Rome - The president of Roma James Pallotta launched an astonishing attack on media Wednesday, accusing them of "beating up" the Serie A club's players.
Roma squeezed into the last 16 of the Champions League after a dire scoreless draw at home to Belarusian champions BATE Borisov on Wednesday.
It was enough to see the Italian side qualify for the lucrative knockout phase of the competition for the first time since the 2010-2011 season, but it was far from enticing Champions League football and did little to appease Roma's fans.
Jeers and whistled rained down on Roma's players even after their qualification - which also depended on the result of Barcelona's home game with Bayer Leverkusen - was confirmed by the stadium announcer.
A short time after, Pallotta was asked his opinion of the game by reporters and launched a scathing attack of the media's treatment of the players at the club.
"What I really want to say, I wish on a daily basis that some of you would leave these guys alone, they're a good group of guys," said Pallotta.
"It's just seriously getting tired (sic) on a day by day basis, that some continue to make up and keep beating on these guys
"It's frustrating when you come in here and you get whistled... when they pass it back to the goalie or something like that.. because of the stuff that's been written or (said) on the radios all the time.
"At some point some of you guys have to grow up and start treating them with the respect they deserve.
"They're in the round of 16 right now, they work hard at it, they all give a shit about it, and all of us do too.
"But at some point, you've got to stop beating them up."