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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

April 25, 1954: Spal Lazio 0-1

Fuin gives Lazio crucial win

A well-deserved win for the Biancocelesti who were now almost safe

The season so far

The previous year Lazio had finished 10th in Serie A, firstly under manager Giuseppe Bigogno (1-25) and then Alfredo Notti (26-34). Lazio had won both derbies against Roma, 1-0 and 2-0. Top scorers were Paolo Bettolini and Norwegian Ragnar Nikolay Larsen both with 7 league goals.


This season Lazio had a new manager Mario Sperone. Lazio had reshuffled the squad slightly with a few changes especially up front. Three new forwards had arrived: Renzo Burini (Milan), Alberto Fontanesi (SPAL) and Pasquale Vivolo (Juventus). Well-serving Enrique Flamini was back (Reggiana) but he was approaching the end of his career and would not feature at all.


Leaving Lazio were Norwegian midfielder Ragnar Nikolay Larsen after two successful seasons (Genoa) plus forwards Lelio Antoniotti (Torino) and Şükrü Gülesin (Galatasaray-after a loan period at Palermo).


Lazio were currently in 13th position, on 23 points, four points above the drop zone. After 24 games Sperone had been replaced by Federico Allasio. The Biancocelesti had so far won 8 (including Juventus 2-1), drawn 7 (including Roma 1-1) and lost 13. A week earlier they had lost the derby 1-2.


SPAL had finished 8th the previous season, under manager Antonio Janni (Torino legend as a player). The Estensi had won one and lost one against Lazio. Top scorer was Sergio Sega with 10 league goals. The squad included future Lazio Alberto Fontanesi (1953-55).


This season the manager was still Janni. The new arrivals were keeper Renato Bertocchi (Palermo), midfielders Gianluigi Stefanini (Lucchese), forward Dan Ekner (Fiorentina), Rinaldo Olivieri (Sambenedettese), Domenico De Vito (Triestina), and Franco Cardinali (Lecce).


Leaving were keeper Ottavio Bugatti (Napoli), midfielders Canadiano Barranco (Cagliari), Romolo Bizzotto (Palermo), Giuseppe Macchi (Venezia), Goffredo Colombi (Novara), Domenico Mussino (Cagliari), forwards Niels Bennike (Genoa) and Alberto Fontanesi (Lazio).


SPAL were currently 14th, on 22 points, three above the relegation zone. The Biancazzurri had won 7, drawn 8 and lost 13 (including Lazio 1-2). A week earlier they had lost 1-3 away to Juventus. Top scorer was Bülent with 8 league goals.


So, a delicate game today where neither team could afford to lose and be sucked further into the survival battle.


The match: Sunday April 25, 1954, Stadio Comunale, Ferrara

The game, played on Liberation Day, gathered about 9,000 in the small Ferrara ground. It was a mild day but there were the occasional banks of fog.


One curious fact was that two brothers were playing against each other today, Carlo Fontanesi for the hosts and Alberto for the visitors, until recently a SPAL player himself.


Lazio were missing defender Francesco Antonazzi plus forwards Pasquale Vivolo and Aldo Puccinelli.


The Biancocelesti started better than the Estensi. In the 3rd minute a team move involving Renzo Burini and Romolo Alzani set up Alberto Fontanesi but the former SPAL player blasted it over the bar. Lazio had the upper hand but it was soon clear the forwards Fontanesi and Sigvard Lofgren were not at the top of their game.


SPAL reacted and in the 16th had a huge chance. A high ball was hoofed into the crowded area but somehow reached an unmarked Aziz Bülent who took aim but Aldo De Fazio pulled off an incredible save, leaping and getting to it with the tip of his fingers.


Lazio seemed galvanised by their keeper's heroics and started to push forward again. They had chances with Lofgren and Burini and later Burini again sent a thundering shot onto the crossbar and on the rebound Fontanesi's header was cleared off the line.


SPAL's main tactic was to put high balls into Lazio’s area but they were dealt well with by Primo Sentimenti V, Alzani, Vittorio Bergamo and Serafino Montanari.


In the 36th minute Lazio took the lead. Luigi Fuin dispossessed Dan Ekner and surged forward, he then dummied a pass to Lofgren but instead continued forward going past three defenders and after a quick one-two with Per Bredesen hammered a low shot into the corner of the net. A superb goal, SPAL 0 Lazio 1.


SPAL had little or no reaction and Lazio were in control. In the 39th minute Norwegian Bredesen went past Onorio Busnelli who pulled him down in the area for what looked like a clear penalty but the referee had other ideas. Halftime SPAL 0 Lazio1. A well-deserved lead so far.


For the second half the hosts changed their positions up front, placing Sergio Sega in the middle with Rinaldo Olivieri and Carlo Fontanesi II on the wings. Lazio however responded by pulling Burini slightly further back to help out more in midfield.


SPAL had some shots on goal but none really worried De Fazio. It was still Lazio who were more dangerous. Burini was extremely efficient at starting rapid counter attacks but Fontanesi seemed to be uneasy playing in front of his former supporters and wasted several opportunities.


At this point Bredesen took over as the forwards were having an off day. In the 65th minute he hit the crossbar with a good effort and then in the 80th minute, set up by Burini, he was denied by an exceptional save by Bertocchi.


In the last ten minutes Lazio controlled a tiring SPAL without running any risks and clinched two crucial away points. Final score SPAL 0 Lazio 1.


There was no discussion about the fairness of the result. If anything, Lazio should have won by more goals. They had been compact and solid in defence and midfield while the forwards had disappointed. The main thing however was the win in this important relegation clash.


Lazio were now up to joint 12th, with Genoa on 25 points with seven teams behind them and five points on the B zone. With five games remaining Lazio were in a good place.


SPAL were still joint 14th, with Triestina on 22 points but now had their margin on second bottom Palermo reduced to two points.


Who played for SPAL

Bertocchi, Lucchi, Dell'Innocenti, Busnelli, Bernardin, Castoldi, Olivieri, Sega, Fontanesi II, Ekner, Bulent

Manager: Janni


Who played for Lazio

Manager: Allasio


Referee: Liverani

Goals: 36' Fuin


What happened next

With this win Lazio moved up to 12th and were almost safe. In the last 5 matches they then won 1 (Triestina 5-1), drew 2 and lost 2 and ended up 11th. Top scorers were Alberto Vivolo and Alberto Fontanesi with 9 league goals each.


SPAL finished joint 15th. In the next four games they only earned two points but then beat Genoa 1-0 to salvage a three-team playoff with Palermo and Udinese. They first lost 0-2 to Udinese but ultimately saved themselves with a 2-1 win over Palermo. Top scorer was Bülent with 9 league goals.


The scudetto was won by Inter for their 7th title. Palermo went down with Legnano (the Lilacs have never been back since).

Lazio 1953-54






Goals scored

Serie A






Top five appearances


Serie A







Sentimenti V




Top five goal scorers


Serie A











Let's talk about Vittorio Bergamo

Source Lazio Wiki

Vittorio Bergamo was born in Roveredo in Piano (Friuli) on June 25, 1922. He was born in Roveredo by chance as he was really from and grew up in Trieste.


His first club was Fortitudo Trieste between 1938-40 at regional level.


In 1940 he joined Biella (Piedmont) in Serie C. He stayed four seasons with 2nd, 2nd, 4th and 3rd places. He played 66 league games for the "Lanieri" with 10 goals. His managers were Angelo Mattea for three seasons and then he was replaced during the last by Virginio Rosetta and Luis Monti.


In 1944 he joined Vigevano. These were war years and the Ducali played in the mixed Serie C-Prima Divisione and finished 3rd. The following year the "Vige" finished 2nd and were promoted to Serie B. He played 30 league games with 2 goals over this period.


In 1946 he moved down to Liguria and joined Genoa in Serie A. He stayed 4 seasons finishing 10th, 12th, 7th and 11th. He played 132 league games with 9 goals (Modena, Vicenza, Napoli, Alessandria, Torino, Livorno, Bologna, Triestina, Fiorentina). His managers were Englishman William Garbutt, Federico Allasio (briefly at Lazio in 1954) for two years and then John Astley (until December) and Manlio Bacigalupo in his final year.


In 1950 he stayed in the Ligurian capital but joined rivals Sampdoria in Serie A. He was the first player in history to make a similar move (Samp only formed in 1946). He stayed with the Blucerchiati for two seasons. La Samp finished 12th and 7th under first Giuseppe Galluzzi (until April) and Gipo Poggi and then in the second season, former Lazio player, Alfredo Foni (1929-31). Bergamo played 52 league games with 6 goals (Pro Patria, Lazio in 1-1 draw, Genoa, Juventus, Como, Atalanta). So important goals especially in a 3-2 winning derby and a 2-1 victory over Juventus. His teammates included future Lazio manager, Carlos Lorenzo (1962-64, 1968-71, 1984-85).


In 1952 Bergamo himself joined Lazio in Serie A. He stayed three seasons in the capital. In the first year the manager was first Giuseppe Bigogno and then, for the last nine matches, Alfredo Notti. The Biancocelesti finished 10th and Bergamo played 22 league games with 2 goals (Milan, Triestina). The highlights were beating Roma twice.


In 1953-54 the manager was first Mario Sperone and then, for the last ten games, Federico Allasio. The Biancocelesti finished 11th and Bergamo played 26 league games with 2 goals (winner away at Torino, Genoa). The highlight was beating Juventus 2-1 at home.


The 1954-55 was his last in Rome. The manager was first Federico Allasio but he was replaced after 7 games by Englishman George Raynor. Lazio finished 12th and Bergamo played less, 10 league games. The highlights were beating Inter 3-2, Juventus 2-1 and especially Roma 3-1.


In 1955 he joined Palermo for one season in Serie B. The manager was Carlo Rigotti and the Rosanero won promotion with a 2nd place finish. Bergamo played 22 league games with 2 goals (Legnano, Catania).


In 1956-57 he spent one more season with Biellese in Serie C. The manager was Piero Castello and the "Biella" finished 7th. Bergamo played 15 league games with 1 goal (Cremonese).


He then retired at 35.


After retiring he tried a coaching career with Sestri Levante but then returned to Biella, where he had married, to work in the textile business. He also did a lot of voluntary work in hospitals as he himself had always suffered from diabetes.


Bergamo was a midfielder. He was a strong and hard fighting player but was affable, pleasant and jovial off the field. He played 243 league games in Serie A and scored 19 goals.


At Lazio he was a popular player for his gritty, determined style of play. They were average years for the Biancocelesti but they still had some great wins, including three derby triumphs. "Rino" as he was nicknamed played 58 games for Lazio with 4 goals.


Rino Bergamo died in Biella on June 3, 2011.

Lazio Career


Serie A Appearances

Serie A Goals















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