Sometimes called the Friendly Derby, the Merseyside Derby between Liverpool and Everton is the longest-running…
Getting to Know the Lazio-Roma Derby della Capitale
One of the fiercest derbies in Italian football, the Derby della Capitale, or Capital Derby, between Lazio and Roma is widely considered one of the best intra-city derbies in Europe.
First, we’ll start with a very brief history of each club, both based in the capital city of Rome.
SS Lazio, or simply Lazio, was founded in 1900 and has spent the majority of their history in the top flight of Italian football. Their first major success was winning a Coppa Italia in 1958. They wouldn’t secure another major trophy until 1974, when they won Serie A for the first time in the club’s history.
Lazio would go through a bit of a lull during the remainder of the 70s, 80s, and even into the early 90s. However, this changed in the late 90s and early 2000s when Lazio began the most successful period in the clubs history.
Starting with the 1997-98 season, Lazio won the Coppa Italia, which they would repeat in 2004. The next season they won the Supercoppa Italiana, which is a game played between the winner of Serie A and the Coppa Italia. They won the Supercoppa again in 2000. In 1999 Lazio won the UEFA Cup Winner’s Cup (basically today’s Europa League), as well as the UEFA Super Cup. The next season they won Serie A for only the second time in club history.
Following this extremely successful period in Lazio’s history, the club went through some financial troubles in the mid-2000s and was forced to sell the majority of its top-performing players. Following this difficult time, the club came back to win another 3 Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana titles, with the latest coming in 2019.
AS Roma, or simply Roma, were founded in 1927 as the result of the merger of three clubs located in Rome. Similar to their Roman neighbors Lazio, the club has spent the majority of its history in the top flight of Italian football, outside of the 1951-52 season, where they played in the second division.
Roma really hit their stride in the 80s when they won Serie A in 1983, as well as four Coppa Italia’s in 1980, 1981, 1984, and 1986. They also finished as runners-up in the European Cup (now the Champions League) in 1984.
Ultras Members Can Read Our Full Roma Profile
Roma’s success continued in the 2000s when they won Serie A and Supercoppa Italiana in 2oo1. They won the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana in 2007 and repeated with another Coppa Italia win in 2008.
Recently Roma has been making some ripples in European competitions. Led by coach José Mourinho, they won the first-ever Europa Conference League in 2022. The following year they made the final of the Europa League before falling to Spain’s Sevilla FC.
Origins of the Derby della Capitale
The first match between these two clubs came two years after Roma was founded in 1927. Roma was formed as a result of a three-club merger encouraged by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini to create a club in Rome to compete with the superior northern clubs. Lazio were the only Roman club to resist this merger, immediately creating a rivalry between these two clubs.
An interesting turn in this rivalry took place in 1953, when both clubs moved into the Estadio Olimpico in Rome, which they have shared ever since — Lazio in the northern end (Curva Nord) and Roma in the southern (Curva Sud).
Originally, the clubs were somewhat associated with class society in Rome, and also with politics. Lazio was perceived as a more upper-class fanbase with right-wing politics, Roma more working class and leaning left. These associations have faded over the years, but it wasn’t that long ago that Lazio’s ultras might have been seen using swastikas.
Over the years the rivalry began to have a strong negative connotation due to the violence that was associated with these games. The first serious incident of violence came in 1979 when a Lazio fan was killed by a flare fired by a Roma fan. In 2004 a very serious riot took place, forcing the game to be abandoned after just 4 minutes. Violence between fans and police would continue after the match was called off, resulting in hundreds of injuries.
Take a look at Copa 90’s video on the reputation of the Derby della Capitale, which they call “Football’s Most Dangerous Derby.”
Derby della Capitale Coppa Italia Final
In 2013, these two clubs played an installment of the Derby della Capitale with arguably the highest stakes ever. The two reached the final of the 2013 Coppa Italia. Since 2003 nearly every final of the Coppa Italia was played at the Estadio Olimpico, so for this final, it was a home game for both clubs. Lazio ended up winning the match 1-0 and the two have not met in a final in any competition since then.
Check the atmosphere in this video! (Also our American readers take note that Michael Bradley played for Roma in this game. He was with the club for four seasons.
Overall State of the Derby della Capitale
As of the start of January 2024, Lazio and Roma have played 182 times since 1929, with Lazio winning 51 to Roma’s 67, with 64 draws.
The derby continues to be a hotly contested affair for supporters and clubs alike, and with both teams in Serie A, you can expect this matchup to occur at least twice a year for years to come.
Roma vs Lazio Tickets
Groundhopper Guides is a registered ticket agent for both Lazio and Roma, so whenever they play, we can offer tickets. The next Derby della Capitale is currently scheduled for the weekend of April 7, 2024.