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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Fernando Viola

Ferdinando Viola, known as Fernando or Nando, was born in Torrazza (Torino), on March 14, 1951.

Source Lazio Wiki

He grew up in the Juventus youth academy and made his debut in 1971-72 playing 4 league matches, 2 in Coppa Italia and 3 in the UEFA Cup. The Bianconeri won the Scudetto under Czech manager Čestmír Vycpálek (Zdeněk Zeman's uncle).

In 1972-73 he played for Mantova on loan for a season in Serie B. The Virgiliani struggled and under three different managers - Renzo Uzzecchini, Willam Negri and then former Lazio player Alfredo Foni - and were relegated to C1. Viola played 35 league games with 2 goals and 4 in Coppa Italia.

In 1973 he returned to Juventus. Vycpálek was still manager and the "Old Lady" finished 2nd behind champions Lazio. The following year Carlo Parola was manager and Juventus won the Scudetto. In his two seasons in Turin, Viola played 17 league games with 1 goal (Napoli).

In 1975 he joined Cagliari. The manager was first Luis Suarez and then Mario Tidda but the "Casteddu" were relegated to Serie B. Viola played 28 league games with 3 goals plus 4 games in Coppa Italia.

In 1976 he joined Lazio. The manager was Brazilian Luis Vinicio and the Biancocelesti had a good season finishing 5th (UEFA Cup). Viola played 19 games with 2 goals (Verona, Fiorentina) and 3 games in Coppa Italia. Lazio won one derby and lost the other.

In 1977-78 he was loaned to Bologna. The managers were first Cesarino Cervellati and then Bruno Pesaola. The Felsinei finished 12th. Viola played 18 league games with 1 goal (Perugia) and 4 games in Coppa Italia. He played alongside past and future Lazio connections Franco Nanni, Stefano Chiodi and a young Giuliano Fiorini.

In 1978 he was back at Lazio. The manager was Bob Lovati and Lazio finished 8th. Viola played 13 league games and 2 in Coppa Italia. Lazio drew one derby and won the next 2-1, with a last-minute Aldo Nicoli goal.

The 1979-80 season was terrible for Lazio. First a fan, Vincenzo Paparelli, was killed by a flare shot from the Roma end before a derby and then in March four Lazio players were arrested in connection to the Totonero match fixing scandal. Lazio avoided relegation on the pitch but were then punished with relegation for their players' alleged involvement in the scandal. Viola had a good season with 28 league games and 5 in Coppa Italia but the season ended badly.

In 1980-81 he stayed on in Serie B under manager Ilario Castagner. Lazio narrowly missed out on promotion also due to a Stefano Chiodi penalty miss in the penultimate game. Viola played 37 league games with 7 goals (Rimini, Bari, Lecce, Pisa, Catania, Monza, Cesena) and 6 games in Coppa Italia.

The 1981-82 season was a depressing one for Lazio. Castagner was sacked after twenty games and replaced by Roberto Clagluna. Lazio finished 11th but at one point even risked relegation to Serie C. Viola played 24 league games with 3 goals (Brescia, Pistoiese, Rimini) and 4 games in Coppa Italia.

In 1982-83 he moved to Genoa in Serie A. Under future Lazio manager, Gigi Simoni, the "Grifone" (The Griffin) finished 12th, their best result was beating Juventus 1-0 at home. Viola played 22 league games with 1 goal (Catanzaro). In the squad were future Lazio, Silvano Martina and Giuliano Fiorini.

In 1983-84 he stayed with the Rossoblu but they were relegated to Serie B (Lazio stayed up due to having better results in the direct matches). Viola played 19 league games.

In 1984 he joined Barletta in C1. From a town famous for producing world famous sprinter Pietro Mennea, the "Furie Rosse" (The Red Furies) finished 8th. Under two different managers, first former Lazio 73-74 title winner Mario Facco, then Giovanni Meregalli and then Facco again, Viola played 32 league games with 3 goals.

Viola then ended his career playing a season in Subiaco near Rome at amateur level. He then retired at 35.

Viola was a midfielder. He was 1.74 metres and 77 kilos. He was extremely dynamic but also technical. He had good vision and was an inventive player, so good to watch. He could play in various midfield roles and had a powerful shot. He played 141 games for Lazio with 13 goals.

He was a cultured man and had degrees in Languages and Law. These off-field interests may have limited his success on the field as he was a very good and versatile player but his life, unlike some, was not only football. He was well liked by all for his pleasant and calm character.

Fernando Viola died tragically in a motorbike accident in Rome, on February 5, 2001. He was not yet 50. A tragic loss for the Lazio family.

Lazio Career


Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Serie B

Coppa Italia


22 (2)

19 (2)














43 (7)


37 (7)



28 (3)


24 (3)



141 (12)

60 (2)

61 (10)




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