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Slowly but surely for Jovetić

Published: Wednesday 4 November 2009, 8.27CET
Likened to Roberto Baggio and fellow Montenegrin Dejan Savićević, ACF Fiorentina's Stevan Jovetić is keen to play down expectations, saying: "I still need to do a lot to be as good as them."
by Roberta Radaelli
from Milan
Slowly but surely for Jovetić
Stevan Jovetić's stock is continuing to rise ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

FiorentinaDebrecen

Goals scored18
 
5
Attempts on target51
 
28
Attempts off target37
 
26
Corners37
 
25
Offsides24
 
21
Fouls committed133
 
108
Yellow cards15
 
7
Red cards2
 
0
 
Published: Wednesday 4 November 2009, 8.27CET

Slowly but surely for Jovetić

Likened to Roberto Baggio and fellow Montenegrin Dejan Savićević, ACF Fiorentina's Stevan Jovetić is keen to play down expectations, saying: "I still need to do a lot to be as good as them."

ACF Fiorentina's Stevan Jovetić has the hair of Brian May, celebrates a goal by pointing to the sky like Kaká and has been compared to Montenegrin legend Dejan Savićević, but when he joined the Viola in the summer of 2008 he knew whose steps he wanted to follow in. "When I got here, I downloaded a five minute sequence of Gabriel Batistuta's goals on my phone," he said. "They were all beautiful."

Comparisons
As team captain during the 1990s, Batistuta was a crowd favourite in Florence and his legacy remains unsurpassed. "I didn't know him, but I think he was a really great player," said Jovetić, who has also been compared to Johan Cruyff, Lionel Messi and Roberto Baggio. "Of course I like to hear that, because they're all such great players, but I don't know. I'm Stevan Jovetić. I still need to improve, I still need to do a lot to be as good as them."

'Greatest night'
Jovetić's finest hour came on Matchday 2 when he scored a double during the Viola's 2-0 home victory against five-time European champions Liverpool FC. On that September night Jovetić asserted himself as one of the most promising talents in Europe. "That was the greatest night of my life. I will always remember it," said the striker, who turned 20 on Monday. "First because it was the Champions League and secondly because the opponents were Liverpool. Thirdly because we won, and then also because I scored two goals."

'Big club'
His first steps in Serie A were not easy, though, scoring just twice in 29 league appearances in 2008/09. "Last year I played, but it didn't go too well because the first year is always the toughest," he explained. "I had to settle in and study the language, but that year has passed and it's going really well at the moment. I'm satisfied, I'm playing." Despite the initial difficulties, he does not regret moving to the peninsula. "I always used to watch Italian football," he continued. "When I was little I dreamt of playing in a league like the Italian one. That's why I decided to come here. I knew Fiorentina were a big club, one of the biggest in Italy."

'Favourites'
Fiorentina are second in Group E, three points behind Olympique Lyonnais, and host Debreceni VSC on Wednesday hoping to take another step towards qualification. "To be honest we did think Lyon and Liverpool were the favourites, but everything's opened up now after our win against Liverpool," Jovetić continued. With Adrian Mutu and Alberto Gilardino also competing for a starting berth, coach Cesare Prandelli is blessed with attacking options. "I love playing with them, they're very strong," said the Montenegrin international. "We've only played one game with all three of us together, because it makes it difficult for the midfielders and defenders. There's room for everyone."

Last updated: 04/11/09 21.19CET

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