Lazio Defender Patric: “I’m Considered a Wild Card & That’s Never Been a Problem”

Lazio defender Patric shared his joy at playing for the club and excitement for new coach Maurizio Sarri.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Italian media outlet yesterday, the 28-year-old Spaniard discussed his first impressions of the 62-year-old Italian coach.

We know the coach’s football having seen him in other experiences, I think he is perfect for the players and the talent that there is at Lazio. 

We have to be good at following his advice and I’m sure we can have a lot of fun.

He touched on what Sarri is asking of the squad.

He repeats to us to put intensity and pressure on the pitch with and without the ball, to always have a very high tempo. 

We have a lot of quality in the squad and I’m sure we can have a lot of fun together.

Patric commented on what role he will play in Sarri’s squad, considering that he signed as a full-back before becoming a part of the three-man defence.

In these six years I’ve always been available, I’ll be ready to play wherever Sarri wants me to, either at right-back or in the centre of defence. 

I’ve never had a tactical reference as I’m considered a wild card and that’s never been a problem for me. I’ll adapt for the good of my teammates and Lazio.

He thought that this Lazio squad would be able to express the ‘Sarrismo’ style of play.

I’m convinced that we will entertain ourselves and you very much. I spent eight years at Barcelona and I was lucky enough to enjoy Guardiola’s team, they played in an incredible way that was a pleasure to watch. 

I think Sarri’s Napoli were the team that came closest to that kind of play. We have the players to replicate that kind of football, it won’t be easy but with daily work during this training camp we will succeed.

The 28-year-old Spaniard spoke a little about the new signings.

Kamenovic is very good, he’s young but has a great physique and plays the ball well, he’ll surprise everyone. 

Hysaj, on the other hand, we know him having seen him first at Empoli and then for all these years at Napoli, he will be useful because he can play anywhere in defence. 

Then there’s Felipetto, we all know what he can do. We love him and people love him, when he is at ease he can be devastating.

The Barcelona youth product touched on the return of the 28-year-old Felipe Anderson from West Ham.

I found him well, we are the same age but we are much more mature people today. When he left he was a boy and now we have found a man. 

The experience in England made him grow a lot but this is his club, I see him very charged.

He commented on which players will be the leaders in the dressing room following the departure of Senad Lulic and Marco Parolo.

I don’t know how to answer this question because the strength of this team has always been the union of the group.

We have many players who have been here for many years like Milinkovic-Savic, Strakosha, Luis Alberto, Luiz Felipe and Marusic. 

They are young but already have a lot of experience in Serie A and Europe. Marco and Senad have been so important for us, I wish them all the best.

Patric discussed the team’s objectives for next season.

They’re the same as always: we need to get into the Champions League like two years ago. We’re a very strong team that has done very well in the past even though we could have done even better. 

Covid was a problem for us, it stopped us in the best moment. When we restarted we had the same desire and we were doing the same things, but unfortunately we couldn’t get back on track.

This team has great room for improvement so we can finish in the top four.

The 28-year-old discussed which teams Lazio will have to fight for a top-four finish next season.

Every year Serie A becomes more difficult, there are many teams with great coaches. 

The dynamics change every season, Milan seemed to win the Scudetto and in the end they even risked not getting into the Champions League. At this level you can never relax.

The Barcelona youth product touched on his goodbye with previous coach Simone Inzaghi.

The coach loves Lazio and he wished us the best with words of thanks for the professionalism we’ve always shown. 

In life it happens that paths can separate. We’re here for the good of Lazio and that’s all we’re thinking about with a new coach.

The Spanish defender discussed his relationship with the Lazio fans.

You’ve asked me this question many times, I have huge affection for the Lazio fans. For me it’s very simple, the fans are right to boo a player if he doesn’t do well, just as they are right to applaud him. 

They’re the ones who love Lazio unconditionally, they do it today as they will when I leave. I’m very human in this regard and I understand the reactions perfectly. 

All I can say is that I’ve always been professional, training to the max every day and for this reason I think I’ve played a lot and my team-mates appreciate me.

He did not know when he would score his first goal for the Biancocelesti in Serie A.

I don’t know! As long as Lazio win and we’re all happy.

Patric discussed if he’ll renew his contract with the club, which is set to expire next year in 2022.

I have great respect and love for Lazio, I can assure you that I will have this feeling whether it’s the last day or if I stay another six years. 

I will put in professionalism and availability by giving everything I have.

He spoke about his best moment in his six years with Lazio.

It’s difficult to say which is the best moment because we have taken away so many incredible satisfactions. 

We’ve won three trophies, set a record for victories, reached the Champions League round of 16 and won so many derbies, I can’t pick just one moment.

The 28-year-old touched on the man that he is off the pitch.

I’m different than when I play. I’m very smiley and I care about those around me, there’s only one life. I want to make my friends and family feel good.

The Lazio defender thought that Italy were deserved winners of Euro 2020 this summer.

Whoever wins is always the strongest. I think they deserved it, showing maturity and unity as if they were a family. 

From the first moment you could see that there was something special compared to the others, so congratulations to them who had a wonderful European Championship.

Patric commented on the things Spain were missing in the tournament.

We went out in the semi-final on penalties against Italy so I think Luis Enrique’s choices were correct. 

He has very clear ideas and the team has always followed him, he had the courage to implement a generational change. People expected them to do worse but instead they did very well.

The 28-year-old Spaniard commented on the international success of Joaquin Correa, Francesco Acerbi and Ciro Immobile this summer and if he’s contacted them.

I gave them a call as soon as they were calmer. I congratulated them because they are special lads who work every day to get these satisfactions and they really deserve it.

He chose between Barcelona star Lionel Messi and Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo.


The Spanish defender explained his choice.

Messi is the strongest of them all. Ronaldo is an ace but for my way of seeing football there is no comparison.

Finally, Patric discussed why Barcelona’s youth academy produces so many good players.

They have a mentality and a way of working that is always the same from the age of five until you are 35. 

When you enter you fall in love with the sporting culture they transmit, Barcelona play the same regardless of whether they win or lose. 

They bring out so many players who are the result of the work of the Blaugrana youth sector.

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Tags Auronzo di Cadore Biancocelesti Italy Lazio Maurizio Sarri Patric Pre-season Rome Sarri Serie A