Our “Till I Die ..” series have gathered pace as we are now reaching out to even more fans based out here in Asia.
In this next edition, we feature Singapore-based Nigel Gan who is a big fan of Italian side SS Lazio. He has even written and published a book about his pilgrimage to watch his club and it can be found on Amazon.
Nigel Gan (NG) describes himself as your average 30-something-year-old Singaporean who eat, sleep and breathe football. He used to play football when he was young, but has since decided to hang up his boots to become a spectator instead.
He is currently with a Japanese Alarm company – unlike most human-beings who are on a 9-6 work schedule, he works the graveyard shifts for a living. Many a time, he has to answer questions like ‘Is it eerie to work alone in the night?’ or ‘Have u seen a ghost?’ during social gatherings and Chinese new year.
When he is not working, he would write and/or head to his favourite Italian restaurant for a good plate of Spaghetti Alle Vongole. Annually for the past six years, he had traveled to Rome to attend the ‘Rome derby’ where he would lend his voice to his team – after all, he is a strong advocate of living passion in the stadium stands rather than in front of the TV screens.
FF Titan: Tell us how long you have supported Lazio and why did you choose Lazio over i) other Serie A teams and ii) over Premier League teams which are much more popular in Singapore (and the rest of Asia).
NG: I became a ‘Laziale’ (The Italian term for a Lazio supporter) in 1993. I was watching channel-surfing and chanced upon a football match. It was Lazio versus Inter Milan and a particular player caught my eye. He was none other than the legendary Giuseppe ‘Beppe’ Signori – he of course went on to score an incredible goal. Signori made me a Lazio supporter.
Growing up, and in school, my friends were either a Liverpool, AC Milan or a Manchester United fan. Maybe I wanted to be different and unique, but mostly, I believed that I should be loyal to Lazio and therefore, I didn’t jump ship to support another team. In addition, I love sky-blue as a colour and the eagle symbol of Lazio as compared to the ugly yellow-red team from the same city of Rome.
The Italian Serie A back then in the nineties was the best league in the world and was known to be tactically and technically superior to the English league. I remained proud to this day that I still follow Serie A fervently. EPL is not for me even though the best players in the world ply their trades in England. Let’s say I prefer to watch a game of chess than a messy game of carrom.
FF Titan: Describe to us how the previous season went for your club
NG: Bad. Not only did we lost both derbies, we finished 8th. For a team like Lazio who has such a beautiful history, we should be fighting for 4th-5th position. However, in the world of modern football, if we do not spend our monies on good players, then we are bound to suffer. With a stingy President like Lotito, it’s difficult to see him buying really good players for the club.
FF Titan: Antonio Candreva obviously went for a lot of money – what do you make of his contributions to the club?
NG: Honestly, in modern football, players are like mercenaries who joins whichever club that pays them more money. Please don’t tell me Graziano Pelle joined the Shandong Luneng so he could win more titles!!??
Candreva is pacy winger but not world-class. Of course, he was a key player of us last season and I thanked him for his services. But to me, he happens to be another ex-Lazio player who came and left. So, I prefer to adore my club colours which I know will stay with me until my last dying breath. So, FORZA LAZIO!!
FF Titan: What do you think Ciro Immobile can do for Lazio this season?
NG: I’m not a fan but it will be a huge task for him to replace Miroslav Klose. He is a finisher so he would need good services to put the balls in the net. I prefer not to comment for I’m afraid to jinx it. The most important task I want of him however, would be to score against Roma in the derby for It is more important than a Champions League Final.
FF Titan: Tell us your expectations of the club this season – can Lazio repeat a top 3 finish from two years back?
NG: Nope. I’m guessing 6th-7th.
FF Titan: Is there a Lazio fan club here in Singapore? If so what are your activities / how to contact you guys?
You can contact me (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) as I assist the President in organising most stuffs. And yes you can share my contact info. But if I do receive mails from perverted dudes, I will destroy u. Hahaha. <<at this point FF Titan will like to add that the interview was transcribed in verbatim>>.
All pictures are reproduced with permission.
Editor’s Note: Fantasy Football Titan is looking for more fans out there who supports the smaller teams in the English Football League. If you are keen to be interviewed by us, do contact us via our social media platforms.
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