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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

May 19, 1999: RCD Mallorca Lazio 1-2 UEFA Cup Winners Cup Final

Updated: 5 days ago

Lazio Cup Kings of Europe


A late goal by Pavel Nedved gives Lazio European glory in epic night at Villa Park




Ticket owned by Dag Jenkins, photo by Dag Jenkins

The season so far


This was a Cup Winners Cup Final so we will concentrate on this competition.


Lazio had won the previous year's Coppa Italia beating Milan 3-2 on aggregate and with three goals in ten minutes in an unforgettable evening at the Olimpico.


This qualified for what was to be the last ever European Cup Winners Cup. UEFA had decided to incorporate the domestic cup winners into the UEFA Cup and to scrap the Cup Winners Cup. More teams in the Champions League, then in 2009 more teams in the new Europa League, then a third tournament in 2021 the Conference League all meant more teams, more matches and obviously… more money.


Lazio started their campaign in September against Lausanne from Switzerland. The home game was a 1-1 draw and then with a 2-2 on the lake, Lazio got through.


In the second round Lazio were drawn against Partizan Belgrade. Another home draw, this time 0-0 was followed by an impressive 3-2 away win in Serbia.


The quarter final was a Greek holiday. Lazio beat Panionios 4-0 at home and 3-0 away.


The semi final was tougher, against Lokomotiv Moscow. A 1-1 away draw was followed by a 0-0 in Rome. Lazio were going to Villa Park!!


Ticket owned by Dag Jenkins, photo by Dag Jenkins

Mallorca had qualified for the tournament despite losing the Copa del Rey on penalties to Barcelona. The Blaugrana had won the Liga so conceded their Cup Winners Cup place to the "Bermellones" (brilliant orangish-red colour). The Balearic islanders had finished an impressive 5th in La Liga. They had also won the Spanish Supercup, beating Barcelona twice 2-1 and 1-0 in August. They were currently 3rd in La Liga.


In the first round of their European campaign they got the better of Hearts from Edinburgh, Scotland, 1-0, 1-1. In the next round the Spaniards knocked out Genk, Belgium, on away goals 0-0, 1-1. In the quarterfinal they played Croats Vartek and prevailed 0-0, 3-1. In the semis came the big surprise as the Mallorquines overcame Chelsea 1-1 and 1-0. Mallorca were going to Villa Park!!


Lazio were managed by Sven-Goran Eriksson and had an abundance of quality in the team; from Alessandro Nesta, Sinisa Mihajlovic, Pavel Nedved, Roberto Mancini to Christian Vieri just to mention a few. Top cup scorer was Marcelo "El Matador" Marcelo Salas with 4 goals.


Mallorca had Héctor Cúper as manager. Their main stars were Miquel Soler, Ariel Ibagaza, Jovan Stanković, Lauren, Vicente Engonga, Diego Tristan and historic captain Javier Olaizola. Their main danger man and top scorer was Dani on 3 goals.


Lazio were considered slight favourites today, but Mallorca were an in-form side, had beaten Barcelona three times this season and were third in the Liga (and had the best defence), so were not to be underestimated.


The match: Wednesday, May 19, 1999, Villa Park, Birmingham


Photo by Day Jenkins

It was a mild, pleasant spring evening in Birmingham. At least 15,000 Laziali and 8,000 Mallorquines had made the trip to the capital of the Midlands. The town itself had been very welcoming and helpful and there was definitely the feeling a big event was taking place.


Lazio had to do without semi-final hero Alen Boksic, who had a 40° temperature, and initially left out Sergio Conceição. Mallorca played with the predicted line-up, a solid midfield and Dani up front.


Source Lazio Wiki

Lazio got off to a dream start. Beppe Pancaro, still in his own half, sent a long ball up front just inside the Spaniards area where Vieri out jumped a defender and lobbed a high header over Carlos Roa, who was too far out. The keeper managed to slap the ball but could not prevent it from going in. A great goal, at the Lazio fans end too. Only seven minutes gone and Mallorca 0 Lazio 1.


Official SS Lazio photo

The lead however did not last long. Just a few minutes later Leonardo Biagini put a vertical ball through the Lazio defence to the left which found Francisco Soler, the former Barcelona sent in a low cross into the middle and it was child's play for an unmarked Dani to beat Luca Marchegiani. Ten minutes gone and Mallorca 1 Lazio 1.


Lazio felt the blow and took some time to recover. Mallorca were quicker and extremely well organised, dominating for a while in midfield.


Lazio gradually stirred and Vieri had a powerful shot from twenty metres out saved into corner by Roa. Vieri soon after the goal had suffered a nasty cut above his eyebrow and had to continue the game bandaged up. This did not prevent the Australian raised striker then having a header go just over the bar. Marcelo Salas had an opening, but was just anticipated. Meanwhile, Mallorca were lively and always ready for a counter attack despite not creating any clear cut chances. Halftime 1-1. A balanced 45 minutes, Lazio superior but Mallorca very competitive.


Photo by Dag Jenkins

There were no changes after the break. The second half followed a clear script. Lazio attacking in numbers and Mallorca ready to pounce on the counter as they were extremely quick.


Lazio's first change came in the 56th minute with Conceição replacing an injured Dejan Stankovic, probably hoping for some decent crosses for Vieri.


The game, despite Lazio's superior possession and pressure, could have gone either way. Lazio had opportunities with a Sinisa Mihajlovic free kick, just wide, and Vieri was always dangerous in the air, but Mallorca gave as good as they got with a Lauren shot well saved by Marchegiani, then Alessandro Nesta saved on a venomous Jovan Stankovic cross and the Balearics islanders had several corners.


It was obvious the deadlock had to be broken by an "episode", a touch of brilliance or luck, but whoever had it at this point would almost certainly go on to win the game.


It came with nine minutes to go. Matias Almeyda to Salas onto Vieri just outside the box. Big "Bobo" tried his luck with a left foot, but it was blocked by a defender, the ball then spun up into the air where both Vieri and a defender missed it and it came down where Pavel Nedved, after a bounce and his back half turned on goal, struck a brilliant shot into the right hand corner. Chaos, confusion but above all delirium in the Lazio sectors. Mallorca 1 Lazio 2.


Official SS Lazio photo

Mallorca obviously attacked the last eight minutes plus three of injury time but, apart from several crosses, were never really dangerous. The "episode" had come and gone and it was Biancoceleste. Full time 2-1 to Lazio.


Alessandro Nesta lifted the last ever Cup Winners Cup to the sky on an unforgettable Birmingham spring evening. Lazio's first real European trophy.


Celebrations strung out at Villa Park. Both teams were applauded by the opposing fans and then Lazio, changing from their yellow and black shirts with a red sponsor into the more popular light blue and white, came to party under the ecstatic 15,000 travelling faithful.


Official SS Lazio photo

Who played for Mallorca


Roa, Olaizola, Marcelino, Siviero, Soler, Lauren, Engonga, J. Stankovic, Ibagaza, Dani, Biagini (74' Paunovic)

Substitutes: Cesar Galvez, Carreras, Carlos, C. Soler, Fernando Nino, Lopez

Manager: Cuper


Who played for Lazio


Substitutes: Ballotta, Negro, Gottardi, De la Peña

Manager: Eriksson


Referee: Benko (Austria)


Goals: 7' Vieri, 10' Dani, 81' Nedved



Dag Jenkins at Villa Park

What happened next


Personally, I went to celebrate and taste the local brews in the nearby Villa Tavern pub with my sister Kari, who was also at the game.


As for Lazio, this victory gave them a place in the European Super Cup Final in Monte Carlo in August. The Biancocelesti memorably beat European Champions Manchester United 1-0, with a goal by "El Matador" Salas. The score line did not do justice to Lazio's domination over the "Red Devils".


Lazio Cup Winner Cup 1998-99

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Cup Winners Cup

9

4

5

-

16

Appearances and goals

Player

Appearances

Goals

Mihajlovic

9

-

Couto

8

-

Marchegiani

8

-

Nedved

8

4

Pancaro

8

-

Mancini

7

-

Stankovic

7

4

Almeyda

6

-

Salas

6

4

Conceicao

5

1

Favalli

5

-

Gottardi

5

-

Lombardo

5

-

Baronio

4

-

de la Pena

4

1

Nesta

4

-

Venturin

4

-

Vieri

4

1

Boksic

3

1

Lombardi

3

-

Negro

3

-

Lopez

2

-

Ballotta

1

-

Crovari

1

-

Marcolin

1

-

Let's talk about Christian Vieri


Source Wikipedia

Christian Vieri was born in Bologna, on July 12, 1973.


He is the son of former player Roberto Vieri, while his mother is French. When Christian was four years old, he and his family emigrated to Australia for ten years (hence his love for cricket). In fact his first footballing experiences were down under with the Marconi Stallions.


Back in Italy between 1987-1992 he was with Santa Lucia, Prato and then Torino youth sectors.


He made his debut for Torino in 1991-92 (against Lazio) and played 6 league games with 1 goal (Genoa) and 1 game in Coppa Italia with 1 goal (Lazio). The Granata had a good season with a 3rd place and also reached the UEFA Cup final (lost to Ajax on away goals).


The following season he changed teams and joined Pisa in Serie B. This habit of changing clubs after only a year would become a constant rule over the first eight years of his career (8 teams in 8 years). With Pisa he played 18 games with 2 goals (Verona home and away). The Nerazzurri came 8th.


In 1993-94 he was with Ravenna in serie B. He made 32 appearances and started scoring more regularly, 12 goals. Despite his goals, the Giallorossi were relegated to Serie C.


A year later he was up the road at Venezia in Serie B. He played 29 games with 11 goals. The "Leoni Alati" (The Winged Lions) changed manager five times and came 9th.


The 1995-96 season saw "Bobo" back in Serie A at Atalanta. He played 19 league games with 8 goals (including Roma) and 2 games in Coppa Italia with 2 goals (Bologna). The "Orobici" came 13th and reached the Coppa Italia final, losing 3-0 on aggregate to Fiorentina.


In 1996-97 he joined Juventus. He played alongside Alessandro Del Piero, Zinedine Zidane, Alen Boksic and under manager Marcello Lippi. The Bianconeri won the Scudetto, the Intercontinental Cup (River Plate 1-0) and the European Super Cup (P.S.G 9-2 on aggregate, with 1 Vieri goal)). They however did not retain the Champions League as they were a little surprisingly beaten 3-1 in the final by Borussia Dortmund (with 2 goals by former Lazio, Karl-Heinz Riedle). Vieri himself played 23 league games with 8 goals (including 2 against Roma and 1 vs Lazio), 5 in Coppa Italia with 1 goal (F. Andria), 8 in Champions League with 4 goals (Rapid Vienna, Rosenborg, Ajax home and away), plus the Intercontinental final in Tokyo.


A year later he was in Spain and became a "Colchonero" joining Atletico Madrid. It was not a great season for them under Radomir Antić and Atletico came 7th. In the UEFA CUP they were eliminated by Lazio in the semis (0-1 on aggregate). It was a fantastic season for Vieri personally, he scored a total of 29 goals with 24 in the league and becoming the Liga "Pichichi" (top scorer).


In 1998-98 he returned to Italy and signed for Lazio. Ambitious Sergio Cragnotti was building a competitive team and chose Vieri as his top striker. Unfortunately, Vieri would not play regularly until January due to a knee injury in early September, but when he did he was excellent. He scored 12 league goals between January and May. Lazio went very close to winning the Scudetto, falling at the penultimate hurdle with a 1-1 draw in Florence amidst controversial refereeing decisions by a certain Treossi.


The Biancocelesti however won the last ever Cup Winners Cup Final 2-1 against Mallorca and Vieri scored the opener and was involved in the build up to Nedved's winner. Lazio also won the Italian Supercoppa in August '98 beating Juventus 2-1 away. Despite being a great success in Rome and very popular, in the summer he was sold.


Inter bought Vieri for a record 90 billion Lire. Cragnotti was a businessman and he simply could not refuse that sort of money. At Inter he was reunited with Marcello Lippi and the Nerazzurri came 4th (Lazio were Champions). Vieri played 19 league games (plus a CL playoff versus Parma) and scored 13 goals (including Roma), plus 5 games in Coppa Italia with 5 goals. Inter reached the Coppa Italia final but lost to Lazio 2-1 on aggregate.


The following year the big novelty was that Vieri actually stayed at Inter. Under Lippi (one league game) and then Marco Tardelli for the rest of the season, Inter came 5th. Vieri played 28 league games with 18 goals (including 2 against Roma) plus 5 in the UEFA Cup with 1 goal (Alavés).


In 2001-02 Hector Cuper arrived as manager. Inter looked to win the Scudetto but inexplicably collapsed in the last match against Lazio, losing 4-2 and ending up 3rd. Vieri played 25 league games with 22 goals (including derby winner, Roma and Lazio), 1 in Coppa Italia and 2 in the UEFA Cup with 3 goals (hat-trick vs Ipswich Town).


In 2002-03 Cuper stayed on. Inter finished 2nd. In the Champions League they reached the semi-finals but lost to Milan on away goals. Vieri played 23 league games with 24 goals (including Juve and Roma) and 14 in the Champions League with 3 goals (Newcastle United, Valencia home and away). He was Serie A top scorer.


In 2003-04 Cuper was sacked after six games and replaced by Alberto Zaccheroni (the Lazio manager on that fateful May 5, 2002). Inter came 4th and Vieri played 22 league games with 13 goals (including Lazio, Roma and Juventus), 1 in Coppa Italia, 5 in Champions League with 2 goals (Dynamo Kiev and Arsenal) and 4 in the UEFA Cup with 2 goals (Sochaux and Benfica).


In 2004-05, Roberto Mancini arrived as manager. Inter came 3rd in Serie A but won the Coppa Italia beating Roma 3-0 on aggregate. Vieri played 27 league games with13 goals (including Juventus), 3 in Coppa Italia with 3 goals (Bologna, Cagliari x2) and 6 in the Champions League with 1 goal (Valencia). In the Champions League Inter were again knocked out by city rivals Milan in the quarterfinals. At Inter he played 190 games with an impressive 123 goals (103 Serie A, 8 CI, 12 European cups)


In 2005-06 Vieri stayed in the Lombard capital but joined A.C Milan. The season was a strange one as the two top placed teams, Juventus and Milan were punished for their involvement in the Calciopoli scandal. The Bianconeri were sent down to Serie B and the Rossoneri were docked 30 points, ironically giving Vieri's former team Inter the Scudetto. Before the final verdicts Ancelotti's Milan had come 2nd. Vieri only played 8 league games with 1 goal (Empoli), 1 game in Coppa Italia and 5 in Champions League (Milan eventually knocked out by Barcelona in the semis). Vieri however had only stayed with Milan until January.


To give himself more playing time and a better chance to be called up for the World Cup squad, he joined Monaco. In France he played 7 league games with 3 goals, 2 Cup games with 1 goal and 2 games in the UEFA Cup with 1 goal. In March he suffered a serious injury which ended his season and any World Cup hopes.


The following year Vieri was supposed to join Sampdoria. He was still injured and instead of turning up for pre-season training he went off on holiday with his girlfriend. The Samp owner Garrone was not amused and never registered the striker's contract.


At this point a few weeks later Vieri re-joined Atalanta. His injury however dragged out and he did not play until April. He got 7 games in the end with 2 goals (Siena, Udinese). The Bergamaschi came 8th under Stefano Colantuono.


In 2007-08, as a free agent, he signed for Fiorentina. The Viola had a good season under Cesare Prandelli, 4th in Serie A (CL qualification) and semi final of UEFA Cup (Rangers on penalties - Vieri missed the last spot kick). Vieri played 26 league games with 6 goals (Atalanta, Siena, Napoli, Torino, Udinese, Sampdoria), 1 in Coppa Italia and 12 in the UEFA Cup with 3 goals (Villarreal, Elfsborg, Mladá Boleslav).


In 2008-09 he spent one last season back in Bergamo with Atalanta. The manager was Luigi Del Neri and the "Orobici" finished 11th. Vieri, plagued by injuries and 35, got 9 league games with 2 goals (Udinese, Juventus).


Approaching 36 Vieri then retired.


At international level Vieri won 49 caps for Italy with 23 goals. He took part in two World Cups (1998 and 2002) and one European Championship (2004). He holds the record of goals for the "Azzurri" at World Cups with 9 (alongside Paolo Rossi and Roberto Baggio). He also won two U21 European Championships (1994 and 1996).


Since retiring he has been in a film, started a clothing brand, been in adverts and TV shows, worked as a pundit, organised beach football tennis tournaments (Bobo Summer Cup), put out a music single and he now has his own TV programme in streaming called Bobo TV… he has kept busy.


As a player Vieri was a classic centre-forward. At 1.85 metres and 82 kilos he was physically strong but quick once he got going and good in the air. Despite his size he also had opportunist qualities. He had a very powerful and precise left foot which allowed him to score with long range shots too. He was a goal scorer but was also an effective attacking partner to play off so he was also a useful assist man. He was a team player and had good leadership qualities. He was a reliable penalty taker.


All these qualities made him one of the best forwards of his generation. He has been compared to Gigi Riva, Giorgio Chinaglia (with whom he also shared emigration experiences and hence a very particular spoken Italian). Nowadays Erland Haaland I would say has "Vieriesque" qualities.


At Lazio he was a huge success. Unfortunately he stayed only a year and was injured until January. When he started playing again he was a whirlwind presence and scored goals (14 in 23 games). Lazio deserved to win the Scudetto that year, falling agonizingly short, but won the Cup Winners Cup.


He was popular in Rome for his character, his similarity to Chinaglia, his fighting spirit and not least his goals. Vieri is possibly the player who in the shortest time (5 months in the end) made the biggest impact at Lazio. He is remembered as a great player and with the cup win has his place in Lazio history.


Had Lazio won the Scudetto they deserved he would have left an even bigger mark. This was a curious fact about Vieri's career, timing; Lazio became champions the year after he left, Inter the same (albeit awarded), Milan won the Champions League a year after he left and Italy won the World Cup in 2006 with Vieri out injured. He did win trophies but maybe not as many as his talent deserved.


Lazio career

Season

Total Appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Cup Winners Cup

1998-99

28 (14)

22 (12)

2 (1)

4 (1)

Sources


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