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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Marco Di Vaio

Marco Di Vaio must be on the greatest mistakes Lazio have made in their history. All of us tifosi knew that he, together with Alessandro Nesta, was destined to become one of Lazio’s most important players. He had a great potential but the Lazio management at the time was too short sighted.


From left to right: Alessandro Nesta, Domenico Caso and Marco Di Vaio. Source Wikipedia


Born in Rome on July 15 1976, Marco Di Vaio’s career started in the Lazio youth team and together with Nesta, Flavio Roma and others, under the management of Domenico Caso they won the Primavera tournament of 1994-95.


Source Lazio Wiki

Dino Zoff was the first manager to believe in his abilities and he debuted with the first team on September 29 1993 in the Uefa Cup away game against Lokomotiv Plovdiv. He also took part in the Coppa Italia game against Avellino (with a result we all want to forget).


In 1994-95 he played in Serie A for the first time under Zdenek Zeman and scored his first goals for Lazio. In the winter transfer window of 1995-96 he was sent to Verona on loan in Serie B. He did not play much there so for the next season he went to Bari, again on loan and again in Serie B. He played a fair amount of games but scored just 3 goals.


For Lazio this meant that he was not good enough so they sold him to Salernitana. A huge mistake. Lazio had lots of world class attackers but one must never let a “home-grown” player of this potential go.


Di Vaio stayed two years in Salerno helping the team to a historic promotion in Serie A (and was leading Serie B goal scorer with 21 goals). He then moved to Parma for three years where he won a Coppa Italia and an Italian Super Coppa.


In 2002 he signed for Juventus where he won a Scudetto and another Super Coppa before moving to Valencia. He stayed a year and a half with the Spanish team wining a UEFA Super Cup. He was then sold to Monaco in the beginning of 2006 but stayed for just a year before coming back to Italy.


He contributed to Genoa’s promotion in Serie A in 2007 before moving to Bologna in the 2008-09 season.


His four years in Bologna saw him blossom more than he had ever done before. He played 148 games for Bologna and scored 66 goals. It was not a strong team but he felt at home and was much loved by the fans. At the end of his career he went back and became club manager. He is currently sports director.


His final years of active football were with Montreal Impact in the MLS.


He played just 18 games for Lazio (8 in Serie A with 3 goals, 6 in Coppa Italia with one goal and 4 in the UEFA Cup with two goals), but he is always remembered with affection by Lazio fans who often have wondered “what if?”.


Interviewed a few years ago he was asked if there had been any possibility of him coming back to Lazio. “Once I almost came back. It was after the Valencia experience, I talked to Lotito and Sabatini. But I was earning way too much for Lazio at the time so it all fell through”.


He played 14 times for Italy and scored two goals. Di Vaio was also part of the Italian squad of Euro 2004 in Portugal. He played one game against Bulgaria in the group stage.


Lazio Career

Season

Total games (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

1993-94

2

-

1

1

1994-95

13 (4)

8 (3)

4

1 (1)

Aug-Nov 1995

3 (2)

-

1 (1)

2 (1)

Totals

18 (6)

8 (3)

6 (1)

4 (2)

Sources


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