Thursday May 10 2012
‘Nesta one of the game’s greatest’

Former Lazio President Sergio Cragnotti has praised Alessandro Nesta, in reaction to the defender’s confirmation that he will leave Serie A this summer.

Nesta, 36, confirmed on Thursday that this will be his final season in the Italian top-flight, drawing to a close a two-decade-long career that has seen him win 19 major honours at club and international level.

Cragnotti, who held power at Lazio during Nesta’s emergence and later ascent to the role of club captain, paid tribute to the defender.

“Alessandro was one of the most important resources at my great Lazio,” remembered Cragnotti on Radio Sportiva. “Dino Zoff took him into the first time in 1993-94 and although he was very young you could already see he was a great talent. He contributed to building a great club.

“He is a simple man, who is totally dedicated to football and is one of the game’s greatest champions. His transfer to Milan was dictated by financial reaons - he had a great attachment to the Lazio shirt but realised it was necessary for the funds.

“Nesta’s farewell today is the choice of a great professional, he preferred to go and play elsewhere before waiting for a definitive decline.

“His heir? Thiago Silva can take his place.”

Cragnotti then turned his attention to the Aquile’s current season, that could end on Sunday with Champions League qualification.

“They have expressed some good football and Miroslav Klose has added value to the team. Should they get to third place and reach the Champions League then it would be a season to remember - it’s a shame about the lack of transfer activity in January.

“My experience? I’m happy for what I did with Lazio and I hope that soon the team can return to those levels.”

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