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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Fernando Orsi

Updated: Aug 11, 2023

Fernando Orsi was Lazio's goalkeeper from 1982-85 and then from 1989-98.

Orsi, known as Nando, was born in Rome, on 12 September, 1959. His father was a Lazio fan while his mother supported Roma, a so-called 'mixed marriage'.


He started his career in the A.S Roma youth sector and in 1977/78 won the primavera scudetto (under 19's). However, despite being considered a bright prospect, he never made his full debut with the “Giallorossi”. In 1978, with the arrival of charismatic Swede Nils Liedholm, he was sold to Siena in C2. He performed well in Tuscany and a season later was rewarded with a move to Parma in Serie B where by 1981-82 he was the undisputed first choice keeper.


In 1982-83 he got the call of a lifetime from the team he supported as a child, Lazio. Orsi immediately played a big part in Lazio's promotion back to Serie A and then played another 2 seasons in the capital. This first spell at Lazio unfortunately ended with relegation under the Presidency of Giorgio Chinaglia. His final season would also be remembered for the goals he conceded in Naples where Maradona lobbed him from outside the box and then scored directly from a corner completing a famous hat-trick. Unfortunately for Nando when the “Pibe de oro” passed away these goals were shown time and time again worldwide. With Lazio relegated Orsi was sold to Arezzo where he played for 4 seasons.


In 1989 Lazio were back in the big time and needed an experienced number 12 to help the young Valerio Fiori in his professional growth. The choice fell on “good old” Nando who gave up higher wages and guaranteed first team football to return to his beloved Lazio.


He played another 9 years for Lazio under Giuseppe Materazzi, Dino Zoff, Zdenek Zeman and Sven-Goran Eriksson. He did get some playing time over the years especially in the 1992-93 season. With the arrival of Luca Marchegiani from Torino the following year he settled into a reliable reserve role. He retired in 1998 at 38 years old having played 134 times for Lazio, 87 and 47 respectively in his two spells at the club.


At 1.82 metres tall Orsi was not an imposing keeper but was strong, agile and above all reliable. He was appreciated and respected by his coaches and teammates for his professionalism. He was always ready when needed and never made a fuss when he was left out.


At International level he won 2 Caps at Under 21 level.


When he finished playing he coached Lazio's keepers for 2 years and was then Roberto Mancini's deputy first at Lazio (2002-2004) and then at Inter (2004-2006). He then tried his own luck as manager at Livorno, on and off for 2 years, then at Ternana for a year, all with mixed fortunes.


Orsi then moved into punditry. He is often a guest on the local Roman radio stations but also works on TV formerly with Mediaset and more recently with SKY. He is a respected commentator and can often be heard on big Champions League nights.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances

Serie A

Serie B

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

1982-83

35

-

35

-

-

1983-84

17

17

-

-

-

1984-85

35

30

-

5

-

1989-90

8

8

-

-

-

1991-92

3

3

-

-

-

1992-93

24

23

-

1

-

1994-95

2

1

-

1

-

1995-96

7

5

-

-

2

1996-97

3

3

-

-

-

Total

134

90

35

7

2

Sources


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