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  • Writer's pictureLazio Stories

Transfers 1997-98

Updated: Nov 25, 2023

With the arrival of new manager Sven-Goran Eriksson there was the possibility there would be a lot of comings and goings. However, with few exceptions, there was not a major revolution but quality players did arrive.


Marco Ballotta: With Carlo Cudicini leaving Lazio need a second goalkeeper, seeing that Fernando Orsi is now a little too old. Hence Ballotta from Reggiana is chosen. An excellent backup choice.

Giovanni Lopez: The Biancocelesti need an experienced player who can help Alessandro Nesta. After 191 league appearances for Vicenza, he signs for Lazio.

Giuseppe Pancaro is an excellent right back who can also play left back. He joins Lazio after five seasons with Cagliari. He can be a good alternative to both Paolo Negro and Beppe Favalli.

Matias Almeyda, Argentinian International, is a tough, dynamic midfielder who played very well with River Plate. Last season he played for Sevilla but they were relegated.

Vladimir Jugovic: The excellent Serbian midfielder comes in from Juventus where he won a scudetto, European Cup, Intercontinental Cup, Super Coppa and UEFA Super Cup. He previously played under Eriksson in Sampdoria so the Swede certainly knows how much he can give. A true professional.

Alen Boksic: President Sergio Cragnotti loves Boksic. He did not want to sell him to Juventus last season but the Croatian player did not get along with Zdenek Zeman and there was not much he could do. Now there is a change in management, back he comes.

Roberto Mancini leaves Sampdoria after 15 years, 567 appearances and 171 goals. His contract had expired and he was looking for a new winning opportunity. Cragnotti tempted him and he signs for Lazio. He is the player with the winning mentality that Lazio need if they want to win something.

Goodbye or almost

A number of players left, either permanently or on loan, but most of them were not first choice players.

Carlo Cudicini: The Lazio goalkeeper, one game hero, after his serious injury has decided to start from scratch. He leaves on a free transfer and joins Castel di Sangro in Serie B.

Flavio Roma, the Biancoceleste goalkeeper of the Primavera scudetto, back from his loan at Fiorenzuola leaves again on loan to Foggia.

Mark Fish: The South African centre back did not convince in his year in Serie A and now he will try the Premier League as he moves to Bolton Wanderers. He played 17 games with one goal for the Biancocelesti.

Seeing Lazio are pretty well covered at midfield, Roberto Baronio is sent on loan to Vicenza in order to get playing time. Last season, Baronio appeared in 16 games.

Marco Piovanelli, midfielder, leaves the club after two years and 36 appearances and moves to Piacenza in joint ownership.

Marco Di Vaio’s stint with Bari on loan did not go as well as predicted and Lazio have lost interest in him. Huge, huge mistake, the kid has enormous potential and would have been useful as back up. Di Vaio has 18 appearances and six goals with the Biancoclesti. He is sold to Salernitana.

Alessandro Iannuzzi is another Primavera hero. At Vicenza last year he did very well scoring in the final of the Coppa Italia. The club has very high hopes for the future of this player. So far he has 4 appearances and one goal. He is sent on loan to Lecce.

Igor Protti: It was thought that having both Beppe Signori and Igor Protti, who were joint leading Serie A scorers in 1995-96, together in a team coached by Zeman would mean hundreds of goals, but it did not work out that way. For the moment Protti is loaned to Napoli. He has played 33 games with 7 goals for Lazio.

Winter transfer window

Renato Buso did not have a good relationship with Eriksson when he was at Sampdoria so the arrival of the Swede obviously meant that he was one of the main players that would have gone. However he stayed, but apart from two games in Coppa Italia, he did not get any playing time. Time to go, Piacenza awaits him. He appeared in 20 games for Lazio with one goal.

Beppe Signori: The Lazio hero of the past years was not pleased with the new course. After initially being in the team, Eriksson started putting him on the bench, preferring Mancini, Gigi Casiraghi and Boksic. Signori had been plagued by a herniated disc and the cortisone he was taking to cure it, plus periods of inactivity, had increased his weight. On the pitch he was not giving what the fans were used to basically because he did not have it in him. The last straw took place in Vienna in the UEFA Cup tie with Rapid. Signori had been warming up for a while ready to take Mancini’s place on the field. The plan changed when Mancini got sent off. The problem was that nobody told Signori to stop warming up. Beppe-gol was offended and asked to leave the club. Lazio loan him to Sampdoria. A real pity. Signori has played 195 games for Lazio with 127 goals.


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