Maurizio Sarri confirmed that both Luis Alberto and Francesco Acerbi are keen to leave Lazio this summer, and he suggested that next season he’ll show a ‘real team’.
The Roman club have made seven signings so far this summer as they work to overhaul the squad, keen to provide Sarri with a team that he can take into the top four spots. Lazio finished six points behind fourth place Juventus last campaign, so expectation is high ahead of the new season.
Speaking to Corriere dello Sport (via LazioNews24), Sarri first explained why he likes to play a fluid, attacking style.
I like a kind of football in which everyone puts themselves at the service of the team to develop a game in which movements, both defensive and offensive ones, do not include exemptions of any kind.
He spoke positively about president Claudio Lotito.
I cannot fully understand the reasons for his unpopularity. Communication? Possibly. But Lotito took a Lazio that was a disaster and for good or bad kept them consistently in the top 5, 6 and in Europe.
Just think, I find him pleasant, he is a man of spirit and he is someone who listens to you. Lotito will have a thousand other faults, but he is of rare intelligence, he has an obsessive attention to detail and above all on the sporting level he leaves full autonomy.
The 63-year-old touched on his comfort in Rome heading into the second season.
I feel good here, I like the environment, I have the opportunity to express myself and above all to have fun. I have also changed, now work has to provide me with fun, my feeling toward football has changed.
I also like the Lazio fans, from the outside I had a completely different, wrong idea. 99% of the Lazio fans are families, young people.
And to work in a club that does not belong to a fund but to a family gives me taste. At the same time I realize the economic difficulties that can be encountered, fewer resources, of course.
Sarri confirmed that Luis Alberto has again communicated his desire to leave the club.
For the second year in a row he has expressed his desire to end his career in Spain. More than in Spain in general, just at Sevilla.
I can’t tell you if I will still have him at the beginning of September. Smart guy, great player and character, if you like, particular.
The Lazio coach also noted that Acerbi had handed in a transfer request.
Nothing tactical, at the end of the season he expressed his desire for a change of scenery and the club will try to accommodate him, that’s why other plans have been made.
He touched on what’s still missing from his Lazio.
We lack the balance of the great team. As much of a mental one as a tactical one. In a one-off game we could and can beat anyone, the trouble that is very often we miss things, we get lost.
What I want this year is to show a real team and from the first training sessions I have received very positive feelings
Sarri highly praised star midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
Sergej is of the highest level players, small flaws and unexplored potential. In some moments of the game he favoured aesthetics, the play that I call ephemeral, at the expense of effectiveness.
But it is true, in the last part of the season he sought functionality and made a difference.
He spoke about his Roma counterpart Jose Mourinho and the differences between them.
I also like Mourinho. The differences depend mostly on the starting point, the origins. I grew up among the lower leagues, people of another level, where to win I had to affect a lot, and fiercely, to compensate for the limitations of individuals.
Mourinho started at Barcelona and invested a lot in the quality of the players. Between Stia and Barcelona there’s a big difference! And then I’m Toscano from the mountains, like Luciano Spalletti.
Finally, Sarri reacted to the public perception of him and his thoughts on modern football.
I don’t care. I’m very different from how I’m portrayed, for years I did another job and I didn’t absorb the superficiality of football. I dreamed of coaching a great team and I succeeded not once, but several times.
At 63 I no longer think about career and money is less important, I have evolved. I want pleasure, fun and Lazio can give me that.
I work to create a real team, 25 players who think alike, in some ways anti-historical. The game of football, by its nature, is collective and instead even you in the press have turned it into the paradise of individuality.