Thursday, September 1, 2016

Lazio All-Time Team

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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.

GK: Angelo Peruzzi (Italy)
He was both Juventus and Italy's starting keeper before Gianluigi Buffon emerged on the scene.  However, 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.

GK: Roberto Lovati (Italy)
Bob Lovati played with Monza, Lazio and Torino.  He won the Italian Cup in 1958 with Lazio.  He was capped twice.
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 and 2007.  He eventually returned to Milan in 2007. He also played for Napoli, Bayern Munich and Verona.

RB/CB: Paolo Negro (Italy)
Played with Bologne, Brescia, but he made a name with Lazio.  He won 8 major titles with club.  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.

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.  
Alessandro Nesta
CB: Giuseppe Wilson (Italy)
Born in the UK to a British father and an Italian mother, Wilson was among the greatest ever defender for Lazio.  He played 10 seasons with them winning the 1973-1974 Serie A title.  Capped twice.

CB:  Jaap Stam  (Holland)
He 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 played for several European clubs including PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United, Lazio, A.C. Milan and Ajax. 

CB/LB: Sinisa Mihajlovic (Serbia)
He was capped 63 times between 1991 and 2003.  He was one of the best defender in Serie , notably played for Roma, Sampdoria, Lazio and Inter Milan.  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)
He was a part of Lazio's Serie A winning team in 2000. He also played for Milan.  He arned 19 caps for 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 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.
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.  He returned to Atletico Madrid in 2003 and played for Racing Club before his retirement.  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.  In 1998, he had the famous incident with David Beckham.  

CM/DM: Matìas Almeyda (Argentina)
Started with River Plate in Argentina, he played in Europe for Sevilla, Lazio, Inter Milan, Parma, etc.  He was capped 35 times for Argentina.
Matias Almeyda
CM/DM/RM: Dejan Stankovic (Serbia)
He is best remembered for his stint with Inter Milan where he won 5 league titles and one Champions League title.  He played in three WC Finals for three different national teams: Yugoslavia,  Serbia and Montenegro and Serbia. 

AM/CM: Juan Sebastián Verón (Argentina)
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 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.
Juan Sebestian Veron
LW/AM: Pavel Nedved (the Czech Republic)
He was probably the best player from the region after the breakup of Czechoslovakia.  He was nicknamed "Czech Fury" by Italian fan.  He 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.  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 favourite. Capped 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.
Vincenzo D'Amico

ST: Marcelo Salas (Chile)
He played 71 times for Chile and went to the WC in 1998.  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.

ST/LW: Giuseppe Signori (Italy)
Ranked among the highest scorer in Serie A history, Beppe played for many clubs.  His best stint was with lazio where he was Serie A top-scorer three times: 1993, 1994 and 1996. Capped 28 times.  He was one of Italy's star players at USA 1994.

ST: Bruno Giordano (Italy)
Giordano spent 10 seasons with Lazio, scoring 108 goals for them. 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: Tommaso Rocchi  (Italy)
Rocchi started with Juventis, but never made a senior appearance. he was playing in the lower division when Empoli signed him in 2001.  The club gerained proimotion to Serie A and he moved to Lazio in 2004. At Lazio, he won Coppa Italia in 2009.  Capped 3 times for Italy.

ST:  Silvio Piola
He was the all-time leading scorer in the Italian league.  He was third all-time leading scorer for the Azzurri even through his career was cut short by the World War II.  He won the World Cup in 1938.

ST: Giorgio Chinaglia 
Lazio voted him as their greatest player.  In 1973-1974, he led the league in scoring as Lazio won the scudetto. Later, he received a lot name recogination when he played for NY Cosmos. He was one of the few players who played in NASL during their prime.
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
-- 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. Crespo had one good season with Lazio.
-- Felice Pulici was the 4th keeper.
-- Paul Gascoigne was never considered.
--  Paolo Di Canio is a "native-born son", but he played his prime elsewhere.

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