Nedved – Lazio vs Mallorca – 1999

19 01 2011

You may well have come across Rocco Cammisola’s football writing at ITV Sport, In Bed With Maradona or maybe on his blog The Football Express. Oh and Rocco is also a Twitter legend so follow him @RCammisola .. this is his account of the last ever goal in the European Cup Winners’ Cup …


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I was a mere 12 years of age in May 1999, Wednesday 19th to be precise. It was May but there was no sign of any sunshine, no reason to go outside then. I sat with bated breath, waiting for the match to begin. The TV carefully tuned to BBC2 so that I wouldn’t miss a minute of the coverage. My younger brother entered asking to watch Cartoon Network instead, I said ‘No, this is Lazio!’ a scuffle ensued and he was despatched with a drop kick.

The game at Villa Park kicked off and the early exchanges went Lazio’s way, Christian ‘Bobo’ Vieri drew first blood for Lazio on 6 minutes, but it was cancelled out 4 minutes later by Dani. Mallorca were then able to control the play throughout the first half and into the second; Dani, Ibagaza, Stankovic and Lauren all showing great skill and vision on the ball.

The game ebbed and flowed, Lazio struggling to impose themselves until the final 20 minutes. The fans in attendance will have felt the impending prospect of extra time fast approaching; the tension rose significantly and the players started to become visibly fatigued.

Then in the 81st Minute, Marcelo Salas picked the ball up deep in the Mallorca half; the Chilean turned and shifted it to Vieri who was standing 25 yards out to the right hand side of goal. Vieri controlled the ball, poorly, and unleashed a hefty left footed strike. Was this is it? Could this seal victory? I was on my feet, my little eyes filled with hope and excitement… The shot hit the centre back and spooned up in the air, I sat down feeling disappointed and distinctly unsatisfied.

At that point time slowed down, Vieri had thrown his huge torso up into the air to challenge for the spooned shot, the hamburgers lost. But the ball dropped and on the edge of the area stood a waiting Czech. He watched the ball slowly drop – unobstructed by the mop-cum-mullet he would sport years later, he instead opted for the streamlined military crew cut.

If you blinked you’d have missed it, Nedved let go with a low slicing kick. Like a samurai looking to immobilise rather than kill, he swung his Katana and the ball departed through a gap in the defensive huddle. Roa dived in vain to his left; time had slowed down, the ball hadn’t. The keeper could only crane his neck to watch it fly past and into the bottom right hand corner. Lazio won their only European honour that night.

The following day I hurried to school, “did you see it? What a goal!” No one had seen it, no one cared… Don’t worry Pavel, I cared.

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2 responses

19 01 2011
Rob Marrs

Great goal from a great player – thanks for posting!

RCM

http://leftbackinthechangingroom.blogspot.com

19 01 2011
Nedved – Lazio vs Mallorca – 1999 « Scissors Kick

[…] “You may well have come across Rocco Cammisola’s football writing at ITV Sport, In Bed With Maradona or maybe on his blog The Football Express. Oh and Rocco is also a Twitter legend so follow him @RCammisola .. this is his account of the last ever goal in the European Cup Winners’ Cup” Ghost Goal […]

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