Former Roma striker Roberto Pruzzo insists Dundee United deserve credit for helping the Italians stun world football.
The Serie A side stole the headlines across the globe on Tuesday night by overturning a 4-1 quarter-final first-leg deficit with a remarkable 3-0 win over Barcelona at the Olympic Stadium to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.
The result will go down in Roma folklore and Pruzzo has credited their three-goal victory in the then European Cup over the Tangerines back on April 25, 1984 as inspiring the Italians to beat the mighty Barca.
United had produced one of their greatest-ever performances in the home leg, with goals from Davie Dodds and Derek Stark given them a 2-0 lead to take to the Italian capital.
A dark cloud of corruption has hung over the second match in Rome, which the Italians clinched 3-0 with Pruzzo scoring twice. That sent them into a final in which they were beaten by Liverpool on penalties back in their own Olympic Stadium after Pruzzo had scored again in a 1-1 draw.
It was the last time they had reached the last four of club football’s premier tournament.
Pruzzo, who netted over 100 goals for Roma and helped them to a Serie A title, is convinced the current Roma side used that comeback as inspiration.
The former Italian international said: “If you look back at the game and consider the two clubs, we were probably the Barcelona of that game as far as Dundee United were concerned.
“We were much better than them but lost the first leg badly in Scotland.
“Football is a game of dreams and miracles and that’s what happened to us in the second leg.
“We easily overturned the defeat and went on to reach the European Cup final.
“The Roma players of today knew this and wanted to become the first team since us to reach the semi-final stage.
“And to do it in a similar way by staging a great comeback was unbelievable.
“These players have matched what we did against Dundee United and deserve great credit.”