with Juventus before selling Romero on for a profit.

What is Cristian Romero’s Instagram?

As of July 2021, Cristian Romero’s Instagram page has 400,000 followers. His handle is @cutiromero2