After reaching the Coppa Italia final and winning against Sampdoria last week, Lazio will face Atalanta at Stadio Olimpico on Sunday, with the aim to get the three points for giving their fans hopes of a European spot.
The Biancocelesti remain one of Italy’s most supported sides and have an international fan base around the world, especially in England which hosts the Lazio London group.
“Lazio London is not an official club but a group of Lazio supporters with the aim to unite Biancocelesti fans in the UK’s capital,” said founder Massimiliano Ciccone.
“The idea was born once I’ve moved to London in 2012. At the beginning, it was not easy to find a place as the pubs always gave priority to English matches.
“However, after two months of research, with the help of a friend of mine, Ivo Furano, we found a place which hosted us. After that, I created the Facebook page and the website. Consequently, the community of supporters started growing up.”
The Lazio London fan group have changed locations around the City and they are currently based at the Hoop & Toy pub in South Kensington where they watch Lazio games in their private room.
“We changed our venue more than once and now we are based in a pub next to South Kensington station. At the moment, we are more than 200 members but not all of us live in London.
“Indeed, for the big matches, like the Derby della Capitale, we reach around 70 people and sometimes we are forced to place a limited number as for pub’s security purposes,” Massimiliano continued.
“Our membership is just a small fee with the aim to contribute to group’s expenses. Plus, we offer the opportunity to buy our merchandise at discounted prices.
“We also built a close relationship with the West Ham fan club, where sometimes they come to visit us or viceversa, and then we watch the game together.”
The fans are also close friends that organise activities together, like football tournaments and sometimes going to attend European away games.
“The group has become a real benchmark with the aim to create new relationships and feeling home as well. Indeed, we are happy to share the news that two of our members, who met thanks to or group, got married.
“We also had the pleasure to host Giuseppe “Pino” Wilson’ son, who came visit us for the second leg of Coppa Italia semifinal against Milan. We hope to also host Pino soon.”
The group is amongst the ones who play the London Supporters League tournament over the year and last week, they won the F3K Cup – their “Coppa Italia” – against the Juventus Club London Bianconera.
“The idea was born one day speaking with the AS Roma UK Club London’s founder and after a friendly match between our two teams,” Massimiliano said.
“As the positive experience, we decided to build up the tournament including not only Italian fan clubs but also the international ones, like Celtic, Aston Villa, Panathinaikos and Lyon.
“It is a beautiful and fun tournament as the supporter goes into the pitch to represent the team who loves.”
Simone Inzaghi’s team will face Atalanta in the next Serie A round and the supporters hope that by the end of the season the Biancocelesti will reach a European place.
“I believe the balance of the season is positive overall. However, losing with Spal, Sassuolo and Chievo didn’t help.
“We are destined to suffer until the end but on the other hand, we make it difficult with our own hands,” Massimiliano concluded.