The Derby della Capitale is an Italian local rivalry between Rome-based teams Lazio and Roma.
Many believe the Derby della Capitale is the biggest inner-city rivalry in Italy. This emphasises the magnitude of the derby due to the two other big local rivalries in Italy. Including the Milan derby between AC and Inter and the Turin derby between Juventus and Torino.
The derby is so heated that both sets of supporters believe it’s a fight for the right to represent the city. This has been further fuelled by the success of teams from Northern Italy, especially AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus.
The first ever Derby della Capitale was played in December 1929 and Roma won by a 1-0 score line. Francesco Totti has featured in 41 derbies and scored 11 league goals against Lazio, which is a record.
There have been several violent incidents during games between Roma and Lazio, which included the first fatality in Italian football due to violence. In 1979, a Lazio fan was struck and killed by a flare, which was hurled across the stadium by a Roma hooligan.
The teams have regularly battled against each other in Serie A, although Roma suffered one relegation and Lazio suffered the drop on five occasions. Lazio faced one of their darkest chapters when they were automatically placed bottom place and relegated to Serie B for the illegal betting scandal in 1980.
Lazio have won two Serie A titles and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and UEFA Super Cup in their history. Roma have won three Serie A titles but their only international trophy was the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1961.
In 1927, AS Roma were founded, after three major teams in Rome were merged into just one team. These three teams were Roman, Alba-Aubace and Fortitudo, as fascist dictator Benito Mussolini indicated his ambition to create a unified Roman club to challenge the Northern Italian clubs.
However, Lazio failed to merge with AS Roma, meaning they were the only other major club in Rome. The Derby della Capitale rivalry stemmed from this point and has further intensified in the derbies 88-year existence.
Lazio were founded in the neighbourhood of Prati and originally played in an upper-class area of Parioli in the early stages of their history. Whereas, AS Roma built a new stadium in the working class area of Testaccio, which meant there was a huge class division in the early days of the Derby della Capitale.
The fact that AS Roma and Lazio were the only major teams in the Italian capital Rome, meant that the derby has become so heated that both teams feel it’s a fight for the right to represent the city. This fight for supremacy has been further fuelled by the success of Northern Italian clubs such as Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan.
Lazio ultras have previously held up fascist and racist banners at the Derby della Capitale. However, the Lazio supporters have tried to separate themselves from this small minority of followers. Roma supporters have also held up racist banners during matches against Lazio, although their supporters are perceived to be left wing supporters. Despite this, both teams have right wing ideologies.
Roma Vs Lazio – Head-to-Head Record
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Roma have the better head-to-head record over their local rivals Lazio, with 18 more wins and 49 more goals. They have also won one more Serie A title than their rivals, although Lazio have won the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and UEFA Super Cup.
The record for the largest winning margin dates back to the 1933/34 season, which Roma won by a 5-0 score line. Lazio won the only ever cup final where they’ve met Roma, in the Copa Italia final in 2013.
Lazio also hold the record for the most derby wins in a single season, beating Roma twice in Serie A and in both legs of the Copa Italia quarter-final during the 1997/98 campaign. There have been 165 official meetings between Roma and Lazio and 16 unofficial meetings, in which Lazio was on 7 occasions.