Mario Giuffredi, the agent of Lazio full-back Elseid Hysaj, has come out in defence on his client.

Speaking in an interview with Italian newspaper Il Mattino (via LazioNews24) earlier today, the agent commented on the controversy involving the 27-year-old Albanian full-back.

But what do you want him to know about the political or patriotic value of Bella Ciao. He is an Albanian guy who only thinks about football and has suffered so much to get where he is.

He didn’t think about the meaning of that song, about the fact that it is the partisan anthem of the Second World War. He liked it and sang it.

He is also now discombobulated by everything that is going on around him.

He has ended up at the centre of a political issue that he had no idea about, he wants the fans to understand that he just plays football.


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The 27-year-old Hysaj, who is contracted to the Biancocelesti until 2025, joined the club as a free agent at the start of this month, reuniting with coach Maurizio Sarri.

The Albanian full-back has worked with Sarri for years in the past at both Empoli and Napoli and so understands the 62-year-old Italian coach’s tactics and movements well.


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Hysaj made 24 Serie A appearances last season, for a total of 1770 minutes. In that time, he provided two assists but struggled to impress under previous coach Gennaro Gattuso. 

The Albanian has been at the centre of controversy following his decision to sing Bella Ciao for his initiation song, with a banner appearing in Rome earlier this week calling him a “worm” and stating that “Lazio are fascist”. 

In response, a banner appeared outside the Stadio Olimpico today in support of the player.