Friday, May 29, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The Italian Ambassador.
Domizzi seated at the centre.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Sorry i took so long to update this post. I was so high after we won the cup that i didnt sleep the whole night and went straight to work the next day. Hahaha.
This has to be 1 of the most nerve-wrecking Penalty-Shootout i've ever seen!
For me and all the Lazio fans, this victory means the world to us. After so many years of sufferings, we finally won a piece of silverware! I was so overcome by emotion after Dabo converted the final penalty that i shed tears of joy. This time however, i did not shout myself hoarse as i did in the Olimpico. (My family members were sleeping) hahaha..I punched my fist in the air in quick succession instead!!!
To be honest, when the match went to PK, i gave up all hopes on winning. I had no confidence on Muslera because last season, he flopped so badly and on so many occassions, conceded sloppy goals. I know im being an asshole...thus i offer my sincere apology to u Mr. Muslera!
I doubted you. Im sorry Muslera!! Thank you for saving the penalties! Thank you!! *kow tow*
Ok, some other thoughts i would like to share. As much as i love Lazio to win this tournament, i still want to comment on how terrible certain players were in the match.
Firstly, i think there were no quality assists to our strikers. I dont see any productive crosses and we do not look threatening in the air at all! Our best headers of the ball, Rocchi was on the bench.
Secondly, I believed that Zarate is a true phenomenon! A great players! But i think he can better if he passes the ball more often. Is he selfish? Hmmm...subjective.
OkOk...its still party time so i shall not make too many negative comments here! WoooOooOoOO!!! WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!!!!!
Top from left: Muslera, Kolarov, Ledesma, Dabo, Siviglia, Rozehnal.
Bottom from left: Pandev, lichsteiner, Foggia, Brocchi(useless), Zarate.
Muslera saved Cassano's penalty.
Zarate kisses the ball after successfully converted his PK.
Hey!! Look whos here! Sergio Cragnotti!!
Zarate is tears..
I love this Tee-shirt!!!
I think its really nice that Rocchi wanted Ledesma to lift the cup together!!
Celebration inside the locker room! Here Pandev enjoying a bottle of Champagne.
President Lotito & Coach Delio Rossi.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
It's fucking high time we are playing in a cup final! Apart from derby matches and the Super cup victory against Man United, i've never been so excited for the boys in blue.
Tomorrow is a chance for us to grab a piece of silverwear. Something we have not achieved since 2004. By winning this tournament, we will have a chance to redeem ourselves and give ourselves a pat on our back. We have had a fuckup season.
Judging from the odds given by the book makers, it seems that they have their eyes set on Lazio to lift the cup.
I dont like this as what i mentioned in my previous entry. If the whole world thinks Lazio will win, that means they will most likely lose. Pardon me if im being too bloody superstitious. Hahaha..
Pandev who has recovered in time for the final will most likely play. We need Pandev! Any team in the world would love to have a striker like him. I forsee him partnering Zarate upfront.
Avanti SS. Lazio!!!
Lazio possible line up:
Muslera; Lichsteiner, Siviglia, Rozehnal, Kolarov; Brocchi, Dabo, Ledesma, Foggia; Pandev, Zarate.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
The Biancoceleste were defeated at home yet again. This time under the hands of Udinese.
To be honest, i have expected a Udinese victory as we have become very predictable this season and the team tends to crack when they face average teams or minnows.
Just when you think we will easily bag the 3 points and give the opposition a thrashing, the end result will usually be quite the opposite. That happened against teams like Lecce, Torino, Atalanta, Cagliari, Chievo and many more. Wherelse, we are able to see off tougher opponents like Roma, Napoli, or Genoa who are strong defensively. *Shrugs*
Capitano Rocchi and Delio Rossi admitted that the team tried to close shop when they took a 1-0 lead in the 55th minute through Rocchi himself. Apparently, the team were already thinking ahead of the Coppa Italia final on wednesday and somehow lost concentration.
I really hope they dont lose concentration on wednesday against Sampdoria ,who just handed Reggina a 5-0 hammering. Cassano was rested and do expect the latter to give our defence lotsa problems.
All our hopes in playing in Europe lies on this 1 match. If we win, its European football next season! Plus the super cup at Beijing in August! If not, like what Darran said,
'Then, we dont deserve Europe'.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Just to share an article i wrote about my trip to Rome's Olimpico. It has been published in the local papers, and made it to blogs and forums in China, Italy and all over the world. :)
The cold wind pierced through my scarf like needles. My body shook uncontrollably and I was freezing my ass off in the stands. For a Singaporean who has never experienced winter, this was one hell of an experience.
In case you are wondering where exactly I was, I am referring to one of the greatest football stadiums that hosted a FIFA World Cup finals, Rome’s very own ‘Stadio Olimpico’. This majestic stadium is also home to the football team that I have supported since I was 11. ‘SS Lazio’.
Affectionately known as the ‘Biancoceleste’ (White and Blue in English), Lazio played Torino on week 24 in the Serie A championships and I was in Rome to witness this clash that I had spent six months planning.
Fresh air gushed into my lungs as I paced up the stairs and entered the stadium for the first time. The scene that greeted me was explosive! It is definitely more beautiful and impactful than what I see on television. Speechless, I suddenly felt so closely connected to the team that I have cheered and cried for all these years. Waves of emotions rushed over me, and words could hardly describe how I felt about being right there with my team then. Shedding tears of joy, I told myself, “It is worth it even if it means I am going to freeze to death”.
The Curva Nord.
My childhood dream would not have been realised if not for the help of Paolo. Like me, he supports Lazio and is a native Roman. I met Paolo in the forum on www.laziofever.org, which is a website for English-speaking Lazio fans all over the world. I was worried that I could not get ticket for the match due to last minute changes on the fixture made by the Italian Federation, and Ermetico (Paolo’s nickname) answered to my SOS call on the forum. Not only did he help me get the ticket, he gave me a lift to the stadium to watch the match. It was then during the journey, that I discovered that he is a stadium announcer for Lazio and offered to introduce me to the players after the game!
This was more than I had bargained for, as I was only expecting to catch the game live, and never in my wildest dreams would I have expected to get the chance to meet the players in person! It sure was a pleasant surprise and I was touched by his kind and humble gesture, especially since he has never even met me prior to this. The lengths that he would go to help a fellow Lazio fan whom he met on the internet was just incredibly touching!
So there I stood, amongst the thousands of fellow Lazio fans. Whistles resonated from every part of the stadium. Before we knew it, Torino had taken the lead with their first shot of the game! We were in a state of disbelief. From some distance, I could see Paolo with his head sunk on the table, presumably in a state of disappointment.
A cross that was half-cleared by Ousmane Dabo fell to the feet of Ignazio Abate, who took two steps forward and unleashed a rocket from the D that slotted into the near bottom corner. We fought hard but former Lazio custodian, Matteo Sereni, denied Siviglia’s angle drive brilliantly. It was a poor performance and the team was jeered off the pitch at halftime.
Kolarov lining up a Freekick
Stefano Mauri replaced Dabo, who was responsible for letting in the Torino goal, in the second half. Within 90 seconds of coming onto the pitch, Mauri had set up a chance for Lazio’s hit man Pandev, who fell as he tried to cut into the box, but the referee waved play on. To the dismay of all Lazio fans, no penalty was awarded for this. In an instant, insults aimed at the referee could be heard all around me. Especially outspoken was this old man who was seated just behind me, as he hollered, ‘Bastardo!’ ‘Va fancullo!’ He shouted.
And no, I think I had better not translate that.
In spite of the tension during the game, comic relief came when Kolarov, Lazio’s left back, rammed a powerful volley in the referee’s face! The referee tried to get up but dropped to the ground immediately. I had this scene captured live on my digital camera.
After waves and waves of attack, we managed to equalise through some bizarre circumstances. 1-1! Lazio Captain, Rocchi, flicked on a corner kick for Mauri's miscued overhead kick, but Siviglia headed the ball into the net from six yards at the near post. At that, I was up on my feet as I shouted myself hoarse! I could hear ‘Non Molllare Mai’ (Do not give up) being chanted from the ‘Curva Nord’ (North Stands) where the Ultras were seated. The atmosphere though, was still very tense as we were on a four-game losing streak and if we lost this game, we would be in trouble.
Just when everyone thought the game would continue, the scorer of the equaliser, Siviglia ran to where the Lazio Ultras were seated, and put his hands behind his ears, as though trying to tell the fans that he could not hear them. Apparently, this goal celebration angered the fans who have been standing all night long.
The match eventually ended at 1-1 and the commotion grew louder. I met up with Paolo who tried to bring me into the press conference room. However, there was no way we could get in as security personnel were present to stop any angry fans from attacking the president, Claudio Lotito. He is not a popular figure at the moment. Paolo explained that Siviglia was booed because he was taunting the Lazio Ultras and apparently, he had chosen the wrong time to perform such an antic. The postgame tension had thus caused me to lose my chance to meet the president and all the players!
Paolo, who is such an amazing man, told me to wait outside the gates where the players would come out. He made a final attempt to grab the players to take a picture with me. From there, I could see members of the Irriducibile (Lazio Hardcore group) standing outside waiting for Siviglia. Police were everywhere and this Singaporean was freezing his ass off while waiting patiently for a picture with any Lazio player.
Just as I was giving up hope, Paolo emerged with Muslera (Lazio’s goalkeeper) and we were introduced. He is really friendly and we shook hands and had a photo taken. I was over the moon!
I later got to meet two other players, Matuzalem and the Swiss international defender, Stephan Lichtsteiner, who spoke English and even wished me ‘Good evening’. In addition, I was really struck by their humble and sincere attitude. Meeting three Lazio players in person and taking pictures with them is truly an experience in my life that I will never ever forget.
Me with Stephan Lichtsteiner
Me with Matuzalem
The Laziale gathering..
Paolo and friends from the Lazio Radio station
Video Clip on the Nord..
We went for supper with a group of Paolo’s friends after that. Win or lose, these people will meet up for a get-together after every home match. I was introduced to several Lazio’s Radio Deejays as Gan, ‘The Fan from Singapore’. I do not know if they might find it weird as to why someone from the other side of the planet would support Lazio as fervently as I do so, but for me, I enjoyed every second of this ‘get together’. I truly admire and applaud the camaraderie and love they possess for the club, this club that I will always have my heart until I die, ‘SS Lazio.’
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Lets have a great time!