Montenegro forward Stefan Mugoša "cannot wait to play against one of the biggest and most talented football nations" when his team visit Germany in a crucial UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifier on Friday.
Both sides have won their opening two Group 6 matches, Montenegro beating the Faroe Islands 3-0 in June before last month's 3-2 defeat of Romania which Mugoša described as "proof this team could play a very important role in the group". But it will be tough in Wiesbaden against a Germany outfit with several survivors of the squad that contested the 2013 finals in Israel.
"We started very well, got very important points against Romania in our last match, and now we want to prove we are capable of matching the best team in our group," Mugoša said. "It will be amazing to be on the pitch against future Germany stars like Kevin Volland, Eric Durm and many more. This will be a big test."
The FK Mladost Podgorica striker already has three goals – from as many shots – in this qualification campaign and is keen to keep that run going on Friday. "Scoring against Germany would be amazing," the 21-year-old said. "I know Marc-André ter Stegen is one of the best young goalkeepers in the world. But I believe in myself and my team-mates. We could cause a lot of problems for the German defence. They will have our maximum respect, but nothing else."
This is Montenegro's fourth U21 qualifying bid since independence, and the squad is considered the best they have had. They have gained international experience through the age groups and several players have gone abroad, including midfielder Marko Bakić at ACF Fiorentina, FC Twente forward Luka Djordjević and FC Sion defender Miloš Bakrač.
"We know each other really well, because we have played together almost five years," Mugoša said. "This is our strength. We breathe as one and give everything for each other. Yet we are also aware that we must be better than ever if we want to surprise Germany.
"This is the biggest game of our international careers and we must be ready to use this opportunity to represent ourselves and Montenegrin football in the best way."
While Montenegro's U21s have finished third in all three previous campaigns, Mugoša is quietly confident they can improve to move into play-off contention. "It is too early, but we are in a good position," he said. "Our aim is to fight with Germany for top spot or at least book a place in the play-offs [via second position]."