Mussolini's Great-Grandson Signs Professional Contract With Serie A Side Lazio

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The great-grandson of former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini announced that he has signed a professional contract with Serie A's Lazio.

Romano Floriani Mussolini has featured as a right-back for the U-19 Lazio side over the last month. He signed a three-year contract to remain at the Rome-based club. 

"Thinking back to where I started, I'm very happy to have signed my first professional contract with Lazio, and to spend another three years in this jersey," Mussolini wrote on Instagram

The 18-year-old is the youngest son of former actress and European Parliament member Alessandra Mussolini, who entered politics in the 1990s as a member of the Movimento Sociale Italiano, which was a party formed by Benito Mussolini's fascist supporters after the end of World War II. 

Floriani Mussolini also featured in AS Roma's youth setup before joining Lazio. Lazio was the only club to resist Benito Mussolini's desire to merge Roman clubs into AS Roma in 1927 in order to oppose the northern clubs that dominated Italian soccer. 

But Lazio, like many clubs, has a history of antisemitic and racist incidents, including some tied explicitly to Italy's history of fascism. The team was fined a nominal €50,000 by the Italian FA in 2018 after ultras distributed antisemitic stickers of Anne Frank wearing the jersey of AS Roma, another club that has been sanctioned for antisemitism. In 2015, Lazio striker Paolo Di Canio, who has multiple tattoos honoring Benito Mussolini, did a fascist salute to Lazio fans after a derby win over Roma. 

In 2019, Lazio fans were filmed making Nazi salutes in Milan prior to a Coppa Italia match where they unveiled a banner honoring Benito Mussolini, just months before the club's longstanding neo-fascist, far-right ultras group, Gli Irriducibili, was disbanded following the murder of its founder.