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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Franco Nanni

Updated: Aug 10, 2023


Source Wikipedia

Franco Nanni is one of the heroes of the Lazio scudetto of 1974. A great dynamic midfielder whose main characteristic was his cracking shot from outside the penalty box which earned the nickname “bombardino” (little bomber).


Nanni was born in Pisa on May 11, 1948. He began his footballing career in the youth teams of Pisa and Juventus as a forward, and only later as a midfielder. He debuted professionally with Trapani in Serie C in 1968.


In November 1969 he signed for Lazio. In the early years with the Biancocelesti he struggled to find space in the team. He was very timid so basically ignored by manager Juan Carlos Lorenzo. But he did find space in the reserve team championship, which Lazio won in the 1970-71 season, and the fans repeatedly asked for him to play for the A team. This finally happened with the arrival of Tommaso Maestrelli in 1971-72 and he was a fundamental protagonist of Lazio’s return to Serie A.


His rise to fame took place on November 12, 1972, when his powerful shot from 30 metres gave Lazio a win in the derby. From then on Little Bomber would be in all Lazio fans' hearts. Maestrelli gave him the job of man marking the opponents playmaker and he did that brilliantly. He also had quality and could play the ball, similar to Nello Governato.


The year after winning the scudetto, Lazio sold him to Bologna. He stayed three years with the Rossoblu and then moved to Brescia in Serie B for a season. He ended his career with Viterbese in Serie D.


He played 89 games for Lazio in Serie A, 26 in Serie B, 25 in Coppa Italia, four in the UEFA Cup, two in the Intercities Fairs Cup, 4 in the Anglo-Italian Cup and 5 in the Cup of the Alps. He scored 15 goals for the Biancocelesti, 12 in Serie A and 3 in Coppa Italia.


Once he quit football he became a manager and was head coach for a few minor teams before Giorgio Chinaglia called him up in 1985 and he started working as assistant coach for the youth teams and as manager of the Lazio Women team as well. He collaborated with the club for 12 years.


On a personal note, I will never forget Franco Nanni. I finally got my parents to allow me to go to see a football match at the Stadio Olimpico since it was the last game of the season. I went to see Lazio Bologna on May 7, 1978. Lovely and exciting day, ruined by Lazio losing 1-0 with a Nanni goal. Just typical of Lazio!!!


Lazio Career

Season

Total games (goals)

Serie A

Serie B

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

Fairs Cup

Anglo-Italian Cup

Cup of the Alps

1969-70

11

6

-

-

-

2

3

1970-71

7 (1)

1 (1)

2

-

2

-

2

1971-72

35 (3)


26

9 (3)

-

-

-

-

1972-73

35 (7)

30 (7)

-

3

-

-

2

-

1973-74

42 (2)

30 (2)

-

8

4

-

-

1974-75

25 (2)

22 (2)

-

3

-

-

-

Total

155 (15)

89 (12)

26

25 (3)

4

2

4

5

Sources



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