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Lucas Leiva on Inzaghi, Klopp and Milinkovic-Savic: ‘The Ibra of midfielders’

Lazio star Lucas Leiva shares his thoughts on his former coaches Simone Inzaghi and Jurgen Klopp and praises his teammates Ciro Immobile and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, the ‘Zlatan Ibrahimovic of midfielders.’

Inzaghi and Klopp meet at Anfield tonight in the second leg of the Champions League Round of 16. Inter lost the first leg in Milan 2-0 three weeks ago.

“Inzaghi still young (45), but was even younger when I arrived at Lazio,” the Brazilian midfielder told The Athletic.

“He won a few titles. I didn’t know much about him. It was only his second season as a first-team coach. It was a very positive surprise when I started working with him. He’s a great manager,” he continued.

“For me, he was really important. I think he’s the coach I played the most games for. The last four years I played with him are probably one of the best times in my career because he gave me a lot of confidence, we were successful together and we won.

“He’s a very offensive manager. But like all Italians, he is very worried about tactics and how not to concede goals. It’s a good mix. Simone’s very young so he tends to attack a lot. His teams are always scoring a lot of goals but he has in his blood Italian defensive tactics. That’s why I think he has been successful and he’s progressing very well in his career.”

Leiva, 35, joined Lazio from Liverpool in 2017 after a ten-year spell with the Reds. He played 65 games under Klopp at Anfield.

“First of all, he’s a fantastic human being — a great man, very honest,” said the midfielder.

“I learned a lot in the two years I spent with him. I took a lot of the advice he gave me. As soon as he arrived at the club, we could feel, we could smell, things were changing and that the great moments of Liverpool would be back.

“When Jurgen arrived at the club, as I said, we felt things were changing. For myself, I felt the same. Probably my time at the club was coming to an end. I was playing a little less so…


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