The club had their first major success in 1958, winning the domestic cup. In 1974 they won their first Serie A title. The past fifteen 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.
Lazio's traditional kit colours are sky blue shirts and white shorts with white socks, the colors are reminiscent of Rome's ancient Hellenic legacy. Their home is the 72,689 capacity Stadio Olimpico in Rome, which they share with A.S. Roma until the year 2016 when the latter will leave for the Stadio della Roma. Lazio have a long-standing rivalry with Roma, with whom they have contested the Derby della Capitale (in English "Derby of the capital" or Rome derby) since 1929.
Lazio is also a sports club that participate in forty sports disciplines in total, more than any other sports association in the world.
For information on the current season, see 2013–14 S.S. Lazio season. For a list of all former and current Lazio players with a Wikipedia article, see.
Plaque commemorating the foundation of Lazio at Piazza della Libertà (Roma, Prati).
Società Podistica Lazio was founded on 9 January 1900 in the Prati district of Rome. Lazio officially gave birth to its football section in 1910, joined league competition in 1912 as soon as the Italian Football Federation began organizing championships in the center and south of Italy, and reached the final of the national championship playoff three times, but never won, losing in 1913 to Pro Vercelli, in 1914 to Casale and in 1923 to Genoa 1893.
In 1927 Mario Azzi was the only major Roman club which resisted the Fascist regime's attempts to merge all the city's teams into what would become A.S. Roma the same year.
The club played in the first organized Serie A in 1929 and, led by legendary Italian striker Silvio Piola, achieved a second place finish in 1937 — its highest pre-war result.
The 1950s produced a mix of mid and upper table results with an Italian Cup win in 1958. Lazio was relegated for the first time in 1961 to the Serie B, but returned in the top flight two years later. After a number of mid-table placements, another relegation followed in 1970–71. Back to Serie A in 1972–73, Lazio immediately emerged as surprise challengers for the Scudetto to Milan and Juventus in 1972–1973, only losing out on the final day of the season, with a team comprising captain Giuseppe Wilson, as well as midfielders Luciano Re Cecconi and Mario Frustalupi, striker Giorgio Chinaglia, and head coach Tommaso Maestrelli. Lazio improved such successes the following season, ensuring its first title in 1973–74. However, tragic deaths of Luciano Re Cecconi and scudetto trainer Tommaso Maestrelli, as well as the departure of Chinaglia, would be a triple blow for Lazio. The emergence of Bruno Giordano during this period provided some relief as he finished League top scorer in 1979, when Lazio finished 8th.
Lazio were forcibly relegated to Serie B in 1980 due to a remarkable scandal concerning illegal bets on their own matches, along with AC Milan. They remained in Italy's second division for three seasons in what would mark the darkest period in Lazio's history. They would return in 1983 and manage a last-day escape from relegation the following season. 1984–85 would prove harrowing, with a pitiful 15 points and bottom place finish.
In 1986, Lazio was hit with a 9-point deduction (a true deathblow back in the day of the two-point win) for a betting scandal involving player Claudio Vinazzani. An epic struggle against relegation followed the same season in Serie B, with the club led by trainer Eugenio Fascetti only avoiding relegation to the Serie C after play-off wins over Taranto and Campobasso. This would prove a turning point in the club's history, with Lazio returning to Serie A in 1988 and, under the careful financial management of Gianmarco Calleri, the consolidation of the club's position as a solid top-flight club.
The arrival of Sergio Cragnotti, in 1992, changed the club's history due to his long-term investments in new players to make the team a scudetto competitor. A notable early transfer during his tenure was the capture of English midfielder Paul Gascoigne from Tottenham Hotspur for £5.5million. Gascoigne's transfer to Lazio is credited with the increase of interest in Serie A in the United Kingdom during the 1990s. Cragnotti repeatedly broke transfer records in pursuit of players who were considered major stars – Juan Sebastian Veron for £18million, Christian Vieri for £19million and breaking the world transfer record, albeit only for a matter of weeks, to sign Hernan Crespo from Parma for £35million.
Lazio were Serie A runners-up in 1995, third in 1996, and fourth in 1997, then losing the championship just by one point to Milan on the last championship's match in 1999 before, with the likes of Siniša Mihajlović, Alessandro Nesta, Marcelo Salas and Pavel Nedvěd in the side, finally winning its second scudetto in 2000, as well as the Italian Cup in an impressive and rare (by Italian standards) "double" with Sven-Göran Eriksson (1997–2001) as manager.
In 2000, Lazio became also the first Italian football club to be quoted on the Italian Piazza Affari stock market.
However, with money running out, Lazio's results slowly worsened in the years; in 2002, a financial scandal involving Cragnotti and his food products multinational Cirio forced him to leave the club, and Lazio was controlled until 2004 by caretaker financial managers and a bank pool. This forced the club to sell their star players and even fan favourite captain Alessandro Nesta. In 2004 entrepreneur Claudio Lotito acquired the majority of the club.
In the 2006–07 season, despite a later-reduced points deduction, Lazio achieved a third place finish, thus gaining qualification to the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, where they defeated Dinamo Bucharest to get into the group phase, and ended fourth place in the group composed of Real Madrid, Werder Bremen and Olympiacos. Things in the league did not go much better with the team spending most of the season in the bottom half of the table, sparking the protests of the fans, and eventually ending the Serie A season in 12th place. In the 2008–09 season, Lazio won their fifth Coppa Italia, beating Sampdoria in the final.
The old badge, used until the end of the 1991–1992 season.
First kit ever worn by the club.
Lazio's colours of white and sky blue were inspired by the national emblem of Greece, due to the fact that Lazio is a mixed sports club this was chosen in recognition of the fact that the Ancient Olympic Games and along with it the sporting tradition in Europe is linked to Greece.
Originally Lazio wore a shirt which was divided into white and sky blue quarters, with black shorts and socks. After a while of wearing a plain white shirt very early on, Lazio reverted to the colours which they wear today. Some seasons Lazio have used a sky blue and white shirt with stripes, but usually it is sky blue with a white trim, with the white shorts and socks. The club's colours have led to their Italian nickname of biancocelesti.
Lazio's traditional club badge and symbol is the eagle, which was chosen by founding member Luigi Bigiarelli. It is an acknowledgment to the emblem of the ellenic Zeus (the god of sky and thunder in Greek mythology) commonly known as the Aquila; Lazio's use of the symbol has led to two of their nicknames; le Aquile (the Eagles) and Aquilotti (Young Eagles). The current club badge features a golden eagle above a white shield with a blue border; inside the shield is the club's name and a smaller tripartite shield with the colours of the club.
Also on the Foro Italico lies the Stadio dei Marmi, or "marble stadium", which was built in 1932 and designed by Enrico Del Debbio. It has tiers topped by 60 white marble statues that were gifts from Italian cities in commemoration of 60 athletes.
During the 1989–90 season, Lazio and Roma played their games at the Stadio Flaminio of Rome, located in the district Flaminio, because of the renovation works carried out at the Stadio Olimpico.
Lazio is the sixth most supported football club in Italy and the second in Rome, with around 2% of Italian football fans supporting the club (according to La Repubblica’s research of August 2008). Historically the largest section of Lazio supporters in the city of Rome has come from the far northern section, creating an arch like shape across Rome with affluent areas such as Parioli, Prati, Flaminio, Cassia and Monte Mario.
Founded in 1987, Irriducibili Lazio were the club's biggest ultras group for over 20 years. Usually the only time they create traditional Italian ultras displays is for the Derby della Capitale, the match between Lazio and their main rivals, Roma. Known in English speaking countries as the Rome derby, it is amongst the most heated and emotional footballing rivalries in the world. Lazio fan Vincenzo Paparelli was killed at one of the derby games during the 1979–80 season after being hit in the eye by an emergency rocket thrown by a Roma fan. Lazio also have a strong rivalry with Napoli and Livorno. Conversely the ultras have friendly relationships with Inter, Triestina and Hellas Verona.
Officially, Lazio's highest home attendance is approximately 80,000 for a Serie A match against Foggia on 12 May 1974, the match that awarded to Lazio the first Scudetto. This is also the record for the Stadio Olimpico, including A.S. Roma and Italy national football team's matches.
In 1998, during Sergio Cragnotti's period in charge, Società Sportiva Lazio became a joint stock company: Lazio were the first Italian club to do so. Currently, the Lazio shares are distributed between Claudio Lotito, who holds 66.692%, and other shareholders who own the remaining 33.308%. Along with Juventus and Roma, Lazio is one of only three Italian clubs listed on the Borsa Italiana (Italian stock exchange). Unlike the other two Italian clubs on the stock exchange there is only one significantly large share holder in Lazio. According to The Football Money League published by consultants Deloitte, in the 2004–05 season Lazio was the twentieth highest earning football club in the world with an estimated revenue of €83 million.
Lazio was one of the few clubs that self-sustain from the financial support of shareholder, made an aggregate profit in recent seasons: 2005–06 €16,790,826; 2006–07: €99,693,224 (due to extraordinary income by the creation of S.S. Lazio Marketing & Communication spa.); 2007–08, €6,263,202; 2008–09, €1,336,576; 2009–10, €300,989.; 2010–11, €670,862; 2011–12, €580,492.
(Italian)Melli, Franco and Marco (2005). La storia della Lazio. Rome: L'airone Editrice. ISBN88-7944-725-4.
(Italian)Barbero, Sergio (1999). Lazio. Il lungo volo dell'aquila. Graphot. ISBN88-86906-19-6.
(Italian)Barraco, Egidio (1992). Nella Lazio ho giocato anch'io. Novantanni in biancoazzurro. Aldo Pimerano. ISBN88-85946-09-7.
(Italian)Bocchio, Sandro; Giovanni Tosco (2000). Dizionario della grande Lazio. Newton & Compton. ISBN88-8289-495-9.Cite uses deprecated parameters (help)
(Italian)Cacciari, Patrizio; Filacchione; Stabile (2004). 1974. Nei ricordi dei protagonisti la storia incredibile della Lazio di Maestrelli. Eraclea Libreria Sportiva. ISBN88-88771-10-7.Cite uses deprecated parameters (help)
(Italian)Chinaglia, Giorgio (1984). Passione Lazio. Rome: Lucarini. ISBN88-7033-051-6.
(Italian)Chiappaventi, Guy (2004). Pistole e palloni. Gli anni Settanta nel racconto della Lazio campione d'Italia. Limina. ISBN88-88551-30-1.
(Italian)Filacchione, Marco. Il volo dell'aquila. Numeri e uomini della grande Lazio. Eraclea Libreria Sportiva. ISBN88-88771-08-5.
(Italian)Martin, Simon (2006). Calcio e fascismo. Lo sport nazionale sotto Mussolini. Mondadori. ISBN88-04-55566-1.