Lazio’s Francesco Acerbi Discusses Mental Health Battle With Sky Sport

Francesco Acerbi’s psychologist and psychotherapist, Paolo Franchini, has published the book “Champions of Sport and Psychoanalysis,” and to help promote it, the Lazio defender had an in-depth interview with Sky Sport (via Lazio News). 

One of the first topics that Acerbi touched was on his mental health, which he stated began to take a downward spiral after his father’s death. Acerbi tried to deal with the issue on his own but decided to seek professional help.  

When I arrived in Milan, I had a mental decline due to the death of my dad. After and during the illness, you compare yourself with other people who are not well and who are worse off than you, and you understand that there are more important things in life. Try to help out while you can. You feel it inside yourself when you want to do something important. With disease, your brain opens up. 

My maturation started when I sought help from Professor Franchini. I made a journey to get to know myself better, then there were the possibilities of going to Lazio, and it was super merit. I had ambition, but I didn’t have the conviction to do it and be up to it. I had many tempting requests; I wanted to go but refused. Instead, I wanted to go to Lazio at all costs.

The conversation then transitioned to discussing the current Lazio squad, and Acerbi provided his thoughts on Simone Inzaghi’s side. 

We have made an incredible journey in the Champions League; it is expected that the mental and physical energies are less by playing a lot and often. Now we have gathered our energy; we can no longer make mistakes. We have more days of training and rest, and our athletic condition is improving.

The desire that this group has always shown is to be able to win with against team. This is a fantastic group, we have important players, and we are doing a great job.

Congratulations to Marušić, who is doing remarkable things as a right-wing back, but also to everyone because when you have to chase a spot in the table and can’t make a mistake, we all have to work together.

Sky Sport would then grab Acerbi’s opinion on one particular teammate, Ciro Immobile. 

Immobile must feel comfortable; he made the history of Lazio; he is Lazio. It is expected that someone who does not score in this way feels a lot of responsibility and gets angry with himself.

His soul is damned for us; he gives a precious contribution with his movements. The attacker lives for scoring; he has always done this and will return to doing so.

Milinković-Savić is a resource, you throw a ball in the area, and with his physicality, he manages to stop the ball from his chest in the middle of the area; he is not for everyone.

Next, Acerbi discussed potentially qualifying for the UEFA Champions League next season. Lazio finds itself six points out of fourth place and will need to finish strong and have some luck on their side to qualify. 

Champions League? We believe it; we are almost there. We have a few matches where we can make mistakes, but we also have the match against Torino in our hands. We have shown that we can easily stay in the top four.

Finally, the interview ends with Acerbi commenting on the UEFA Euro 2020 and what he expects from the opponents as the Lazio defender suits up for the Italy national team. 

At the European Championships, the teams we meet will be stronger, but we have created such a cohesive and serene group with so many experienced players that we will do great things; I am very convinced. We have a solid group, and that always emerges in competitions. We can compete to get to the end; we will go far.

Tags Acerbi Francesco Acerbi Franchini Lazio Paolo Franchini Sky Sport