Cataldi: ‘Lazio Have What It Takes for the Champions League’

Danilo Cataldi reflected on Lazio’s recent disappointments, their fight for the Champions League and the state of the team’s midfield.

It’s been a frustrating start to the year for Maurizio Sarri and his squad, who have only picked up one point from their opening two games despite taking the lead in both. The disappointing results have seen Lazio drop out of the top four and they’ll be desperate to turn things around quickly in order to avoid slipping out of the race for a Champions League spot.

Speaking at Lazio’s 123rd birthday dinner (via La Lazio Siamo Noi), Cataldi first discussed what happens to the team in certain moments on the pitch.

I don’t know, although I think they were two different games we faced. In Lecce we gave up in general, against Empoli we dominated from the first minute to the final five or six minutes.

We must learn to have a bit more guile, to manage certain situations better. Points like Empoli’s we cannot leave on the street.

He touched on how the team are feeling after their tough start to the year.

There is definitely anger about the result, because then we know that the result changes everyone’s opinion a bit. There is also awareness of our means, Empoli was one of our best performances.

However, when the game ends in a draw you see everything in black, it’s normal. We have to restart from that performance, trying to file down our faults.

The 28-year-old Italian midfielder commented on how he’s personally feeling at the moment.

Personally, it’s a good moment. I had some physical problems, both with Empoli during the warm-up and the week before Lecce. I’ve sorted it out. Maybe I have to try to help the new players, those who are not used to being in these situations.

Rome demands a lot and it’s right that it should be so, so I’m trying together with my teammates to get out of this moment that’s not the best.

Cataldi discussed Lazio’s ambitions to return to the Champions League.

We have what it takes to do it, we proved it before the break. Even against the big teams we showed that we can play, it’s a problem of consistency, every now and then we pull the plug and today we pay for it.

Empoli was supposed to be a game where you were up by even two goals, but then you end up with a daring draw. It makes us angry, the moments go against us, we hope to turn the situation around already on Sunday.

He gave his thoughts on the Biancocelesti midfield.

I see them well. Marcos Antonio has a longer adaptation period, he comes from another league with a coach who demands a lot.

The coach will evaluate the best choices. Vecino and Milinkovic-Savic I see them well, skipping a bit of preparation maybe they are slightly late. Against Empoli he had a great game.

The 28-year-old commented on the future of Luis Alberto.

Everyone is giving him away, there’s a lot of talk about him. The way I’ve seen him these two weeks, I’ve probably never seen him.

In terms of consistency in training. I see a team that can and must grow, we don’t want to compete for anything other than the Champions League.

Finally, Cataldi provided an update on the status of his contract renewal with Lazio.

We’re at a good point. It’s not the main thing right now. Now we have to lift the team. The renewal is a secondary thing, which we will think about later.

Tags Biancocelesti Cataldi Champions League Danilo Cataldi Italy Lazio Rome Serie A UCL