Arne Selmosson: A Matter of Respect
On September 29th, 2019, Lazio played Roma in the Derby della Capitale in Matchday 7 of the 2018/19 Serie A season. The outcome of this match fell in the Giallorossi’s favor; they won 3-1, with former Lazio player Aleksandar Kolarov – who now played for Roma – scoring the second and eventual game-winning goal. Even if respect did not repeat itself at this moment in time (as Kolarov celebrated against his former club), history did. By scoring against his former side, he joined Swedish striker Arne Selmosson – also known as ‘The MoonBeam’- as just the second player in history to have scored for each of the Derby della Capitale clubs.
Selmosson joined Lazio in 1956, scoring 31 goals in 101 games over his Biancocelesti career; one of those goals came against Roma in the Derby on March 16th, 1956. However, as Lazio’s financial situation began to struggle, and with the threat of relegation looming, they were forced to sell their valuable blonde striker in 1958. Oddly enough, the highest bid came from the club just across the Tiber River.
Despite wanting to remain with Lazio, Selmosson was forced to switch from the light blue and white kit to the yellow and red kit in the summer. This caused protests among the Lazio community and the club. And while all of that affection was mutual with Selmosson himself, as he was a protagonist of a type of football from former times, he did not reciprocate his response in words. Instead, he waited until he took to the field on November 30, 1958. This was the day of Lazio vs Roma.
In this match, it took him just nine minutes to score a goal against his former club. However, after the ball crossed the line and went into the net, he simply returned to his position and did not celebrate. He did so out of respect for the team and the fans who had given him so much in that city; the whole stadium applauded him for that gesture.
This is why it was so unfortunate that someone else who found himself in the same situation was not able to repeat the gesture…