"I wasn't even fully fit – I might have scored more!" said a delighted Petar Jelić after rattling in five goals on his dazzling debut for FK Rad.
The 27-year-old forward could not have picked a better game in which to shine for his new club's fans, his first start after joining from Chinese outfit Guangdong Sunray Cave FC coming at city rivals FK Voždovac. Hitting four goals in a thrilling first-half burst before adding another after the break, Jelić helped Rad prevail 6-1 and became the top goalscorer in a single match since the Serbian Super League was formed in 2006.
"I'm really happy and very proud," explained the forward, capped twice by Bosnia and Herzegovina. "I remember scoring six goals in a game once, but I was very young. This is the best I have done in a match since then."
His impressive haul was still four goals shy of the Serbian record set in 1946 by FK Partizan legend Stjepan Bobek, but Jelić's ambitions are equally lofty and he has the confidence to match. His five-goal salvo has already endeared him to Rad supporters, yet Jelić has promised that there is far more to come, especially given how quickly he has settled into his surroundings.
"I came to Rad a few days ago and when it comes to my physical fitness, I still cannot run on full power for 90 minutes," said the striker, whose team have claimed six points from their opening three fixtures. "Otherwise, who knows? Maybe I would have scored even more goals! This result is the product of a great collective team spirit and I expect that we will continue like this."
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