Roma deny Inter a double as Soros seeks capital takeover

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The Independent Online

Roma's Italian Cup final victory may be the Sensi family's last triumph as owners amid renewed speculation that the billionaire financier George Soros is close to buying the Italian club.

A 2-1 win over Internazionale on Saturday brought a modicum of revenge for Roma, who were beaten to the Serie A title by Inter on the last day of the season the previous weekend. Now their 81-year-old president, Franco Sensi, and his daughter Rosella, the club's chief executive, are mulling whether to sell and bring in fresh investment.

"It is a victory for the president. Now is the moment to party," Rosella said when asked after the match about a possible sale. Media reports say she is the most reluctant of the family to sell, having previously seen off other interested parties.

Representatives of 77-year-old Soros, from his global sports investment arm Inner Circle Sports, have held discussions with Italpetroli, the majority shareholder of Roma controlled by the Sensis.

Elsewhere in Italy, Chievo Verona won immediate promotion back to Serie A yesterday after drawing 1-1 at Grosseto. Relegated last year having been in the Champions League qualifiers at the start of that season, they are four points clear of third-placed Lecce with one game left.

In France, Lyons' 1-0 extra-time win over Paris St Germain in Saturday's French Cup final provided a fitting symbol for their season, the toughest in years but also their most successful.

PSG, who narrowly avoided relegation from the top flight, hit the woodwork twice and had a goal disallowed for offside before Sidney Govou struck on 102 minutes to secure Lyons their first League and Cup double.

"When you sum up our season you realise that, even when we suffer, we end up winning trophies," said the Lyons president, Jean-Michel Aulas. "Maybe PSG would have deserved to win the game but if you look at what we have achieved, this has been our best season."

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