Thursday, September 1, 2016

Lazio Greatest All-Time Team

European Super Cup 1999

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for the club.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

SS Lazio had their first major success in 1958, winning the domestic cup. In 1974, they won their first Serie A title. The past 15 years have been the most successful period in Lazio's history, seeing them win the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and UEFA Super Cup in 1999, the Serie A title in 2000, several domestic cups and reaching their first UEFA Cup final in 1998.

Team
GK: Angelo Peruzzi (Italy)
Angelo Peruzzi played for Italian clubs Roma, Hellas Verona, Juventus, Inter Milan and Lazio. He had a highly successful spell with Juventus, where he won three Serie A titles, the Coppa Italia, the UEFA Cup and the Champions League. His cap total was limited to 31, largely because he was playing in the same generation as Buffon. He missed both France 1998 and Euro 2000 through injuries. He was the backup keeper at WC 2006.

GK: Luca Marchegiani  (Italy)
At one point in his career, Marchegiani was the most expensive goalkeeper in the world, when he joined Lazio from Torino in 1993.  For Lazio, he had gone 745 consecutive minutes with out conceding a goal in Serie A.  He played for Torino, Lazio and Chievo.  Capped 9 times.  He went to USA 1994, and played in 3 matches because Gianluca Pagliuca received a suspension during the Finals.

GK: Roberto Lovati (Italy)
Roberto Lovati started his career with Pisa and Monza. H joined Lazio in 1954, but was immediately sent out on loan to Torino.  He won the Italian Cup in 1958 with Lazio.  He retired in 1961.  He was capped twice for Italy, playing in the famous 6-1 victory over Yugoslavia in Zagreb in 1957 during the Central European International Cup.
Roberto Lovati
RB: Massimo Oddo (Italy)
He was a product of AC milan academy, but he made his name with Lazio, where he played from 2002 to 2007.  He eventually returned to Milan in 2007, where he won the Champions' League in 2007. He also played for Napoli, Bayern Munich and Verona. He had 34 caps. He was a member of Italy's championship winning squad during the 2006 FIFA World Cup under Marcello Lippi,

RB/CB: Paolo Negro (Italy)
Negro played with Bologne and Brescia, but he made a name with Lazio.  He won 8 major titles with club between 1993 and 2005.  That included the Serie A League/Italian Cup Double in 1999-2000 and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1998-1999. He was capped 9 times. He also appeared with Italy at Euro 2000, where Italy finished in second place.

CB: Alessandro Nesta (Italy)
Nesta is considered one of the best defender of his generation.  He was the Serie A defender of the Year for 4 times. He started his career with Lazio.  Later, he played with AC Milan where he won two Champions' league.  He also played in MLS.  He earned 78 caps.   He played on the 2006 WC winning team, but injured in the third game of the tournament.  He also went to 1998 and 2002 World Cup Finals as well as the European Championship in 1996, 2000 and 2004.
Alessandro Nesta
CB: Giuseppe Wilson (Italy)
Born in the UK to a British father and an Italian mother, Wilson started his career with Internapoli in 1964-65. He joined S.S. Lazio in 1969. He played 10 seasons with them winning the 1973-1974 Serie A title.  Wilson was among the greatest ever defender for Lazio.  While at Lazio, he was capped 3 times by Italy.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 1974.  He headed to the USA and played for NY Cosmos in 1978.

CB:  Jaap Stam  (Holland)
Stam was at one point the most expensive Dutch player and the most expensive defender in the world when Manchester United bought him for 10.6 million pounds.  He also played for Lazio, A.C. Milan and Ajax. As well as club trophies, he won several personal awards, including being voted the best defender in the 1998–99 and 1999–2000 Champions League. Stam played 67 matches for the Netherlands, scoring three goals. He went to three European Championships and the 1998 FIFA World Cup.

CB/LB: Sinisa Mihajlovic (Yugoslavia)
Sinisa Mihajlovic was capped 63 times between 1991 and 2003 for Yugoslavia.  He won the European Cup with Red Star Belgrade. In 1992, he moved to Italy and became was one of the best defender in Serie, notably played for Roma, Sampdoria, Lazio and Inter Milan.  With Lazio, he won UEFA Cup Winners Cup: 1998–99. He was part of the golden generation of Yugoslav players who won the 1987 FIFA World Youth Championship in Chile.
Sinisa Mihajlovic
LB: Giuseppe Pancaro (Italy)
Pancaro made his professional debut with Cagliari Calcio.  In 1997, he moved to Lazio. He was a part of Lazio's Serie A winning team in 2000. He also played for Milan, Fiorentina and Torino.   In total, he won 19 caps with the Azzurri between 1999 and 2005, but he never took part at a major tournament with Italy. 

CB/LB: Giuseppe Favalli (Italy)
Following the departure of Alessandro Nesta to Milan in 2002, he became team captain of Lazio. During his time with Lazio he won a Scudetto, 3 Coppa Italia 2 Supercoppa Italiana and the UEFA Super Cup, as well as establishing himself as a fan favorite. He later played witn both Inter Milan and AC Milan.  Capped 8 times and went to Euro 2014.

CM/DM: Luciano Re Cecconi (Italy)
Re Cecconi made his debut for Pro Patria Calcio, then in Serie C, on 14 April 1968, and subsequently moved to U.S. Foggia, which he helped to promotion from Serie B to Serie A in the 1969–70 season (they were relegated again the following year). In 1972, he joined S.S. Lazio. He was the hero of Lazio's scudetto in 1973-1974.  He went to the WC Finals in 1974.  Sadly, he was accidentally shot and killed during a prank that went wrong in 1977. He was only 28 years old.
Luciano Re Cecconi
DM: Diego Simeone (Argentina)
Simeone started his career with Velez Sarsfield before moving to Europe. He first joined Pisa and Sevilla before going to Atletico Madrid.  He won the Double with them in 1995-1996.  He then moved to Inter Milan, where he won the UEFA Cup in 1998.  In 1999, he moved to Lazio.  Again, he won the Double.  For Argentina, he was capped 106 times. He won Copa America in 1991 and 1993.  He went to play in three WC Finals; 1994, 1998 and 2002.  

CM/DM: Matìas Almeyda (Argentina)
Almeyda started his professional career at River Plate.  In 1996, he moved to Europe, where he first played with Sevilla in Spain. In 1997, he went to Italy, where he would spent played until 2005.  Over there, he played Lazio, Inter Milan, Parma and Bresica.  In Lazio, he was a part of the team that won the league title. He was capped 35 times for Argentina. He started all matches in the World Cup Finals in 1998, but only one match in 2002.
Matias Almeyda
CM/DM/RM: Dejan Stankovic (Serbia)
Stanković began his career at Red Star Belgrade, before joining Lazio in 1998. He spent more than five years with the latter club before joining Inter Milan in 2004.  With Inter Milan, he won 5 league titles and one Champions League title.  He played in three WC Finals for three different national teams: Yugoslavia(1998), Serbia and Montenegro(2006) and Serbia (2010). He had 103 caps in total.

AM/CM: Juan Sebastián Verón (Argentina)
Juan Sebastian Veron was the son of a Estudiantes de La Plata great Juan Ramon Veron.  He was also a hero at the club.  Both father and son won the Copa Libertadores for the club.  He also played briefly for Boca Juniors in 1996.  He had an extended career in Europe, playing for Parma, Lazio, Sampdoria, Manchester United, Chelsea, Inter Milan, etc.  He was considered one of the best Argentine player of his generation, winning 73 caps between 1996 and 2010.
Juan Sebestian Veron
LW/AM: Pavel Nedved (the Czech Republic)
Nedved was a key player as the Czech Republic finished second at Euro 1996, and reached the semi-final at Euro 2004.  For club football, he is best remembered for playing for Lazio and Juvnetus.  At Lazio, he won the Scudetti in 1999-2000, only the second league title in Lazio's history.  With Juventus, he led the team to the Final of the 2002-2003 Champions' League final, but he sat out ofthe game due to suspension.  He won the European Footballer of the that year.

RW: Diego Fuser (Italy)
Fuser played for many clubs in his career.  Fuser started his professional career with Torino in 1986.  During his two seasons at Milan he collected a Champions League (1989) medal and a Scudetto (1988). His best period was with  Lazio from 1992 to 1998.  As the captain of the team, he led Lazio to the 1998 UEFA Cup Final.  Despite playing for Roma later in his career, he remained a fan favouriteCapped 25 times. He played at Euro 1996.  

AM: Vincenzo D'Amico (Italy)
D'Amico was only 20 years old when he led Lazio to the 1973-1974 Serie A title.  He would later play for Torino when Lazio went down to Serie B.  He returned to Lazio a season later.  He represented Italy at the youth level.  However, he never played for Italy at the senior level.  He was selected for two matches, but never entered the field.
Vincenzo D'Amico
ST: Marcelo Salas (Chile)
Salas played 71 times for Chile and the all-time leading scorer for Chile.  He went to the WC in 1998, where he formed a partnership with Ivan Zamorano.  Salas made his debut playing for Universidad de Chile in 1993, but he first made his name with River Plate, where he was considered one of the greatest foreigner ever played for them.  He moved to Lazio in 1998, where he won the Serie A in 1999-2000. He also had a successful spell with Juventus.

ST/LW: Giuseppe Signori (Italy)
Signori won the Serie A top-scorer award three times while playing for Lazio: 1993, 1994 and 1996. In 1998, he was sold to Sampdoria. At Bologna, he helped the club to qualify for the 1998–99 UEFA Cup by winning the 1998 UEFA Intertoto Cup. Bologna went on to reach the semi-final of the UEFA Cup that season. Capped 28 times.  He was one of Italy's star players at USA 1994.  He assisted Roberto Baggio's winning goal against Spain.
Giuseppe Signori 
ST: Tommaso Rocchi  (Italy)
Rocchi started with Juventus, but never made a senior appearance. He was playing in the lower division when Empoli signed him in 2001.  The club grained proimotion to Serie A and he moved to Lazio in 2004. At Lazio, he won Coppa Italia in 2009.  He later played for Inter Milan without success.  He was capped 3 times for Italy.

ST: Bruno Giordano (Italy)
Born in Rome, Bruno Giordano spent 10 seasons with Lazio, scoring 108 goals for them and winning the Serie A capocannoniere title during the 1978–79 season, scoring 19 goals. In 1985, he left Lazio for Napoli, where he teamed up with Diego Maradona and Careca, helping Napoli to win the 1987 scudetto/Coppa Italia Double. He was capped 15 times.
Bruno Giordano
ST:  Silvio Piola
Silvio Piola is one of Italy's greatest players.  He is the all-time leading scorer in the Italian league.  He is the only player to have the honour of being the all-time Serie A top scorer of three different teams (Pro Vercelli, Lazio and Novara).  He was third all-time leading scorer for the Azzurri even through his career was cut short by the World War II.  Piola had over 30 caps. He also won the 1938 FIFA World Cup with Italy, scoring two goals in the final, ending the tournament as the second best player and the second highest scorer.

ST: Giorgio Chinaglia 
Born in Italy, Giorgio Chinaglia grew up in Wales, where he started his career with Swansea. Lazio voted him as their greatest ever player.  In 1973-1974, he led the league in scoring as Lazio won the scudetto. Later, he played for New York Cosmos with Pele and Franz Beckenbauer. He was one of the few players who played in NASL during their prime. He played 14 times for Azzurii between 1972 and 1975.
Giorgio Chinaglia


Honorable Mention
Alen Boksic, Pierluigi Casiraghi, Enrique Flamini, Aldo Puccinelli, Ruben Sosa, Simone Inzaghi, Paolo Di Canio, Giuliano Fiorini, Stefano Fiore, Hernán Crespo, Luigi Martini, Roberto Di Matteo, Mario Frustalupi, Aron Winter, Thomas Doll, Giovanni Stroppa, Fernando Couto, Sergio Conceicao, Roberto Rambaudi, Lionello Manfredonia.

Squad Explanation
-- I focused on the 1999-2000 season. It was a super team.  Marcelo Salas was the top scorer for the club when they won the Serie A league title in 1999-2000. Pavel Nedved, Siniša Mihajlović and Juan Sebastián Verón were also key players that season. Matías Almeyda was a fan favourite that year. Giuseppe Pancaro, Giuseppe Favalli and Paolo Negro were also from that team.
-- The team that won the 1973-1974 title are underrepresented here. I only selected Luciano Re Cecconi,Vincenzo D'Amico, Giorgio Chinaglia and Giuseppe Wilson.  Mario Frustalupi narrowly missed out a place. Bruno Giordano arrived in 1975.  He was associated in the late 1970's.  By that time, Re Cecconi and manager Tommaso Maestrelli were dead. Chinaglia left for New York.
-- Luigi Martini was seriously considered as a rightback. 
-- I looked into many attackers. Alen Boksic, Pierluigi Casiraghi, Enrique Flamini, Aldo Puccinelli, Ruben Sosa, Roberto Mancini,  Hernán Crespo, Simone Inzaghi, Paolo Di Canio and Giuliano Fiorini were considered. 
-- Hernan Crespo had one good season with Lazio. So he only made honorable mention.
-- In the end, I selected strikers who had scored more goals for the club.  Rocchi and Giordano did not have the same international reorganization than some of the other players, but they have done more. Giordano was the Serie A top scorer in 1979.
-- Felice Pulici was the 4th keeper.
 -- Luciano Re Cecconi was one of the most popular player ever in the history of the club.
-- Paul Gascoigne was never considered. He had many injuries while playing for them.
-- Paolo Di Canio is a "native-born son", but he played his prime and best football elsewhere.  
-- Giorgio Chinaglia was voted as the greatest ever player for Lazio. 

Formation

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