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Fascist dictator Mussolini’s great-grandson joins Lazio Under-19s

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The great-grandson of Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini has joined the SS Lazio under-19 team.

Romano Florian Mussolini, or to give him his full name, Romano Maria Benito Mauro Magid Andrea Florian Mussolini, has been on the Aquile youth team for several years, and after impressing at the Under-18 level, he has now taken the next step to becoming a professional footballer.

Damiano Franco, Tyro Satchel Nimmermeer, Mattia Novella, Salvatore Pino, Alessio Furlanetto, Szymon Czyz, Florent Shehu, Angelo Ndrecka, Raul Moro, Andrea Marino, Marco Bertini
Lazio youth team in action | Jonathan Moscrop / Getty Images

Mauro Bianchessi, head of youth development at Lazio, spoke highly of the teenager, praising his hard-working attitude and passing him off as a future senior star for I Biancocelesti, as quoted by La Repubblica.

“He’s a really humble guy, a very hard worker who never complained, even though he didn’t play a minute for two years. I loved him and still love him, he’s a late bloomer, with long limbs – and for a long time – limbed players always develop later.

“He did well first with the Under-17s, then with the Under-18s. In my opinion, he’s not ready yet but he still has room to develop and a real player can come out. ”

Mussolini is a solid defender, standing at 6’1, and at just 18 there are hopes within the club of becoming a top player.

But of course, the youngster’s presence is doomed to cause a lot of controversy – especially when tied to the name SS Lazio. The capital club failed to shake its reputation for fascism, with its hardcore “ultras” known as “militants.”

“For SS Lazio, the name of Mussolini is a heavy burden to bear,” explains Il Fatto Quotidiano.

“The northern part of the Olympic stadium in Rome, with its fascist greetings and racist chants, wastes no time in asserting its fascist character. It’s only a matter of time before someone starts extolling the Duce.

Lazio fans have been in the news for all the wrong reasons in recent years, especially during the Rome derby in 2017, when their supporters littered the stadium and town with photos of Holocaust victim Anne Frank , wearing an AS Roma jersey.

They were also seen parading in military fashion across Glasgow, giving fascist greetings ahead of their Europa League clash with Celtic in 2019. And they sparked new anger in an away game against Milan in 2019 , hanging a banner in the city on which we could read: Benito Mussolini ”.

But Alessandra Mussolini – politician, actress and mother of Romano, declined to comment on her son’s presence at Lazio, saying he did not want to “interfere with his private life or his choices”.

“I have nothing to comment,” she told the Adnkronos news agency.

“It’s something I prefer to stay out of. My son does not want any kind of interference with his privacy or his choices.