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Mauri awaits career highlight

Lazio captain Stefano Mauri says the Coppa Italia final will the ‘the most important’ game of his career, with both Rome clubs involved.

Sunday’s final at the Stadio Olimpico will see Mauri’s side take on Roma in a Coppa Italia final for the first time and Lazio head coach Vladimir Petkovic has argued lifting the cup would make up for some of the mistakes his side has made this season.

While Petkovic wants to win the Coppa Italia as a consolation prize after watching Lazio drop from second in Serie A in January to finish seventh, Mauri has claimed the final will be all about local bragging rights when the two capital clubs clash.

“As far as I’m concerned it will be the most important game of my career,” Mauri said.

“I’ve played other finals with Lazio; both for the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa but this game will be a historical moment for everyone.

“It will be the first time we play a derby in the final.

“It will be an historical game and that’s why it will be the most important in my career.”

The 2012/13 season promised so much for Lazio in January as they sat second in Serie A, just five points off leaders Juventus, while they were also going well in the UEFA Europa League.

But after star striker Miroslav Klose suffered a hamstring injury, followed by a ruptured knee ligament, Lazio’s hopes plummeted in those competitions.

Lazio were eliminated in the quarter-finals of the Europa League by Turkish club Fenerbahce, while they lost six of eight Serie A matches from the end of January to midway through March to fall out of contention in Italy’s top division.

Petkovic believes winning Lazio’s third Coppa Italia title in 10 seasons would make up for the frustrating finishes in Serie A and the Europa League.

“This final it’s worth a lot, winning a competition is never easy, not everyone had the luck to reach this point, we’re proud of the track we’ve been doing,” Petkovic said.

“Honestly, we have made some mistakes this season, at some points of the season our expectations were higher.

“Tomorrow it will be a very important match and winning a cup after such an important game will be make it even more special.”

Sun 26 May, 2013
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