EURO 2024: Jovic saves Serbia’s European Championship hopes – “I love him very much”

EURO 2024: Jovic saves Serbia’s European Championship hopes – “I love him very much”
EURO 2024: Jovic saves Serbia’s European Championship hopes – “I love him very much”

“We are still alive.” The former Frankfurt player Jovic saves Serbia, Leipzig’s attacking jewel Sesko and his Slovenians have to cope with a heavy blow. One contract question remains open.

Luka Jovic patted his heart with his hand. Serbia’s last-minute hero beamed with joy as he accepted congratulations after congratulations from his teammates in a sea of ​​beer mugs thrown onto the field. With his substitute goal, the ex-Frankfurt player kept Serbia’s hopes of reaching the round of 16 alive and dealt a serious blow to those of the Slovenians.

“I love him very much”

“I love him very much. He scored a goal,” said coach Dragan Stojkovic, who substituted Jovic after just over an hour. “He is a very good striker and a very important player for us. I always believe in him.”

When Slovenia, including Leipzig’s attacking jewel Benjamin Sesko, were already in a celebratory mood for their first victory at a European football championship in the 1:1 (0:0) draw in Munich, Jovic struck at the last moment after a corner kick (90.+5). His header from the usual hustle and bustle after corner kicks at this European Championship caused Serbian ecstasy.

Torheld also almost thought about the end

The striker had already prepared himself for great frustration in the final minutes of the intense match, as he admitted afterwards. “Yes, to be honest I was already thinking about it. But we have to believe in ourselves until the end,” said Jovic. “Hopefully we’ll get into the next round, then we’ll play against Germany, Belgium, whoever.” Some Slovenian national players, who had their sights set on victory thanks to defender Zan Karnicnik’s goal (69th minute), collapsed dejectedly on the pitch.

Exciting finale

In the Group C table, Slovenia is still one point ahead of the Serbs, who lost their opening match against title contender England. Serbia will face Denmark in the final match, while the Slovenians will face the Three Lions. But it will remain exciting. “I think our team has shown that it has its place at this European Championship,” said Slovenia’s coach Matjaz Kek.

While Sesko has to wait for his first goal at the European Championships, Milan professional Jovic can dream of reaching the round of 16 with Serbia. Congratulatory messages abounded. “I haven’t even been able to look at my phone yet. But now I have time on the bus until Augsburg,” said Jovic before the return journey to the team’s quarters.

Open Milan future

The striker once formed a magical trio with Sébastien Haller and Ante Rebic during his time at Frankfurt, and celebrated the cup victory against FC Bayern in 2018. However, the 26-year-old has repeatedly been accused of not making full use of his gifted talent. Even at AC Milan, 6 goals in 23 games is not a top rate. And just like in the Serbian selection, the striker is mostly just a reserve and joker at Milan.

“I’m very happy for him. That’s very good for his future,” said coach Stojkovic. “He has a lot of self-confidence now. It’s important for a striker to score a goal. That gives him the opportunity to keep believing in us, in our dream.” And it gives Jovic, who once moved from Eintracht to Real Madrid for around 60 million euros, the chance to promote himself. His future is uncertain given that his contract is expiring in a few days. Although a one-year extension in Milan is on the cards, more goals at the European Championships could lead to new opportunities.

Sesko hopes for England coup

The media in Serbia praised the “masterful goal” and the “feat of strength” of Jovic, who once scored five goals for Frankfurt against Fortuna Düsseldorf in October 2018. “Luka Jovic was faster than the final whistle, we are still alive at the Euro,” wrote “blic.rs”.

But so are the Slovenians. The news portal “24ur.com” celebrated an “outstanding performance that should have been rewarded with three points.” The news portal “delo.si” lamented the missed “historic first victory at the European Championships.” According to Sesko & Co.’s wishes, this should follow against England – and then perhaps the Leipzig player will have the goal luck he has longed for.

Source: Stern

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