Lazio was thoroughly tested over its UEFA Champions League group stage run this season. The Italian side went up against Bundesliga powerhouse Borussia Dortmund and battled against a pair of teams that won their respective leagues last season. But in the end, Lazio not only qualified for the Champions League knockout stage but also finished group stage play undefeated.
Italian journalist Stefano Borghi followed Lazio’s Champions League run this season, and in comments relayed by the Italian-based outlet La Lazio Siamo Noi, he gave his general thoughts on the team’s impressive finish to the first portion of the competition.
Yesterday was a great evening for Italian football. Not only because of Juventus’ achievement but also because Lazio, after 20 years of waiting, hit the round of 16. In the Champions League, nothing is taken for granted; you always have to earn everything. The Biancocelesti needed a draw and they did it.
Borghi was more so impressed with the team’s mentality in group stage play. As mentioned, Lazio was drawn into a tough group that many did not know for sure on which two teams would advance to the next round of the competition. But in the end, Lazio willed its way to finishing the group stage without a loss.
Lazio have shown that they have a great mentality because they pass the group unbeaten. The team went through sensitive matches like the first match with Dortmund, which could have been a big complication. The trips to Belgium and Russia came at a time of tension and difficulty at the staff level. The draw in Germany was the real show of strength of this group.
I think this European journey has told us that Lazio may not be finished in the round of 16. In the meantime, Lazio made history. We hope it may not end here.
Since Lazio finished second in its Champions League group behind Borussia Dortmund, the club could very well be drawn against the likes of FC Bayern Munich or Paris Saint-Germain. The Champions League Round of 16 draw will be held this Monday.