Christian Vieri is still one of the most iconic strikers ever to have graced the world game. Over 18 years he played for 12 clubs making 374 appearances and scoring 194 goals. Add to this his national record of 29 goals in 43 games and it is clear to see why he is in the FIFA 100 best players of all time list.
At 6ft 1inch Vieri was the complete predator, strong and instinctive when it came to finishing he had rapid reactions. This was at its most apparent when he was plying his trade with Inter where injuries prevented him fulfilling what could have been one of the most dangerous partnerships of all time with Ronaldo.
Vieri’s career is littered with silverware won at his clubs and personally as well. When Calcio ruled the world, nobody could stop Vieri scoring.
Diego Fuser was the complete winger in the early 1990’s. These were the glory years for Serie A and the flanks were dominated by Fuser whether playing for Torino, Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio, Parma or Roma.
It is testament to his abilities that he managed to play for such a distinguished list of clubs in a career that spreads from 1986 at Torino to the unbelievably the present day where he still plys his trade for Colline Alfieri Don Bosco (an amateur side in Piedmont.)
Strong, athletic, quick and incredibly skillfull Fuser shone as one of the most dangerous wingers in the divison. Most noted for his time at Lazio where he played from 1992-1998 featuring 188 times and scoring 35 goals.
When Calcio ruled the world, Fuser was just getting started!
Whether you are English, Scottish, Welsh an Arsenal or a Roma fan, if you are a lover of Italian Football in this country you will cherish the memories that Paul Gascoigne gave you. These may not have been of the cheeky Geordie himself, but the fact that it was his influence that brought Serie A to our screens in the early 1990’s, is enough for us to owe him a massive thank you.
After captivating Italy in the 1990’s ‘Gazza’ was soon on his way to the Italian Capital. After signing for Lazio in 1992 he embarked on a career that was full of highs and lows. The lows came in the form of injuries keeping him out for long periods of time but when the highs came they could not get much better. In 1992 ‘Gazza’ scored the equaliser in the Rome derby with three minutes to go giving him an iconic status with the Lazio fans.
Gascoigne played 43 times for Lazio scoring 6 goals. When Calcio ruled the world, it is thanks to ‘Gazza’ that we were able to watch it.
With public finances a mess and so many proposed stadiums rejected, it is no wonder that many believe Italy are incapable of regenerating her football arenas. However, after the recent success of the Juventus Arena and the new Stadium Law, the new projects may soon become a reality.
Juventus have been the trail-blazers in the Peninsula, building a superb state of the art stadium without breaking the bank. This also was off the back of the Calciopoli scandal and this smart move has now catapulted the club to one of the top teams in Italy. With high attendances generating big profit from ticket sales along with the extra match day revenue the ‘Old Lady’ has also proved that she is wise.
Clubs in Italy can now hope to be bolstered by the new Stadium Law that is soon to come into play. This is a piece of legislation that has been in place for two years but has yet to be finalised. Now the current government are hoping to get the law passed before the Stadium Business Summit that will take place in Turin in May. This summit will in turn hope to show the world what Italy’s intentions and clear cut plans will be in relation to this matter.
The Stadium Law itself hopes to give the private sector the chance to develop these new Stadia as they work alongside the local authorities. This will mirror the government’s plan that they have for the rest of the country although much will depend on the cooperation of the regional authorities. The description given of this law that will generate this boom in Stadia construction has been called a ‘PPP Finance model’.
Italian clubs all around the peninsula are now ready to start implementing the plans that have been festering in their archives for years. No better example that clubs believe that it is the time to act could be found this week than in the actions of Cagliari President Massimo Cellino. He decided to pull out a revolutionary plan against his local authorities this week due to the fact he was so unhappy with the lack of renovation work on Stadio Sant’Elia. He has also been frustrated with the lack of progress over the years on his new stadium proposal. Therefore Cellino decided to have the weekend’s match against Inter moved to Trieste 1,133km away.
This echoed recent comments made by Ugo Cappellacci, president of Sardinia’s regional authority, who said that Cagliari’s recent game against Cesena was: “an exciting show in a desolate arena” and that it was “inadequate for the needs of the team, fans and Sardinia.” Despite support from the Mayor, Cellino thought that after his recent plan to build near the airport had been blocked, drastic action was needed.
Catania are another club who have had problems with their stadium although this has mainly been the result of violence. Nonetheless in an attempt to create a better environment for football to be watched, Nino Pulvirenti, President of the club has suggested a 30-35,000 capacity venue to be erected at a cost of 80-100 million Euros. This new arena would contain space for municipal offices which are thought to be of interest to the local authorities.
Lazio and Azzurri legend Giorgio Chinaglia has been found dead in his house in Florida aged 65.
Charlie Stillitano, who worked alongside Chinaglia for satellite radio broadcaster Sirius XM, said that it was his son that found him dead. He said, “He was living with Anthony, he had a heart attack around nine days ago. He went in for surgery and they put in four stents, he was doing really well and they thought he was making a full recovery. They were going to clear the other artery next month some time but his son found him (on Sunday morning) and he was already gone.”
Chinaglia who was born in Italy, grew up in Wales and made his debut for Swansea City in 1964. He moved back to his homeland to further his career, which peaked when he signed for Lazio in 1969. He played 209 times for the Roman club winning the Scudetto in 1974. Following this success went onto play for the national team in the 1974 World Cup before eventually moving to the USA to play alongside Pele for New York Cosmos.
Both Lazio and Inter have seen exciting strikers grace their fields in their time, but Ruben Sosa has to be one of the most exciting and possibly one of the most underated.
The Uruguayan first came to the Peninsula in 1988 from Real Zaragoza and played for four years at Lazio where he scored 40 goals in 124 appearances. It was in this time that he caught the eye of the Nerazzurri and was promptly signed in 1992 to spearhead their attack.
Sosa’s time at Inter was explosive as the South Amercian hit-man scored 20 league goals in his first season and another 16 in his second. He notched an impressive 44 goals in 76 games in all competitions winning the UEFA Cup on the way. After probelms emerged in the Inter camp after Dennis Bergkamps arrival, Sosa was surprisingly sold to Dortmund in 1995
Sosa was an all round Latin striker, he has skill, he performed scissor kicks, he could score breath taking free kicks, round the goalkeeper and has the most delicate of touches. This was mixed with the dirty side of untidy goals, scrappy headers, tap ins, last ditch lunges and quite often a miss timed challenge. All in all he was the vision of how a South American striker should be.
When Calcio ruled the world Ruben Sosa was scoring goals for fun.
Defeat to Lazio in the Derby, for Roma fans, is possibly on a par with the death of a parent. Therefore the last thing that the Giallorossi faithful needed to hear now, was that in that devastating game they have picked up injuries.
Firstly, Brazilian center back, Juan, has suffered knee ligament damage which means that he will be sidelined for up to two months.
Secondly, Miralem Pjanic, who has been in magnificent for this term has picked up a thigh strain and will be out for three weeks.
This is a huge blow to sixth place Roma who have a difficult away game at Palermo this weekend. This combined with two Derby della Capitale defeats this term, makes for sad reading for the Giallorossi
Karl-Heinz Riedle was only at Lazio from 1990-93 but in his time he was extremely effective.
A member of the West German World Cup winning team in 1990 he signed for the Roman outfit for 13 Deutsche Marks straight after the tournament.
Riedle who had been successful at Werder Bremen continued scoring goals at his new home notching 30 in 84 appearances for Lazio. The German was a fantastic target man who also possessed a good range of passing as well as the ability to create space for others with his running off the ball. More than anything Riedle was a deadly poacher who was lethal with his head and especially when one on one.