This Week In Lazio History | May 27 – June 2 | Matches, Memories, Birthdays

This week we look at the miracle in Naples of 2015, when a missed Higuain penalty and two late goals allowed Lazio to reach the Champions League Preliminary Round, and we remember the unfortunate Marco Saltarelli.

Matches of the Week

Date: Saturday, May 27, 1944
Venue: Stadio PNF, Rome
Fixture: Lazio Trastevere 8-0, Roman War League
Champions of Rome. An easy win over Trastevere gives Lazio the title. 

Date: Sunday, May 28, 2023
Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Fixture: Lazio Cremonese 3-2
Lazio self-inflict a dramatic game on themselves but ultimately win on a day of celebrations for the May 26 tenth anniversary and Radu’s last match at the Olimpico. Champions League secured. 

Date: Sunday, May 30, 1993
Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Fixture: Lazio Napoli 4-3
Lazio qualify for the UEFA Cup for the first time in 16 years. 

Date: Sunday, May 31, 1942
Venue: Stadio San Siro, Milan
Fixture: Milano Lazio 2-5
Milano take a heavy beating as they collapse under the blows of Piola and Puccinelli

Date: Sunday, June 2, 1935
Venue: Stadio PNF, Rome
Fixture: Lazio Ambrosiana Inter 4-2
By beating Ambrosiana Inter in the last game of the season, Lazio hand the scudetto to Juventus. A prequel of May 5, 2002.

Match In Focus

Date: Sunday, May 31, 2015
Venue: Stadio San Paolo, Naples
Fixture: Napoli Lazio 2-4

Napoli needed to win to overtake Lazio and reach third place which would have given them a Champions League preliminary round spot in August. It was a matter of life or death for both teams.

Napoli had to salvage a disappointing season, Lazio had been very close to second place and direct qualification but had lost it after some peculiar refereeing decisions (particularly in the home game against Inter and defeat in the derby a week earlier).

The Biancocelesti played well and the first half saw them winning 2-0 thanks to goals from Marco Parolo and Antonio Candreva. Napoli were on their knees. But in the second half, Lazio opened the door for Napoli who got back into the game with a vengeance.

They pulled one back in the 55th minute with Gonzalo Higuain, and then Parolo got sent off shortly after, with Higuain scoring again in the 69th minute. The stadium was all behind the Azzurri and urged them on to get their third; despite Napoli having Faouzi Goulam sent off, this did not stop them from trying.

In the 76th minute, Senad Lulic was punished for bringing down Christian Maggio just inside the area, even though it looked as if the Neapolitan had fallen over the Bosnian. “Pepita” Higuain stepped up and, to the horror of the locals and relief of the Laziali, blasted the ball over the bar towards Vesuvius.

The mistake took a little bit of steam out of the Azzurri who continued to attack but with less conviction. And Lazio took advantage.

Nine minutes after the penalty drama an unlikely hero appeared in the form of Ogenyi “Eddy” Onazi. The Nigerian had had a pretty dismal season but turned everything around in the 85th minute. A lunging tackle became an assist for Eddy who got between two Napoli defenders and beat the keeper as he came out. A stunning turnaround in a memorable 30 minutes of football. Miro Klose then sealed Lazio’s third place in injury time making it 4-2.

Hope, certainty of a win, fear, certainty of a defeat, slight hope, joy mixed with relief. All in 90 minutes.

In Memory: Marco Saltarelli

In Lazio’s history there has been a lot of tragedy and misfortune, but what happened to Marco Saltarelli goes beyond being unlucky.

Born in Albano Laziale near Rome on May 28, 1962, in 1982 he signed for Lazio. That year Lazio were favourites for promotion since Bruno Giordano and Lionello Manfredonia were back from their suspensions due to the Totonero scandal.

Initially, he was supposed to be a reserve left-back but soon made the first eleven. He made 30 appearances that season and the Biancocelesti finally made it back to Serie A after three long and painful years; however, Saltarelli did not stay and later played for Monza, Sambenedettese, Barletta and Perugia.

In September 1992 he lost his wife. After giving birth to their second child, the doctor did not notice that something was wrong. Marco tried to convince him that his wife was ill, but the head physician ignored him and she passed away. The doctor was later sentenced to 20 months in jail.

This tragedy must have been difficult to overcome, but he managed to go on and open a bar near Rome. But at midnight on May 28, 2004, he had a terrible car accident. His Mercedes 200 hit a truck that was doing a U-turn. He was killed on the spot at just 42 years of age. Tragic.

Birthdays this Week

  • Massimiliano Esposito, 27-5-1972, forward, Italy, 20 appearances, 3 goals (1995-96)
  • Paul Gascoigne, 27-5-1967, midfielder, England, 47 appearances, 6 goals (1992-97)
  • Silvio Griggio, 28-5-1906, forward, Italy, 26 appearances, 7 goals (1928-29)
  • Roberto Soldà, 28-5-1959, defender, Italy, 93 appearances (1989-92)
  • Roberto Di Matteo, 29-5-1970, midfielder, Italy, 115 appearances, 7 goals (1993-96)
  • Hernanes, 29-5-1985, midfielder, Brazil, 156 appearances, 41 goals (2010-14)
  • Libor Kozak, 30-5-1989, forward, Czech Republic, 80 appearances, 22 goals (2008-13)
  • Giorgio Bravi, 31-5-1936, forward, Italy, 18 appearances 2 goals (1957-59)
  • Augusto Faccani, 31-5-1891, midfielder, Italy, 132 appearances, 12 goals (1912-23)
  • Franco Pezzullo, 31-5-1940, goalkeeper, Italy, 18 appearances (1960-61)
  • Paolo Ammoniaci 1-6-1948, defender, Italy, 115 appearances, 1 goal (1975-79)

This Article Was Written by Dag Jenkins & Simon Basten from Lazio Stories. More Information on the Above Matches and Players can be found on

Tags Lazio vs Napoli Marco Saltarelli Napoli vs Lazio Ogenyi Onazi Onazi Saltarelli