Sarri: ‘There’s All the Prerequisites to Move Forward With Lazio’

Maurizio Sarri was honest when speaking after Lazio’s 3-2 win over Cremonese, discussing everything from his future at the club to their transfer market plans.

The Biancocelesti have already secured Champions League football and are now fighting to finish second in the league table. Inter currently sit two points behind the Roman side with one game left to play, leaving everything up in the air.

Sarri has continued to build a strong project at Lazio but doubts have started to emerge over his future in recent months, with some suggestions that differing views of the transfer market with president Claudio Lotito could lead to his departure.

Speaking in a press conference (via La Lazio Siamo Noi) after the match, Sarri was first asked what rating he’d be given for his work at Lazio this season.

I’ve had marks for twenty-one years at school and I’d leave them alone. We had a poor European season, but we had a very high-level Serie A. Beyond all expectations. No one will admit it, I carry the starting criticism from the newspapers, they didn’t give us seventh place.

Either they are admitting incompetence, or we have gone beyond all predictions. As far as the match is concerned, I think that unfortunately we have grown, but we are not mature. These are matches that have this kind of characteristic.

They have to be played differently and it almost always ends up like this that you have to suffer to take a point. 2-0 with a team that is already relegated, all simple and easy and they don’t bother us.

You stop defending and make it 2-2, you score a goal yourself and then you struggle to come out on top. It was a written story.

He touched on his emotions at the final stages of this season.

We have to finish. Now we have to pass a difficult game against Empoli, who have scored eleven points in their last five matches, a difficult task. It would be bad to give up one step away from an important goal for everyone.

The joy is that when I arrived two years ago there were twenty thousand people in the stadium, seeing it today you realise even more what the Lazio fans can be and how much love they can give.

I hope next year is as much like today as possible, it would mean that the team is doing well. That would be beautiful.

From the outside you hardly realise it, then when you experience Lazio from the inside you realise that all the labels put on these people are all false. It’s a great people and I feel very comfortable with them.

The Biancocelesti coach looked ahead to the summer transfer window.

The most important thing is that strong players arrive, then we see how we can play. Forwards give you a lot in terms of characteristics. We have forwards who attack depth and that’s one of the best characteristics.

Certainly, they’re becoming a team that when they manage to dribble, even after long periods of passing, like in Udine, through possession they manage to find spaces to make themselves dangerous.

The important thing is that strong players arrive, who can give us a hand and can prove us at the end of the season. Decisive and usually the forwards are in a brilliant condition.

Sarri discussed his future and relationship with Lazio president Lotito.

I came of my own accord, the salary I accepted here I would not have accepted anywhere else. It was much higher, but I wasn’t interested in that. Here I had the impression that I was returning to pure football, something I had struggled with in the last two years.

I came because I needed to find the taste of the pitch. Knowing that winning here is difficult, if by trophies you mean a Coppa Italia or a Supercoppa I’m not interested. I need it for my CV and going to the Champions League for the club.

For me this approach to the season is much more important. We see the car, sometimes it’s good. Let’s see what kind of car you can have. I’ll talk to the president. It’s not necessarily that because there’s a contract we have to continue together.

I’ll listen to the ideas he has and if we’re all the same as last year, we go ahead calmly. We’ll see what we can do, there should be extra income. I have no intention of leaving Lazio, but neither do I have any intention of doing things that no longer suit me.

This eventuality is extremely remote at the moment, there are all the prerequisites to move forward together. I know they won’t do anything crazy, but that’s part of Lazio’s history. If Lotito listened to me he’d spend one or two billion euros.

The first assault would be made on De Bruyne, then Haaland should perhaps fit into these figures. The first step is to be certain about who stays, if you don’t do this to go after the market you risk taking players who are useless to the cause.

We are short or strong in certain areas of the pitch, but lacking in certain characteristics.

He spoke about how qualifying for the Champions League can signal growth.

The one-off match and predestined victims do not exist. Nobody would put us in it. The fine line for us, as I say to the president, is to qualify the Champions League for three consecutive years.

Then there is the claim. If you start to create a path where you go there consecutively, then you make the leap.

He was asked about the future of star midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

I don’t know right now. The boy has an expiry date, and the club will have to make decisions besides him. If he goes for an extension, it makes sense, if he goes for free it would be heavy.

We will have to see if he is willing to extend. I have not seen him absent, he has had moments of cloudiness but he has always come out of bad times. He got us out of trouble.

Finally, Sarri gave his thoughts on Lazio legend Stefan Radu.

I had the misfortune of knowing him as a footballer in the final part of his career. I had the good fortune to know him as a man, he has loyalty and fair play.

I hope he remains in the Lazio world, a character who was always a unique participation and guide for the group. Rare indeed.

Tags Biancocelesti Cremonese Cremonese vs lazio Italy Lazio lazio vs Cremonese Maurizio Sarri Rome Sarri Serie A