Thursday October 15 2020
Muriqi: 'Lazio my first choice'

Vedat Muriqi assures Lazio were his ‘first choice’ among many offers and he is far more than a simple hitman. ‘I love to play for the team.’

The centre-forward eventually made the transfer from Fenerbahce for €20m after a long and often confusing negotiation process, then couldn’t train with the squad for a few weeks because he was diagnosed with COVID-19.

“It is an honour to be here,” said the Kosovo international in his press conference.

“There are certainly differences compared to football in Turkey. I received many messages from the fans when I arrived and assured them about my commitment.

“I know people said I am the Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Kosovo, but the truth is I’ll just be the Muriqi of Lazio. I am here to do my best.

“I don’t want too much pressure on how many goals I expect to get, as I am not a soloist, I love to play for the team.”

Muriqi had also been linked with other sides, including Tottenham Hotspur, but will get to play in the Champions League at Lazio.

“I am at one of the biggest clubs in Italy and I want to be as great as this club. There were many offers, but I chose Lazio for their playing style and for director of sport Igli Tare, who is from Albania. Lazio were my first choice.

“I already know all about the Rome Derby and I can’t wait to play in that game.”

He’ll have competition for places with Felipe Caicedo, Joaquin Correa and European Golden Shoe winner Ciro Immobile.

“It’s a dream to play with Immobile and I’ll do everything possible to learn from him and support him, both on the field and off.”

Tare was committed to bringing Muriqi to Lazio and personally went to Turkey for the final intensive negotiations.

“The talks to get him were long and difficult, but we are happy to have brought him to Lazio,” added the director of sport.

“We are in three tough competitions this season, so he can complete the attacking options.”

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