Rome soccer derby
The Derby della Capitale (English: Derby of the capital city), also known as Derby Capitolino and Derby del Cupolone, as well as The Rome Derby in English and Derby di Roma in Italian, is the football local derby in Rome, Italy, between Roma and Lazio. It is considered to be the fiercest intra-city derby in the country ahead of the other major local derbies, Derby della Madonnina (Milan derby) and Derby della Mole (Turin derby), and one of the greatest and hotly contested derbies in Europe.
Roma was founded in 1927 as a result of a merger between three teams: Roman, Alba-Audace and Fortitudo, initiated by Italo Foschi. It was the intention of Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini to create a unified Roman club to challenge the dominance of Northern clubs. Thanks to the influence of Fascist general, Giorgio Vaccaro, Lazio were the only major team from Rome to resist the merger, thus a kind of rivalry emerged from the very early years of the coexistence in the same city.
Lazio was founded in the neighbourhood of Prati and initially played at the Rondinella field in the upper-class quartiere of Parioli. Roma began playing at the Motovelodromo Appio and subsequently, when the new stadium was built after only two years, moved to the working-class rione of Testaccio. Thus, the Lazio ultras traditionally occupy the northern one (Curva Nord) and Roma's the southern end (Curva Sud) of the Stadio Olimpico. Making ironic remarks, known as sfottò, focused on the origins of both sets of fans, is a traditional way of teasing between the supporters of Lazio and Roma.
On 17 December 2000, Lazio's Paolo Negro scored an own goal in a 1–0 Roma victory. Roma eventually went on to lift the scudetto that season, as Lazio finished the season in third place. Negro continues to be taunted by Roma fans for the goal.
On 26 May 2013, the teams met in the 2013 Coppa Italia Final, the first cup final in the history of the fixture. Lazio won the match 1–0 with a goal by Senad Lulić in the 71st minute, a low right footed shot from a low cross from the right by Antonio Candreva after the goalkeeper Bogdan Lobonț failed to cut out the crossed ball.
On 15 January 2015, Roma's Francesco Totti, playing in his 40th derby, scored twice to salvage a 2–2 draw for Roma, becoming the all-time leading goalscorer in the fixture. He celebrated by taking a selfie in front of Roma's fans in the Curva Sud, having given his phone to the goalkeeping coach before kick off.
On 4 December 2016, Roma recorded their fourth victory in a row against Lazio and extended their unbeaten run in the fixture to 7 games with a 0–2 away victory. However, the game was marred by controversy, with Lazio's Danilo Cataldi sent off for grabbing Roma's Kevin Strootman, after Strootman had thrown the contents of a water bottle in Cataldi's face after scoring the opening goal, sparking a mass brawl. Strootman subsequently received a two match ban for his role in the incident. Lazio's Senad Lulić was also given a 20-day ban for offensive comments made towards Roma's Antonio Rüdiger after the game.
The devout regionalism that is perceived throughout the country is one of the reasons that make the derby more heated, as the fans view it as a battle between two clubs fighting for the right to represent the city in the rest of the country and local bragging rights. This is partly fueled by the fact that Italian football has mostly been dominated by three clubs, of all which are based in Northern Italy – namely Juventus in Turin and Milan and Internazionale in Milan.