Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Champions, award winners, stars, superstars… the glory of the top end of football. Which is not the whole football – most of football is actually well under the flashy top. The world of the losers… and the world of change too. Some went down, others went up in the vast universe of smaller clubs, secondary championships, lower divisions, etc. Going down… Lazio was relegated in 1971. Lazio?! Well, Lazio were rather small club at that time. The football roads did not lead to Rome yet – Rome was insignificant, and Lazio was even less significant, usually struggling to survive in the first division, if there at all.

Lazio going down… nothing to suggest that Giorgio Chinaglia and Wilson will be Italian champions and national players. Nothing to suggest that Lazio will be big name, causing troubles with its Fascist inclinations and followers… Nothing to suggest that Rome will have big derby and big clubs… But fate is strange: Mazzola II captained the sinking team. This is Ferruccio – the younger brother of the superstar Sandro, and the second son of the great Italian legend Valentino Mazzola. It was still common in Europe to mark relatives by Roman numbers instead of first names, but what a faith: in 1971 one brother was champion and the other – relegated to the second division. Ferruccio soon moved to Fiorentina, but nothing helped: justly or not, he was not a star, always in the shadows of his father and his elder brother. At least Ferruccio got a title to his name: he returned to Lazio for his last top division season, when Lazio won the Italian championship. He played one game this season, so is a champion by default. Football fate is strange: in 1971 Lazio went down.