Matteo Guendouzi explained why he decided to join Lazio this summer and opened up about his ambitions at the club.
The 24-year-old Frenchman joined the Biancocelesti from Olympique Marseille on transfer deadline day on a loan deal with a conditional obligation to buy clause attached, adding a hard-working and passionate player to Maurizio Sarri’s squad.
Guendouzi already seems a good fit for the Lazio project and has added another strong option to the midfield, alongside other new arrivals like Daichi Kamada and Nicolo Rovella.
Speaking in his unveiling press conference (via La Lazio Siamo Noi), Guendouzi first introduced him to the Lazio fanbase.
Hello everyone, my name is Matteo Guendouzi, I am 24 years old, I am French and I am a midfielder. I’ve just arrived at Lazio, I’ve been here for just under two weeks.
I chose Lazio first of all because they’re a great club both at Italian and European level, with a great history. They’ve won so many trophies in the past.
I wanted to be part of a great club where I can grow and continue to improve. I would love to win something with Lazio.
He touched on the conversations he held with the club’s management before making the move from Marseille.
The various meetings I had with the club showed a real interest in me, accompanied by a real project.
It’s also the fact that I have a very good coach like Sarri that pushed me to come, because apart from the human aspect I share the same footballing philosophy and the same ideas of the game.
That’s why he is a very good coach for me, because he will help me to improve and grow. Clearly, I am very young and with him I can improve a lot.
As I have already said, I have a great desire to win trophies with this great club and to discover the stadium with the fantastic fans.
He gave his thoughts on coach Sarri and his adaption to the system.
I know the coach said I felt comfortable from the moment I arrived and it’s true. I was very well received by the coach and the people who work at the club and my team.
They explain things to me very well, how to defend, how to attack and what the coach expects from me.
I’ve done very little training, but it’s like I’ve done several seasons. This is happening because of the wonderful reception I have received. I am a spontaneous person, who likes to understand others and ask questions.
That’s why I have already understood some things: what the coach wants and how the team works. But I still have a lot to learn.
The 24-year-old weighed in on his Biancocelesti teammates.
I certainly knew many teammates, having seen them in the past in the Europa League when I played with Marseille. There are so many great players, and I couldn’t even mention them all.
As for the match against Napoli, Luis Alberto played an exceptional game. Felipe also. And there is a really good team, I will be able to learn a lot alongside them.
He touched on his goals in the Champions League.
Lazio are a great club, this year they’re playing in the Champions League. This team is made to win and go very far, I know that on the pitch I will show my qualities as well as the fact that I share the coach’s system of play.
And as I said, he will be able to make me grow both as a man and as a player. There are many reasons why I came to Lazio.
The Frenchman was asked about a nickname he had in England, during his time with Arsenal.
I don’t know why especially in England they nicknamed me ‘bad boy’. I don’t like it very much because I’m very sincere and honest, when I’m on the pitch I always want to win.
Sometimes I can overreact in gestures and movements, but because I want to improve and be the best to help the team.
This leads me to live the game in an intense way and so when you win there can be joy, when you lose or there is a mistake by the referee there can be reactions.
I always want to help my teammates with the mentality of always wanting to win, win and win. I don’t have a specific nickname, here I’m called Guendo and that’s fine.
Finally, Guendouzi gave his thoughts on Lazio captain Ciro Immobile.
There are great players who have been here and have had great careers. Looking at Lazio’s past and present, I have great respect for Ciro Immobile.
For all the goals he has scored and for everything he has done. He is a legend, an emblematic player. The strongest striker in the history of the club.
I think all Lazio fans, and in general in Italy and Europe, have great respect for him.