The first derbies of the Roma managers who’d played in them before

Living the Derby Della Capitale as a player is one thing, doing it as a coach is another. Some people have done both.

Here are the five most recent men to have managed Roma against Lazio after also playing against them during their previous spell at the club – and how those first derbies on the touchline went.

Daniele De Rossi

Roma 1-0 Lazio, April 2024

A man who lives and breathes Roma, Daniele De Rossi had only played against the two Milan clubs more than the number of derbies he featured in during his career on the pitch.

Brought back to his beloved club as head coach in 2024, De Rossi did what predecessor Jose Mourinho had been unable to do in the last four attempts by guiding the Giallorossi to victory in the derby that April.

Defender Gianluca Mancini’s header sealed a 1-0 win for De Rossi in his first derby as a manager, outwitting counterpart Igor Tudor who was in the same scenario.

Coincidentally, another Mancini had also scored in the first derby De Rossi played in, when the Brazilian forward flicked in a goal in a 2-0 win in 2003.

Eusebio Di Francesco

Roma 2-1 Lazio, November 2017

A member of the most recent Roma side to win the Scudetto in 2001, Eusebio Di Francesco was chosen as the successor to Luciano Spalletti as head coach in 2017 after impressing in Sassuolo’s dugout.

Although, unlike De Rossi, he was not born in Rome, Di Francesco had first-hand experience of the importance of the derby.

Despite losing his first derby as a player, Di Francesco won his first derby as a coach. His side opened up a five-match winning run in Serie A by following up victories over Torino, Crotone, Bologna and Fiorentina with a 2-1 dispatching of their neighbours.

Diego Perotti and Radja Nainggolan were Roma’s goalscorers.

Vincenzo Montella

Roma 2-0 Lazio, March 2011

The only other member of the 2001 Scudetto squad to have managed Roma so far was Vincenzo Montella, who succeeded Claudio Ranieri (another former Roma player, but not one who ever played in a derby) towards the end of the 2010-11 season.

During Montella’s interim spell, the only derby he managed was a 2-0 win, sealed by a brace from his former attacking colleague, Francesco Totti.

Back in his own playing days, it had been Montella himself to score a brace in his first derby, a 4-1 win in 1999, setting him on his way to becoming the fourth highest scorer in Rome derbies.

Bruno Conti

Roma 0-0 Lazio, May 2005

One of the best ever players to emerge from the city of Rome, and thankfully on the red-and-yellow side, Bruno Conti is the most decorated player in Roma history.

Thanks to his status as a World Cup winner, he was allowed to steady the ship as Roma’s caretaker manager for the end of the turbulent 2004-05 season, despite not otherwise having the appropriate coaching qualifications.

During that timeframe, Conti oversaw a single derby, which ended as a goalless draw.

Things were essentially all square when he first encountered the derby as a player, too. In his breakout season in 1976-77, Roma lost the first derby 1-0 but won the second by the same scoreline, courtesy of Conti’s only ever derby goal.

Fabio Capello

Roma 4-1 Lazio, November 1999

When Fabio Capello joined Roma in 1967, Lazio were in Serie B. Hence, it wasn’t until the midfielder’s final season with Roma, 1969-70, that he got to play in a derby, winning 2-1 first time out and then scoring in a 1-1 draw.

When Capello returned as head coach in 1999, his first derby couldn’t have been more impactful. Thanks to braces by Marco Delvecchio and Montella, Roma went 4-0 up inside 31 minutes.

In the second half, there was a consolation for the opponents by former Roma player, Sinisa Mihajlovic. Frustratingly, Lazio went on to win the league, but Capello responded in style by inspiring Roma to the title in the season immediately after.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.