Danilo Cataldi discussed his loyalty to Lazio, his relationship with Lucas Leiva, working under Maurizio Sarri and European goals ahead of the upcoming campaign.
The 27-year-old Italian midfielder found a new vein of form last season under Sarri, impressing as a defensive midfielder or regista in the 4-3-3 system. Cataldi made 32 Serie A appearances and generally impressed, setting up for a strong second season under the Italian coach.
Speaking to Serie A’s media outlets, Cataldi first discussed his deep love for Lazio.
I’ve been playing for Lazio since I was 12 years old. Every day is always special for me. In Formello I know everything, it’s my second home.
Wearing this shirt is special, for the environment, the fans, the support. It gets inside you and you can hardly take it off. I hope to achieve important goals with Lazio.
I’ve always wanted to become a talisman for these people and a point of reference for the new guys who join the team.
The 27-year-old then touched on his idols and what he learnt from Lucas Leiva.
I don’t have any idols, but I remember that when I was five or six years old Lazio was one of the best teams in the world, with extraordinary players and great character.
In Serie A I remember Zidane for his elegance, but here I had a great teacher, Lucas Leiva, who I admired professionally and humanly.
Idols here become ‘relative’ because the people you spend every day with then become the ones you bond with the most.
He commented on his role in Sarri’s 4-3-3 system.
I see myself as a regista, a role that now requires more work. With Sarri we work both with and without the ball. The coach isn’t one for words, but he makes himself understood.
He has always shown himself to be a great coach. We had a totally opposite way of playing before he came along, it was hard at the beginning.
Cataldi spoke about what he would’ve changed from last season.
A few games, especially the derby, which represents everything here. This year we’ll try to take it home.
He commented on his and the team’s goals ahead of the upcoming season.
To reach the Champions League. It will be a special season, anything can happen.
Finally, Cataldi discussed his family and their relationship with Lazio.
My life has changed radically with the arrival of my son. I have a big family, I have many special fans at home.
My son is a little Lazio fan, he comes to the stadium, he wants to come to training, he wears the Lazio shirt. I always wanted a family and he has been the greatest joy.
The 27-year-old Cataldi is contracted to Lazio until 2024 and will likely rotate with Marcos Antonio next season.