Lazio midfielder Danilo Cataldi spoke about the team’s early work in their pre-season training camp and weighed in on the loss of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
The Serbian star left the Biancocelesti this week to join up with Saudi side Al-Hilal in a deal worth around €42 million total. He has signed a three-year contract with the club, worth circa €20 million net per season.
Lazio have now completed their first few days of work at the pre-season training camp in Auronzo di Cadore, working hard to prepare for the 2023-24 season, which kicks off next month.
Speaking in a press conference (via La Lazio Siamo Noi), Cataldi first discussed the first few days of the training camp.
It’s going well, it’s feeling good. We’re doing very good tactical and physical work, the coach is demanding. There are a lot of young players in the camp, we’re trying to give them a hand.
He touched on the fact that this is his 10th pre-season retreat with Lazio.
I didn’t think it had been so many years, it’s been a long journey. I hope it can last a long time, the first time I was a Primavera boy, now I’ve grown up, I always try to do my best.
The midfielder was asked about the loss of Milinkovic-Savic and his promotion to vice-captain.
I haven’t thought about how much I earn from a personal point of view. Lazio lost an important player, who put up incredible numbers, he must be given credit for that.
He never said anything out of place, he always gave his all, I wish him good luck. I’m not the one to say what needs to be done, you lose an important player.
We have to face many competitions, there’s also a new format in the Super Cup, there are two extra games. We need a signal, a push. President Lotito is working to give us a hand.
Cataldi was also asked about Lazio’s search for a new regista, which could threaten his starting spot.
I am someone who thinks that competition is always good, we face important competitions, the Europa League already took away a lot of energy, the Champions League will take away even more because of the tension.
Lazio must be a strong team, we need strong players regardless of the roles. If another regista arrives, welcome, we’re here for the good of Lazio, not for personal goals.
Of course, then we all want to play, myself included. There must be genuine competition, which is good for the team.
The Italian midfielder spoke about how Lazio can improve after their second-place finish last season.
Improving on second place would mean doing something incredible. It’s always the pitch that decides. Last year no one named Napoli favourites, nor Lazio second. The start of the season is tough, but we have to face all the games.
Regarding the national team I can’t make the choices, it’s my childhood dream, everyone hopes for a similar path. I’ve been there very little, I’m sorry, maybe it’s partly my fault, over the years I haven’t played so much that the coaches are interested.
In that role the national team is covered. The pitch will decide, but the Azzurri midfield is in very good hands. If it’s still a dream? I don’t know. Lazio are my national team now, then we’ll see. Maybe it’s a cliché! But really, now I want to concentrate here.
He discussed the team’s goals in the Champions League.
We haven’t talked about that, when you play this competition predictions are always complicated. There is the motivation of facing a different reality, in the Champions League you measure yourself against other realities, we are curious to see where we are.
We can make a good run, then matches are decided by individual moments. Let’s see what we can do.
Cataldi was asked about his impression of club captain Ciro Immobile.
As always, serene and happy. I saw Ciro calm. I read something about the rumours, I don’t know anything honestly, we’ve never even talked about it. I saw the usual Immobile, eager in the two days here, he’s our captain.
He touched on his physical condition.
I’m fine, I’ve spent the last month struggling a bit because of the knock I took. Now the calf is doing well, I spent a good part of the summer dedicated to training and taking care of the muscle.
Finally, Cataldi discussed which team he’d like to face in the Champions League.
I’d like to play against an English team, with Lazio I never managed it in the years we played in Europe. We’ll see in a while what group we’ll be in.