Sven Goran Eriksson admits Simone Inzaghi wasn’t a natural coach, but his mentor hopes the pupil “beats my record and wins the Scudetto with Lazio.”
The Biancocelesti have already matched the all-time club record of nine straight wins, set in 1998-99, and are aiming for 10 against Napoli this evening.
That kicks off at 17.00 GMT, click here for a match preview.
“I hope that Inzaghi does beat my record,” Eriksson told La Gazzetta dello Sport magazine SportWeek.
“Lazio have everything it takes to win the Scudetto, especially as they still have a game in hand. Juventus remain the favourites, even if Inter and the two Roman clubs are up there. Serie A has become more interesting and spectacular this season.
“My head says Juve will win the title, my heart says Lazio.”
Eriksson’s Lazio won the Serie A title in 1999-00, the Coppa Italia twice, Supercoppa Italiana on two occasions, the Cup Winners’ Cup and European Supercup.
“In my Lazio, I had great players and I expected many of them to become great coaches in future, as they had so much experience and knowledge.
“Roberto Mancini was already practically a coach on the field, then Sinisa Mihajlovic and Diego Simeone were phenomenal. To be honest, I didn’t really think of Simone Inzaghi taking this path,” continued Eriksson.
“He is doing exceptional work at Lazio, not just on a tactical level, but also mentally, because Rome is a very tough place to work in.
“I could see in my pupils even at the time that they could see football beyond the pitch. Simeone changed the history of Atletico Madrid and ought to battle with Real Madrid and Barcelona for the title, but the club isn’t that powerful, so he has to repeatedly sell players.
“Roberto Mancini transformed the Nazionale, bringing Italy back to where they belong on the European stage.”
Mihajlovic is the coach of Bologna and now on the road to recovery after a battle with leukaemia.
“I spoke to Sinisa at Christmas, he has incredibly strength, even in illness. He’s a born leader.”
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