The genesis of this great side can perhaps be traced to 1992, the year Italian businessman Sergio Cragnotti became the club’s president. Rome’s “other team” had long been in the shadow of their cross city rivals, but the signing of Paul Gascoigne – a huge coup at the time – gave fans belief they could at last challenge Serie A’s established order.
By the end of the 90s, Lazio were more than just a sideshow for the English tabloids. Cragnotti had assembled a group of players capable of challenging on all fronts, including the likes of Alessandro Nesta, Fernando Couto, Diego Simeone, Dejan Stankovic, Pavel Nedved, Juan Sebastian Veron and Hernan Crespo.
It was the appointment of Sven Goran Eriksson in 1997 (no, that isn’t a misprint, Sven really did manage this team of superstars) that turned them into a legitimate European footballing force, and in 2000 he led them to their best ever season, lifting both Serie A and the Coppa Italia.
It began with a trophy, too: Lazio beat Manchester United in the season’s UEFA Super Cup curtain-raiser in Monaco, with Chilean striker Marcelo Salas grabbing the winner late in the first-half. Fergie’s side weren’t at full strength (Raimond van der Gouw was between the sticks, which usually didn’t end well) but three quarters of their famous midfield four were in attendance, all bettered by Veron on the opposing side.
The win catapulted Sven’s side to an imposing start to their title charge back in Italy, but they struggled to pull away from the chasing pack, and suffered a 4-1 defeat in the season’s first Rome derby in October. Things were never going to go smoothly for the team that once signed Gazza, and it went right down to the wire.
Lazio went into the last round of fixtures trailing Juventus by two points. They needed to win their own game against Reginna and hope that the Old Lady would lose their nerve at Perugia. Sure enough, they had their Aguero moment on the last day of the season, and sealed the title in the dramatic circumstances that befit the club’s profile.
Unfortunately, Cragnotti’s plans to conquer Europe didn’t go according to plan: they finished bottom of the second group phase after being paired with Real Madrid and eventual semi-finalists Leeds. In the years that followed the team was slowly ripped apart by richer clubs from around Europe: Nesta went to Milan, Nedved to Juventus and Veron to United.
Sven headed for England where he could line his pockets, and Lazio have never quite been able to re-capture that early 2000s magic. Ending up with Ravel Morrison on your books – a player who does little besides sound off on Twitter every few weeks – really doesn’t help, though.
They may not have had the staying power, but this team has been cruelly forgotten by the footballing world. Many of these stars now enjoy legendary status in the game, and in their prime, would have walked into the very best sides in Europe today.
Ten times footballers were treated worse than Mauro Icardi
As frustrating as he is renegade. You've got to love him. Yet, some scum of the Earth decided to racially abuse the Liverpool legend in 2010. And they were his own Italian fans. Disgusting. Image Source: The Independent
Oh, what a legend. How we all wish we were around when Clough was managing. Maverick. If you haven't, please watch Damned United. And, during this game, the manager even turned on his own supporters by clipping them round the ear - that's probably kind to him - as his own fans raided the pitch after victory against QPR. Image Source: You Tube
Slightly different angle here. Pique has been famously vocal over his support for Catalan Independence from central Spain. The Barcelona man has regularly been booed when playing for the Spanish team, and recently stated how he will retire after the 2018 World Cup due to the pressure from the fans. Shame Gerard didn't opt for a Wazza-Roo response, 'nice to see your home fans booing, ya'. Image Source: Getty Images
To be captain of your country, and then be booed like Turan was during Euro 2016, shows how ruthless the Turks can be. On the chopping board for not putting enough effort in during Turkey's 3-0 loss to Spain. The Spanish even started chanting Turan in support for the Barcelona man. Image Source: Squawka
Steve Kean was ridiculed during
2010–2012 at Blackburn Rovers. It was disgusting watching the protests against the manager. It led to reports saying how Kean dreaded home games, and looked forward to away matches. That should never *ever* be the case. Image Source: talkSPORT
The rivalry between Cardiff and Swansea is pretty strong - don't blame the Welsh, it's about the only exciting thing going on over there. But the fact a shed load of Cardiff fans fired a load of abuse at their national captain was really, really poor from some of the Welsh fans. Image Source: The Independent
The Turks are back at it. Demirel genuinely refused to play for the national side in 2014, after receiving copious amounts of abuse from Galatasaray fans, playing for Fenerbahce. Saying that, really don't blame the 'keeper, those fans are terrifying. Image Source: kralspor
You've got to feel for Aston Villa supporters. From being a really respected Premier League club under Martin O'Neil, to petering out like a pathetic erection after a big night out. Still, the way they turned on Brad Guzan during that 4-0 loss to Chelsea was too far last season. It led to the Chelsea players saying they'd never heard of such abuse to host players from the home fans. Poor old, Brad. Image Source: The Sun
Chelsea were an absolute laughing stock last season. And, to be fair to their fans, they stood behind their 'Special One'. Following Jose's sacking, Chelsea then decided to turn up, and beat Sunderland 3-0. Unprofessional, and just wrong. Who do the players think they are, picking and choosing when to show-up?! It led to heavy jeers from the home fans, in particular at the famous three rats; Costa, Hazard and Fabregas. Image Source: Daily Mail