Italy 2002........the year in review. (1 Viewer)


Junior Member
Dec 7, 2002
was it the disppointment at WC 2002, Juve's dramatic win of the scudetto at the olympico:D? whatever you think, the best match i think was THAT memorable Rome derby. Here is what an Oliver Thompson thinks.

That memorable Rome derby
12 Dec 2002

In the first of a festive series that may well have twelve parts, Megasoccer writers nominate their favourite games from 2002. Today, Oliver Thompson on a Serie A classic - the Rome derby.

Lazio 1 Roma 5, March 10th, Stadio Olimpico.

By Oliver Thompson

Why not start our vaguely Christmas-themed series with a classic to warm even the hardest of hearts, that's what I say. Well ok, if you support Lazio, perhaps this doesn't quite make the shortlist for your greatest games of 2002. In fact if you're a Lazio supporter called Alessandro Nesta, you're still in therapy aimed at eradicating every memory of March 10th 2002.

However, for the red half of Rome and every neutral, this game was one of the greatest exhibitions of attacking football in years, a sharp rebuke to those who feel that Serie A is a dull, defensive league, and a nightmare evening for then Lazio coach Alberto Zaccheroni, who had said before the game: "You win a derby the same way as all other games: by scoring one more goal than your opponents." Roma, inspired by Totti and lead by Vincenzo Montella, scored four more than Lazio, as they ripped through Zac's sorry side.

As usual, the pre-match hype had been stoked by the players. "I respect Lazio but the table clearly shows the difference between the two teams," was Francesco Totti's characteristically modest assessment. Within twelve minutes of kick off at the Olimpico, he'd backed up the talk with a glorious backheel that took two Lazio defenders out of the game and gave Vincent Candela the space to pick out Vincenzo Montella with a pinpoint cross. Montella then began one of the most amazing nights of his life by heading home to make it 1-0.

Seventeen minutes later Totti burst through midfield, evading several desperate tackles, and shot low from 25 yards. Peruzzi in the Lazio goal blocked the ball and it fell to Alessandro Nesta, who, inexplicably, stared at the ball as Montella took it off him and tapped home from five yards.

It got worse for Nesta as he completely failed to pick up Montella on a Totti free kick and the man known as the 'little aeroplane' rose to complete his hat-trick with another header. Thirty six minutes gone and Lazio were already on the wrong end of a beating.

They briefly came back into the game with a fine long-range strike from Dejan Stankovic (even the consolation goal was brilliant) before Montella crashed a twenty five yard drive in off the crossbar. By now Roma were simply irresistible coming forward and the outstanding Francesco Totti finished off the rout in the most impudent manner imaginable - chipping Peruzzi from nearly 30 yards . It was the biggest party Rome has seen since they won the title the previous summer, and one of the best derbies Serie A has seen in the last decade. Montella received a 9.5 vote from the notoriously stingy Gazzetto Dello Sport, and Totti was lauded by his coach Fabio Capello, who said: "He transforms himself for games like that. He was extraordinary and a real leader. He acted like a true captain."

Unsurprisingly, the Lazio camp were less vocal in the aftermath. "We left our balls in the dressing room," said Massimo Cragnotti. His father, Sergio, restricted his assessment to "We lost. What else am I supposed to say?"

Roma fans were not listening anyway - they were out celebrating a win and a game that will live long in the memory of all lucky enough to have seen it. They have had their woes since, but that night at least, Roma were simply awesome.

Lazio 1-5 Roma

(Dejan Stankovic 53 (Lazio) - Vincenzo Montella 12, 29, 36, 63, Francesco Totti 71)

LAZIO (4-4-2): Peruzzi , Baggio (1' st Poborsky), Nesta (1' st Gottardi), Mihajlovic, Couto, Stankovic, Giannichedda, Fiore, Pancaro, Crespo, Inzaghi (30' st Liverani) (Bench: Marchegiani, Mendieta,, C. Lopez, Comazzi)

ROMA (3-4-1-2): Antonioli, Panucci, Samuel, Zebina, Cafu, Lima, Emerson (39' st Assuncao), Candela, Totti, Montella (29' Cassano), Delvecchio (15' st Tommasi) (Bench: Pelizzoli, Aldair, Cufre, Guigou).

Attendance: 75,000

Dj Juve

Senior Member
Jul 12, 2002
i think the only highlight for italy as a whole is Camo deciding to ppick italy. and also all 4 team making it to the 2nd round. other than that it's been crappy


Senior Member
Jul 14, 2002
The Lazio-Roma match was indeed a great occasion for any neutral fan,but I think the most important thing that happened to Italian Football this past year is that all 4 of its representitives have made it safely into Group Stage 2,and 3 of those 4 teams look steady to qualify. If I was asked to say what I think the best game of the 2002-2003 season was I would say it was the Lazio-Inter game.


Junior Member
Dec 7, 2002
++ [ originally posted by DP's_Apprentice ] ++
.............. If I was asked to say what I think the best game of the 2002-2003 season was I would say it was the Lazio-Inter game.

i watched this match instead the Udine-Juve match, it was great witnessing big boys cry!


Junior Member
Dec 7, 2002
Fiorentia 5 Castel Di Sangro 1, September 15th, Serie C2B

This game marks the beginning of the long road back for one of Italy's most celebrated clubs, and provided a brief respite from bad news for some of Italy's most passionate fans.

The death in Florence - Fiorentina's dramatic collapse from a leading light in Serie A to a shattered shell of a club, with bad debts and no future - has been picked over since the nasty denouement last summer. Less well documented are the tentative steps the reformed, refinanced club, now known as Fiorentia 1926 Fiorentina, are taking towards the top flight. True, interest fluttered around the start of the season but after the novelty of seeing the Florence side slugging it out in the fourth division had worn off, the club had to get used to life without the limelight.

Perhaps it's just as well. In their first game in Serie C2B - the regional division covering the middle of Italy - Fiorentina were held to a 1-1 draw by Sangiovannese, a side keen to remind them that they would not get an easy time in the basement section of Italian professional football just because they had played in the Champions League.

For their second fixture, they returned to their home; Stadio Artemio Franchi, designed by Pier Luigi Nervi in the late 1920's. The Artemio Franchi once hosted the greatest sides in the world and games there had a crucial bearing on the destination of Serie A titles and European Cups. The visitors on 15 September were Castel di Sangro, a club from a tiny town out in the Abruzzo province.

Castel di Sangro are well known outside Italy, thanks to a book by the American author Joe McGinnis, following their season in Serie B. However, back home they are a struggling club from a poor part of the country, and provided the perfect fodder for the Viola in their first home game.

Perhaps they had a bit of stage fright. 28,000 fans greeted the teams - many Serie A clubs would struggle to coax that many people through the gates most weeks. The second largest crown Serie C2 that day was 2500. This was important for Florence though, it was the fans way of saying that no matter the name, or the owner, or the colour of the shirt, they were the cities team and would be supported ever more.

The team responded, lead by captain Angelo Di Livio, and gave the fans the perfect start to the season with a 5-1 win. Di Livio had just returned from the World Cup, where he had played for Italy, and now found himself in the fourth division having taken a 90% pay cut to stay with the club, saying: "This city's inspired me, and I want to end my career here".

The first goal came from a Di Livio corner and was headed home by Christian Rigano, a striker who the side had brought in from the big leagues, well ok - Serie C1. Though Castel di Sangro found an equalizer, Fiorentia cut loose in the second half. Rigano added a second, Roberto Ripa made it 3-1, then Felice Evacuo, a hot prospect on loan from Lazio scored twice to round off a comfortable win.

It was the beginning of a long, slow, tough climb back up towards Serie A and there will no doubt be more setbacks on the way. Florence has never had a taste for the mundane and years of slogging around C2B, with pitches more like the local park and referees of varying quality does not appeal. They want to be back in the top flight as quickly as possible, but these are not easy leagues to get out of.

However, there are signs that second time around the story might have a happy ending. Though already on their second coach of the season, Fiorentia currently occupy second place in Serie C2B and look well set for promotion. From there, well Serie A is just a couple of winning seasons away. As Oscar Wilde, who would have been a Fiorentina fan had he not died 26 years before they were founded, once said: "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."

Fiorentia Viola 5 Castel Di Sangro 1

Fiorentia: Ivan, Guzzo, Minieri, Nicodemo, Ripa, Longo (76 Hutewelker), Di Livio, Masitto (50 Turchetta), Rigan (87 Evacuo), Bonomi, Quagliarella.

Castel Di Sangro: Di Quinzio, Di Bari, Scotti, Mengoni (86 Pelusi), Mucciante (64 Prosperi), Ferraresi, Ruscitti, Marinucci, Ciotti, Atzeni (74 Magnani ), Federici.

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