Antonio Candreva admits he “thought I wasn’t going to make it, but now I feel these are my colours” after winning over the sceptical Lazio fans.
The midfielder was jeered and insulted when he first arrived on loan from Udinese amid rumours he had been a Roma supporter in childhood.
However, he fought to earn their respect and scored a sensational strike against Palermo last weekend, celebrating wildly.
“I was fortunate, as the ball went right into the very top corner. Running under the Curva Nord was instinctive for me, as I wanted to embrace the fans,” he told Lazio Style Radio.
“I get the feeling if I do that again then I’ll risk a red card rather than just a yellow!
“Up until a while ago I was having problems at Lazio. I played badly, didn’t recognise myself, although everyone around me was very reassuring. Now everything has changed.
“I feel a part of this project and I feel these are my colours. I honestly thought I wasn’t going to make it.
“It would be fantastic to score in the Rome derby. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time...”
“Will I get back into the Italy side? First of all I am thinking about doing well with Lazio, then if the Azzurri call comes it’ll be another dream come true.”