Sergej Milinković-Savić arrived at Lazio from KRC Genk in 2015, and the 26-year-old has developed into one of the more underrated midfielders in Europe. The Serbia international spoke to Lazio Style Channel (via Lazio News) for an in-depth interview on himself.
One of the first conversations that Milinković-Savić discussed with the television channel is his arrival in Rome and discussed the pressure of performing right away to help justify why Lazio purchased him.
I remember everything about my arrival, from the trip to the people I saw at the airport.
I was in shock; I wasn’t expecting so many fans. I came from Belgium; you don’t follow football there like in Italy. I thought those people wanted to see the reason for my purchase right away.
In Serie A, of course, it was more complicated than the league I had played in up to that point; the sooner you get used to it, the better. I arrived just before a game and immediately returned to Rome with the team.
I started with a game that was worth a trophy; I immediately understood where I had arrived and what others expected from me. I have only done what everyone expected of me; I still have to show a lot. I like to make people happy who watch me.
Milinković-Savić opened up about the first goal that he scored in a Lazio kit. The midfielder stated that he hoped his first goal would’ve come soon, but scoring on January 9th, the Biancocelesti’s birthday, made the wait worth it.
My first goal with Lazio came late. I expected it to arrive earlier, but it was essential to do so because it gave me so much strength. After that day, I felt free mentally, and even now, I carry the benefits of that goal with me. Over time I have tried to show myself more and more. We played against Fiorentina on January 9th; it was Lazio’s birthday and it was a lovely gift. But I didn’t consider it a sign of destiny; I always thought day-by-day.
Next, Milinković-Savić touched on the derbies he’s featured in since arriving in Rome nearly six years ago.
The one in the second leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final was the easiest goal; there was no one in goal. After the first leg, I said to myself, ‘why not score another one?’. I did what I had to do to help the team get to the final. All the goals are important, but in the derby, they are more heartfelt. People expect it all year. The Lazio supporters live for this match; I managed to score two goals in that season; they gave me a hand because I know what it means for them. Now I feel the derby like them, as a Laziale! When you are at the club, you understand its significance.
One of the last topics that Milinković-Savić discussed the Scudetto that eluded Lazio the previous year as their Serie A season had to stop due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Last year we were at a good point after all the victories. It was the first time I felt the possibility of winning the Scudetto. Then Covid came and canceled our dreams. It was tough; I was at home for three months, hearing the news on TV.
Unfortunately, we still haven’t overcome the pandemic. Us footballers have had to get used to playing without the fans; the empty stadiums are ugly, you no longer experience football as before. When we overcome everything, we will return to normal; hopefully this is soon.