Luciano Zauri who became the captain after the sale of Oddo to Milan has spent the last three years away from Lazio with Fiorentina and Sampdoria and now is back. The player spoke to Lazio Style Radio after the training in Formello.
"Finally the mercato is over, and I am happy to remain here. It is very nice to come back and see the old friends, although this Lazio has changed from the times when I was here. But still I was able to see many of the staff whom I used to work with." said Zauri.
Asked about the preseason, Zauri was optimistic: "We have prepared ourselves well, of course with the heat making it harder but we have to do our job and we do it with pleasure. We have worked hard and now we are looking forward to reap the work done by starting against Milan on Friday."
Ofcourse like everyone at Lazio, Zauri would have preferred to start the season against Chievo:
"The first game will be against the champions of Italy on their home ground, and it will be a tough game as Milan are very strong. But we are going there with the will of not being defeated and we shall do our best."
Zauri will also get the chance to play in Europa League where the player made his debut and scored against Olympiakis an incident he never forgets:
"No one can forget the goals he scores, unfortunately for me, the game was played behind closed doors, but I had great emotions nevertheless. Playing in Europe always has its charm and while one would like to play in the champions League as it is the ultimate tournament in Europe, the Europa League has improved a lot over the years. We will be facing strong opposition like Sporting Lisbon and looking at our group I think we can qualify hopefully starting with a win against Vaslui."
Zauri has played in Europe with Lazio and also featured in the champions league against Benfica in the Mancini era.
"It was either me or Mendieta, but then Mancini told me you will be playing, and I did not have time to prepare myself, but thankfully it went well and we won 3-1. In Mancini's squad everyone was attack minded, and I had the responsibility of going back to help with the defense."
Zauri then was asked about his opinion of the pair Cisse-Klose:
"They are two attackers of the highest levels. Of course we can only judge them during the season, but on paper, they are very strong players. They have been working hard in the training. Of course they will face some difficulties adapting like all foreigners do in Italy."
Zauri has featured in Mancini's plans as a striker who played alongside Claudio Lopez and Corradi, and he jokes that he will be giving advice for Cisse and Klose on how to score:
"I will teach them a couple of tricks, I still remember when we played against Parma and I played in the front line alongside Corradi and Claudio Lopez, we won 3-0 back then."
Zauri is one of the players that the young players added by Reja to the first team could learn from, as he has plenty of experience: "When I was a young player I used to always hang out around older and more experienced players and listen to their advice, and the four players from Primavera are very attentive to our advice."
Zauri finally commented on his relationship with the fans: "I respect the fans a lot, I am not one that goes under the Curva and kiss the jersey, but I can assure them that I am one who will give everything when on the field. Of course mistakes happen, they are a part of football."