In this June, Serie A Lazio club officially announced the signing with the new coach. The Bosnia Petkovic will replace Rhea to serve as the new coach of Lazio from next season.
48-year-old Bosnia Petkovic previously did not coach the five leagues. As player, he spent his time mostly in the Swiss League. He began his coaching career from 1997, when he was Bellinzona and later he also coached in the Lugano and Young Boys team Bern. In 2008, he led Bellinzona to win the runner-up of the Swiss Cup; and one year later he led the Young Boys Bern team to win the runner-up of the league, which are his most proud achievements. Before he took over Lazio, this March he served as the transition coach in Sion team.
After the new coach was finalized, Zarate who was on loan to Inter Milan last season also expressed his hope to continue to stay in Lazio. He said: “It is very clear that I belong to Lazio. And the Lazio shirt is my choice. If Lotito president wants me to stay, I would be very pleased. I will return to Lazio with my best state. I left for Inter Milan because I did not get well with the coach; going to Inter Milan is my best choice.” And now with the joining of the new coach, Zarate changed his attitude: “I am sure that Petkovic will bring the attacking football to Lazio and I believe he can do a good job,” Zarate said, “I also like the Lazio fans. Many people know me when I walk on the streets. They are just like my friends. I am eager to wear the Lazio football shirts.”
In the past two seasons, Lazio former coach Rhea led the team to harvest the qualification for the European League for two consecutive seasons but had always missed the Champions League. When the team was eliminated by Atletico Madrid in the European League, Rhea proposed to resign but temporarily left under the retention of the players and officials. But at the end of the 2011/12 season, Rhea made up his mind to quit the job in Blue Eagle regardless of the Lazio’s president Lotito’s repeated ask.
Indeed, Rhea did a good job when he was in Lazio, but no one can compel him to stay. We hope the new coach can bring surprise to the Lazio club as well as the fans.