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 The Early Years (3)

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Curva Maestrelli
Curva Maestrelli

Number of posts : 149
Age : 40
Country and city : MALTA
Laziale since : 1986
Registration date : 2008-08-12

PostSubject: The Early Years (3)   Mon Sep 08, 2008 12:49 am


....................At the Societa' Podistica Lazio, through the years, football established itself as one of the most prominent activities. In the early years of the century, Lazio dominated the Roman football scene and practically beat every opponent in the city. The team was made up of Roman players but after a couple years the first foreigners stated to play with Lazio. These were mainly foreigners residing in Rome mainly students and workers who established themselves in the capital city. One of the first who played with Lazio was a Maltese player called Mizzi (what an honour for us Maltese who side with Lazio) together with the Portuguese Dos Santos.

After playing for some years at the grounds of Piazza D'Armi, it was time to find a new home-soil. In fact in 1906, Lazio's president, Fortunato Ballerini, reached an agreement so that Lazio could train and play its matches at the ground of 'Parco dei Daini' in Rome. In that year, Lazio met in five occasions its main rivals Virtus, and beat them in four occasions to conquer the 'Baccelli Cup'.

Through a serious of victories and spectacular performances, Lazio's popularity rose and established itself even in national terms. Time was ripe time for Lazio to play its the first matches away from Rome. In June 1907, the 'Biancocelesti' were invited to Pisa to take part in a local tournament against three Tuscany teams. The Lazio delegation was made up of just eleven players, who had to play three games in just eight hours. This did not affect the players so much since Lazio won all matches beating Lucca 3-0, home team Pisa 4-0 and Livorno 1-0,thus winning the tournament.

In the same year, Lazio was invited to play in Umbria against a local selection. After just twenty minutes Lazio was already leading by five goals to nil, and the locals decided to stop the match to prevent a humiliating defeat.

By the time, new Roman clubs, Fortitudo, Roman, Robur and Alba, were founded, which however did not upset Lazio's supremacy in the capital city. In 1908, Lazio won the 'Tosti Cup' after defeating Roman 5-3. In the same year Lazio also played against Naples winning 3-1.It was time to challenge northern clubs and thus a tournament was organised. Pro Vercelli, the reigning Italian Champion, was invited, but declined the invitation. However, two other northern clubs, U.S. Milanese of Milan and Juventus F.C. of Turin (not yet so famous), accepted the invitation and took part. The tournament's semifinalists were Juventus, Milanese, Naples and Lazio. The supremacy of the northern clubs was evident. U.S. Milanese and Juventus reached the final after beating Lazio and Naples respectively, with the identical score of 6-0.

At the time, Lazio was the strongest team of the centre-south Italy, but still was many inferiors to the northern squads.

In 1909, Lazio won for the third time the "Baccelli Cup" winning the final against Virtus. It also conquered for the second time the "Tosti Cup" once again at the expense of arch-rivals Virtus. For the second consecutive year Lazio organised a tournament in which three northern teams took part U.S. Milanese, Andrea Doria of Genoa (now Sampdoria) and Spezia. Lazio finished in last place, losing its matches in a dignified manner, 2-0 in the semi-final against Andrea Doria and 2-1 in the third place final against Spezia.

In 1910, the first official Roman league was played on two rounds. Amongst all Roman teams only four took part i.e. Lazio, Roman, Fortitudo and Juventus Roma took part. In the meantime Lazio' s arch-rival, Virtus, ceased to exist.

Lazio confirmed its supremacy in the city and won easily the league winning all six encounters. The results were 11-0 and 4-1 against Fortitudo, 6-1 and 6-0 against Roman and a double 2-0 against Juventus Roma.

In the following year, Fortitudo, Roman and Alba did not take part in the league due to Lazio's evident superiority. Only Juventus Roma challenged Lazio and lost 1-0 and 3-0. In that year Lazio beat Florentia of Florence 6-5 and won the "Coppa Giornale D'Italia".

Football in Rome was now the major sport. In 1912, there were twenty-five clubs in the capital city. However, only six participated in the Roman league , that was won for the third time by Lazio. The 'biancoceleste' won nine matches, losing once against Audace. The final standings were; Lazio 18, Audace 16, Juventus Roma 12, Roman and Fortitudo 7 and Alba 0.

In the season 1912-13, the northern clubs that ruled Italian football decided that the Italian championship would be won after that the first classified teams in the northern and centre-south leagues, had played each other in one-leg final.

In the centre-south league, Lazio played in the " Girone Laziale " and came first in front of Juventus Roma, Audace, Roman Pro Roma and Alba. Thus it qualified for the semi-finals of the Centre-south league were it eliminated Naples and then beat Virtus Juventusque in the final. Thus it was entitled to participate in the final for the "Scudetto' against Northern winners Pro Vercelli. The Pro Vercelli was the main force in Italian football, mainly composed of players who were a first choice with the Italian national team. The final was played in Genoa on the 1st June were Pro Vercelli won its fifth league title, crashing Lazio 6-0.

During the same season, in the Roman scene, Lazio won the Targa Audace Tournament beating Juventus Roma 6-0, Audace 5-1 and Roman 3-0. Then it also won the " Branca Cup " at the expense of Roman 2-2 and 2-0.
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The Early Years (3)
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