I would rather slash my wrists while watching all SAW movies in a row while listening to Justin Bieber’s hit Baby on repeat forever than to write this article. But I’m a brave man and it was my duty to inform you about this… horrible thing. This horrible nightmare.
Let me take you back, Back to the Future - style, to May 26, 2013. The Coppa Italia final. Hop in my DeLorean, Marty.
The 66th Coppa Italia final was held that year and for the first time ever it featured two Roman teams, AS Roma and Lazio. It was only the third time the Coppa final was a clash between neighbors, following Juventus vs Torino in 1938 and Milan vs Inter in 1977. So believe me, this one was damn special, especially for Giallorossi and Biancocelesti all over the world.
Roma’s last trophy? The Coppa in 2008. Lazio’s last trophy? The Coppa of 2009. Both teams were yearning for some silverware after a disappointing Serie A season in which Roma ended sixth and Lazio did even worse, seventh. No European tickets for the Roman teams so the Coppa was the only way to Europe; the ultimate jump to the Europa League. The winner takes it all, the loser has to fall.
The formations (be prepared to be drowned in nostalgia):
ROMA (4-2-3-1): Lobont; Marquinhos, Burdisso, Castan, Balzaretti (75’Osvaldo); Bradley, De Rossi; Lamela, Totti, Marquinho (82’Dodò); Destro
A disp.: Goicoechea, Svedkauskas, Romagnoli, Piris, Taddei, Dodò, Florenzi, Perrotta, Tachtsidis, Pjanic, Osvaldo, Lopez
LAZIO (4-1-4-1): Marchetti; Konko, Biava, Cana, Radu; Ledesma (53’Mauri); Candreva, Onazi, Hernanes (84’Gonzalez), Lulic; Klose.
A disp.: Bizzarri, Strakosha, Pereirinha, Ciani, Dias, Stankevicius, Gonzalez, Crecco, Mauri, Ederson, Kozak, Floccari
My oh my. Burdisso! Singular and Plural! Taddei! Balzaretti! Osvaldo! Lamela! So many good memories. And if you wonder why for the love of God Lobont started such an important game, just look at the other options on the bench. Damn. And what the hell is a ‘Piris’?
Anyway, look at that Lazio side: Radu, Cana, Ledesma, Candreva, Lulic, Mauri,... Ugh. No wonder I
hated hate that club.
You can find the complete match on YouTube, but I advise you to watch until the 70th minute, then throw your laptop/PC/tablet/iPhone or Samsung out of window as fast as you can. We’ll get to that part later.
We had to know that particular evening would end in misery. The signs were already there. The artist who performed pregame was PSY and his hit “Gangnam Style”...Yeah, WTF. Seriously, look it up on YouTube, I have never seen an artist look so dull, uninspired and indifferent on a stage.
The game itself: Lazio (Klose twice) and Roma (Destro and Bradley of all people) missed some good chances in the first half. Lulic, who was a constant pain in the ass for our defence, eventually broke the deadlock after 70 minutes. Candreva surprised both De Rossi and Balzaretti on the left and made a (at first sight not so dangerous) cross in Roma’s box.
However, Lobont looked a bit shaky as he mistimed his save, couldn’t grab the ball and it literally fell right in front of Lulic feet who only had to tap it in into an empty goal from one meter or so. Marquinhos came too late. Thanks by the way, I had to re-watch that goal five or six times to describe it in this blog. Cruel animals.
Roma hit the woodwork three minutes later and Tachtsidis (who else) got sent off just before full time. Typical Roman fashion. It was a fairly even game in the end, decided by one small detail in Lazio’s favor.
Then that hideous sound. The final whistle. Lazio celebrated as Roma players just fell on the ground. Lotito, Tare, Petkovic, even Lazio’s symbolic eagle, they all started a party at the Olimpico while this would mean the end of the short Andreazzoli experiment.
It was perhaps the closest Roma has gone to winning a trophy under American ownership. And it was probably the most painful defeat of the entire Roman decade. I think it even made me cry. A grown up man, 25 years of age back then.
This season Roma and Lazio are drawn into different halves of the Coppa Italia table which means they can only face each other in the final. Senad Lulic still plays for Lazio, in fact he’s their captain now. You know where I’m going to. I’d say it’s about damn time for payback.
See you on May 12, 2020, Senad.