Muriqi: ‘I Never Had or Found Confidence at Lazio’

Vedat Muriqi reflected on his difficult time with Lazio and what went wrong for him in the Italian capital.

The Biancocelesti signed the Kosovan forward from Fenerbahce in September 2020 in a deal worth around €20m, creating much anticipation amongst fans. Muriqi looked strong in Turkey and was expected to replicate this form in Italy, but he failed to impress at Lazio and left having scored only two goals across 49 appearances.

Speaking to Corriere dello Sport (via LazioNews24), Muriqi first discussed why things didn’t go to plan with Lazio.

First of all there was Immobile, an extraordinary striker who was racking up new records and this obviously made it difficult for me to find space. I arrived injured, I had COVID, and going from the Turkish league to Serie A was very hard. 

In Italy the level is much higher. I was not physically ready and the first year I struggled despite having had a lot of minutes and opportunities to show off. 

So it was my mistake and nobody else’s. In the second year with Sarri I did a great preparation but I wasn’t the type of player for his game and he told me that clearly.

He reflected on his first year in the Italian capital.

Caicedo scored many goals, often decisive in the last minutes. I remember those against Torino, when we won in the final moments, and Juve. They were the coach’s choices. 

Inzaghi also gave me too many chances, he would insert me for half an hour, twenty minutes, often more. The problem was that I went in and didn’t leave my mark, I couldn’t score. 

The fault was mine alone. If you’re a great player playing for a great club you have to prove yourself in terms of mentality too.

The Kosovan remembered when he found a glimmer of form with the Biancocelesti.

When I scored against Atalanta in the cup and I played well in the league too afterwards I didn’t start in the starting eleven. 

A very big blow. I know I made mistakes too, I don’t deny it, but at that moment I was feeling good and maybe I deserved to play.

Muriqi explained why he didn’t manage to find common ground with Maurizio Sarri.

I went to talk to him, he didn’t deploy me after the defeat against Bologna away from home.

Seeing that he no longer gave me a chance, I went to him to ask him for an explanation, trying to understand the reasons that led him to no longer give me a chance, seeing that the transfer market was approaching. 

I said to him, ‘Coach, tell me if I no longer convince you, if maybe I train badly or if you are not happy with me.’ And he told me that I wasn’t suited to his type of game even though I trained well and showed that I was a professional. 

So I thanked him and understood that I had to leave. With Inzaghi, on the other hand, I didn’t have much conversation because I didn’t know Italian well.

So I didn’t go beyond good morning and good evening. But, I repeat, Inzaghi gave me many opportunities. Even too many. 

Lazio’s system was a 3-5-2 that was badly suited to my characteristics. It’s not tailor-made for me, but when you have a bomber like Immobile in front of you it’s not easy. I thought I was young and I had to run more to get the ball back, but it didn’t work out.

He explained why he could score regularly for Kosovo but not for Lazio.

In the national team I scored more and the reason is clear, there they gave me more confidence and I felt more confidence. In Kosovo I had a lot of confidence, in Lazio I never had or found it. That’s objective.

The 28-year-old spoke about his decision to leave Lazio for RCD Mallorca in the summer.

That’s life, I’m sorry for the way things turned out but I’ll always thank every Lazio fan for the support they gave me from the first to the last minute. 

Lazio are a great club and it was great to be part of it, I gave everything even if I didn’t do well. I’ll always be a Lazio fan, I continue to follow them on Instagram and follow them in general, I’m sorry they didn’t see the real Muriqi.

He spoke highly about Lazio talisman Ciro Immobile.

There’s little to say, Ciro always plays because he always scores, in every game. It’s hard to be his back up, he’s incredible, inside the box he’s a real killer. I’ve never seen such a strong player, maybe only Lewandowski is like him.

Finally, Muriqi admitted that he was at fault for his poor time with Lazio.

Now I only think of doing my best, of scoring many goals without making mistakes. I feel good, I feel confidence and if there are these two things it is easier to do well. However, I want to reiterate that there were no mistakes made by Lazio, the fans, Tare or Inzaghi, most of them were mine.

Tags Biancocelesti Italy Lazio Muriqi Rome Serie A Vedat Muriqi