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  • Writer's pictureLazio Stories

May 24, 1987: Lazio Cagliari 1-0

Fundamental win

 

A tired Lazio beat Cagliari with a Gabriele Pin goal




Source SS Lazio Museum

The season so far

 

There was new ownership. The Calleri brothers and Renato Bocchi had taken over from the disastrous Giorgio Chinaglia Presidency and then the possibly even worse Franco Chimenti brief regency, so everything was new. New manager, Eugenio Fascetti, new sporting director, Franco Regalia, new players. There were many farewells and in particular the Biancocelesti said goodbye to Vincenzo D’Amico (Ternana), Arcadio Spinozzi (Reggina) and Oliviero Garlini who was a necessary sacrifice and sold to Inter.


The most important new players were Antonio Acerbis (Pescara), Angelo Gregucci and Giancarlo Camolese (Alessandria), Gabriele Pin (Juventus) plus Giuliano Terraneo (Milan).

 

There was a certain degree of optimism but any hope of promotion was shattered by the summer events.

 

On May 2, 1986, Armando Carbone, right hand man of Italo Allodi was arrested. Allodi was a well-known figure in Italian football and worked for a number of clubs, including Juventus and Inter. In 1986 he was working for Napoli. Carbone told the magistrates that there was a match fixing association with clubs at all levels involved. Numerous clubs were investigated: Bari, Napoli and Udinese in Serie A, many more in Serie B and C. Plus Lazio.

 

Why were Lazio involved? Carbone was a good friend of Claudio Vinazzani, a Lazio player. Vinazzani had played for Napoli for seven years before joining Lazio in 1983. He did like to bet but never on matches where he played.

 

In Italy one could not legally bet on the result of a single game or on the scores of multiple games. There was just the Totocalcio, where one had to guess the result of 13 games. There was however an illegal betting system called Totonero, run by illegal bookmakers, similar to how legal bets were organised in the UK. Lazio had already been involved in the 1980 scandal and, despite a total lack of proof or wrongdoing by the club itself, since four players had been involved, Lazio were relegated to Serie B.

 

If there was basically nothing in 1980, in this case there was even less. There was a telephone conversation between Carbone and Vinazzani where the former asked whether the Lazio player was interested in “buying” a Lazio win against Palermo. Vinazzani’s answer was vague and nothing happened. The vagueness in the response was an indication of Lazio’s guilt, according to the prosecution. For this Lazio were sentenced to relegation to Serie C on August 5.

 

A difficult summer for the Lazio fans, but a very difficult summer for the new owners, Calleri and Bocchi. “If Lazio go down to Serie C, what are we going to do?” they must have asked themselves. It could have been the end of Lazio; the new owners would probably have backed out. Lazio fans mobilised, there were demonstrations and protests. It was simply not possible to relegate Lazio for nothing.

 

The appeal started on August 21 with many Lazio fans outside the Hilton hotel in Rome waiting for the outcome. Carboni should have testified but the court refused to have him present. The final decision therefore had to be based on the material provided in the first court case. Hence, the written declaration from Carboni saying that Lazio had nothing to do with the match fixing and that he never fixed a match for the Biancocelesti could not be used.

 

On August 27, Lazio had to play Napoli at the Olimpico for the Coppa Italia. Minutes before the match, the Italian State Television, RAI, announced that the sentence had been confirmed. An overzealous member of the court had leaked the news. This ultimately saved Lazio. The court could not confirm the previous sentence otherwise it would have lost face. In the end Lazio stayed in Serie B but with a docking of nine points. This was a very heavy burden with only two points for a victory, but it at least meant that the new owners could continue.

 

Fascetti told the players: “This is the situation. You can leave, and it would be perfectly normal if you did, or stay and fight. Decide”. All the players stayed.

 

The start of the season was terrible. Lazio drew the first game away at Parma but lost a home to Messina. Thismeant that the burden was now practically -11.

 

After the catastrophic beginning Lazio started to win and reduce the handicap. After 8 games the Biancocelesti finally had a +1 in the table and were only two points from safety. The relegation zone was left in the 15th match with an away win at Cagliari. Lazio played very well and showed to be far better than the others in Serie B. At the end of the first half of the season they were 16th, three points above the relegation zone.

 

Towards May however they started to tire. They were currently 15th, just one point above the relegation zone. A must win today.

 

The match: Sunday, May 24, 1987, Stadio Olimpico, Rome

 

Cagliari, already practically doomed to Serie C, had arrived in Rome to park the bus in front of the goal. As a consequence, the Biancocelesti attacked like there was no tomorrow but were unlucky. Early in the game, Antonio Acerbis crossed but Fabio Poli did not get there in time to score. In the 19th minute the best chance for Lazio. Poli to Domenico Caso, cross into the box and Raimondo Marino headed the ball onto the post.

 

The Biancocelesti attacked but were tense and lacked lucidity. The difficulty of the moment was taking its toll. In the 50th minute Gabriele Pin received the ball and raced forward. Once near the box he tried a shot which beat the Sardinian goalkeeper to give Lazio the winner.

 

Nothing else happened in the game. Cagliari tried to threaten but were never dangerous. The Lazio players had a few moments of panic at the  back but ultimately Giuliano Terraneo had little to do.

 

Fundamental win for the Biancocelesti

 

Who played for Lazio

 

Substitutes: Ielpo, Brunetti, Piscedda

Manager: Fascetti

 

Who played for Cagliari

 

Dore, Marchi, M. Valentini, Pecoraro S., Miani (80' Davin), Venturi, Pallanch, Pulga (75' L. Piras), M. Pellegrini, Bernardini, R. Bergamaschi

Substitutes: Nanni, Grasso, Pani

Manager: Giagnoni

 

Referee: Leni

 

Goal: 50’ Pin



What happened next

 

After this game Lazio lost two and drew one. Being under constant pressure was having repercussions. With one match to go Cagliari were already in Serie C, Lazio and Taranto were on 31 points, Campobasso, Sambenedettese, Vicenza and Catania on 32. Last games of the season Bari-Sambenedettese, Messina-Campobasso, Taranto-Genoa, Cesena-Catania, Lazio-Vicenza. Even a win may not have been enough.

 

With seven minutes to go, it was still 0-0. Podavini got the ball and shot. It was more out of desperation than an actual goal scoring attempt. He miskicked it but the ball reached Giuliano Fiorini who turned on himself and scored.

 

Final verdict: Lazio, Campobasso and Taranto needed a playoff to determine who would join Cagliari, Catania and Vicenza in Serie C. In Naples, on June 27, Lazio played their first game against Taranto and lost due to a goal in blatant offside. Then Taranto and Campobasso drew 1-1 on July 1. This meant that Lazio had to beat Campobasso to stay in Serie B. They did thanks to a Fabio Poli goal. The Biancocelesti were safe.


Lazio 1986-87

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie B

40

15

14

11

36

Coppa Italia

7

2

3

2

8

Total

47

17

17

13

44

Top Five Appearances

Players

Total

Serie B

Serie B playoffs

Coppa Italia

Caso

47

38

2

7

Pin

45

38

2

5

Terraneo

45

38

2

5

Acerbis

44

37

2

5

Podavini

40

33

1

6

Top Five goal scorers

Players

Total

Serie B

Serie B playoffs

Coppa Italia

Fiorini

9

7

-

2

Mandelli

6

6

-

-

Poli

6

4

1

-

Podavini

5

3

-

2

Marino

3

3

-

-

Acerbis

3

2

-

1

Caso

3

3

-

-

Let's talk about Antonio Schillaci


Source Lazio Wiki

Antonio Maurizio Schillaci, cousin of the famous Totò Schillaci, was born on February 1 1962 in Palermo. He began his career with Palermo and between 1981 and 1982 he made four league appearances. After a year with Rimini, he was hand-picked by Zdenek Zeman to play for Licata in C2. It was the first club where the Bohemian implemented his style of football and the Sicilian team did very well winning promotion to Serie C1. Schillaci played regularly and scored 22 league goals over two seasons; he was at the peak of his career.

 

In 1986 he signed for Lazio. The Biancocelesti had been given a 9-point docking due to an alleged (and unproven) involvement of Claudio VInazzani in the match fixing scandal of 1986. His stay in Rome was marred by an injury which nobody was able to resolve properly. He made just 11 appearances with one goal in a season that saw Lazio manage to stay in Serie B after the playoffs.

 

In the summer of 1987, he was sold to Messina where they finally found out what his physical problem was (the tendon) and healed him. But the career ship had flown. He was very highly considered but after playing so little in three seasons, there was no way back for him. After two years in Sicily, he went to play for Juve Stabia in 1989. His depression led to drugs and he became an addict. After retiring he worked in his cousin’s football school. But it did not last long. The physical and psychological issues plus the drugs made him homeless.

 

Interviewed by Il Giornale di Sicilia he stated “My decline was very fast and now I find myself on the streets. How do you live? I almost laugh at it, I have fun, I lighten up, I try to cope. But I can't find work, so I sleep in trains at the station. They call it the train graveyard. There are other people with me, we are a group of 20 homeless people. I spend my days thinking about scraping together something to eat and buying cigarettes. I was on the verge of making it. Then at the best moment I went from riches to rags. I experienced my best seasons with Zeman. I scored goals repeatedly. Then Lazio arrived. It was my greatest moment. I lived in luxury, I changed 38 cars, I played in my dream stadium, the Olimpico. A 500 million contract for 4 years. Then something doesn't go right. The first injuries, the periods out. Then I find out why. I go on loan to Messina; there I find my cousin Totò. All the newspapers talked about us, he and I competed to see who could score the most. But my career actually ended in Rome. An injury that was never healed and prevented me from expressing myself at my best. I played a few games and stopped. They called me the "imaginary patient" or the "mysterious footballer", because I was always in the infirmary. I actually had a punctured tendon. In Messina they noticed the problem, they treated me, but my career had already flown away. Then I suffered from other situations. Worse than injuries. I went to Juve Stabia. And there I started with drugs. Cocaine, then heroin. In the meantime, I divorced my wife”.

 

A couple of young film directors made a documentary on him in 2014, to show the rise and fall of a football player. In 2022 he was living in a Fiat Panda but has since found a place to stay.

 

A tragic end for a player who could have made it.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances

Serie B

Coppa Italia

1986-87

29

24

5

1987-88

28

23

5

Total

57

47

10

Sources






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