Although Società Sportiva Lazio is based in Rome, Italy, its followers spread to all corners of the globe. It is for this reason that Laziali Worldwide was created. Through online interviews prepared and conducted by The Laziali, supporters of the Italian Serie A football club worldwide will not only be able to share their stories but also be able to connect with other fans of La Prima Squadra della Capitale. Below, The Laziali’s complete interview with Fabrizio Messina from Italy.
What is your name?
Which city and country are you from?
I currently live in Rome, but I was born in Sicily and lived there for 30 years.
How long have you been a Lazio supporter?
Since the 1997/98 season.
How did you become a Lazio supporter?
My father worked as a railroad worker in Rome and one day in 1997/98, he took me to the Stadio Olimpico to watch Lazio-Inter. I became a Lazio fanatic that day.
Based on your understanding, how would you describe the size of the Lazio fanbase in your location?
A size of about 150 to 200 people.
Does your locality have a Lazio club where fans can gather to view matches? If so, do you participate? If not, would you be interested in establishing one?
Whether at the stadium or at the pub, Lazio fans in Sicily meet up weekly to watch the club’s matches. I am the Founder of ‘Lazio Club Sicilia Biancoceleste’, which was founded in 2009 when Lazio, Palermo, Messina, and Catania were all playing in Serie A. I gathered the Lazio fans in Sicily (when Lazio would come to Sicily to play) and eventually created this group. We have now known each other for 11 years; for our 10-year anniversary, we had a splendid event in Caltanissetta, Sicily in memory of Ugo Longo (President of Lazio in 2004 when they won the Coppa Italia) as this was his birthplace.
Who is your current favourite Lazio player? Why?
Lucas Leiva – I think he is the most important player for Lazio, although the key element at the club is Mr. Simone Inzaghi.
Who is your all-time favourite Lazio player? Why?
Alessandro Nesta. He is my hero, he is a true Captain, and he is a winner on and off the field.
Do you have a favourite Lazio memory? If so, what is the memory?
My first match watching Lazio in Serie A (Lazio-Inter in 1997-98). It will always stick with me; the goal from Pierluigi Casiraghi to Nesta’s defensive plays, the Stadio Olimpico was packed with 80,000 spectators. Also, I liked them as Lazio has a fantastic symbol, colours, and Curva Nord.
Do you have a favourite Lazio match? If so, which match and why?
Undoubtedly Lazio-Roma in 2013; the only Roman final, won by a score of 1-0 thanks to Senad Lulic’s goal in the 71′. There was anxiety at the stadium like I had never seen before. I cried with happiness when the goal was scored.
Do you have a favourite Lazio jersey? If so, which jersey and why?
I love three of their jerseys. The first is the one with the eagle across the chest, the second is the one with the Cirio sponsor from 2000 (when they won the Scudetto), and the third is the one when they won the UEFA Super Cup.
Which one of Lazio’s 16 trophies is your favourite? Why?
The 1999 UEFA Super Cup (when Lazio won 1-0 againt Manchester United) and the 2013 Coppa Italia (when Lazio defeated Roma 1-0 to become the Champions of Rome).
In your opinion, which player has been the ‘biggest disappointment’ in Lazio’s history? Why?
Pavel Nedvěd, as since he left to join Juventus, he has become truly unrecognizable to the club; he has only ever shown gratitude to the Bianconeri, while completely failing to mention his time with Lazio.
In your opinion, which player has been the best ‘surprise signing’ in Lazio’s history? Why?
Under Sergio Cragnotti, every year was a surprise with the number of signings the club had. Under Claudio Lotito, Zarate, Felipe Anderson, Miroslav Klose, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic have all been surprises; but the biggest surprise among everyone was Zarate, as in his first year, he was an incredible player.
In your opinion, which player has been the ‘best signing’ in Lazio’s history? Why?
Nesta, because he is my football idol.
Which current Lazio player do you feel is the most valuable to the team? Why?
In my opinion, Lucas Leiva.
If you had to choose between one or the other, would you keep Luis Alberto or Sergej Milinkovic-Savic? Why?
This is impossible to answer… one is pure magic (Luis Alberto) and the other is very concrete and decisive (Milinkovic-Savic).
Should Simone Inzaghi leave Lazio, who would you next like to see managing the club next?
I don’t see a Lazio without Simone Inzaghi. For me, Simone is the main element in this Lazio side; even more so than players such as Lucas Leiva, Ciro Immobile, Sergej, Luis Alberto, Joaquin Correa, and Francesco Acerbi…
Are there any players that you specifically want Lazio to sign? If so, which players and why?
There is no one specific… I like this current Lazio!
What position do you think that Lazio needs to reinforce the most ahead of the 2020/21 season? Why?
The backline – Acerbi and Stefan Radu are very good but they are not getting any younger.
Is there anything else that you would like to add regarding your experience with Lazio?
Avanti Lazio and Avanti Laziali in Italy, Europe and worldwide… Forza Lazio! AS Roma Merda!