Lazio sporting director says he could leave only if he becomes Albania’s coach

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times March 5, 2018 12:47

Lazio sporting director says he could leave only if he becomes Albania’s coach

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  • “If one day I become a coach, I will coach Albania and not a club. I have received offers from different clubs, but I can't think of myself away from Lazio which is a creature I have been growing with for 13 years and remains in my heart," says Igli Tare, the Lazio sporting director

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TIRANA, March 5 – Former Albania international Igli Tare says he is happy with Lazio in Italy’s Serie A where he ended his career as a professional striker in 2008 and has been serving as the club’s sporting director for about a decade now.

Speaking in an interview with Italy’s Corriere Dello Sport, Tare, who in early 2018 was voted Italy’s best sporting director, said he would quit his current job only if he is offered to become the Albanian national side’s coach.

“If one day I become a coach, I will coach Albania and not a club. I have received offers from different clubs, but I can’t think of myself away from Lazio which is a creature I have been growing with for 13 years and remains in my heart,” says the 44-year-old Albanian who played in Germany and Italy top leagues from the early 1990s after growing up as a player with Tirana-based Partizani.

Currently, Christian Panucci, a former AC Milan and Real Madrid defender, is Albania’s coach, having succeeding Gianni De Biasi who resigned in mid-2017 following a historic five-year spell with the national side who in 2016 claimed their first ever major appearance at an international competition such as the Euro 2016.

The former Albanian international has received acclaim for his ability to scout talent with Lazio’s Serbian midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic currently sought after by some top clubs in Spain and England willing to spend €100 million on the playmaker. The 22-year-old Serbian joined Lazio in mid-2015 for a bargain of about €9 million after Tare managed to convince the player to leave Belgium’s Genk and sign a new contract with Lazio.

“What makes a sporting director skilled is first of all how to turn an unknown player into famous. Observing players is not enough for that, you need to talk to them,” says Tare, who was capped for Albania 68 times for a decade until 2008 and managed to score ten goals.

“I was in Vojvodina and observed Savic thanks to a friend of mine. He was as tall as me, technically good and a talent, but I couldn’t guarantee he would play as much as he deserved. I monitored him at Genk for several months and then went to pick him,” Tare said about contacts with Milinkovic-Savic, on whom Lazio say they have already rejected offers of about €70 million.

Thomas Strakosha is now the only Albanian player with Lazio after the departure of national side’s goalkeeper Etrit Berisha and former Albanian captain Lorik Cana in the past few years.

The 22-year-old who was also brought to Lazio by Igli Tare is now a regular starter and one of the club’s strengths.

Lazio are currently fourth in the Serie A, trailing arch rivals Roma by one point but 17 points behind leaders Napoli.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times March 5, 2018 12:47