Lazio have signed Romano Floriani Mussolini, the great-grandson of Italy’s former fascist leader Benito Mussolini, to their youth team.
The 18-year-old right-back has been called up to Lazio’s U23 ‘Primavera’ side for the past two matchweeks, including their 2-0 loss to Juventus on Saturday.
He has played for the U18 side managed by former Lazio striker Tommaso Rocchi.
Floriani Mussolini is the son of Benito Mussolini’s granddaughter Alessandra – an Italian politician, TV personality and former member of the European Parliament.
He has decided to use both of his surnames, as allowed by Italian state law, and says he is unfazed by his links to his great-grandfather.
“Here at Lazio I’m judged only for the way I play and not because my surname is Mussolini,” he told Roman daily Il Messaggero.
“I hope I can make my debut for the Primavera one day.”
Lazio ultras’ far right links
A minority of Lazio fans, known as “ultras”, have links to the far right. A number of banners expressing pride in the fascist movement have been flown at the Stadio Olimpico’s Curva Nord over the years, including one saying “Rome is fascist”.
In 2005, club icon Paolo Di Canio gave a fascist salute to Lazio fans in the Curva Nord after a derby win against Roma. After receiving a ban, Di Canio said: “I am a fascist, not a racist”.
In 2017 some Lazio fans pasted anti-Semitic stickers of Anne Frank in a Roma shirt across the city.