Thursday, April 17, 2008

Pandev helps Lazio stay up

Congrats to Goran Pandev, whose 12 goals have combined with the efforts of on-loan striker Rolando Bianchi (from Manchesteter City, another curious cast-off from Sven-Goran Eriksson's side) to steer Rome's sky-blue side to the safety of 10th place in the Italian Serie A after a disastrous start and middle of the season.
While Eternal City rivals Roma attempt to pull back Internazionale from the Scudetto, Lazio must find comfort in escaping relegation worries and trying to finish above the likes of Napoli when the final table is printed. Funnily enough that Eriksson is mentioned, as his Lazio conquered all before it, You had Juan Sebastian Veron, Diego Simeone and Hernan Crespo bringing a Latin flair to the peninsula that saw the side do a league and Coppa Italia double. While the title is usually the preserve of northern sides such as Juve, Inter and Milan, once in a while Rome (or Naples) mounts a challenge. English football is blood and thunder (organic and writ large) and Spain's is poetry (aesthetic and synchronized), while Italian football is opera -- dramatic, flawed and, yes, esoteric. I've been to Italy once, and I am desperate to go back. To see the football, to love, to eat ... and to live.