Thursday October 12 2017
Lucas: ‘More difficult for Juventus’

Lazio midfielder Lucas Leiva believes “it’ll be harder now” for Saturday’s opponents Juventus to win Serie A.

The Bianconeri have dominated the Italian top flight in recent years, winning six Scudetti in a row, as well as three Coppe Italia on the bounce.

“It’s hard to say if Juventus will still be the dominant team in Italy,” Lucas said, speaking to Goal.

“They’re the principal favourites because of their history and their squad, but I think there are a few teams who can think about the Scudetto this year.

“Napoli play good football and have been getting great results for years, Inter have strengthened and grown, Lazio have started well… It’ll be harder for Juve now.”

Lazio have started the season in great form, and the Brazilian was asked if there was a ‘Leiva effect’ at work.

“There’s no Leiva effect, we’ve had a goo start to the season, we did well in the Supercoppa and also in the Europa League, but we’ve only played 10 games and there’s a lot of work to do.

“I adapted to Italian football quickly, although I had a lot to improve tactically. I want to help Lazio, and it would be very selfish to say everything improved when I came in.

“Quite the contrary, the team did very well last season and luckily we’re continuing on that path.

“They signed me for my attributes, they wanted an experience player who could guarantee protection in front of the defence. I have a lot to work and improve on.”

Lucas also discussed his arrival in Rome.

“I did not leave earlier because there was no agreement between the three parties involved, Liverpool, the club concerned and myself.

“I had opportunities to go to Turkey, also to others in Italy, but my relationship with Liverpool was always very strong, so everything was always done by mutual agreement, there was never a fight or impasse.

“Now, with the possibility of Lazio, the conversation lasted only five minutes. It was my time to leave, it was good for everyone. Liverpool understood and realised that I deserved a new challenge.”