By Goal.com BrazilLazio
midfielder Hernanes has spoken of his delight in playing with the Serie A club, addressing questions on his immediate future and how he intends to forge ahead in the coming years.
Speaking exclusively to Goal.com
, the Brazilian began by discussing how he initially found the adjustment to life in Serie A.
“I've been playing in a different country, playing for a new team in a position that I hadn't played in the past, but I think I've handled it well,” he started.
“I had a great first season, and if it wasn't for my injury the last one would have even better. Regardless, I feel that I can still improve [at Lazio].”
finished in fourth place in Serie A last season, narrowly missing out on a place in the Champions League, and the Brazilian feels that his side should be concentrating on keeping up their good form in order to fend off competition from other Italian sides vying for a spot in Europe.
“It's hard to point out a single reason for that [not qualifying],” he said. "We suffered from a lot of injury problems, but this year it's going to be even harder.
"Internazionale has brought in reinforcements and will be better than last season. It's hard to say how far will we go, but the aim is to make sure that we don't lose our momentum."
Following the exit of Edy Reja at the Serie A club, Hernanes has been under the guidance of former Young Boys coach Vladimir Petkovic, a trainer the Brazilian feels comfortable working under.
“It's a fine experience,” the 27-year-old said. "He tested me in a lot of positions. When the season begins, I guess I'll know exactly what he has in mind for us."
Another figure Hernanes enjoys working with at the club is German striker Miroslav Klose, and the midfielder was quick to lavish the hitman with praise.
“He's a great player,” he began. “A born goalscorer and a fine team-mate. I'm thankful that I get to play alongside a guy who is smart, strong, can score, and also helps out with marking opponents.”
Finally, the Brazilian moved to address rumours that he could leave Lazio this summer, insisting that he is happy as he is and has the tools he needs to progress in his career.
“My family and I are feeling happy with the way things are going at the moment. And I have goals here [at Lazio]: to improve my form over the next few years, and to be in the Selecao squad for the 2014 World Cup.”