Ciro Immobile compares Simone Inzaghi to Jurgen Klopp, reveals he was close to joining Napoli and why he might not end his career at Lazio. “Perhaps they’ll need more important players.”
The Capocannoniere is on track to set a new all-time Serie A record, so far scoring 27 goals in just 26 games this season, taking his team into second place behind Juventus.
There were even reports linking him with a move to Liverpool – having worked with Klopp at Borussia Dortmund – or his hometown club of Napoli.
“I was close to Napoli and it’s true that I did hope to one day play for them, but I am so happy here that after arriving at Lazio, I stopped thinking about it,” Immobile told Er Faina on an Instagram Livestream chat.
“I don’t know if I’ll end my career here. Perhaps by the time I am 33, Lazio will be so successful that they need more important players than me. I don’t like to be a burden on anyone. I’ll keep giving my all for this jersey as long as I can.
“Inzaghi is certainly the coach I got along best with. We had that brief discussion when I reacted angrily to a substitution, but he dealt with it the right way. I know him and he knows me.”
Immobile worked with current Liverpool manager Klopp at Borussia Dortmund in 2014-15, but struggled to adapt to life in Germany.
“Klopp is a great expert in football and I always said that I’d have liked to work with him when I was in my best form. He is a complete coach, he has everything.
“Having said that, he really reminds me of Simone Inzaghi, as they are very similar in their motivational skills, albeit in slightly different ways.
“At the time, I had offers from Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid, but had already given my word to the German club and I am a man of my word. Borussia had reached the Champions League Final, won the Bundesliga and had Klopp on their bench.
“That season didn’t go the way I wanted, but it wasn’t that bad either. It was a difficult period for the team overall and I scored 10 goals, four of them in the Champions League.
“I had a spell at Torino, where I got injured, and had returned to Sevilla when my agent called and said a deal was done with Lazio. I was happy and wanted to come here at all costs. It was a huge chance, I liked the team and the coach, but it was after the chaos with Marcelo Bielsa, so I knew it would be tough.
“I didn’t want to make the same mistake as Dortmund, when I was made into some replacement for Robert Lewandowski. I didn’t even try to replicate what Miroslav Klose was for Lazio, so took my own approach.
“I settled in straight away, with Felipe Anderson a fundamental partner and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic already showing his potential. Luis Alberto and Keita Balde Diao were also crucial, now there’s Tucu Correa and Felipe Caicedo. We’ve always been united as people, not just football players.”