Lazio’s Lazzari: Sarri is a great coach, he changed me

Lazio winger, Manuel Lazzari, shared his thoughts ahead of the Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid, drawing attention to how his role and the team’s performance have evolved under the coaching of Maurizio Sarri.

Lazzari praised Sarri, acknowledging the coach’s significant impact since taking up the reins. Sarri is credited for the transformation of Lazzari from a part-time midfielder to one of the key players of the team. Lazzari quoted, “He’s a great coach. I used to be a fifth midfielder, now I’ve completely changed. Thanks to the coach, we’re now a team that dominates ball possession.” Lazzari thanked Sarri for the team’s positive performance last season, leading them to a strong second-place finish, and their progression in the Champions League this season.

Addressing last season’s differences, Lazzari highlighted a prevalent issue – the inability to seal the deal in matches. He referenced a particular game against Verona, where, despite numerous opportunities created, the match ended in a draw. He said, “We created another 5 or 6 opportunities to close it. In my opinion, that’s the only thing missing. In terms of ball play and game speed, we are better than last year.”

When discussing the changes brought about, Lazzari emphasised the gruelling process behind shifting roles within the team and its fundamental effect on his performance. “It’s been three years that I work with the coach, and we have gone through phases. Changing roles requires a lot of work, it hasn’t been easy. This year, I feel much better, more at ease. Now I focus more on defending rather than attacking,” Lazzari explained.

His ongoing development as a player is reiterated, “I always go full speed in training. I reach the baseline ten times and get two crosses right, but it’s not easy after a hundred metres of the field to arrive clear-headed to assist.”

Lazzari’s remarks offer an intriguing look at the positive changes and room for improvement within Lazio under Sarri’s leadership, as the team prepares for their Champions League match against Atletico Madrid.

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