Marcos Antonio looked to his predecessor Lucas Leiva for inspiration and underlined his happiness in Rome following his arrival at Lazio.
The 22-year-old Brazilian midfielder signed a five-year contract with the Roman club following his €8m move from Shakhtar Donetsk last month. Marcos Antonio is a much anticipated arrival in the Italian capital, with fans eager to see how well he’ll do under Maurizio Sarri.
Speaking at a press conference (via LazioNews24), Marcos Antonio first discussed his emotions after joining Lazio.
I’m very happy to be here, I’ve had some tough times. Being here is an immense joy, I want to return to play as soon as possible. I feel good physically.
He gave his thoughts on coach Roberto De Zerbi and the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
He helped me a lot, it will be no different than what I will learn here. I prefer not to talk about the war, as it is still going on.
The Brazilian midfielder commented on what he’s been asked to do by Maurizio Sarri.
I’m at the coach’s disposal, I’ll do whatever he asks. I’m inspired by Lucas Leiva in the way he helped the team, I’ll work for that very thing.
He touched on how it feels to replace a player like Leiva.
I spoke with Leiva, he was happy I was taking his number. Italian football is an opportunity to grow.
Marcos Antonio spoke about Lazio’s desire to finish in the top four and achieve Champions League qualification.
Lazio deserves to be in the Champions League, that’s our goal. They’re quality players, they’re very strong. They’re here to learn, but it’s the coach who decides who plays or who doesn’t.
He reflected on when he decided to join Lazio and why.
When I heard about Lazio’s interest I was very happy. I immediately chose this great club, I accepted with happiness.
I don’t have a fixed role, I like to play in all roles. What the coach will ask of me is what I already did at Shakhtar.
Finally, Marcos Antonio commented on which teammates are his best.
Everyone, they all have great qualities. They are great players, so choosing them will be a big responsibility for the coach.