It was an emotional day for the Lazio ultras, as well as one of tension for the police to deal with the violence outbreak at the centre of Rome before the match
Thousands of hardcore Lazio supporters, known as the “ultras,” marched at the Lazio Sports complex to meet the Coppa Italia 2019 winner SS Lazio.
It was an emotional day for the Lazio ultras, as well as one of tension for the police to deal with the violence outbreak at the centre of Rome before the match.
After Lazio won their seventh title, they met their fans at their own practice ground.
Just to see the Lazio players with the Coppa Italia, there were more than a thousand fans gathered in 10C temperature.
They were all singing the team song in unison and cheering for their beloved team, Lazio.
They had flags, flyers and a lot of energy in such cold weather to celebrate winning the national cup at their home ground in the Lazio sports complex.
The complex was full of emotional Lazio fans, singing the theme song of Lazio in the midnight cold.
A Lazio fan from childhood, 31-year old Salvatore Di Costanzo, couldn't go to the Stadio Olimpico to watch the final as he lives around a hundred kilometers far up-hill in Roiate.
He drove 86kms to cheer Lazio, along with his Bangladeshi wife, Sithi Samia, and her childhood friend.
The Lazio players arrived at the sports complex at around 1am.
Comparing his feelings to “being at paradise” Salvatore said, "Before the match I felt so anxious. I was thinking about what will happen next. The final took place against Atlanta, who defeated Juventus, the defending champion who won the last four editions. Now I feel like I am in paradise.
“I wanted to go to celebrate with others."
The couple had to drive 168kms overall through up-hill and down-hill at midnight.
They returned home at around 4am in the morning.
"The first match I can remember I saw was when I was four years old, along with my uncle, at the Olympic stadium. From then, I am a fan. I was a child. I could remember the environment of the stadium - I could feel it inside - the excitement, people were singing, cheering. I saw a lot of happy people. In Italy football is like religion. People are more sensitive, they can fight and kill for football," added Salvatore.
There was tension regarding the final as to who will win, Lazio or Atalanta?
Before the final, clashes and violence took place between Lazio's hardcore ultras and police outside the stadium.
A police car was also burned, five Lazio fans were arrested while two police officers were left injured.
Explaining his craze for football, Salvatore said, "Lazio, the blue and white striped jersey - I got my first jersey at three months of age, from my grandparents. I was born and brought up in a family where my grandparents and mother are all hardcore Lazio supporters. So do I. Here, it goes by generation. People of Italy is football crazy.
"If they don’t win, I think I will not be able to live a normal life for a while. I would be very upset that I couldn’t go out of my home for a few days to be able to adjust with the pain of losing.”
Another passionate Lazio fan, Giulia Lasconi, who lives near the center of Rome, said she is a Lazio fan by birth.
"Supporting Lazio is in my blood as I believe I was born as a fan of Lazio. Just to celebrate the national cup with our team players at home ground, I directly came here from the stadium. It’s not even possible to express feelings with words," said Giulia.
During the Coppa Italia semi-final against AC Milan, Milan police chief Sergio Bracco issued a stadium ban to eight Lazio supporters for displaying a banner proclaiming "Honor to Benito Mussolini."
Police also issued a stadium ban to an Inter Milan fan found in possession of a baton.
The Lazio fans were also involved in controversy as they were claimed to be racist and guilty of anti-Semitic chanting during a Coppa Italia match.
However, the club condemns any racist or anti-Semitic chants.
They also attacked the media's "simplistic tendency" to blame all the club's fans for neo-fascist incidents, after a pro-Mussolini banner was displayed before repeated racist chants, according to a sport newspaper in Italy.
The Lazio fans also targeted police who clashed with them at Piazza della Liberta in the capital when celebrations to mark the club’s 119th anniversary turned violent.