Europa League: Lazio invite Paul Gascoigne back to Rome for an emotional Euro reunion
Paul Gascoigne has been promised an invitation to Tottenham Hotspur's Europa League match at Lazio to celebrate the link he created between the two clubs. Lazio's general manager, Maurizio Manzini, revealed yesterday that the former England star, 45, would be approached to attend the game at the Stadio Olimpico.
Gascoigne joined Lazio from Spurs in 1992 and almost immediately secured a place in their folklore – his first goal for the club was a last-gasp equaliser in the Rome derby. Lazio and Tottenham, who have never played each other in a competitive game, were drawn together yesterday in Europa League Group J along with Greek side Panathinaikos and Maribor from Slovenia.
Manzini said: "Tottenham is a team Lazio knows very well, a great team with great traditions, and we are very familiar with White Hart Lane, starting from the time we had Paul Gascoigne. There is always a corner of Tottenham in our hearts. He is a mythical figure for Lazio fans and very popular in general in Italy. I remember the Atlanta ultras, who had a reputation for being really tough, opened an enormous banner with a picture of a huge bottle of beer saying, 'This is for you Gazza'. I hope we will have the chance to see him in London and, for sure, we will invite him to the match in Rome."
Liverpool were handed an Italian job of their own after being drawn to face Udinese, who finished third in Serie A but lost their Champions League play-off this week. The Reds were also paired with mega-rich Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala and Swiss side Young Boys in Group A.
Newcastle, in their first European campaign for six years, are in Group D with Bordeaux, Brugge and Portuguese side Maritimo of Madeira.
* Group A
Liverpool, Udinese, Young Boys, Anzhi
* Group D
Bordeaux, Brugge, Newcastle, Martimo
* Group J
Tottenham Hotspur, Panathinaikos, Lazio, Maribor
Matches take place 20 September-6 December
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