Miroslav Klose has urged Lazio to take advantage of their lack of European football, to immediately re-qualify for it next season.
The Aquile are without midweek commitments in Europe this term following a disappointing ninth place finish last season.
For their veteran forward, the weeks instead spent on the training pitch will be an advantage.
“We have two competitions, the League and the Coppa Italia. It will be important for us,” Klose has considered to reporters today.
“We will play only on the Sunday, so during the week we will work hard. I am happy with the new Coach, whilst many new players have arrived. Hopefully we will be good.
“I like this Lazio, now we have to continue to work together. It is important. When I arrived, the club bought six players and the squad moved forward well. Hopefully the same can happen this year.
“Will we be the surprise of the season? I do not know, we will have to prove it on the field. We have trained well, we have to show everything on the Sunday.
“The two Milan teams, Juventus and Roma are ahead of us. We will see how they do, their shape. Playing every three days is not easy. But I think only of Lazio.”
Attention turned to the 36-year-old’s personal objectives heading into next season.
“Next season I want to improve, last year I did not do very much.
“I cannot say what will happen because we have not yet played a single game. It was important to renew with Lazio before the World Cup.
“I want to score more goals than last year, I had several injuries that did not allow me to perform as I wanted.
“My objectives? They are the same as those of the team, we want to get into Europe. Then we will see if we can fight for a higher position.
“We will consider everything that comes. But first we have to play as a team. Given that we will only be playing on weekends, we can win matches even in the final half-an-hour.
“My future? I have a one-plus-one contract. Later I want to try and gain the licenses to become a Coach. In football, you never know what can happen.”
Klose was asked what Lazio currently lack to bridge the gap to Italy’s best teams.
“I have been here three years, it is important to work during the week and to do everything for Lazio.
“For me, this is a job, you must eat well, sleep much. We are professionals, it is normal to be like this.”
Lazio are unsure how many fans will be in attendance for home games, as fans are expected to continue protests against Claudio Lotito.
“It is hard to play without fans, we know that we can change something. If we give everything on the field, they will return to the stadium.
“With them behind us we can win a lot of games at home. So it is difficult. I hope that the Curva is filled, but it also depends on us. We will have to give everything for this shirt.”
Klose, who retired this summer from international duty after winning the World Cup with Germany and becoming the FIFA tournament’s all-time top goalscorer, was asked what advice he would give to newly-elected FIGC President Carlo Tavecchio.
“Work with young players. In 10 years German football has grown so much, in many clubs. There are many young people who play in the Bundesliga each year. When they are good, they also play for their country.
“Are Germany a model to follow? I think that Italy are tactically good. We realised a few years ago that we needed young players.
“Around three to four years ago we started to take players from the youth sides and we also had great teams at Under-21 and Under-19 level.
“For many Brazil was the first World Cup, and it is important to have players young and old. It does not depend on tactics. You have to have the right characters and also be proud to play for your country.”