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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

January 6, 2005: Lazio Roma 3-1

Updated: Jan 6

Di Canio does it again


Di Canio scores again against Roma 16 years later and contributes to a thrashing.





The season so far


On July 19 2004 Claudio Lotito became President. The situation was critical from a financial point of view. Many of their best players such as Sinisa Mihajlovic, Beppe Favalli and Jaap Stam did not renew their contracts and went elsewhere. The same for manager Roberto Mancini who signed for Inter. From what is known, his contacts with Inter started in the autumn and he tried to convince many of his players to follow him to Inter. Some did, some refused (for example Stam).


Stefano Fiore and Bernardo Corradi were sold to Valencia to cover the debt remaining with the Spanish side for the purchase of Gaizka Mendieta. Demetrio Albertini was sold to Atalanta as payment for the other halves of Luciano Zauri and Ousmane Dabo. Claudio Lopez was loaned to America Mexico so Lazio could avoid paying his wages.


Two players not under contract decided to stay: Angelo Peruzzi and Fernando Couto.


Lotito therefore inherited a squad with no manager and just a few players. The team was temporarily given to Mimmo Caso, the primavera manager and hero of the -9 season, since Lazio had to fulfill a contract that would take them to Japan in July. He got on well with the players (and he was also cheap), so Lotito confirmed him.


Lotito’s second move was a PR one. He needed the Lazio fans on his side, so his idea was the return of Paolo Di Canio, an unforgotten hero of the tifosi. Di Canio managed to get released from his contract and came back home.


Lotito’s last move was the purchase of seven players on the last day of the summer transfer window. These included some forgettable signings, but also two players that would become the backbone of the early Lotito years: Tommaso Rocchi and Sebastiano Siviglia.


The beginning of the season was problematic. Lazio were clearly in difficulty: badly organized, no game plan, problems between Caso and Di Canio and poor quality of some of the players. Lazio immediately lost the Super Coppa final against Milan, but they did mange to pass the UEFA Cup playoff against Metalurh Donetsk and reach the group stage, only to fail without winning a game. In Serie A there were four wins, but 5 draws and 7 lost matches meaning that Caso was possibly not the right manager to keep Lazio in Serie A.


So, just before Christmas, Lotito called another former player, Giuseppe Papadopulo, to manage Lazio. He was seen as more apt to guide the Biancocelesti to safety. The task was immediately uphill since the next game of the season was the derby.


The match: Thursday, January 6, 2005, Stadio Olimpico, Rome


Roma were clear favourites, but Lazio started really well and had three chances: Ivan Pelizzoli dropped the ball but was quick enough to grab it again from Rocchi’s feet; a Cesar shot was well saved again by the Roma goalkeeper and a perfect Di Canio cross could have allowed Rocchi to score but the Lazio forward was anticipated by Christian Panucci.


Source Lazio Wiki

And then Di Canio scored. In the 29th minute, Fabio Liverani’s pass opened up the Roma defence, in went Di Canio who on the volley made it 1-0 for Lazio under the Curva Sud, just like he had done 16 years earlier. A humiliation for the Roma supporters.


Roma woke up from the absolute nothing produced thus far, but were not at all dangerous.


The Giallorossi seemed to be a little more determined in the second half but the Lazio defence kept any threats away from Angelo Peruzzi. But as the match went on Roma increased possession and increased pressure on the Lazio defence and managed to equalize. In the 68th minute Panucci’s crossed low from the right, Peruzzi had a second of indecision and was beaten to the ball by Antonio Cassano’s header.


Twenty minutes to go. How will Lazio react? Lazio reacted by scoring. Six minutes after Cassano’s goal, Massimo Oddo crossed the ball into the penalty box from Lazio’s right side, Di Canio back heeled the ball to Cesar on the left side. Perfect low volley and Lazio were back in front.


A few minutes later Rocchi had a chance to make it three but after dribbling the goalkeeper his shot went wide. Not to worry. In the 84th minute Liverani’s pass went over the Roma defence, Pellizoli, way too far out, tried to anticipate Rocchi who instead got there first, headed a lob over the goalkeeper and scored the easiest of goals. 3-1, game over.


Who played for Lazio


Substitutes: Sereni, Lequi, Lopez, Pandev.

Manager: Papadopulo.


Who played for Roma


Pelizzoli; Mexes, Dellas, Ferrari (46’ Corvia); Panucci, De Rossi (79’ Candela), Perrotta (58’ Aquilani), Cufrè; Mancini, Totti, Cassano.

Substutitutes: Zotti, Scurto, Sartor, Mido.

Manager: Del Neri.


Referee: Dondarini


Goals: 29' Di Canio; 68’ Cassano, 74’ Cesar, 84’ Rocchi.



What happened next


After the derby Lazio won away against Fiorentina but then lost four games out of five. This is more or less the story of the season. Two steps forward, three steps back. Papadopulo was able to add a greater fighting spirit to the side, but little else. Lazio managed to stay in Serie A, but Lotito had a lot of work to do if he wanted to improve the side.


Oddo had the most appearances of the season with 42 and Rocchi the most goals with 17.


Lazio 2004-05

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

38

11

11

16

48

Coppa Italia

2

1

-

1

4

UEFA Cup

6

2

3

1

11

Super Coppa

1

-

-

1

-

Total

47

14

14

19

63

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

Super Coppa

Oddo

42

35

1

5

1

A. Filippini

41

36

2

3

-

Rocchi

41

35

1

5

-

Dabo

37

29

1

6

1

Giannichedda

37

32

1

3

1

Top five goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

Rocchi

17

13

2

2

Di Canio

7

6

-

1

Muzzi

6

3

-

3

Oddo

4

4

-

-

A. Filippini

4

2

2

-

Pandev

4

3

-

1

Cesar

4

3

-

1


Let’s talk about Cesar


Cesar Aparecido Rodrigues was born in Sao Paolo on October 24, 1974. He started out as left-back in Brazil but once he came to Italy, he lacked the defensive qualities needed in Serie A and was moved to midfield. That position was ideal for him. Great crosser, he was part of the Roberto Mancini team that crushed all opposition and won the Coppa Italia in 2004.


He started his football career in the youth team of Clube Atletico Juventus. At 19 years of age he was one of the players that allowed his club getting promoted to the Campeonato Paulista, the top-flight professional football league in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo. The president of his club had decided to award each player with $100,000, but as the cash was being delivered two men stole the money. The police found out that Cesar was involved and he was sentenced to five years and four months of jail.


In 1998 he signed for Sao Caetano who sent him to their satellite club Uniao Barbarense and was one of the protagonists of their promotion. He stayed there a year before going back to Sao Caetano where he became their most important player and captain. His club reached the final of the Brazilian Championships, unfortunately lost to Vasco de Gama.


He was doing so well that he was called up for Brazilian National team. He played two games for Brazil in the 2002 World Cup Qualifiers.


In 2001 he moved to Lazio. After difficulties in his first year finding the right position on the pitch, Roberto Mancini moved him to midfield and he became a important player for the manager. He won the 2003-2004 Coppa Italia and stayed with Lazio even after the arrival of Claudio Lotito and the difficult 2004-2005 season. He had ambition and refused to renew his contract with Lazio in the hope of moving to Inter and rejoining Mancini. This happened in January 2006.


He did however not play much for Inter in Serie A, a little more in Coppa Italia which Inter won. He did also win the 2005-06 scudetto, but his contribution was minimal. Inter loaned him to Corinthians for the next season but in January 2007 he returned to Italy and played for Livorno. In 2007-08 he was back at Inter where he played just slightly more than the previous stint and won another scudetto.


Inter did not renew his contract when it expired. He signed for Bologna as a free agent but found little playing time. He ended his career in 2009-10 in Lega Pro First Division (the former Serie C1) club Pescina VG.


Once he stopped playing he became manager. He has managed mainly youth teams, even at Lazio. He has also played eight-a-side football for Lazio.


Cesar appeared in 119 games for the Biancocelesti (86 in Serie A, 11 in Coppa Italia, 4 in Champions League, 13 in the UEFA Cup, 4 in the UEFA Intertoto Cup and 1 in the Supper Coppa) and scored 18 goals (13 in Serie A, 2 in Coppa Italia, 1 in Champions League and 2 in UEFA Cup).


Lazio Career

Season

Total games (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

UEFA Cup

Intertoto Cup

Super Coppa

2001-02

21 (1)

15

3 (1)

3

-

-

-

2002-03

36 (4)

26 (3)

1

-

9 (1)

-

-

2003-04

20 (8)

14 (6)

5 (1)

1 (1)

-

-

-

2004-05

27 (4)

20 (3)

2

-

4

-

1 (1)

2005-Jan 2006

15 (1)

11 (1)

-

-

-

4

-

Total

119 (18)

86 (13)

11 (2)

4 (1)

13 (1)

4

1

Sources


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