During his playing career with Lazio, Dario Marcolin was renowned for his work-rate, ball-winning and leadership in midfield.
Those qualities saw him graduate to Italy’s Under-21 side, playing in European Championships and the Olympics and eventually becoming captain.
Now 48, Marcolin – an on-line analyst of Serie A for channel DAZN – can see a kindred spirit in Scott Brown.
He watched Celtic’s win over his former club 10 days ago, and will be an interested spectator when the club’s resume rivalries in Rome’s Olympic Stadium on Thursday night.
“I really like Scott Brown,” said Marcolin.
“He has a great temperament and is a terrific ball-winner.
“Brown is maybe not excellent on a technical level, but he is very good tactically, and physically seems very strong.
“In the first game, I liked Celtic, and in some ways they even surprised me.
“I saw a team playing with a lot of intensity.
“Technically, they were average. But like all British teams, they were very physical and put Lazio – a more skilled but less athletic team – under pressure.
“In the end, the result was right. Lazio did not do enough to close out the game after going ahead.
“The atmosphere was incredible, and gave a huge boost to the Celtic players as they tried to overturn the situation.
“They’re a team with a lot of international experience that knows how to handle situations.
“However, it will be a different story in Rome.
“Without the backing of their fans, I don’t see Celtic playing with the same intensity.
“I consider Simone Inzaghi a very good coach and he will have studied Celtic well before the first game.
“He knew what was waiting for him in Glasgow, but will have seen the Scots entered the field with more determination than his team.
“So providing the Lazio players do not underestimate their task this week, I’m convinced they’ll win the three points.”
During his playing career, Marcolin had Paul Gascoigne for company at Lazio, and recalls those times fondly.
“Having Gazza as a team-mate was fantastic,” said Marcolin.
“He was a champion on the field and was very popular in the locker room, always fun and ready for a joke.
“But above all he was very generous, and often presented us with gifts.
“It was a great honour to play with him.”
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