The fallout of Lazio’s 3-1 victory over Milan on Saturday was unsurprisingly dominated by more talk of the Rossoneri’s shocking demise, although Philippe Mexes’ did his best to ensure this wasn’t the case. What’s more unsettling, perhaps, is how fallen giants remain the main topic of discussion in Italian football.
Take a look at other top flights across Europe, and you’ll see the media dedicating column inches to new teams entering the fore, while Italy can’t seem to break free from traditional hegemony. Alas, we should be celebrating Lazio’s efforts to shake things up, ironically led by a rather un-Italian Marco Parolo, who achieved an .
The Aquile made a statement of intent at the weekend. Milan had lost ‘just’ five times in Serie A before their trip to the Olimpico, once less than their hosts, but this would arguably be the Diavolo’s first defeat to a direct European qualification bbin注册自动送白菜rival, and the manner of their capitulation in the second half was for all to see.
Despite Jeremy Menez’s early goal, Lazio wasted no time in commanding control of the encounter, and they finally broke even shortly after the restart when Parolo made a lung-bursting dash into thehg外围 box and slammed home Miroslav Klose’s rasping cross on the volley.
Such finesse is not normally associated with the 30-year-old’s industrious game, but his final goal of the afternoon was the icing on the cake. Embarking on another late run into the box, Parolo showed both patience and composure to ready himself for Danilo Cataldi’s low cross and rifle it past Diego Lopez.
The midfielder’s story is one which should inspire all fledging young footballers. Not making his professional debut until 19 for then-Serie C1 Como, having dabbled in and out of youth teams, Parolo capped his maiden appearance with an own goal. Nonetheless, it was to be the start of a rapid rise to prominag在线棋牌ence.
Further moves to esteemed third-tier sides Foligno, Pistoiese and – back then – Verona resulted in Cesena, coached by former mentor Pierpaolo Bisoli, snapping up the athletic performer, and his all-action displays heavily contributed to the Seahorses’ promotion and consolidation in Serie A at their first attempt.
International recognition with the Azzurri followed – most notably featuring at the 2014 World Cup – just as his 2012 move saw him form the spine of Roberto Donadoni’s Parma, along with Antonio Mirante, Gabriel Paletta and Antonio Cassano. Now at Lazio, the Ducali have crucially lacked Parolo’s legs this season.
Capable of playing anywhere in the middle of the park, Parolo’s intensive playing style has earned him comparisons with idol Steven Gerrard, but on the strength of his performance against Milan, he may be more akin to the Liverpool star’s English compatriot Frank Lampard, hence Chelsea’s reported interest in 2011.
That’s not to say that Parolo is bereft of technical quality, as seen in his ability to use both feet and spread the ball intuitively, but it’s his drive and determination which Lazio need more in their pursuit of the Champions League. Other than that, there aren’t many better ways to celebrate turning 30.