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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

July 17, 2005: Lazio Tampere United 3-0 Intertoto Cup

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

Lazio finish off Tampere in 47 minutes


Goals by Belleri and Rocchi in the first half and Di Canio at the beginning of the second make light work of the Finns.


The season so far


The previous season Lazio had flirted with relegation but had managed to escape and ended up 13th. They had then even qualified for the Intertoto Cup due to Livorno and Messina dropping out for various reasons.


This year saw the arrival of new manager Delio Rossi who took derby and relegation battle hero Giuseppe Papadopulo's place.


The main players coming in were: defenders Manuel Belleri (Udinese), Guglielmo Stendardo (Perugia) and Emilson Cribari (Udinese on loan), midfielders Valon Behrami (Genoa), Gaby Mudingayi (Torino) and Fabio Firmani (Catania) plus forward Igli Tare (Bologna).


Over twenty players were leaving Lazio but those worthy of note were Scudetto heroes Fernando Couto (Parma) and Paolo Negro (Siena) plus the Filippini twins (both to Palermo) and Giuliano Giannichedda (Juventus).


Tampere United finished 3rd in 2004 (the Finnish league goes from Spring to Autumn). So far, they had knocked out Skäla IF (Faroe Islands) 3-0 on aggregate and Charleroi (Belgium), 1-0 on aggregate.


Today was the first leg of the quarterfinals of the Intertoto Cup. The competition gave the opportunity to teams that had not qualified to enter the UEFA Cup. It was played between July and August. From 2006, 11 qualification places were granted.


Lazio had only started training 20 days before and the Finns were halfway through their domestic league so there was the risk Lazio’s superior level could be balanced by the Scandinavians superior fitness. It was also extremely hot, not good if you are unfit or if you are from Finland.


The match: Sunday, July 17, 2005, Stadio Olimpico, Rome


The game was played in an empty stadium due to the usual minority of idiots' racist boos in a previous year's Lazio vs Partizan Belgrade encounter.


The game started off evenly balanced. Lazio were more skilful and technical but the Finns were more dynamic and energetic. Lazio attacked but Tampere were quicker and sharper and managed to break down their attempts. Lazio however gradually started creating chances and had several shots off target with Manuel Belleri, César and Tommaso Rocchi.


The deadlock was broken in the 28th minute by an unlikely protagonist and in an unlikely manner. Cesar teed up Belleri who blasted a left footed volley (his wrong foot) past Kaven. Lazio 1 Tampere 0.


On a high, Lazio immediately doubled their lead. In the 29th minute Fabio Firmani won possession in midfield and set up Tommaso Rocchi who scored in similar style to Belleri. Lazio 2 Tampere 0.


So, with a double lead at halftime Lazio's superior level was having the better of the visitors' superior fitness.


At the start of the second half Lazio almost immediately made it three. In the 49th minute a bad back pass by Jussi Kuoppola was picked up by Paolo Di Canio who went round the keeper and slotted the ball in. Lazio 3 Tampere 0.


At this point a combination of the score line, fading energy and the heat led Lazio to sit back.


The Finns, still running and with nothing to lose, came out of their shell. They pushed forward albeit without particular conviction. They did however create some chances with Mika Lahtinen and Antti Hynynen but Matteo Sereni was safe.


Lazio controlled the game and ran down the clock with their residual energy and would take a three-goal advantage to Finland in a week's time.


Delio Rossi was pleased with the result and pleasantly surprised by the team's level of fitness after such a short period of training.


Who played for Lazio


Sereni, Belleri, Cribari (80' Sannibale), Lequi, Zauri, Manfredini, Firmani, Liverani, César, Di Canio (69' Muzzi), Rocchi (85' Pandev)

Substitutes: Peruzzi, De Silvestri, Ciani, Melara

Manager: D. Rossi


Who played for Tampere United


Kaven, Sainio, Rasenen, Wiss, Heinanen, Kuoppala, Saarinen, Kujala (50' Lahtinen), Ojanpera, Sheweleff, Hyhynen

Substitutes: Hilander, Marchis, Aho, Sipilainen, Junnila, Savolaninen

Manager: Hjelm


Referee: Piccirillo (France)


Goals: 28' Belleri, 29' Rocchi, 47' Di Canio


What happened next


Six days later Lazio drew 1-1 in Finland (88' Jarkko Wiss, 90' Roberto Muzzi) and qualified for the semi-final.


On July 27 Lazio drew 1-1 at home against Marseille (42' Di Canio, 70' Abdoulaye Méité) but then lost 0-3 in France and said goodbye to Europe.


In the league, Lazio then had a decent season finishing 6th but were then demoted to 16th after being docked 30 points due to Calciopoli (betting scandal). Top scorer was Tommaso Rocchi with 17 goals (16 in Serie A).


Tampere finished 3rd in their league but would win it the following two years, in 2006 and 2007, for their second and third Finnish titles.


Lazio 2005-06

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

38

16

14

8

57

Coppa Italia

4

1

2

1

3

Intertoto Cup

4

1

2

1

5

Total

46

18

18

10

65

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Intertoto Cup

Zauri

45

37

4

4

41

35

3

3

Rocchi

41

37

1

3

Oddo

38

35

3

-

Cribari

35

28

4

3

Dabo

35

31

4

-

35

29

2

4

Top five goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Intertoto Cup

Rocchi

17

16

-

1

12

11

1

-

Oddo

7

7

-

-

Di Canio

7

5

-

2

Manfredini

3

2

1

-

Tare

3

3

-

-


Lets talk about Manuel Belleri


Adapted from Official SS Lazio photo

Manuel Belleri was born in Gardone Val Trompia (Brescia), on 29 August, 1977.


As a footballer he grew up in Lumezzane's (Brescia) youth sector. He then made his debut for the first team in Serie C2 in 1993. He spent six seasons with "Il Lume", four in C2 and two in C1 (they won promotion in 1997). He made a total of 122 appearances for the "Valgobbini" and scored 7 goals.


In 1999 he moved up a league and joined Empoli in Serie B. He stayed five seasons, three in Serie B and two in Serie A (promotion in 2002), mainly under Sivio Baldini. With the Tuscan "Azzurri" he played a total of 169 games with 6 goals (1 in Serie A vs Bologna). In his last year with Empoli they were relegated and he moved on.


In 2004-05 he joined Udinese in Serie A. The manager was Luciano Spalletti and the Friulani had a great season finishing 4th, qualifying for the Champions League. Belleri played 22 league games, 6 in Coppa Italia and 1 in the UEFA Cup.


In 2005-06 he joined Lazio. Here he found Delio Rossi as manager and was reunited with former teammate Tommaso Rocchi. Lazio did well on the pitch with a 6th place but were then demoted to 16th for their involvement in Calciopoli (betting scandal). Belleri played 16 league games (1 goal vs Palermo), 1 game in Coppa Italia and 4 games in the Intertoto Cup (1 goal vs Tampere United).


In his second year in Rome the Biancocelesti had an excellent season finishing 3rd and qualifying for the Champions League preliminary (won vs Dinamo Bucharest). Belleri also played more: 22 league games (1 goal vs Ascoli) and 3 games in Coppa Italia.


In the summer of 2007, after he made one appearance in Champions League for Lazio, he was loaned to Atalanta in Serie A. The " Orobici" were managed by Luigi Delneri and Belleri played 20 league games. The Bergamaschi finished 9th.


In 2008-09 he came back to Lazio but, after only playing one league game, in January he was loaned to Bologna. In Emilia, under Sinisa Mihajlovic and then Giuseppe Papadopulo (both former Lazio), he made 6 league appearances. The Rossoblu finished 17th.


In 2009-10 he joined Lecce in Serie B. The Salentini won the league and promotion under Luigi De Canio. Belleri made 19 league appearances but was not kept on in Serie A.


In October 2010 he signed a two-year contract with SPAL from Ferrara in Lega Pro (3rd tier). In his first year the "Estensi" came 9th in Group A while the second they were relegated Lega Pro Second Division (4th tier). In total Belleri played 50 games with 2 goals for the Biancazzurri.


He then retired at 35. Since 2015 he has been living in Tokyo where he works as director of the Milan's footballing academy in Koto-ku.


Belleri was a right full-back. He was a diligent and reliable defender. At 1.77 and 72 kilos he was not particularly physical but had good athleticism. He could defend and attack. He had a decent career playing 139 matches in Serie A.


He was only with Lazio for a couple of years. His playing time was first limited by Massimo Oddo and then by the arrival of Valon Behrami. He managed however to play 38 Serie A games, 4 in Coppa Italia, one in Champions League and 4 in the Intertoto Cup. He was in the squad that won the 2009 Coppa Italia, although away on loan at the time of the final victory.


Lazio career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

Intertoto Cup

2005-06

21 (2)

16 (1)

1

-

4 (1)

2006-07

24 (1)

22 (1)

3

-

-

July-August 2007

1

-

-

1

-

2008-Jan 2009

1

1

-

-

-

Total

46 (3)

38 (2)

4

1

4 (1)

Sources


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