Pavel Nedvěd’s introduction to the Italian football landscape was through Lazio, a club that quickly became the canvas for the display of his exceptional talent. Making his league debut in 1996, Nedvěd’s impact was felt early on, not only with his adept scoring prowess but also with his crucial role in the team’s strategies. His first goal for the club, scored against Cagliari in October 1996, was a testament to his burgeoning influence on the field. As the 1996–97 season progressed, his contributions became increasingly significant, culminating in a season tally of seven goals.
Lazio’s trajectory under Nedvěd’s influence was on an upward swing, as evidenced by their impressive 24-match unbeaten streak from November 1997 to April 1998. However, a shadow was cast over this run of success when Nedvěd received a red card in a crucial league match against Juventus, effectively ending his participation in that particular encounter. Despite this setback, Lazio emerged victorious in the 1997–98 Coppa Italia and reached the final of the 1997–98 UEFA Cup, with Nedvěd being a pivotal force in the team’s commendable performance.
The following seasons were marked by both triumphs and challenges. Lazio clinched the 1999 Supercoppa Italiana with Nedvěd’s instrumental role, and his notable goal in the 1999 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup Final against Mallorca further solidified his status as a key player. The turn of the millennium saw Nedvěd’s continued success, contributing significantly to Lazio’s conquest of the Serie A title and Coppa Italia in 2000, and then securing the Supercoppa Italiana for a second time.
However, his time at Lazio wasn’t without controversy. Nedvěd found himself in the midst of a contentious moment during the 2000 Coppa Italia quarter-final clash, resulting in a suspension. Moreover, an altercation during a UEFA Champions League match led to further scrutiny and a subsequent UEFA suspension.
Amidst the on-field successes and the occasional controversies, a new chapter was about to unfold. Despite Nedvěd signing a new contract with Lazio in April 2001, the club’s decision to actively seek his and teammate Juan Sebastián Verón’s sale generated uproar among the loyal fanbase, with protests aimed at the club chairman, Sergio Cragnotti. Ultimately, the two players were transferred to different clubs, marking the end of a significant era for Lazio, with Nedvěd’s legacy continuing to resonate through the team’s history.