Saturday Apr 10, 2021  
  06/02/2012: The Bite - "Say no to Candreva"
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What do we want Lazio to represent? It’s a question that arises time and time again, especially on this rollercoaster ride that is the Claudio Lotito management.
We question the identity and meaning of our club every day but the last time that we laziali as a whole, took such a close look at the symbol of our club was in 2010. Serie B beckoned and Piazza della Libertà was filled with angry and passionate Lazio fans demanding a response and, if not the end of Lotito’s time at the club, then at least a return of lazialità to the club.

Two years on, and lazialità is threatened again. The newest addition to the team, Antonio Candreva, is not a bad footballer, albeit not a superstar. It’s credible that he can do a decent job for the side and at least fill the void that the departed Giuseppe Sculli has left. Crucially though, he is romanista.

As anyone who understands the environment in which Roman football is played would know, his signing was only going to create controversy. Jeers and whistles rang around the Olimpico as Candreva entered the field to make his debut in a Lazio shirt. It was a debut that should never have happened. The polemics continued long past the final whistle but this debate goes beyond Antonio Candreva.

The signing of a man who has, for his entire life, including well into his professional career, supported Roma and therefore been against Lazio should be rejected in the defence of the values and ideals of our sporting club.

What our ideals and values exactly are is difficult to define. We are the team which brought football to Rome. We wear blue and white, the colours of Greece, home of the Olympic sporting tradition. The Olympic sporting tradition maintains that sport is not a business but a love and a passion. We resisted being merged into AS Roma in 1927 to preserve our colours, our symbol and our tradition.

A long and storied history, 112 years of it, cannot simply be thrown away or ignored. We discuss the formation to be used at the weekend. We debate transfer strategies, complain about the penalty we didn’t get or whether the coach should have made that substitution. What matters most to us though, is our respect for the past and passion for the shirt. Lazialità is an abstract concept but each of us has our own idea of what it means.

For Lazio to remain what it is - the first club of Rome, defender of the Olympic tradition, the side of pioneers like Sante Ancherani and Luigi Bigiarelli, mavericks like Tommaso Maestrelli and ultras like Di Canio - it is up to its fans, the popolo laziale, to defend its identity.

Football is professional now, true, and it has been for a long time. Not every man to pull on a Lazio shirt will be laziale, nor is this a realistic ambition. That does not mean that we, as fans of the side which brought football to Rome need allow football in the capital to degenerate into the money driven, soulless credos of even some of the world’s most famous football clubs.

The beauty of our city and our divide is that it is what it always has been, a rivalry between two sets of fans, each with their own beliefs, colours and symbols, their own pride and their own passion for the game and the city. It remains so because for 112 years we have maintained what we believe in and what we represent, without compromising on what it means to be la Lazio.

Signing a player like Antonio Candreva goes against this. Claudio Lotito and Igli Tare may not realise, or perhaps they do, that for Lazio and its fans, football is about more than just three points, a penalty decision or even titles won and lost. It is about those 112 years; the guys who pay good money and spend good time to travel to Bergamo or to Messina in freezing cold or searing heat to support the team and would do it again, even if we lost. Those guys have a right to be represented by men who share their beliefs and their passion.

Say no to Antonio Candreva. Not because Candreva himself is a significant person but because you want to defend the values and identity of SS Lazio.

(Christopher Testa)
Marco 2/10/2012 9:07:17 AM
You just missed the point of Olympic Grecce. Leave that hate aside already.
Boris Prole 2/16/2012 10:48:48 PM
I don't agree with this. We have more problems to think about than to discuss Candreva being a romanista or not. If we look back Mihajlovic en SG Ericcsson both represented AS Roma before they came to the prima squadra della capitale. Nobody is complaining about that because of the succes they brought us in the past. I believe that Candreva is a far better player than Sculli, he's much younger and definitely has more potential. He can play an important role in the midfield this year as Mauri is injured. What Lazio needs most of all at this moment is professional and quality players to finish the season as high as they can despite having such a small squad. Judge Candreva at the end of the season and not now.
Morts 2/16/2012 10:48:54 PM
Whats next? A fusion with Merda? Ranieri as head coach ? Totti as striker-coach? We need to focus on the true values on which the entire foundation of club is based! Do you think we can get Brocchi to break his leg during practice? Non mollare Mai - Morts - Sydney
Paul 2/16/2012 10:49:05 PM
So far I think Candreva has played quite well for us and I dont think it isnt a bad move. Fortunately and/or unfortunately there will always be players like this, its happened plenty of times previously, Baggio showas transferred from la Viola to Juve, he also played for both Milan and Inter. Leonardo coached Inter but was Sporting Director for Milan for a while plus a player. I dont think we need our players to be 500% Lazio fans like us, as long as they are professional and give us their 200% effort on the field, this is what matters. For me so far Candreva's performances has been sound and pretty good I might add. For me, being a Lazio fan for over 30years now, I have no problem a former Romanista playing for us.
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