2002–03 S.S. Lazio season

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Lazio
2002–03 season
Manager Roberto Mancini
Serie A 4th
Coppa Italia Semi-finals
UEFA Cup Semi-finals
Top goalscorer Claudio López (15)
Home colours

S.S. Lazio suffered from a season of financial turmoil in 2002–03, but in spite of all troubles finished fourth in the Serie A, qualifying for the UEFA Champions League in the process.

Season[edit]

The days of wealth were gone for Lazio following the collapse of owner Sergio Cragnotti's grocery empire. Cragnotti had tried to keep pace with the top teams during the initial stages of the summer, having signed wingers Christian Manfredini and Eriberto from Chievo. Due to payment difficulties the deal seemed to fall through, and Eriberto's transfer came to nothing when it was disclosed that he had played under a false passport, was four years older than advertised and called Luciano. That meant that the player was suspended, and stayed at Chievo. Manfredini was finally signed, while Juan Pablo Sorín came on loan from Brazilian side Cruzeiro, striker Enrico Chiesa came on a free transfer from bankrupt Fiorentina, while Massimo Oddo signed from relegated Hellas Verona.

In the latter part of the summer, the financial problem got more urgent, which resulted in all star players being put up for sale. Cragnotti was also forced to reliquish control of the club. Alessandro Nesta was sold to Milan, while Hernán Crespo signed for Internazionale, while Bernardo Corradi came in as a replacement as part of the deal.

The new-look Lazio surprised everyone, when it under the inspired coaching of Roberto Mancini propelled into the top position of the league during the latter part of the autumn season, and the team played with much more spirit and heat before, despite the players being forced to take pay cuts in the excess of 80%. Meanwhile the transfer saga of Gaizka Mendieta lingered on, with Lazio struggling to pay the entire transfer fee for the Spanish flop, who subsequently had been loaned out to Barcelona in order to cover his salary costs.

During the second half of the season, Lazio could not repeat its form from the first half, but held on to a fourth place while being in touch with Inter and Milan, who finished just up the ladder. The most prolific players were reinvigorated goalkeeper Angelo Peruzzi, experienced centre-half Jaap Stam, playmakers Stefano Fiore and Dejan Stanković, plus strikers Claudio López and Bernardo Corradi, who both scored more than ten goals.

Squad[edit]

Goalkeepers[edit]

Defenders[edit]

Midfielders[edit]

Attackers[edit]

Serie A[edit]

Matches[edit]

Top Scorers[edit]

Results summary[edit]

Overall Home Away
Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts W D L GF GA GD W D L GF GA GD
34 15 15 4 57 32 +25 60 7 8 2 31 16 +15 8 7 2 26 16 +10

UEFA Cup[edit]

1st Round[edit]

2nd Round[edit]

3rd Round[edit]

4th Round[edit]

Quarter Final[edit]

Semi Final[edit]

Sources[edit]

RSSSF - Italy 2002/03