UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

Ten claims to fame: Lazio

They started out as a running club in Rome, and their first title-winning side "all hated each other"; UEFA.com discovers some of the things that make Lazio special.

Lazio, third in Serie A last term, host Leverkusen on Tuesday
Lazio, third in Serie A last term, host Leverkusen on Tuesday ©AFP/Getty Images

Lazio go into their play-off tie against Bayer Leverkusen aiming to qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time in eight years. UEFA.com highlights some of the most exciting and unusual moments in the club's history.

Formed: 1900
Nickname: Biancocelesti (White and Sky Blues)

UEFA club competition honours (runners-up in brackets)
• UEFA Cup Winners' Cup (1): 1999
• UEFA Cup: (1998)
• UEFA Super Cup (1): 1999

Domestic honours (most recent triumph in brackets)
• League title: 2 (2000)
• Italian Cup: 6 (2013)

• Lazio were initially formed as a running club in 1900 by soldier Luigi Bigiarelli and a group of friends. The men wanted to take part in a 20km race – however, not rich enough to be members of a running club, they were ineligible. Thus they decided to form their own, calling it Lazio, from Latium Vetus, the name the Romans gave to the area in which the Eternal City was founded. The colours – white and light blue – were chosen in honour of Greece, home of the Olympic Games.

• Football was brought to Lazio in 1901 when Bruto Seghettini, a member of Racing Club Paris, visited club headquarters in Via Valadier with a ball and the rules of the sport. Being the first football club in the city – Roma were formed 27 years later – Lazio played training matches and friendlies against soldiers or Scottish and Irish seminarists in Piazza d'Armi and, from 1906, in Parco dei Daini. Games against other Roman clubs such as Veloce and Virtus did not come about until a few years later.

Lazio's eagle mascot at the Olimpico
Lazio's eagle mascot at the Olimpico©Getty Images

• With Italian football being dominated by teams from the north, Lazio signed forward Silvio Piola from Pro Vercelli in 1934. "I still don't know if he is right- or left-footed and I have never seen anybody as good as him at finishing," said former Italy coach Vittorio Pozzo. Piola represented Lazio for nine seasons but failed to bring the Scudetto to Rome despite twice finishing as the division's leading marksman. The 1938 FIFA World Cup winner registered 143 goals for the Biancocelesti, while his record of 274 Serie A strikes is likely to remain untouched for some time.

• Former Lazio forward Fulvio 'Fuffo' Bernardini guided the club to their first silverware in 1958, overseeing victory against ACF Fiorentina – the team he had led to the Scudetto two years earlier – in the Coppa Italia final. "Winning that trophy was special, the first for one of the most important and oldest clubs in the country," Maurilio Prini, who scored the only goal of the game and died in 2009, later recalled.

Lazio fans honour Giorgio Chinaglia
Lazio fans honour Giorgio Chinaglia©Getty Images

• Coached by Tommaso Maestrelli and boasting strong personalities such as Giorgio Chinaglia, Giuseppe Wilson, the 'blond angel' Luciano Re Cecconi and Luigi Martini, Lazio celebrated their first league title in 1974. The players, famously, did not get on. "We all hated each other," recalled goalkeeper Felice Pulici. "We were divided into two groups."

• In that Scudetto season, Lazio were 2-1 down at the break against a visiting Verona side. Such was the level of the players' anger that Maestrelli ordered them to remain on the pitch for the entire half-time interval to avoid clashes in the dressing room. Responding to the unusual situation, the fans amped up their support and Lazio went on to win 4-2.

• Paul Gascoigne, who captured the imagination of fans around the globe for his tears in the aftermath of England's 1990 FIFA World Cup semi-final defeat by Germany, joined Lazio in 1992 from Tottenham Hotspur. Though he struck a late equaliser in his first Rome derby, Gascoigne's time in the Italian capital would be more sorrowful than anything else. He suffered a serious injury in 1994, fracturing a leg following a training-ground tackle on a relatively unknown youth player: future Lazio captain Alessandro Nesta.

• Nesta skippered Lazio to their first European trophy in 1999. The Eagles defeated Mallorca 2-1 in Birmingham in the last UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final, Christian Vieri and Pavel Nedvěd the goalscorers for Sven-Göran Eriksson's men. Nedvěd's 81st-minute effort was selected as one of the best UEFA goals of the last 60 years.

Lazio defeated Manchester United in the 1999 UEFA Super Cup thanks to a lone Marcelo Salas strike. The Serie A team played so well that Sir Alex Ferguson predicted they were going to win the Scudetto the following campaign. He was right – Lazio pipped Juventus by a point on the last day of the season.

• The sweetest of Lazio's six Coppa Italia wins came in 2013 when, coached by Vladimir Petković, they edged out Roma 1-0. "It is impossible to explain with words what I felt after scoring that goal," said match-winner Senad Lulić. Until last season, Lazio fans continued to give a 71st-minute ovation in every game to mark the time of Lulić's intervention.

Celebrating UEFA Cup Winners' Cup glory at Villa Park in 1999
Celebrating UEFA Cup Winners' Cup glory at Villa Park in 1999©Getty Images

Selected for you