Updated: February 4, 2021 1:13:01 pm
Romano Floriani Mussolini, the great-grandson of Italy’s fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, officially signed for Lazio on Tuesday.
The 18-year-old, who has been called up twice by the U19 setup of the Rome side, plies his trade as a right-back. He is currently completing his education at the St George British School in Rome.
— Wanted in Rome (@wantedinrome) February 2, 2021
“He’s a humble boy who has never complained, not even when he didn’t play for two years. He’s not a seasoned player yet, but he looks promising,” Romano’s youth academy coach Mauro Bianchessi told Repubblica.
“The burdensome surname? I’ve never spoken to his parents, and the only thing that matters is whether a player deserves to play. Nothing else,” he added.
Romano Floriani (18), son of Alessandra Mussolini and great-grandson of the Duce, plays for Lazio under-18.
A Lazio jersey with Mussolini 18 at the back must be wet dream of many Lazio ultras. pic.twitter.com/9NmEjOimfT
— ©️as Mudde 😷 (@CasMudde) February 2, 2021
According to Italian media though, Romano’s presence in Lazio might prove to be contentious because the club has alleged ties with the far right. Their fans, known as “ultras”, have previously engaged in controversial activities like rolling out racist banners, swastikas, fascist memorabilia.
“For S.S. Lazio, the name Mussolini is a heavy burden to bear”, wrote Il Fatto Quotidiano. “The northern section of Rome’s Olympic Stadium (known as the curva nord, the area traditionally occupied by S.S. Lazio fans), with its fascist salutes and racist chants, is wasting no time to assert its fascist character. It’s just a matter of time before someone starts exalting the Duce.”
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