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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Antonio Elia Acerbis

Updated: Jan 15

Source Wikipedia

When Antonio Elia Acerbis arrived in Rome, he went to the usual press conference presentation of the new arrivals, spoke a little bit, said the usual things and at the end of the press conference he said “ok folks, this is the last you will hear from me. You know what you need to know about me, I won’t be talking to you any more”. The journalists present could not believe it and didn’t. But Acerbis no longer spoke to the press, he kept to his word, and probably because of this, became a fan favourite. Why did he do this?  When he quit football, he explained. “One day, after a match, a journalist friend approached me. “I'd like to ask you some questions”, I accepted and replied. Since he was a friend, I also told him some things that could not be written and I asked him not to publish them. He reassured me. The next day I bought the newspaper and found myself on the front page. I got really angry and from that day I decided that I would never speak to journalists again."


Acerbis was born in Milan on January 31, 1960. He started playing football in the youth teams of Varese and debuted in Serie B in the 1977-78 season. In the 1978-79 season he became a regular player but the club was relegated to Serie C1. He stayed one more year and in 1980 joined Udinese in Serie A. After a couple of games and a decisive goal on his debut (Udinese-Pistoiese 1-1 on September 21) he was sold to Monza in Serie B. he then played for Bari from 1981 to 1984 (two season in Serie B and one in C1) before signing for Pescara, still in Serie B. 


Two years later he was called by his former Varese manager, Eugenio Fascetti to Lazio. The start was traumatic. The Biancocelesti were relegated to Serie C for the alleged involvement of Claudio Vinazzani in match fixing. The team was in Gubbio preparing for the upcoming season. “Fascetti was very clear: whoever wants to go, go; whoever stays, stays to fight. You know, at that time, it wasn't a problem to accept Serie B with Lazio, we considered it as an A2. But no one expected Serie C. But it was exciting: neither I nor my teammates had any doubts; we all stayed to give our best”. Lazio managed to avoid relegation thanks to a dramatic Giuliano Fiorini goal seven minutes from time in the last game against Vicenza, taking the Biancocelesti to a playoff. Further drama was resolved by Fabio Poli’s winner against Campobasso.


In 1987-88 Acerbis contributed to Lazio’s return to Serie A and he stayed one more year in Rome. The highlight of the 1988-89 season must be the derby win with a goal from Paolo DI Canio. It was thanks also to Acerbis who went down the left wing, dribbled past a couple of players and passed to Ruben Sosa who immediately crossed into the box. In came Di Canio on the right who put the ball past Franco Tancredi. A fantastic win in a difficult season with Lazio then managing to avoid relegation in the last game.


In 1989 he signed for Verona in Serie A, but the team was relegated. They came back to Serie A immediately after, but Acerbis was sold in the autumn transfer window to Giulianova in Serie C2. At the end of the season, he retired from professional football. But he continued to play at amateur level for another ten years.


Acerbis was a formidable left-wing midfielder. He had speed (I called him the Train), he could dribble, he had stamina and determination. The fans loved him and he always played his heart out. At Lazio he made 113 appearances (29 in Serie A, 70 in Serie B and 14 in Coppa Italia) with three goals (two in Serie B and one in Coppa Italia).


Silence will be forever golden. Grazie.

Lazio Career


Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Serie B

Coppa Italia


44 (3)


39 (2)

5 (1)












113 (3)


70 (2)

14 (1)



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