In Matchday 24 of the Serie A TIM, Lazio traveled to the Stadio Luigi Ferraris to take on Genoa. Cesare Prandelli’s side were coming into this match with five points in the first four matches of the second half of the season – record of 1W-2D-1L – while Simone Inzaghi’s side were looking to rebound after sustaining a 1-0 defeat to Sevilla in the Europa League. Despite multiple injuries to several key players, the Biancocelesti managed to give a terrific performance in the first half. They played with an unfamiliar midfield trio of Romulo – Danilo Cataldi – Milan Badelj, and managed to take the lead just before the stroke of half time through the Croatian midfielder; it was his first goal in the white and blue kit. However, this lead was soon to be reversed as in the last quarter of the match, Antonio Sanabria and Domenico Criscito scored to complete the comeback and give Il Grifone a 2-1 victory in front of their home supporters.
An unfortunate loss for Lazio – which now sees them tied for the sixth spot in the table – there was an interesting takeaway from this challenge pertaining to Romania. This ‘takeaway’ was that each side had a footballer belonging to the European nation – something that we have not seen in the league for quite some time. At the end of this match, the two Romanian’s were pictured together swapping jerseys with the caption “Radu X2.” Stefan Radu was seen holding Andrei Radu’s number 97 whilst Andrei was seen holding Stefan’s #26; it seems as if both players acknowledged each others background and couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to speak with one another about calcio and life in general.
Stefan Radu (Ștefan Radu) is – and has been – a well-known player in calcio since his arrival to Rome in 2008. The now 32-year-old transferred to Lazio from Dinamo București and has since made 339 appearances for the club in all competitions. Capable of playing as a left back or center back, Radu continues to be an important piece of the puzzle in this Biancocelesti side. His leadership, that has come with being a veteran at the club, makes him a very respectable player on and off the pitch. He has obtained four trophies in his tenure with the Biancocelesti to date: two Coppa Italia’s and two Supercoppa Italiana’s.
Andrei Radu is a 21-year-old up-and-coming goalkeeper in the Serie A TIM. Currently owned by Inter, the keeper started his career in Romania – similar to Stefan with Dinamo București U19 – before moving to Italy to join firstly Pergolettese Youth followed by the Inter Primavera sides. Ahead of this season, the goalkeeper was sent out on loan to Genoa where he has since made 20 appearances for them, allowing 31 goals and keeping two clean sheets. In addition, Andrei has 11 caps with the Romanian U21 National team, where he captains the side. A long career ahead of him, Radu already looks as if he has been a starter for multiple seasons, showing confidence in goal and making top key saves for the Rossoblu. Stating his desire to return to Inter, we will see if Genoa takes up their obligation to buy – a part of the original loan deal.