Goalkeeper Pepe Reina: “With Sarri It’s a Completely Different Lazio”

Lazio goalkeeper Pepe Reina was happy with coach Maurizio Sarri and highlighted his desire to coach one day.

Speaking in an interview with Spanish newspaper Marca yesterday, the 39-year-old Spanish goalkeeper first spoke about Sarri and his work with the Biancocelesti so far.

With Sarri it’s a completely different Lazio. We have to adapt and we are a bit behind in this sense. We really want to get the coach’s ideas as soon as possible. 

We have to defend better than last year and not concede those 55 goals. That’s goal number one. Sarri presses and tries to have control of the pitch and the ball…when possible.

The former Liverpool and Napoli man touched on his future and what he wants to do.

I see myself at Lazio. I have this year’s contract and, if things go well, another. I think that what I have left of football will already be in Rome. 

My family and I are very happy here and I think I am already finished in Rome. But Pepe Reina is staying for a while. As long as it’s good, we’ll hold on. 

Future? I want to be a coach. I’ll prepare for it and try to do things well and be one of the best. I’ve been lucky to have good teachers and I think I can help in that aspect.

Reina spoke about the evolution of football throughout his career.

Football evolves. I don’t know if the catenaccio was a myth, but now teams like Atalanta, us or Napoli play better and games are more open. Just look at Serie A, it’s not a ‘lie’. 

The goalkeeper? He needs to be complete, to have an important presence in the team, he needs to know his players to try to help them and improve. That’s how today’s goalkeepers should be.

The Spanish veteran discussed his favourite records and any regrets.

My favourite record? The goalkeeper of the 21st century with the most clean sheets. I have it between my eyebrow and my eyebrow.

Regret? Not winning a Champions League. Without a doubt that’s what I’ve missed, a thorn since we lost the final at Liverpool in 2007.

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The former Liverpool man commented on what coach Pep Guardiola taught him.

He helped you interpret everything. He almost made you count the players the rival came with to see if you could play him and offer that superiority with the goalkeeper.

And if there was one-on-one it was because you left the inferiority behind or a three-on-three and you had to take advantage of it with another type of longer ball. Pep opens your mind.

Reina gave his thoughts on Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

He will definitely be a point of reference. He has played more than 250 games in 22 years, and that is already an exceptional background. 

He has everything to be among the top three for many years. His size is unique. It’s incredible how far he goes, the stops he makes. He is tall but agile. 

Italy has a goalkeeper for the next 10 or 15 years.

He discussed his usage of social media.

I am very active on social media to be close to people, to laugh, have fun… to show myself as I am.

Whoever doesn’t like it, don’t enter my profile. So simple and clear.

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Finally, Reina spoke about his family and the suggestion that it’s tough for players to see their families.

When people say that footballers don’t have time for their families…it’s not so real, except for travelling. I have much more time than someone who works eight hours in an office. 

That’s why players can’t regret it. We are very lucky and obviously have time. Also, my wife is a ‘phenomenon’ who takes care of giving the kids the affection that I, because of my travels, can’t give them.

The 39-year-old Reina, who is contracted to Lazio until 2022, is the Biancocelesti’s starting goalkeeper this season and has already made two appearances this campaign. In that time, he has conceded two goals but otherwise looked comfortable in Sarri’s system.

Tags Biancocelesti Italy Lazio Maurizio Sarri Pepe Reina Reina Rome Sarri Serie A