Lazio 73/74: “Lazio pistols”
Do you know the story of Lazio of pistols? It's a story that almost fits more into a script than Godfather in the world of football. We want to talk to a group of players, with vices not advisable, a group of players split into two groups but no differences no matter who, both sides who were even armed. We talk about a team divided by hatred but when game day arrived worked as one.
Definitely, we want to talk about Lazio from the already distant 1974, the guns, the “The Wild Bunch“. The team that made the Roman team champion for the first time in its history. To do this we will move to Rome in the mid 70's.
Lazio pistols, the wild group that won the Scudetto 73-74
Ran the season 1973/74, when the Lazio, the other team of Roma, a series of characters and too different ideologies gathered. In an era that was not good for anyone, this little group of players fit the stereotype of football players we have today.
were really almost more a group of gang members footballers. The costumes of that team lived split into two factions, separated by the clear leaders. On one side was Giorgio Chinaglia closet striker known as Long John. For the other Gigi Martini, left side.
Up to this point, we might think that a divided dressing can occur when different egos come together if it were not because this thing transcended more, much more. to get started, that group of players was made up of players with a let's say complicated life, off the pitch.
Such was the thing, in the locker room the players apart from their neceseres carried his own gun that beat a few shots after workouts or concentrations. Seeing this picture, the easiest thing seemed that they had killed each other but instead they won the Scudetto de 1974.
And it is that during training were able to carve wax right and left, partidillos playing with the knife between his teeth just for the honor of being better than the other, sought the conflict to the minimum mamporros or bundling to take guns each carrying. When the party reached weekend, all were one.
If one of the other group received a missing, the rival group ajusticiaban the opposing team and vice versa, They were a fantastic team on the lawn, completely changed. It was a kind of code of honor and hatred difficult to understand.
Giorgio Chinaglia, one of the leaders Lazio guns
Giorgio Chinaglia was known as Long John and in his later passage through the New York Cosmos, It marked a time after leaving Lazio. There he played with players of the stature of Pelé or Beckenbauer.
It was a burly center forward, gigantón, with amazing ease of auction, good ball handling and quality despite its pint wardrobe. He was international for Italy and went to World 1974. But the good thing was Giorgio.
He liked to carry a Magnum 44 like the Harry” the dirty” among their own stuff daily training. It became processed in the last years of his life by contacts with various European mafias, the Italian Camorra, for fraud and extortion. New York in the late 70's and early 80's expanded these links. He died 1 April 2012.
The leader of the other faction in the dressing room, Gigi Martini, who would later become a politician of a well-known party in Italy. At that time when commanded half wardrobe Lazio, He liked to shoot at streetlights during rallies and had them stiff with friend and his clan Chinaglia.
Thomas Maestrelli, the man who worked the miracle
They say the key figure for not killed in the locker or during concentration and they finished playing on the field as an authentic equipment, was the figure of Don Thomas Maestrelli, the coach of that “The wild Bunch“.
Don Thomas, he was a veteran of the tracksuit, that if today to raise his head from his tomb ( died in 1976) It would laugh at these coaches today, of those who say they know how to manage changing. Theirs was more than management, his was to teach in the schools of psychology as a group is managed and complicated egos here, even dangerous.
The Italian coach as a godfather, was welcomed by the two factions. It was like the father of them all. With an impressive gift, I was able to get both leaders in the pocket. I had to convince his players more than once to let him all carried weapons in some other concentration so, prevent them from killing each other.
This strategist was able to create a compact block that gave glory afternoons to the fans of his team and avoided greater evils among a group of people who were almost gunmen, bullies, criminals and mobsters but what they did best was to play football.
The 'Wild Group’ a group marked by tragedy
The “The Wild Bunch” It would end with a tragedy as expected. Luciano Re Cecconi international player and liked in the two groups, He decided one day in January 1977 spend a joke he liked to do. And this cost him his life.
King Cecconi covered his face, hand burst into his pocket pretending to have a gun and told the jeweler, I was back : ” Hands up, this is a robbery”. jeweler, he did not recognize the player and was already sick of muggings, He shot with the speed of a Western gunslinger without contemplation footballer, known as “Angel Rubio”, who died hours later.
Days later joined the group to pay tribute to their fallen comrade. That was the last time, then each went on his way, although decomposition had already started with the death of Tomaselli in 1976 and the march of Chinaglia heading to new york.
The ” The Wild Bunch”, a band that made history on and off the pitch, a championship team.