Romagnoli: ‘I Always Wanted to Return to Lazio’

Alessio Romagnoli reflected on his Milan departure, his desire to join his boyhood club Lazio and goals in the Italian capital.

The 28-year-old Italian defender ended a seven-year association with the Rossoneri last summer and joined the Biancocelesti on a free transfer, penning a five-year deal.

Romagnoli has long been known for his support of Lazio and has immediately become a fan favourite following his arrival in the summer.

Speaking to DAZN (via La Lazio Siamo Noi), Romagnoli first discussed his desire to win with Lazio.

It’s normal that it’s nice for a person to play for their favourite team and be at home. But I think the strongest, most important choice is to find a serious project, a strong team and a strong coach, because I want to win with Lazio.

It’s nice to be here, but I want to win with my favourite team, for me that’s the fundamental thing.

He remembered his first time at Formello and touched on his family’s support of the club.

I was a child, it must have been 2003-04 and it was the only time, before coming back this year. I went in with my dad, because through a friend we obtained two passes to watch the training session.

There was Mancini as coach and the team trained in the cage. I dreamed of going back there as a player, when I returned it was exciting, like every day I return. My Biancocelesti support was passed on to me by my father and grandmother.

My father has always been a Lazio fan, my grandmother too, and as a child I spent a lot of time with her, I watched the games with both of them, the team won, it was a very strong Lazio and it was very easy to become attached to them.

He reflected on his return to the Italian capital last summer.

I always had the idea that I wanted to come back. I didn’t want to do it too late, but at an age when I still felt good, when I could give the best of myself.

I had other good offers on the market, but there was always this desire to come back, the desire to wear this shirt. A lot was also done by the people at home who told me ‘come back, come back’.

The will has always been there, then however Lazio have a good project, they’re a very competitive and strong team, they have a coach who is very good and prepared, so I said to myself that this was the time to come back.

The 28-year-old spoke about his appreciation of Maurizio Sarri and the game plan in the Italian capital.

I liked him from my time at Napoli, I was curious to know how he worked, in particular with the defensive line, the details he focused on.

We work every day, both as a department and as a team. We have concepts that we follow, that benefit us. Then sometimes it happens, as it did, that the game doesn’t go well but the idea with or without the ball remains.

Then there are other things that have to be put right during the game. The nice thing, though, is that we have an identity and everyone recognises it.

Romagnoli discussed Milan’s Scudetto success last season and the criticisms he received during his final years with the club.

An Italian player must aim to win the Scudetto. To win it with a club like Milan, as captain, is something out of the ordinary.

It was nice, after years of disappointments, so many criticisms, so many dark movements, to go to 75,000 every time at the San Siro and to feel at home every time we went out was crazy. To win was crazy.

Criticism? I don’t give a damn! They can annoy, more or less. They didn’t know how I was sometimes when I was on the pitch, I was sick from November onwards with a groin issue. I was also struggling to train.

Captain’s armband? The good and the bad, the responsibility you have. It’s normal that when the team goes so-so, the first one to put his face on has to be the captain. I always stay focused on what I have to do on the pitch.

He touched on his decision to leave the club on a free transfer.

I had discussed the contract situation with Milan, they had also made me an offer. Then our paths parted, they preferred to make other choices, I made mine.

Maybe it would have been better to be clearer, so as not to take the negotiation to the end. But I can only have wonderful memories of Milan, seven fantastic years.

Finally, Romagnoli reflected on his penalty goal against Lazio in the Coppa Italia semi-finals.

I was disappointed because we were playing Lazio, but happy because we had passed the round. We had already lost a final with Brocchi.

My thoughts were more for my grandmother, she and my father are the ones who have always supported me, they took me to play in the piazzetta, to training.

It was very easy for me not to celebrate, I said it, I’ve always respected Lazio. The first goal under the Nord was an explosion for me but I think for a lot of other people.

Tags AC Milan Alessio Romagnoli Biancocelesti Italy Lazio Lazio vs Milan Milan Milan vs Lazio Romagnoli Rome rossoneri Serie A