Lazio immediately reached some important milestones: 5 consecutive European finishes, with a second place finish in the 1994/95 season, two third place finishes in 1993/94 and 1995/96, a fourth place finish in 1996/97 and a fifth place finish in 1992/93. In 5 seasons, captain Beppe Signori was top of the scoring charts 3 times.
In the 1997/98 season, with the appointment of new coach Sven Goran Eriksson and the arrival of players such as Mancini, Jugovic and Almeyda, Lazio ended their trophy drought and lifted the Coppa Italia in front of its fans on the 29th of April 1998, seeing off AC Milan in the final over two legs. Eriksson’s men came close to success on the European front too, only to lose out to Inter in the UEFA Cup final in Paris.
The following season, Lazio strengthened with the addition of more international players such as Vieri, Salas, Mihajlovic, Stankovic and immediately added another trophy to the honours’ list: the biancocelesti defeated Italian Champions Juventus 2-1 in Turin to win the Italian Super Cup (played between the winners of the Coppa Italia and the Scudetto).
Quoted on the Italian Piazza Affari stock market in May 1998, Società Sportiva Lazio S.p.A., soon established itself as one of the major clubs in Italy and abroad. Lazio also triumphed in the last edition of the European Cup Winners’ Cup held in Birmingham, defeating Real Mallorca 2-1, at the end of a thrilling season which saw Lazio at the top of the Serie A table for long spells and narrowly missing out on the title by a single point on the final round of the season.
Lazio went into the 1999/2000 season, the club’s centenary, without striker Vieri, but reinforcements arrived in the form of Veron, Sensini, Simeone and Simone Inzaghi. Later on in December, Fabrizio Ravanelli would also join from Olympique de Marseille.
The season started with a bang and with another European triumph: on the 27th of August, and at the majestic setting of Montecarlo, Eriksson’s men won the UEFA Super Cup after beating Manchester United, the winners of the 1998/99 Champions League.
Centenary celebrations started on the 9th of January 2000 with a spectacular party at the Olympic Stadium. Throughout an intense and exciting season, Lazio battled right until the end on all 3 fronts, triumphing on 2 of them.
Having seen Champions League dreams dashed in the quarter finals by Claudio Lopez’s Valencia, Lazio won their second ever Scudetto on the final day of the Serie A season. After a truly pulsating final day, in which Juventus lost at Perugia amidst heavy downpours which threatened to stop the match at the end of the first half, 80 thousand Lazio fans, following 45 nerve-wracking minutes at the Olympic Stadium in the wake of the win over Reggina, could finally go wild with celebrations and shout out: CHAMPIONS OF ITALY!
Three days later in Milan, a goalless draw against Inter was enough to add the Coppa Italia after a 2-1 victory in the first leg and meant that Lazio ended the season with 3 trophies.
The 2000-2001 season for the Italian champions started with another piece of silverware on the 8th of September 2000, beating Inter at the Olympic Stadium in Rome in the Italian Super Cup in a 4-3 thriller. The latest 2 signings of the Cragnotti era, Hernan Crespo and Claudio Lopez, both stood out in what was Lazio’s seventh trophy in 3 years under Eriksson / Cragnotti.
During the course of the season, though, Lazio changed coach: after 3 and half years of triumphs, Lazio and Eriksson both agreed to go their separate ways on friendly terms. On the day of the club’s 101st birthday, and during moving and spectacular celebrations, thousands of biancocelesti fans gave another great club character and man with a big heart a brilliant reception. That man was Dino Zoff, who left his role as Club Vice President, a role which he had only just taken up and showing his love for the club, accepted the call to take over as first team coach. Under the former Italy number one, Lazio finished in third place and booked its place in the Champions League.
For the 2002-2003 season, Roberto Mancini made his return to the club, this time as coach, and inherited a group of players determined to bounce back. The club however was hit by major economic problems and it was only thanks to a new corporate group that took over from the Cragnotti family, forced to leave their role in charge of the club after their food company’s default, that Lazio was able to survive as Mancini and his men qualified for the Champions League and came a whisker away from reaching the UEFA Cup final.
In his second season in charge Mancini led Lazio to silverware by winning the Coppa Italia despite the economic problems that continued to surround the club, forcing it into the sales of Conceiçao and Stankovic who were sold to raise funds in January halfway through the season. After knocking out Modena, Parma and Milan (with a 2-1 victory in Milan and a 4-0 win in Rome), Lazio defeated Juventus 2-0 at home and 2-2 in Turin in the final over two legs. The date was the 12th of May 2004, and 30 years after winning the club’s first Scudetto, Lazio lifted the 4th Coppa Italia in the club’s history.
Once again, and reminiscent of the 1970s, the triumphs were followed by problems off the pitch and Lazio were at risk, but were saved once more by the love of its people and fans that came together en masse to buy shares and taking to the streets to raise awareness of the concerning situation at the capital club.