Lazio veteran Stefan Radu has confirmed his intention to hang up his boots and retire at the end of this season.
The 36-year-old Romanian defender joined the Biancocelesti from FC Dinamo in July 2008 for around €4.75m. Since then, Radu has grown into a fan favourite and first team regular in the Italian capital, becoming Lazio’s all-time record appearance holder, overtaking previous holder Giuseppe Favalli.
Speaking in the matchday programme (via La Lazio Siamo Noi) ahead of Lazio’s clash with Fiorentina, Radu reflected on his long history with the club and plans for the future.
So many years have passed, even I don’t know how. I have some regrets, it’s normal, but the good memories far outweigh the bad ones.
At the end of last season I decided that this would be my last season and months later I can confirm that the time has come to say goodbye to football.
I hope Lazio can take away many more satisfactions in the coming years, that’s the most important thing.
He reflected on what his goals were with Lazio when he arrived in 2008.
I certainly never thought I could stay so long, it was a beautiful dream. I was a young boy on his first experience away from home, I arrived alone and with a suitcase.
Radu looked back at the last 15 years and Lazio’s growth across that period.
The credit for this growth belongs to the club. Lazio have always occupied the top positions in the league table and every year they try to improve.
I am happy to have had the chance to win with this shirt and to have become the most present player in the history of this wonderful club.
But I hope that one day Milinkovic-Savic can beat my record, I always tell him, it would be a beautiful moment for everyone.
Finally, Radu commented on what’s next for him after he hangs up his boots.
I haven’t decided yet, the season is still long and my priority is to stay focused with the team to get great results until the end of this season.
Radu has hardly featured for Lazio this season, only seeing 67 minutes of action across two Europa League appearances.
Living Legend! Te iubim Radu!
Forza Radu. Always love your loyalty.