Monday Nov 20, 2017  
     
 
  21/05/2014: Almeyda: "Totti is the spoilt child of Rome"
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Matías Almeyda has been very frank and open in an interview with catenaccio.es as he talks about his life as a player in both Italy and Argentina.

Do you always follow Serie A?

"When I can, always. With the timezones and the fixtures of Banfield, it is not easy, but I am always in the know with the league."

Do you follow Lazio in particular?

"Of course, it was my first Italian team and the one in which I felt the strongest emotions. The Scudetto in 2000 - coming from behind to win - that will go down in history."

When did you feel you could bridge the enormous gap that separated Lazio from Juventus?

"When we won in Turin with Simeone's goal. Then we realised we had to try until the end."

That midfield with Simeone and Veron, was it the best Lazio ever had?

"Absolutely, the results say so. In three years, we won the Scudetto, the Cup Winners' Cup, European Supercup, Italian Supercup and two Italian Cups."

Football aside, what are your best memories of the Italian experience? 

"Without doubt, the lifestyle. Rome is a beautiful city and I left a lot of wonderful people, including the parents of one of my daughter's friend. And one of my daughter's was born in Rome, so you can imagine what it means to me."

Almeyda believes that the
Derby della Capitale does not compare to the Superclásico in Argentina, as the Rome Derby is isolated to Rome whereas Boca Juniors and River Plate's rivalry transcends an entire country, however, he made it clear that he enjoyed the derby and playing against Francesco Totti:

"I always enjoyed playing the Rome Derby, especially as I often had to mark Francesco Totti, the spoiled child of Rome. I was very motivated to have to deal with a fantastic player. Few are the occasions I have been up close with a player of such quality."

Almeyda spoke of Lazio present and underlined his willingness to manage the club in the future:

"It hurts to see Lazio reduced to this. A team that has always been in my heart and that I spent three years with, before I was forced to go to Parma as part of Crespo's transfer."

"It would be a dream to coach Lazio one day. I do not want to put pressure on Reja, but I can not hide that I would like to coach the club one day and return to live in Rome."
Author: Cathal Mullan
 
 
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