Bayern Munich assistant coach and former Lazio forward Miroslav Klose discussed this evening’s Champions League clash between the two sides and his memories at the Biancocelesti in an interview with the Bavarian club yesterday.

We were training and the players, tired because they had played the night before, were watching the ceremony on a small screen and I immediately understood what was happening.

‘Lazio, Lazio. Miro, your team,’ they said to me. I was incredibly happy. Somehow, I had hoped that I would be able to return to the city and I’m very happy that it happened.

All the friends who are still in Italy, the players still at the club and an impressive number of people wrote to me and it took a while to reply to everyone.

The 42-year-old German then remembered the 26th May 2013, when Lazio beat Roma in the Coppa Italia final.

They were certainly exceptional years at Lazio with many wonderful moments, including the derby in the Coppa Italia final, which we won 1-0. What we experienced at the end of the game with our fans, with the bus open for the city…

I’ve never in my life seen so many people in one place. It was like in 2014, when Germany won the World Cup. Seriously, lots and lots of people in the streets, fans were celebrating and flags were waving. It was incredible. There was a wonderful atmosphere and those images and moments you can’t forget.

The Bayern Munich assistant coach commented on life in Rome.

In general, you really live football in this city because there are both Lazio and Roma and the talk is almost always about football. On the training fields, when you are with the team, there is a relaxed air and a different lifestyle: friendship, entertainment, enjoying life…

I learned everything there. This was a priority and I had to adapt, but it was fantastic and teaching for me. As I said, it was a fantastic five years in a fantastic city.

Klose spoke about the strengths of Simone Inzaghi’s Lazio squad.

Bayern Munich and Lazio are not comparable. The players are completely different, the same with regards to the coaches’ philosophies. I’ll never make the mistake of underestimating them because I’m convinced that the way they play makes them very dangerous.

I’ve seen a lot of Lazio games this season and, of course, their strength lies mainly in their compactness. They know how to play on the counter-attack after recovering the ball, but they also know how to press and take the lead when they can.

I think they will close down a bit against us, I am convinced of that, or at least try to score on the counter-attack. They have some quick, hard players on the wings who can be dangerous, but I’m sure if we’re on our game, you’ll be able to see the difference on the pitch.

The 42-year-old German touched on Biancocelesti talisman Ciro Immobile.

He stands out for creating goals, he covers a large amount of the pitch, makes deep runs, presses the ball, stands still, runs back, runs diagonally and then comes back. He has different ways of being dangerous in and around the penalty area and the team often tries to put him in these conditions.

I think he is precise in front of goal. He doesn’t miss many chances, he is very prolific, just look at last season when he scored 36 goals. This is not easy in Italy because many teams play defensively. You need a good quality to be able to score so many goals.

Finally, Klose looked ahead to this evening’s fixture and any possible weaknesses of the Roman club.

It’s a Champions League game and I think it will be a tense match. As I said, I hope we’ll be on the day. Weaknesses? I think we could talk about that after the match. We certainly have a plan of how to play against Lazio, but it has to work.

At the moment it’s all theory. The guys have to put it into practice and we’ll see what we do. I’m incredibly happy to be back there and I think it will be a fantastic evening with a great game. Obviously, I hope the winner will be Bayern.


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