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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Fernando Saraceni

Updated: May 11

Fernando Saraceni is a Lazio legend. One of their earliest players, he was part of the team that reached the National Championship finals in 1913, 1914 and 1923. A forward, later on in his career he progressively moved back to defence.

Fernando Saraceni is botton row, second from right. Source Wikipedia

Born in Rome on January 20, 1891, Saraceni, known as Cecè, started playing for Lazio at the age of 16 and he was one of the players who won the three games in one day.


Legend has it that Lazio were supposed to play a game in Tuscany in June 1908. The Biancocelesti arrived in Pisa the day before the game. On the next morning, while busy being tourists, Lazio were approached by the organising committee and asked to play a game against Lucca. Lazio won 3-0 just before lunchtime. While the team were eating, they were asked to play a second extra match, this time against Spes Livorno. 4-0 for Lazio with a Saraceni double. Time for a rest? No, because here came Virtus Juventusque ready for the scheduled match. The players protested but Sante Ancherani told them to stay back in the front of the goal and stop all opposition attempts (an early form of “catenaccio”?). The game was almost over and it was still 0-0. But Ancherani in the dying minutes scored from a Corrado Corelli cross and Lazio won. Ancherani sent a telegram: “Won tournament 3-0, 4-0, 1-0”. No other team in the world has ever won three games on the same day.


Saraceni was little but very fast and had a powerful shot. He was also an excellent athlete, swimmer and long jumper. He won everything that could be won in the centre south regions those years and was a fan favourite. In 1915 he joined the army and fought in the First World War. When he came back he continued to play for Lazio. He left active sport in 1924 after having taken Lazio to their third national final. Before he left, he made sure his little brother Luigi would play for Lazio and convinced the club to sign the legendary goalkeeper Ezio Sclavi.


He continued to work for Lazio and was one of its directors. In 1928-29 season he was manager for ten games.


He died on August 23, 1956. Diagnosed with cancer, with incredible pains, he committed suicide in hospital.


Fernando Saraceni was one of Lazio’s greats. He played 140 official games and scored 67 goals.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

National Championship

Roman 3rd Category Championship

Lazio 3rd Category Championship

1910

5 (1)

-

-

5 (1)

1911

3 (4)

-

-

3 (4)

1912

10 (18)

-

10 (18)

-

1912-13

13 (20)

13 (20)

-

-

1913-14

16 (16)

16 (16)

-

-

1914-15

15 (5)

15 (5)

-

-

1919-20

11 (2)

11 (2)

-

-

1920-21

16

16

-

-

1921-22

14 (1)

14 (1)

-

-

1922-23

20

20

-

-

1923-24

17

17

-

-

Total

140 (67)

122 (44)

10 (18)

8 (5)

Sources



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