Lazio, '99 Cup Winners' Cup: United Europe of Bobo Vieri
Anatomy of one of the most nostalgic binomials ever.
Today Europe is experiencing cultural fragmentation. We can say with certainty that the sense of unity and participation of the peoples who inhabit the Old Continent among themselves and towards others is fading compared to twenty years ago. The Dublin Treaty, Games Without Borders, the collapse of the German Wall, the utopia of the Euro. All for one, one for all. A united Europe, in fact and in fact.
With this in mind, football fades away from the model of society in which it lives. Whether it is positive or not, at a footballing level this cultural-elitist occlusion is repeated in the mechanisms of admission of clubs to Uefa competitions, effectively marking a breaking point with before .
There was a time, just up to about twenty years ago, when being a European footballer was something deeply felt. The European dream beat strongly in the hearts of the fans and catapulted historic clubs, creatures like Mallorca , Lausanne , Werder Bremen , Rapid Vienna , Heart of Midlothian , today icily defined as mid-range , in the nostalgic competition par excellence: the at the Cup Winners' Cup .
The Cup Winners' Cup: a fairer Europe
The Champions Cup welcomed the top of the class of each national championship - when the Champions League great-granddaughter enlists up to fourth and some first of dubious level. It was therefore the most coveted tournament.
On the other hand, an exciting rule guaranteed the entrance ticket to the winners of the national cups for the Cup Winners' Cup. The ticket to Europe was thus more democratic. Therefore, the idea of a continental tournament as an aspiration for each club made sense, ensuring balanced groups and spectacular matches, giving prestige - and meaning - to the national cups that are mistreated today.
The Cup Winners' Cup reflected meritocracy and the desire to be there.
Lazio, Cup Winners' Cup in Euro-Vieri format
Lazio assembled by Cragnotti and led by Sven-Göran Eriksson on the Birmingham lawn goes down like this: Marchegiani, Nesta, Mihajlovic, Pancaro, Favalli, Stankovic, Almeyda, Mancini, Nedved, Salas … Vieri .
Waiting for them for what is The Match there is no Chelsea in charge. Londoners were kicked out of the Balearic gang.
Majorca that season at the helm has an Argentine with an iron temperament. He makes the group his main strength, together with the way of training which instead provides a lot of aerobics. This will cause several headaches years later for Ronaldo, the Phenomenon . Héctor Cúper knows instead that the Spanish team has no real Phenomenon, but a cohesive changing room that loads head down.
But there is no story. Lazio immediately took the lead with their striker: Christian Vieri bagged them with his head. Only four minutes passed and Dani leveled the score for Mallorca. But Lazio is full of champions and it will be Pavel Nedved to push it into the net for the final 2-1, even scoring the last goal of the Cup Winners' Cup.
Vieri and Nedved , the two most significant men together with captain Alessandro Nesta , sign the goals that lead Lazio to victory in the last edition of the Thursday Cup.
The exultation of Vieri remains overwhelmed on leaving Roa and forced to continue with his head bandaged for a wound in his right eyebrow.
There remains the image of that 32, center-forward flagship of a nostalgic team.
And also the impression of having lost that pleasant sense of cohesion.
Lazio - Cup Winners' Cup… United Europe of Bobo Vieri.