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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Paolo Carosi

Paolo Carosi was a real gentleman. The Lazio fans used to call him “Barone” (Baron). A midfielder, Carosi was a real Lazio fan who happened to play for the Biancocelesti for many years and was their manager both at youth level and for the A team.

Source Wikipedia

Born in Tivoli on April 8 1938, he started playing football in the youth teams of his hometown but arrived at Lazio as soon as he was twenty years of age. In the first two seasons he was a part of the subs team, but then got his regular place in the first team. In his first full season Lazio were relegated, so in his second he had to play in Serie B. In the winter transfer window of 1962 he was loaned to Udinese for whom he played 29 games and scored 4 goals. Back at Lazio in 1963 he played for the Biancocelesti until 1968 when he signed for Catania. His last season as a professional was at L’Aquila in Serie D in 1969.


He played 198 times for Lazio (139 in Serie A, 37 in Serie B, 19 in Coppa Italia and 3 in Mitropa Cup) and scored three goals (2 in Serie A and 1 in Serie B). Carosi will also be remembered for the game against Milan in San Siro in the 1966-67 season. Lazio were losing 2-1 and with two minutes to go, the referee, Aurelio Angonese mistakenly closed the game. The Biancocelesti protested but it took a while for the referee to realise his mistake. Once he did, all the players were summoned back to the pitch to play the last two minutes. Unfortunately Carosi was in the shower, so he quickly had to dry off and put his kit back on. He was really angry and refused to tie his shoelaces and to go back to the position where he was supposed to play. He just stayed put at midfield. There were only two minutes left, what was the point? But a stray ball arrived his way and he saw that Romano Bagatti was unmarked. He quickly passed the ball to the Lazio striker who made it 2-2!!!


Carosi started to manage Lazio youth teams once he quit playing football and was manager of the Lazio Primavera for five years and won the scudetto in 1975-76. In his squad he had the crème de la crème of Lazio youth: Bruno Giordano, Lionello Manfredonia, Andrea Agostinelli, Maurizio Montesi and Massimo De Stefanis.


In 1977-78 he managed Avellino, taking them to promotion, and signed for Fiorentina in 1978, taking them to 6th place in the 1979-80 season. He was fired in the next season due to bad results. In 1981-82 he managed Cagliari and the season after Bologna.


Source Wikipedia

After the Lazio defeat against Napoli on December 11 1983, President Giorgio Chinaglia fired Giancarlo Morrone and called Paolo Carosi. The situation was desperate. Lazio were third from bottom with just eight points. It went from bad to worse when two games later Giordano broke his leg following a ruthless tackle by Antonio Bogoni (who was not even booked). Lazio fell into despair, lost the Ascoli match and also the next one at home against Pisa.


Lazio had only nine points after the first half of the season. Carosi realised that he had to do something and he counted on the players with greater experience. Life without probably one of the best centre forwards in Europe was not going to be easy and there was no backup plan. At this point Vincenzo D’Amico and Manfredonia took matters into their own hands and guided the team.


Lazio started earning points. In the first six games of the second half of the season they beat Genoa and Sampdoria at home and drew against Verona, Inter away (thanks to a Walter Zenga howler) and drew a dramatic derby 2-2.


Just when things were looking brighter, Lazio stumbled again. The last four games were fundamental. Fortunately Giordano came back in record time. Against Napoli Giordano regained his place in the centre of the Lazio attack and the Biancocelesti managed to win the match 3-2. In the final two games of the season Lazio needed three points to avoid relegation. A win against Ascoli at home and a draw against Pisa with a Giordano double allowed Lazio to stay in Serie A.


Carosi was confirmed as Lazio manager but there were problems during the 1984 summer transfer window. Chinaglia had sold both Manfredonia and Giordano to Juventus in exchange for a few players and much needed cash. However, one of the players that was supposed to come to Lazio, Massimo Briaschi, refused the transfer. Giordano and Manfredonia also refused to play for Juventus (they were offered a lower wage than which they were earning at Lazio) and everything fell through. Lazio more or less had the same squad as the previous year, but it was impossible to do worse than the previous year.


In the Coppa Italia group phase Lazio played well but were knocked out. Lazio and Roma had the same number of points and a two-point lead over Genoa. Lazio lost the derby (due to a non-existent penalty) and Genoa won 5-0, Lazio were eliminated on goal difference. Chinaglia was not happy. Nor was he happy when Lazio lost the first game of Serie A against Socrates’ Fiorentina. The next game Lazio lost away to Zico’s Udinese 5-0. Chinaglia made his biggest mistake as President of Lazio by sacking Carosi and calling a semi-retired Juan Carlos Lorenzo to become manager. Lazio were relegated at the end of the season. It was a huge mistake that Lazio would pay for a very long time.


Paolo Carosi’s last year as manager was in 1986 when he was called by Monza in Serie B but he could not avoid relegation.


He was Lazio’s manager for 25 games, 20 in Serie A and 5 in Coppa Italia.


He died in Rome on March 15 2010.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Serie B

Coppa Italia

Mitropa Cup

Cup of the Alps

1958-59

6

4

-

2

-

-

1959-60

10

9

-

1

-

-

1960-61

28 (1)

22 (1)

-

4

-

2

1961-62

27 (1)

-

24 (1)

3

-

-

1962-63

3

-

2

1

-

-

1963-64

18

18

-

-

-

-

1964-65

25

24

-

1

-

-

1965-66

32

29

-

3

-

-

1966-67

38 (1)

33 (1)

-

2

3

-

1967-68

13

-

11

2

-

-

Total

200 (3)

139 (2)

37 (1)

19

3

2

Sources


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