In 1999, Lazio played her second European Cup Final in a row.
After losing in Paris, against Inter in the UEFA Cup, Lazio entered now the Cup Winners Cup, after gaining the Coppa Italia the season before.
Their opponents were RCD Mallorca, who suprisely beat Chelsea in the semi-finals.
For Lazio the hunt was on to bring an European Cup for the first time ever to Rome.
Already early in the game Lazio took the lead.
After 7 minutes, Vieri beats goalkeeper Roa, after heading a long ball inside the goal.
The Laziali filling the Holte End joined the party.
But 5 minutes later, the equalizer. Dani finishes a Mallorca attack, after a cross from Soler.
The 1-1 score stayed at the end of the first half.
In the second half both teams tried to score, but the game ebbed and flowed, Lazio struggling to impose themselves until the final 20 minutes.
The fans felt the impending prospect of extra time approaching, as the tension rose significantly and the players started to become visibly fatigued.
Then in the 81st Minute, Salas picked the ball up deep in the Mallorca half.
The Chilean turned and shifted it to Vieri, who was standing outside the box.
Vieri controlled the ball, poorly, and unleashed a left footed strike.
The shot hit the centre back and spooned up in the air, Vieri had thrown his huge torso up into the air to challenge the ball.
But the ball dropped and on the edge of the area stood a waiting Czech.
Nedved let go with a low kick, 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 scores 2-1, the blue part of Villa Park going mental. Lazio are 10 minutes away of gaining her first European trophy.
Mallorca attacking, Lazio defending, nothing happens till the end. Final whistle of referee Benkö, S.S. Lazio wins the Cup Winners Cup 1999.
The very last one, as the UEFA will merge this trophy into the UEFA Cup.
Captain Nesta steps up, and lifts the trophy up to the air.
Villa Park is Lazio now, Birmingham is Rome that night.
Europe is ours !
A new era has begun.
S.S. LAZIO :
Marchegiani; Pancaro, Nesta (capt.), Almeyda, Favalli; Mancini (substituted by Couto 90’), Mihajlović, Stanković (substituted by Conceição 56’), Nedvěd (substituted by Lombardo 84’); Vieri, Salas.
Coach : Sven-Göran Eriksson.
R.C.D. MALLORCA :
Roa; Olaizola (capt.), Elena, Siviero, Soler; Bisan-Etamé, Engonga, Stanković, Ibagaza; ‘Dani’, Biagini (substituted by Paunović 74’).
Coach: Héctor Raúl Cúper.