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Remembering Lazio’s Golden Generation of forwards under Sven-Goran Eriksson

Between 1997 - 2001 the Swedish manager had some lethal weapons at his disposal

Cast your minds back and prepare to have you nostalgia bone interfered with.

Before he somehow managed to avoid reaching an international semi-final with the most talented England team of all time, Sven-Goran Eriksson was the mastermind behind a trophy-hoarding Lazio side.

Between 1997 – 2001 the Swedish gaffer won eight trophies and he did so with some truly gifted goalscorers.

Before he thought it was a good idea to play Scholes on the left

EPA
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Before he thought it was a good idea to play Scholes on the left

Forget Alessandro Nesta, Pavel Nedved and all them for now, we’ve only got eyes for the rock star forwards…

The Hitman

Passionate celebrations were his speciality

Reuters
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Passionate celebrations were his speciality

Before Alexis Sanchez, young Chileans pretended to be Marcelo Salas.

He was Sven’s frontline goalscorer in 1999/2000 when Lazio won the double.

Salas measured in several inches below 6ft but his heading was tremendous and he scored a lot of headers for a little man.

The Brain

Feet as slick as olive oil

AP:Associated Press
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Feet as slick as olive oil

Roberto Mancini did his goalscoring for Sampdoria.

At Lazio, he was the cultured No10 with a almost supernatural ability to see things happen before they did.

He strolled in between the lines, scooping throughballs here and there without breaking a sweat.

His mind was on management already and Sven said of him: “He was the coach, he was the kit man, he was the bus driver, everything.”

The Juggernaut

Not bad for someone that would have preferred to play cricket

Reuters
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Not bad for someone that would have preferred to play cricket

Christian Vieri was the hottest property on the planet in the late 90s and early 00s.

He hopped from club to club for huge amounts of money (for the time) and was a nightmare to defend against, even for the Italians.

He averaged a goal every other game for Lazio (14 in 28) before Inter paid a world record £32million for him and paired him with Ronaldo.

Still, it was fun while it lasted.

The Record-Breaker

A what a magnificent human being

AP:Associated Press
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A what a magnificent human being

Lazio then broke Vieri’s transfer record by signing Hernan Crespo from Parma.

The long-locked finisher racked up 28 goals in all competitions in his first season but it wasn’t enough to retain the title.

Even with the likes of Ronaldo, Vieri and Andriy Shevchenko for company, Crespo could claim to be the deadliest shot in Serie A at the time.


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The unlucky one

Remember him, Boro fans?

EPA
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Remember him, Boro fans?

Alen Boksic served Lazio diligently over two spells, frequently playing second fiddle or playing the role of super-sub.

In 1998/99 he only played three games because of horrendous lucky with injury but returned to steer the club to the double a year later.

Criminally underrated.

The Younger Brother

Family affair

AP:Associated Press
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Family affair

Say the name Inzaghi and most will think Filippo but the Milan poacher’s younger brother wasn’t bad either.

Simone Inzaghi joined the gang in 1999 and was the side’s top scorer in all comps for the double-winning campaign.

He may not be the best player in his family but his trophy cabinet speaks for itself.

And the others…

Remember him, Boro fans?

AP:Associated Press
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Remember him, Boro fans?

Just because we’re grouping three into one doesn’t mean these three weren’t dripping with class.

Claudio Lopez, Pierluigi Casiraghi and Fabrizio ‘White Feather’ Ravanelli were all understudies to Salas, Crespo and co but chipped in with their fair share when given a chance.

Since this golden crop of goalscorers made way the Serie A title has evaded Lazio but fans will always have the memories.

Quite the gang…

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