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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Mario Facco

Updated: Aug 6, 2023


Official SS Lazio photo

Mario Facco was born in Milan, on January 23, 1946.


He grew up in the Inter youth sector. In 1965 he moved up into the main team. In three years he only played 1 league game and 2 in Coppa Italia. He was however part of the Inter squad that won the Scudetto in 1966.


In 1968 he joined Lazio. The Biancocelesti had just been relegated and were attempting an immediate return under Juan Carlos Lorenzo. They did also thanks to Facco who played 28 league games with 3 goals (winners against Catania home and away plus Cesena) and 3 games in Coppa Italia.


The following year Lazio had a good season in Serie A with an 8th place under Lorenzo/ Lovati. Facco played slightly less with 18 league games and 3 in Coppa Italia.


In 1970-71 things did not go as well. Lazio were relegated to Serie B with a 15th position finish. Facco played 20 league games with 2 goals (Verona, Fiorentina) and 3 games in Coppa Italia.


The next season saw the arrival of new manager Tommaso Maestrelli and Lazio's history was about to change. The "Maestro" took Lazio straight up to Serie A again. Facco made 32 league appearances with1 goal (Livorno) and 8 in Coppa Italia.


Back in the top flight in 1972-73 Lazio surprised everyone by fighting for the title. They played great football coming 3rd and winning both derbies. Facco played less due to injury making 22 league games and 4 in Coppa Italia.


The 1973-74 season was Lazio's masterpiece. Maestrelli's crazy gang shocked Italy by winning the Scudetto. The Biancocelesti conquered the top of the table after 10 matches and never looked back. On the 12th May 1974 Lazio were crowned "Campioni d'Italia" for the first time. Facco was part of it although he only made 6 league appearances, plus 7 in Coppa Italia with 1 goal (Varese) and 2 in the UEFA Cup.


After the Scudetto glory Facco left Lazio and joined Avellino in Serie B. The "Irpini" changed managers three times and came 16th. Facco had a good season playing 31 league games with 1 goal.


The following year was better and the green and white wolves came 9th. Facco only missed one league match playing 37 and scoring 1 goal.


The 1976-77 season saw the Avellinesi take a step backwards and finish 14th under Corrado Vinciani. Facco played 36 league games.


The following year Avellino won their first historic promotion to Serie A, under former Lazio player Paolo Carosi, but Facco by then had moved on.


In 1977 he joined Parma in Serie C. The "Ducali" came 3rd under first Gianni Corelli and then Bruno Mora. Facco made 12 league appearances and at 32 retired due to a serious injury.


He had played 243 professional league games with 8 goals plus 32 in cup games. He also earned one U21 Italy cap.


Facco was a classic man-to-man marker of the late 60's and 70'S. He was a strong defender but clean, good in the air and a solid tackler. He duelled with the best strikers of his generation; Gigi Riva, Paolino Pulici, Pierino Prati, often getting the better of them. There was one striker he had difficulties against and that was Roberto Bettega. At Lazio he had a good six-year period but his final fall from Maestrelli's lineups had a name and surname, Trevor Whymark who scored 4 goals in an Ipswich -Lazio game causing Facco to lose his place to Sergio Petrelli.


On retirement Facco became a manager starting with the Avellino youth sector. He then had a series of B and C teams; Squinzano, Frosinone, Salernitana, Barletta, Benevento, Ternana, Vigor Lamezia and Trapani. In 1990 he called it a day and came back to Rome permanently.


He settled in Fregene on the sea near Rome and slotted back into the Lazio world. He became a popular voice on the radio collaborating with various well-known programmes talking about Lazio. He still kept his unmistakable Milanese accent but became a familiar daily fixture for Lazio fans.


He also became a pundit for Rai becoming the commentators' expert sidekick for the televised Lega Pro games (3rd tier football). In recognition of his services in 2018 Rai and Lega Pro set up the "Trofeo Facco", an award given to the best Serie C goal.


He died in his beloved Fregene in 2018. His legacy in Rome is eternal for his presence in the Lazio 1973-74 team of miracles.


Lazio career

Season

Total games (goals)

Serie A

Serie B

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

Fairs Cup

Mitropa Cup

Anglo Italian Cup

Cup of the Alps

1968-69

31 (3)

-

28 (3)

3

-

-

-

1969-70

30 (1)

18

-

3

-

-

2

3

4 (1)

1970-71

28 (1)

20

-

3

-

2

-

3 (1)

1971-72

40 (1)

-

32 (1)

8

-

-

-

1972-73

28

22

-

4

-

-

-

2

1973-74

15 (1)

6

-

7 (1)

2

-

-

Total

172 (7)

66

60 (4)

28 (1)

2

2

2

5

7 (2)

Sources


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