Roma star Nicolo Zaniolo apologised for the offensive gesture made against Lazio fans in the Derby della Capitale this season but suggested that it is nothing too offensive in the rivalry.
The 22-year-old Italian forward did not enjoy his evening back in September 2021, when the Giallorossi suffered a painful 3-2 derby defeat to the Biancocelesti. Zaniolo was taken off in the 77th minute of the match and after the final whistle, controversy sparked.
Whilst walking to the dressing room, Zaniolo looked toward the Lazio fans in the Montemario stand and chauvinistically grabbed his privates before showing his middle finger to the supporters. The incident was filmed by well-known Biancocelesti fan Anna Falchi, who posted the incident on her Instagram story before deleting it after it went viral.
Zaniolo discussed the incident in an interview with SportWeek (via LazioNews24), apologising for the incident but also vaguely defending it.
That was also dictated by the defeat we suffered, which was a bad one. The derby della Capitale is the derby della Capitale. If I’ve offended anyone, I apologise.
But it’s also a bit part of the banter that the city has always lived with. And for me it ended there on the pitch, where you do things that in your right mind you wouldn’t do.