Benito Mussolini′s great-grandson named in Lazio squad for first time | News | DW | 24.10.2021

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Benito Mussolini's great-grandson named in Lazio squad for first time

The 18-year-old, who goes by the name of Floriani M. on his jersey, was an unused substitute in his side's 4-1 loss at Hellas Verona. His great-grandfather ruled Italy as a fascist dictator for more than two decades.

Lazio's Romano Floriani Mussolini on the bench

Romano Floriani Mussolini rode the bench for his team's visit to Verona

The great-grandson of former Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini was named as a substitute for Italian soccer team Lazio on Sunday.

It is the first time Romano Floriani Mussolini has been a part of the first team match-day squad for the Rome-based giants.

The defender, who goes by the name of Floriani M. on the back of his shirt, was an unused substitute in his side's 4-1 loss at Hellas Verona.

Romano Floriani Mussolini of SS Lazio during the Primavera Coppa Italia match at Stadio Ennio Tardini, Parma

The defender prefers to have the name Floriani M. on his shirt

Maurizio Sarri picked the 18-year-old, who can also play in midfield, for his first-team squad after coming through the youth ranks at Lazio. He had previously been on the books of Lazio's cross-city rivals Roma.

He is the third child of Alessandra Mussolini and husband Mauro Floriani, and great-grandson of Benito Mussolini, who was prime minister of Italy from 1922 to 1943 following a fascist coup.

Alessandra is a former member of the European Parliament for Forza Italia and another of Benito Mussolini's granddaughters, Rachele, won a second term as a city councilor in the Italian capital earlier this month.

Alessandra Mussolini

Alessandra Mussolini is a former actress and model who served as a Member of the European Parliament for Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia party

Far-right connections

A minority of Lazio fans, known as "ultras," have links to the far-right and banners expressing pride in the fascist movement have been a frequent sight at the Stadio Olimpico.

In 2005, Lazio forward Paolo Di Canio gave a fascist-style salute to fans to celebrate his side's victory in the Rome derby.

The handler of the Seria A club's eagle mascot, Juan Bernabe, was suspended after he was filmed making fascist salutes and chanting "Duce, Duce" at the end of last weekend's win over Inter Milan.

"Duce" — meaning leader — was the nickname given to Benito Mussolini during his more than two decades at the helm of Italian politics.

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