Monday, December 12, 2011

Serie A 1992 1993 Lazio Genoa

4a Giomata
27 Settembre 1992
Stadio Olimpico,

Arbitro: Trentalange

'This is Rome, right, but where's Lazio?' PAUL GASCOIGNE, 1992, Lazio club shop
'Your daughter ... big tits' GAZZA to Lazio president SERGIO CRAGNOTTi
First Gazza Game at Lazio.

 In 2003 a video was issued for the Italian football market. Its title? Bidoni. Now a bidone, in Italian, is a rubbish bin, but bidoni in football parlance are rubbish players. We are not talking about normal rubbish here - this is rarefied badness - crap on a huge and costly scale. Bidoni are cult figures, so bad they have become popular (in retrospect). In recent times, bidoni have usually also been expensive foreigners. Roma brought two famous bidoni in the late 1980s. One, the Brazilian Andrade, lasted just nine games. His memory, however, lives on. He became known as Er Moviola - Mr Slow-motion-replay - for his pace. The other Roma bidone that year was Renato, a long-haired winger who dedicated himself with far more energy to Roma's pulsating nightlife than he did to providing crosses on the field. Both have become cult figures.43 Only one player, however, is portrayed on the front of the bidoni video. There, in pride of place, hands on hips, stands Paul 'Gazza' Gascoigne, in his Lazio shirt. Gascoigne's time in Italy coincided perfectly with the boom of the Italian game in the UK and its popular Channel 4 coverage. Gazza's presence, in fact, was a key part of that success. Gascoigne was at the height of his fame then, in the wake of the 1990 World Cup, and he became a regular on the show, chatting away with wag presenter James Richardson and introducing his own special slots. Unfortunately for Gazza, and for Lazio, he spent more time on Channel 4 than he did on the football pitch. In three highly-paid years for Rome's less famous team, Gazza played just 41 league games, scoring six goals. He was substituted 30 times. Lazio won nothing in that time and it is difficult to describe his time in Rome as other than an unmitigated disaster.
Gazza had been 'signed' by Lazio from Spurs for eight million pounds in 1991 just three weeks before his infamous FA Cup final appearance against Nottingham Forest. After his mad, masochistic performance in that match, which led to his cruciate ligament injury, Lazio were forced to wait for his knee to heal. The deal did not go through for more than a year, and Spurs lost nearly half of the transfer fee in that time, during which Gazza managed to have two fights in two night-clubs and even broke the kneecap of the knee in question. His fee still represented a club and British record, however. When he finally turned up in Rome, in September 1992, Gazza appeared to have been on a crash diet that had drained him of all his energy. He had not played for fifteen months. Over-thin, in his first game he managed a few mazy dribbles on the halfway line before being substituted at half-time. Italy, of course, had been the scene of Gazza's greatest triumph, and of his ultra-famous blubbing, during the 1990 World Cup. Ups and a lot of downs followed, Lazio's followers, however, loved Gazza. Over 1,000 fans greeted him on his arrival in Rome, causing absolute chaos, and his training sessions were mobbed. Some 30,000 turned out for his first friendly appearance in Rome, in the pouring rain. He was the idol of the curva nord, just as Paolo Di Canio had been in the late 1980s. His equalizing goal near the end of a Rome derby helped (what was amazing was that he was still on the pitch in the eighty-eighth minute) but it was Gazza himself they adored - his drinking, his obvious love of football, his craziness, his genius, his belly. 

 The club claimed that the mere presence of Gascoigne usually meant an increased gate of 5,000-10,000 fans. Often, at home games, a Lazio fan would 'dress up' as Gazza by wearing a swim suit or Tottenham shirt and sit in a large dinghy. The dinghy was then lifted by other fans above their heads. Gazza is remembered with great affection at the club; his name appears in the 'unforgettable' section of the Lazio website alongside such heroes as Giuseppe Signori, Giorgio Chinaglia and Paolo Di Canio. True to form, Roma fans made Gazza their hate figure, although much of their abuse was tinged with a sense of fun. In one derby, they displayed an enormous fake wheelchair (Gazza was always injured) and during another they threw Mars Bars onto the pitch. Gazza, typically, picked one up, slowly unwrapped it, and gobbled it down. That was pure Gazza. In fact, in his own words, he spent a lot of time 'being Gazza instead of Paul Gascoigne' whilst he was in Italy.

 Soon after the derby in 1992, Gazza scored a quite brilliant solo goal, dribbling past three or four players and chipping the goalkeeper - admittedly against lowly Pescara. A series of minor injuries followed, and Gazza was dropped for the home game against Juventus. When asked about the decision by a female journalist he did something that he thought was funny, but the Italians didn't; he burped into her mkrophone.4? Headlines followed: La Statnpa dedicated an entire page to the incident. Burpgate had exploded. A right-wing deputy, Giulio Maceratini, called for an official inquiry: 'what disciplinary measures', the deputy asked, 'will be taken by the football federation towards the player and how will the category of journalists be defended?'. The burp was embarrassing, above all for Gazza, but it did not warrant more coverage than that usually devoted to a small war in the Third World. Club president Sergio Cragnotti told him off, fined him and declared in a Sun interview that he would 'not buy any more English players'. Gazza, however, did not learn his lesson. A few weeks later he attempted a variation on the wind theme, 'noisily' farting this time in the general direction of a man whom Ian Hamilton described as a 'distinguished Messaggero journalist'. On the pitch, usually against lesser teams, when given space, Gazza could still shine. When he performed his famous double shuffle in the (unloved) Italian Cup, the press went crazy. One journalist wrote that 'this unconstrained lunatic Gascoigne has exhumed an ancient and Gazza celebrates his equalizer in the Rome derby, 29 November 1992. Musical movement which has the rare beauty of a valuable relic'. The 1992-3 season, his first, which yielded a modest 22 games and four goals, turned out to be Gazza's best for Lazio, who qualified for the UEFA Cup. Rumours that he was about to be sold dominated the following season, when he played seventeen times and scored only twice. A new edition of Ian Hamilton's marvellously entertaining essay-account of Gascoigne's career - Gazza Italia (the previous title had been Gazza Agonistes) - appeared in 'week nineteen of the Italian season '93-'94'. It ended on an upbeat note. Gazza had just played six games in a row and seemed to be playing well.

Disaster, however, was just around the corner. On 7 April, at 17.10 p.m., after flying into a needless tackle in training, Gazza crashed to the ground. He had come up against a young and unknown defender who would go on to greatness - Alessandro Nesta. Gazza, as usual, came off worse. His leg was broken, twice - the same leg that had gone in the FA Cup final, and in the night-club fight. It was a year before he played for Lazio again and by that time the management had finally lost patience. His career in Italy was over. Whilst he was injured, La Repubblka canvassed opinion from assorted players and critics concerning his return. They were not kind. For Paolo Rossi, 'he came to Italy on holiday'. His only legacy would be 'bottles of beer and bruises'. Off the pitch, there had been problems from the very beginning. Following in the footsteps of Joe Baker and others, Gazza indulged in the traditional activities of the English player in Italy - missing training sessions and beating up annoying photographers. He became so frustrated with his bad press that he simply refused to give interviews -for four months - an eternity in Italy with its huge sports press. It was during this 'press silence' that Gazza emitted his famous burp. He also — according to his 'autobiography' — purchased nine Harley-Davidson motorbikes.  Lazio were on the up at the time, on their way to becoming one of the biggest clubs in Europe, albeit for a brief period. Gazza was the first big-money buy of a big-money era at Lazio. The man behind the boom was Sergio Cragnotti, packaging and foodstuffs multimillionaire and ambitious president. During his topsy-turvy years at Lazio, the club would win a league championship, the Italian Cup and a Cup-Winners cup. They would later come close to bankruptcy as Cragnotti's own company crashed, leading to the arrest of most of his family. Given his outlay, at first Cragnotti wanted Gazza to play. Manager Dino Zoff was less convinced. After his first game, Zoff complained that he had 'had to get him onto the pitch . .. lots of people were waiting to see him'. This kind of pressure was put on Zoff throughout Gazza's time at the club. It is now much easier to understand the behaviour of Gascoigne in Rome. Quite simply, he was an alcoholic masquerading as a professional athlete. This fact alone explains the ups and downs in his performances, and in his weight (five kilos overweight - 84 kilos in total - at the start of the 1993 season; a mere 72 kilos on his return in 1995 - his assistant Jane Nottage wrote at the time that he suffered from bulimia). His frequent mood changes were also expressed in a series of absurd changes to his look. Let's start with the hair. In August 1993 Gazza paid a hairdresser £275 to have his hair extended by 45 centimetres. The whole thing took six hours to complete. Gazza was not pleased with the result: ll wanted to look like Mick Hucknall and now I seem like my mum in the 1940s'. For Hamilton, 'the effect was like Benny Hill in drag'. After his broken leg, Gazza came back with a completely shaven head. When he arrived in Glasgow he had dipped into the peroxide. It is pop-psychology, but inside, the man was in deep pain, and nobody was there to help him. Only one journalist - Antonio Dipollina -understood the frequent cries for help, and wrote of the 'sixteen empty rooms' in Gazza's oft-robbed villa. And then there were the moments of hysteria, often in training (where nothing escapes the eagle eyes of Italy's reporters). In March 1994 Gazza walked out of a training session and was then seen to 'shout and cry1 in the car park. Gazza was big news in Italy and even the quality, serious, non-sports press were interested in his every move. His burp made the front page of The Sun back in the UK. Gazza's body could not stand the strain it was under. He picked up numerous minor injuries during his time in Rome, driving the Lazio staff to distraction. The press were merciless in their examination of the ups and downs of Gascoigne's relationship with Sheryl, and of his friendship with Jimmy Gardner - 'Five bellies', or cinquepance in the Italian translation - who got a job in a bar in Rome. They rejoiced in winding him up, and then reacted like spoilt children when he wouldn't speak to them. Like Maradona, he cracked, but unlike Maradona he didn't do enough on the field to merit forgiveness. Given what we now know about Gazza's life, it is something of a miracle that he ever took the field at all. When Gazza finally left, for Rangers, in 1995, few shed any tears. Italian journalist Gianni Mura was lapidary. 'Perhaps Paul Gascoigne has finally gone back home. He has been one of the worst buys since the war. We anxiously await the usual epilogue where he will criticize everyone and everything.' For many, Gazza deserved to be on the front of that bidoni video. Apart from the Lazio fans, it was clear that many Italians had problems with the English in general, and especially with Gascoigne. Ian Hamilton argues that the roots of the antipathy lie in the 1960s, when a series of British players failed in Italy - taking refuge in drink, indiscipline and criticism of their adopted country. Some of this is certainly true. I would, however, also refer to two other moments. One was Heysel. Gazza's infantile boorishness fitted perfectly with the stereotype of the drunken and dangerous hooligan. He was not just mad, but potentially bad. A second moment was fascism. Mussolini actively promoted anti-English propaganda, calling the British 'the people of the five dinners'. Gazza looked as if he was part of a 'people of five dinners' - and his best friend had five bellies. This propaganda left its mark, as did the Allied bombing campaign that struck defenceless Italian cities in 1943-1944. Gazza was not funny for the Italians. He reminded them of tragedies - old and new.

Reti: 58' Gregucci,80' Padovano.
Lazio: Fiori V, Luzardi, Favalli, Bacci, Gregucci. Graverò, Fuser, Doli, Riedle (70' Stroppa), Gascoigne (46' Sclosa), Signori; (12° Di Sarno, 15° Corino, 16° Madonna) -Ali: Zoff.
Genoa: Tacconi, Torrente. Branco, Ruotolo, Panucci II (66' Onorati), Signorini, Van't Schip (86' Collovati), Bortolazzi, Padovano, lorio. Fortunato A.; (12° Spagnaio, 15° Bianchi Andrea, 16° Ferroni II) - AH.: Giorgi. Arbitro: Trentalange (Torino).

Codec H264, Mkv
Bitrate 1200
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Full Game

First Half

Second Half

Thanks to Guillaume
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  1. Please Some more italy Serie A Golden Age 1992-1993,1993-1994,1994-1995 match!!! thank you

    look for Serie A 1993-1994 classic match Sampdoria 3:2 Milan Ac. thank you

  2. Terrific up as always!

    At Cragnotti's daughter does have big tits. Not quite as big of tits that Gazzahas now and days, but close...

  3. Somebody has a picture of that Cragnotti's wonder anyway?

  4. oooopppppssss this is not a wonder.......

  5. pleas reupload this video