Lazio will try on Wednesday to secure a good starting position in the two-legged tie with Bayern Munich, in which the Romans aim to break open the gateway to the Champions League quarterfinals for the first time since 2000. Coach Maurizio Sarri knows it will be tough, but also urges his team to enjoy the moment.

Sarri on his guard: 'In the Champions League, they don't make mistakes'

Maurizio Sarri, the seasoned Italian tactician, opened his press conference with a statement that reflects his philosophical approach to football and competition: "If we think it's impossible, we've already lost."

This mindset underscores Sarri's belief in the mental aspect of the game, emphasizing the importance of enjoyment and passion for football beyond the professional obligations and financial incentives. His remarks remind players and fans alike of the intrinsic joy and privilege of playing football, a sentiment that resonates deeply in the sport's purest form.

Sarri's comments come ahead of a crucial Champions League encounter against Bayern Munich, a team that, despite not being at its historical best this season, remains a formidable opponent. Sarri acknowledged Bayern's recent setback against Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga but was quick to differentiate between domestic league performance and the pedigree these clubs, including Bayern and Real Madrid, exhibit in the Champions League. His observation highlights the unique nature of European competition, where clubs of such stature often elevate their performance, demonstrating resilience and strategic acumen that set them apart.

The path to victory against a team like Bayern, according to Sarri, hinges on enthusiasm and belief. He candidly reflects on Lazio's recent Super Cup defeat to Internazionale, using it as a learning moment to emphasize the need for a different approach in the face of adversity. Sarri's strategy involves preparing his team for challenging moments, instilling a belief that difficult situations can be surmounted with the right mindset and tactical discipline.

Lazio's journey to the round of 16 in the Champions League is a testament to their competitive spirit and tactical nous under Sarri's leadership. Finishing second in a group that included Atlético Madrid, Feyenoord, and Celtic showcases their capability to hold their own in a challenging European landscape. Similarly, Bayern Munich's progression as group winners, ahead of teams like FC Copenhagen, Galatasaray, and Manchester United, highlights their continued threat in this competition, despite any perceived weaknesses this season.

Sarri's Lazio faces a daunting task in their upcoming match against Bayern, but his philosophy and tactical approach suggest a readiness to confront the challenge head-on. The match promises not only to be a clash of footballing styles but also a showcase of Sarri's belief in the power of enthusiasm, belief, and the sheer joy of football as key components of success on the European stage.