Sergej Milinkovic-Savic reveals what it was like to score in the Rome derby, the family secret to his jumping and why he has ‘so much more to prove’ at Lazio.
The midfielder is constantly linked to world class clubs, but has shown his commitment to the Biancocelesti ever since his arrival in 2015.
“I’ve only done what everyone expected of me so far, but there’s so much more I need to prove,” SMS told Lazio Style Channel.
“I remember everything from my arrival to the journey to the people at the airport. I was in shock and didn’t expect so many fans. I was coming from Belgium, where football isn’t as popular as in Italy. Naturally, Serie A is tougher than what I was accustomed to and I had to adapt as quickly as possible.
“I immediately flew to China for the Italian Supercup and started a match that was worth a trophy. That’s when I realised where I’d arrived and what was expected of me.”
His first goal was against Fiorentina, but the most famous strike was probably in the Derby della Capitale against Roma.
“I felt free after scoring my first goal and was particularly happy it came on the day of Lazio’s birthday. Every goal is important, but the ones scored in the derby mean more, as the fans wait for those games all year.
“Lazio supporters live for this fixture and I was able to score twice in that season. Now I feel the derby like them, as a Laziale! When you’re here, you understand…”
The Biancocelesti had been leading the Serie A table last season until the COVID pandemic hit and they were never quite the same after the lockdown.
“That was the first time I really thought it was possible we could win the Scudetto, then our dreams were wiped away. It was tough, I sat for three months at home watching the news, and unfortunately the pandemic still isn’t over. We players had to get accustomed to stadiums without fans, but it’s not the same.”
Milinkovic-Savic reveals he ordered a miniature version of the Italian Supercup so he could keep it on his mantelpiece, while there is a very good reason why he’s so strong in the air.
“Many people tell me I jump like a basketball player. That’s because my mother was a basketball player and my sister followed in her footsteps.”
As for his future, the Serbia international is in no rush to leave the Stadio Olimpico.
“I wouldn’t change anything about my career, I’m happy with what I’ve done. I like to consider my choices carefully and learned it’s not good to rush things. I hope that I can end my career saying to myself that I was able to do everything I wanted to.”