Thursday Oct 29, 2020  
  31/07/2014: De Vrij: "I didn't expect such a welcome. I feel loved."
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Stefan De Vrij held his first press conference as a Lazio player following his switch from Feyenoord. Claudio Lotito was also present but the Dutch youngster enjoyed a question and answer session with the Roman media for the first time.

"I am very happy to be here in this great city. Thanks to Lotito, Tare, Armando (Calveri) and all the staff. I'm honoured to have arrived at Lazio. I hope to improve and become a strong player."

Did you expect such a welcome?

"I did not expect that at all, we were two hours late. It was amazing to find all those fans at the airport. They immediately showed their personality. I feel incredibly loved, I realised what I had expected to find here at Lazio was true."

Did you choose Lazio before the World Cup?

"Lazio was the only club in the world really interested in me. Then I evaluated other options but the one that gave me the best feeling was Lazio. It was definitely the best choice."

What are your goals at Lazio?

"I'm excited to play for Lazio. I want to help the team improve, improve myself and become more complete."

Stam played for Lazio, would you like to retrace his footsteps?

"I have so much respect for Stam, but I prefer to be unique. I do not like to compare myself to other players."

For a defender, is the Italian league the best to help you improve?

"I can only speak for myself but surely it is the best place for me."

Would you recommend another defender for Lazio? Such as Vlaar?

"It is not up to me to say these things, other people like the president have to answer these questions. I've played with him since I was 18, we have a great understanding. He is a friend."

Did you speak to Pelle about Lazio and the Italian league?

"Everyone was positive about my decision. He is a great striker, but with him I have a great understanding. We spoke about it a lot."

You have already looked at the Lazio squad, what do you think?

"Well, yes. I researched and analysed the team and spoke to the coach. I cannot say what goals to have, I need a little more time."

Was there a move from Roma to disrupt the deal?

"No, it's not true"

Were there any clubs that could have changed your mind to come to Lazio?

"There were many clubs interested, it doesn't matter who. Not Manchester United, I made the decision to be here and I'm very excited."

At the World Cup you played in a back 3. Which do you prefer?

"It's not important, I've played in a back 3 and back 4. Both go well for me, the important thing is communication. That's why I want to learn Italian immediately."

What are your strong points and where do you need to improve?

"I'm good with the ball and can make quick decisions. I must learn to make quick headers."

Author: Giannino Capaldi
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