Lazio's Hernanes: Playing in Italy has made me work harder

The Brazil international has impressed since moving to Edy Reja's side from Sao Paulo in August 2010, but feels that the game in the European nation is more cunning

Lazio midfielder Hernanes has stated that he has had to work hard to adapt to the style of play in Italy, admitting that Serie A defenders can sometimes use dirty tricks.

The Brazil international has been a hit at the Stadio Olimpico since signing for Edy Reja's men from Sao Paulo in August 2010, and has revealed that the game in Europe is different to in his homeland.

“I’ve changed a lot since my arrival in Italy,” he told Globoesporte.

“Here the defenders are constantly alert and use any means to stop you moving. So I had to work hard to adapt.

“And I changed the way I play because I was training in Brazil exclusively on the legs, I only concentrated on the ball.

“Here, however, I realised that you must use cunning, use your arms, push and pull shirts.”

Lazio are up in third place in the Serie A standings currently, and the South American playmaker feels that two victories over Roma and a win against AC Milan have made the difference this term.

“These are important games, which give leverage to a player’s career. The great thing is that things have worked well in these games and the team have grown stronger as a result.

“Last year I remember that in some of these games we played well but could not be decisive. This year, things have been different for me and the team. It’s been a very good period.

“We could be even higher in the standings, but there have been unexpected things - in January we sold a few players and many others were injured - all this has hurt the team and is regretful," he admitted.

Lazio face an away trip to Catania on Sunday, a game that kicks off at 15.00CET.