Dejan Savićević has declared himself proud of fellow Montenegrins Mirko Vučinić and Stevan Jovetić, telling uefa.com that "Vučinić is one of the best strikers in Europe", while compatriot Jovetić "will become one of the best in time".
Vučinić hit the headlines earlier this month after scoring two great goals in AS Roma's 3-1 UEFA Champions League home win against Chelsea FC, and the 25-year-old is playing so well that he has earned comparions with three-time Ballon d'Or winner Marco van Basten in the Italian press. "I wouldn't compare him to Van Basten," explained Football Association of Montenegro president Savićević, a club-mate of the Dutch forward at Milan between 1992 and 1995. "Mirko has different qualities than Van Basten, who was a pure striker and who finished everything for his team. Mirko is the one who starts moves and makes assists. He is one of the best strikers in Europe at the moment."
Savićević went to Italy at 26 to join Milan, while Vučinić and Jovetić made the same move as teenagers, with the former starting his career at US Lecce and 19-year-old Jovetić joining ACF Fiorentina from FK Partizan last summer. "Jovetić played with my son in the youth club in Titograd, now known as FK Mladost, where I also began my career," recalled Savićević. "Even then it was obvious that he was going to be an excellent player, and he also made the right choice when he signed for Partizan. By the age of 18, he was a first-choice player and team captain. Whether his move to Fiorentina was the right one remains to be seen, but he will become one of the best in time."
With Vučinić and Jovetić responsible for their three goals to date, Zoran Filipović's Montenegro have earned two points from their first three FIFA World Cup qualifiers, drawing with Bulgaria and the Republic of Ireland before losing to Italy. Savićević is satisfied with that return. "Our aim for the qualifying round is to prove we are not the worst team, even though we are the youngest one," said the former Serbia and Montenegro coach. "My hope is for us to play the best games we can to make the group as interesting as possible."
A place in the finals in South Africa looks a long shot, but Savićević feels Montenegro could yet play a part in deciding Group 8. "We don't kid ourselves that we can go far in this competition, but we are planning to mess up someone else's plans in the group," he said. "We don't know yet whose plans those will be and I am confident we won't be last in the group as we were the last in the draw." Montenegro complete their 2008 programme with a home friendly against F.Y.R. Macedonia on Wednesday.
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