Lazio veteran Stefan Radu thought that this season’s pre-season training camp was more intense than in previous years.

Speaking in an interview with Italian radio broadcaster Lazio Style Radio (via LazioNews24) earlier today, the 34-year-old Romanian defender first spoke about this morning’s training session in Auronzo di Cadore.

This morning’s training was lighter because we have the match this afternoon. We tried out set-pieces and a few actions.

He commented on the Biancocelesti squad’s work in the pre-season retreat this summer, working with new coach Maurizio Sarri.

This is my fourteenth training camp in Auronzo and it’s always nice here because we’re working very well. A lot of fans have come here to support the team and the atmosphere is great. 

Every year when we come here we have very tough training camps and I think this year there’s a step up from previous years in terms of intensity. 

From the first day he arrived the coach told us that the team must dominate the game, it’s right to work so hard on the pitch.

Radu discussed the formation switch from a 3-5-2 under previous coach Simone Inzaghi to a 4-3-3 under Sarri.

After five years we’re working with a different system and it’s normal that until we find the right fit the coach explains all the details to us. 

In the morning we defenders have to suffer a bit, but it’s right because this change requires us to pay more attention to our opponents.

The 34-year-old Romanian defender, who currently holds Lazio’s all-time appearance record, then touched on the importance of the fans.

I’ve always thanked the fans for their support, because they’ve always made me feel at home, as if I’d grown up in Lazio’s youth academy. 

We need them and with this new start I want to ask them to stay close to the team, because we need them.

He spoke fondly of his all-time appearance record, which currently sits at 412 appearances.

The appearance record was very exciting and I can only promise that I will continue to make myself available for this team. 

On a personal level I think something good would be to win a cup or something. We’re aiming to win this year and that’s the goal.

The Romanian veteran discussed his various role changes since joining Lazio and the role that he’ll be playing under Sarri.

I arrived 14 years ago as a central midfielder in a 4-man defence and then I was adapted as a full-back. I’ve always played in central defence and I’m happy with it, it’s a return to my roots. 

The centre-back in a four-man defence doesn’t have much room to get forward and cross, as I was used to in previous years. Now I have to be very careful in the defensive line. 

We have to be very attentive to the centimetre and stay compact. Sarri also asks the central defenders to set the play and get into the movements with the midfielders.

Finally, Radu spoke fondly of new coach Maurizio Sarri.

The coach is very prepared and he’s really fantastic. At 34 years old, I can still learn a lot from him in defence.


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