Lazio attacker Mattia Zaccagni sat down with Serie A ahead of Matchday 27 to speak about his performances and skillset, the Biancocelesti’s campaign so far, and the upcoming Derby della Capitale.
A Rising Star in Rome & Serie A
Close control… acceleration… And a killer instinct. Mattia Zaccagni – the archer – is flourishing in his second season at Lazio. So far this campaign he’s fired 8 goals and set up 4. As far as the fans are concerned, this 27-year-old hits the target.
“It’s really nice that the fans think of me as a symbol of the team. It’s a great honour for me. I try to give everything on the pitch in every match. Slowly but surely, I’m reaping the rewards. Up to now, it’s been my best season, but I think I can still do so many things. I can do much better. I’ve had my breakthrough but I must keep going. The coach says he wants me to get to double figures. It’s something I also expect from myself. I’m trying to do that in any way I can.”
Skillset & Position
Further evidence of Zaccagni’s quality can be found in other numbers if you know where to look. No one has been fouled more often in Serie A this season, 71 times. A strong clue as to which player opponents fear the most. Cutting in from the left wing, Zaccagni has sharpened Lazio’s attack and proven to be a real star of Sarri-ball.
“I think it’s down to my way of playing. I’m small and fast so sometimes opponents resort to fouling me. It’s sometimes frustrating to get fouled because I’m heading for goal or the defensive line, but it’s part of the game. When I arrived here, the coach told me that I needed to attack deep, to cut inside from the left when we’re attacking from the right. I’ve taken that on board and put it into practice on the pitch. At Verona, I played more centrally as an attacking midfielder, but this is a role that suits me and that I really like doing.”
An Unexpected But Positive Campaign So Far
“We’ve done really well against the big teams. We’ve perhaps been missing something against the smaller teams. However, against the big teams, we find the right motivation. The big games belong more to us. We must improve in that respect. We need to be more consistent in smaller games in terms of who we face. We need to have the same motivation and the same character on the pitch.”
Derby della Capitale
Sunday is derby day in Rome. Zaccagni, who’s only played once in this capital clash, can already feel the fire and the fury.
“Last year, I missed them both. The last derby was so passionate, perhaps the most passionate of my career. You could feel the tension in the air from weeks before, the derby atmosphere. It’s a match where the lads who have been here a while convey the excitement and motivation needed to face it. I think that there needs to be tension before a game. You need to turn it into positive energy to do as well as possible on the pitch.”