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Savićević struggling in father's shadow

Published: Wednesday 12 March 2008, 15.46CET
At 18 Vladimir Savićević is trying to make a name for himself in Montenegro with FK Mladost Podgorica, but having a world-famous father is not making life easy.
by Aleksandar Radović
from Podgorica
Savićević struggling in father's shadow
Vladimir Savicevic is struggling to emulate his father, Dejan Savicevic ©Vijesti
Published: Wednesday 12 March 2008, 15.46CET

Savićević struggling in father's shadow

At 18 Vladimir Savićević is trying to make a name for himself in Montenegro with FK Mladost Podgorica, but having a world-famous father is not making life easy.

At 18 Vladimir Savićević is trying to make a name for himself in Montenegro with FK Mladost Podgorica, but having a famous father is not making life easy.

Great expectations
Being the offspring of a legend is not a comfortable ride. Vladimir Savićević is the son of former AC Milan star Dejan Savićević – widely regarded as the best Montenegrin player of all time – and while he tries to establish himself with struggling Mladost, he must contend with crowds who continually expect him to set the pitch alight with the kind of skills for which his father was famous.

Tough task
"I am only trying to be Vladimir but in Montenegro I will always be Dejan's son," said the teenager. "I am proud of my dad but it's not easy, believe me. Even when I play well I always hear comments that I am not as good as my father was. I know that very well. I know I can't be as good as my father but I will give everything I can to get as close as possible."

Good advice
Now president of the Football Association of Montenegro, the 41-year-old Dejan Savićević has a busy day job but has always been on hand to help out when his son needs footballing advice. "He doesn't watch my games that often but he is very frank when he speaks to me," said the youngster. "He always tells me the truth and always tells me where I have made mistakes and what I have done well."

Moving up
Like his father and also Real Madrid CF sporting director Predrag Mijatović, the young Savićević started his career in the Mladost youth academy – although the club was known as OFK Titograd in his father's day. "Mladost has the best football school; almost every local player with a big international reputation started here," he said. "But one day I hope to play for [FK] Budućnost [Podgorica], the biggest Montenegrin club – the club I love with all my heart."

Overseas switch
An Under-19 international, Savićević has had a tough season with Mladost, who already look doomed to relegation having taken just five points from 20 games, and he can only hope that his career will not go down with them. He said: "I know I can't play for AC Milan – I am not good as my father – but I want to play abroad, because Mladost and Budućnost are the only Montenegrin clubs I could play for."

Last updated: 12/03/08 15.46CET

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