Monday Jan 25, 2021  
  16/03/2012: Interview with Fabio Firmani
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Let's return to that goal against Parma "I lived those two weeks intensively that separated us from the game with Parma, the fact that we had suffered a great injustice of our boy, our friend. I had promised myself in silence to try to do something, in great bitterness, in this tragic situation I thought of something that could mitigate, but it's hard to explain, I knew it would happen before the game .The game went as I imagined".

Your experience in China? "The season ended in China last December, it was a fantastic experience. I have taken great satisfaction in what I have done this season. The company asked me to stay for the season about to begin in April, I would not accept because I went there to do a season of experience, to make new friends, to open a channel, to make relationships in China, my cycle ended with them the summer".

What do you take from it and what were the difficulties? "It was an unforgettable experience and I also overcame so many problems. Moments that were not simple, especially as I was beginning from being twenty hours from home. There were difficult moments, the first when I arrived. In Beijing we had a 3-hour flight, there were 300 passengers and there was a 'stranger'. There have been difficulties related to loneliness sometimes, but I enjoyed it. I had an Italian channel where they showed a bit of everything. I tried to see Lazio on the internet, and when there was the derby a fellow Scot arrived in the second part of season, teased me and said that Roma would celebrate. Once in the room I turned on the TV and did not see the Derby. At that point I started to jokingly tell him that he must find the game otherwise I would have beaten him. He eventually put on the internet and Roma was in the lead. Then when he began to tease the beat I him! [laughs]".

How did you live the Derby this year? "The first I was sure we would win, the second I expected it to be harder. Obviously we played our game, we would have surely succeed as we played great, but the incident (red card) has changed the game. Right now we are more of a team than Roma and it was not hard to take home the points. Then came the Bologna and a drop was predictable. There came a weaker team on paper than us, but of that group of "small" teams, surely one of the most dangerous. Now I am very confident ahead of Catania and I am convinced that we will play an excellent game. They have good players, but I trust in the group and I know that the team knows how to rise to these occasions".

Do you think you will come back to Italy? "Now I'm deciding what to do, we'll see what happens. I'm not thinking too much now what I have to do tomorrow morning. I have no thought of returning to Italy. I could go back and play a few years and find it easier. If someone makes me an offer and he needs me that is one thing, but if I have to offer myself, I do not want any favours. My last game I played with the Lazio shirt, no other teams could give 1 percent of the emotions I had with Lazio. If my career was over in Italy with Lazio, that game for me would be just cause for pride".

Let's go back. How important was the famous retreat in Norcia? "The retreat was essential in Norcia, the performances of individuals were upside down, in my opinion an important stage where coach and players united. They needed a jolt, to discuss, to clarify and to discuss what was wrong. I think at that time we took some responsibility as a team and that gave us the strength to go forward and it's nice to see what the team has done in recent years".

What are the reasons that a group may fall apart? "I think that season there were so many problems. We started well by winning the Super Cup, then when we lost the motivation and faith on our inner strength we realized that there was a serious problem. I was sidelined and when I came back I saw a fragile group that was not based on mutual respect. Human relationships are those that make a difference in everything you do. When you are not united you take it off the field and on the field. One factor of this team is one that has values. It also takes intelligence on the part of the players".

With Lazio you wanted to play more "I remember the anger when you are excluded, but I've always been very caring and I hoped that my companions that start in my place would play a good match. But there's been a few games that I wanted to participate. For example, after Parma-Lazio we played with Olympiakos in the Champions League and I felt good to help out. In that game I would have liked to play very much, then there were others, even in the Derby, but in those cases it was more important to see us win the derby and aeverything else passed into the background".

How was your relationship with Lotito? "Let's say I've always been a guy who 'does not spit on the plate where he eats'. I always tried to get on with my head, I have lived in some situations against the wind and my thinking has always been clear. I am neither rude, nor have I ever attacked someone against the wall. I have my personality and even if I say nothing on television is not because I am afraid. I have always focused on the things that went well".

Do you think that being a 'friend of the fans' may have influenced your career at Lazio? "Honestly, I thought these things and I felt that. For my career it was great because I played for Lazio. I've always had respect for people and I think sport should be done by those that encourage people to follow football".

Did you expect to see Tare as DS and what is your relationship with Delio Rossi? "When Tare became sports director it was a surprise to everyone. It was an evolving situation, seeing it from outside I thought he had the qualities to do so. Rossi, I heard from not long ago, a person that I was tied to even though I had some bad words about him in a positive way. I was hoping to remain, when he spoke I was always listening straight with the antennas. I think he's a person you can learn many things from. He is a very nice and humble person".

What would you do when you 'grow up'? "I want to stay in football because it's my passion. I'm still a player, I come from a league in which I have not even missed a workout. I want to play, but as I said before, to my strengths, I do not have to ask around for favours from anybody. When I will open the doors for another kind of work, I'm sure I can do better than a career as a footballer. I'd like to make the Technical Director, like Sabatini to say".

And Lazio? Do you think they can claim third place? "According to me, I always thought they always could. I started thinking last year that this team has character and next year is going to take what was lost to Udinese. Napoli is definitely a great team but maybe they can win the Coppa Italia and be content".

A salute to Lazio fans ... "I thank all the fans of Lazio, send them a hug and even if it is a bit of time since I've been there, fans know the bond that was there. Thanks for the affection that was always there and that still is".

(Giannino Capaldi)
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