Thursday May 17 2018
The day Ronaldo cried

After 16 years, Lazio and Inter once again go head-to-head in a decisive final showdown and Richard Hall will be at the Stadio Olimpico.

May 5, 2002, a day that will live in infamy. Ronaldo cried on the Inter bench, Antonio Conte ranted and rejoiced, Marco Materazzi berated the Lazio players, Calcio again had an iconic moment. Inter had led by five points with six games to go that year, yet Juventus would take the Scudetto. Alessandro Del Piero said after “The FifthOfMay is now one word, its historic.” Javier Zanetti simply confessed “even I don’t know what happened that day.”

Hector Cuper was confident that season. Massimo Moratti had spent consistently (albeit not always wisely) since his arrival and the Coach had reason to feel upbeat. Ronaldo and Christian Vieri led the line and with players like Zanetti, Francesco Toldo, Alvaro Recoba and a free scoring Mohamed Kallon, things could have been worse. They had also started the season well, a feat not matched by fierce rivals Juventus, who in turn had just sold Zinedine Zidane to Real Madrid. The Bianconeri had bought Gigi Buffon, but he was young, and even with Lilian Thuram and Pavel Nedved arriving, they were a team in transition and had dropped points in six games between September and November.

It should not be forgotten that Roma were also in the mix this year, with the unpredictable Antonio Cassano helping to swell Fabio Capello’s already ample ranks. They were reigning Champions and Gabriel Batistuta’s form had meant that they had only been defeated twice all campaign by the time May fell upon them. This Giallorossi threat was amplified when, with only a few games to play, they took Lazio to pieces in the Derby Della Capitale to win 5-1, although they would lose to Inter soon after. The Nerazzurri would beat Fiorentina after this, just, while Juventus lost to Parma and then lost to Lazio, falling six points off the pace.

At times it seemed as if nobody wanted to win the Scudetto, as Inter were beaten at San Siro by Atalanta, a draw against a high-flying Chievo also pegged them back, whilst Roma beat Vicenza with a goal that should not have stood. Juventus then, as expected, kicked into gear and won four straight games, meaning that in the final round of fixtures, Inter lead with 69 points, Juventus were on 68 and Roma third on 67 points. All three title contenders had away fixtures in the final round: Inter at Lazio, Juventus in Udine and Roma faced Torino.

The final day offered drama, tension and most of all it promised nerves. Any of the three could take the Scudetto with 45 minutes remaining. Admittedly, Juventus had made short work of the Zebrette with David Trezeguet and Alessandro De Piero netting, whilst Roma were drawing a blank in Turin. Inter had been in the lead twice, but Lazio had pulled it back to 2-2. It was concerning for the Nerazzurri, but surely they had the momentum to finish the job?

Fast forward to the 90th minute. Udinese 0-2 Juventus, the Bianconeri had seen the game out. Torino 0-1, Cassano had done the job for the Giallorossi, and what a beautiful goal it was. Then, as the Juventus fans looked to hear news from Rome, it came. Lazio 4-2 Inter.

The men from Milan had collapsed, Lazio had helped The Old Lady win the Scudetto and the images started to filter through of the devastation the Nerazzurri were suffering. Ronaldo was in tears, Moratti looked like he had been shot and Materazzi was seen shouting at the Aquile players: “I helped you win a title” in reference to his time at Perugia. Antonio Conte was in ecstasy and also claimed revenge for the same game the season before.

Inter had been declining since April and Juventus as Gazzetta Dello Sport wrote “had sprinted at the right time”, but these cold hard facts did not make it easier to understand.

Now we go into another final round of the season, Lazio host Inter at the Stadio Olimpico and there is a great deal at stake. Not a Scudetto, granted, but qualification for the Champions League. It’s different this time, as in 2002 Lazio didn’t have anything to play for but pride. A little like Sassuolo last week at San Siro, when throwing a giant spanner in the works.

No, this is a duel and both sides have everything on the table. At the end of the 90 minutes, either Lazio or Inter will have booked their ticket to the Champions League and thus made the season a success. I can’t wait to see what happens.

Have your say...
ronaldo career loser

2nd all time scorer in the world cup 2 world cup medals top scorer in 2002 world scoring 2 in the final against germany la liga winner twice uefa cup winners cup winner uefa cup winner 352 goals in 518 games all with a busted knee yes such a loser.

personally at the time i preferred zidane however ronaldo was the stand out striker of his generation no one can close to him he is probably brazil best ever striker.
on the 18th May, 2018 at 9:53am
Good one INTERELLO. Cherry pick your examples. Juve got good and bad decisions. The players focus on winning instead of sooking. Even with referee help Juve did their best to lose against Inter but in the end it was Inter that bottled it.
on the 18th May, 2018 at 8:51am
Ronaldo was a career loser just like Totti.
on the 17th May, 2018 at 10:30pm
I agree with Anon.

If it wasn't for shameless and corrupt refereeing against Lazio (like VAR not being used when a Juventus player literally flew into a Lazio player in the box for what looked like a certain penalty!) Lazio would be well clear of Inter.

Whoever wins or loses on the weekend, I just hope it is impartial and fair refereeing. That is all we - the majority of fans in Serie A - ask for.
on the 17th May, 2018 at 10:14pm
@ Hypocrisy so you at least know Inter made phone calls to refs. Next step is to recognise that it is the same thing as all the others got punished for. Just because they weren't good at it or got caught after statute of limitations or hypocritically pointed the finger at others will covering up their equally punishable behavior doesn't make it any different.
on the 17th May, 2018 at 4:05pm
I hope Rocchi is still on Juve pay roll. Inter going to Europa. Last minute pen to Lazio to make it 1-1, that would be a sweet way to cap off the season.
on the 17th May, 2018 at 3:54pm
"They may have made phone calls but it was Rubentus phone calls that were listened to."
loooooooooooool. This hypocrisy guy is probably a lawyer on top of being a Celtics fan. But in reality only an Interista can admit to the Whole Calciopoli being nothing but a fiasco, and still keep a straight face while talking about Juve and refs.
on the 17th May, 2018 at 3:29pm
Inter r back to what they were,20 to 30 points less than juven.last time facchetti went to hell on behalf of inter and now morrati.
on the 17th May, 2018 at 1:54pm
Got the luagh at the Inter fans once again ignoring the fact that they too would have been punished in the Calciopoli case if it hadn't been for the statute of limitations and fact they controlled the evidence. Also, Lazio would have been out of sight if the refs hadn't fsvoured Inter (e.g. v Roma) or punished them on numerous ocassions.
on the 17th May, 2018 at 1:13pm
" even moggi has been cleared".

Wait for it....

Ha ha ha ha ha ha
Ha ha ha ha ha
ha ha ha ha ha...LOL

Imagine believing that for real. The dude is serving a lifetime ban from football and giving a 2 year jail sentence he only avoided cause hes too old.
on the 17th May, 2018 at 1:13pm
@anon, u r right. There is a very big incentive to get 1 or both Milan teams back in the CL. But lazio and Roma have actually performed very well and earned what they have so far, as do napoli, they have really earned second place and if it were not for a cool mentality at juve maybe a couple of years ago napoli would have won???
on the 17th May, 2018 at 1:01pm
Guys how old you are honestly?juve is cheating since the 60's if you know the history of calcio you should remember how many titles were given to them by the referees..if you dont belelive me check the videos from those ages and you will see how corrupt was the whole system which was lead by Fiat and the rube maffia. Moggi was adon I would not believe any word he is saying...and yeah Inter was cheating without winning any title sibetween 89 and 2007 (moggi era) come on are you kidding ha?
on the 17th May, 2018 at 12:24pm
when you consider lazio have the likes of peruzzi stam nesta favalli simeone poborsky stankovic and s inzaghi starting you can see the advantage lazio had over inter who decided ronaldo wasn't needed in the starting lineup.

It is completely incomparable to today teams. If immobile misses the game that is massive they is no real alternative to him. de vrij skipping the game is just wrong he is still a lazio player they pay his wages he owes him his best performance.
on the 17th May, 2018 at 11:52am
If it wasn't for all the bad VAR calls against Lazio and the favourable calls for Inter like the one against Roma ( why no penalty), Inter would've been out of the running already. Refs really favoured the Milan teams over the capital teams.
on the 17th May, 2018 at 11:36am
Inter were the only side to get away with cheating and since they are the ones still squawking about others cheating a decade later then they are the hypocrites. I hope Inter draw to an outrageous refereeing blunder just to hear the same old moaning and cause Lazio have been harder done by the referees than Inter.
on the 17th May, 2018 at 11:26am
@hypo.. even moggi has been cleared and placed at the same level that inter would have been found, the only thing protecting inter from the same treatment is statute of limitations, how convenient that the material on inter only got found just too late to do anything about it, I think we can all agree that the decline of serie a is inters fault, cos in 2006 we won the WC and had a big presence in europe! Cheers inter!!!
on the 17th May, 2018 at 10:36am
@ Ricsag Demoted for what? for being cheated against? They may have made phone calls but it was Rubentus phone calls that were listened to. Rubentus must have no international calling on their phones. LOL.
on the 17th May, 2018 at 9:01am
@inter chick, at last a sensible inter fan!!! When inter do win it on merit that will be great, even though I am a juve fan, and the reason will be that serie a is more competitive! Although I think if Roma don't sell too much they might be the guys, napoli will fade over the next few seasons, I also think Milan will be back towards the top before inter, sorry
on the 17th May, 2018 at 8:47am
I think all of the events before 2006 should be revisited, all of the titles that awarded to Juve should be considered a blow for Italian football, we now know that those tears of Ronaldo were about injustice not about weakness or bad luck.
on the 17th May, 2018 at 8:05am
Inter were a very decent side back then but Moratti was a terrible looser.
He spent millions and couldn't take it so conspired his nasty shameful plan with the aid of his sponsors and associates Calciopoli was born.
In the end he was exposed and now Inter move on with a positive leadership, to one day win the league on merit and it will be a proper celebration.
on the 17th May, 2018 at 7:20am
@Ron. U r so right, they couldn't win on the pitch so looked to their buddies on the board of telecom Italia! Look here napoli, Roma, lazio, inter and new Milan fans, there is a very long history of juve knowing how to get the job done! It is all about the ethics and pride of the club, and think about your comments because inter have now been confirmed of exactly the same activity that juve got demoted for?!?!?!?!? It's just that inter recordings were somehow misplaced????
on the 17th May, 2018 at 6:47am
How many points did referees give Rubenyus, and take from their rivals that season too? BTW if you look at the Lazio team that day they had some top players, and were just 2 years after winning the championship.
on the 17th May, 2018 at 6:13am
What a day it was! It was bittersweet for Juve fans though, since Moratti probably started planning for Calciopoli.
on the 17th May, 2018 at 12:41am

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