Emotional Jevtić relishes Lech's Basel tie

"Football writes amazing stories and this one is unbelievable," said Darko Jevtić, who left boyhood club Basel for Lech Poznań last year only to be reunited this week.

Darko Jevtić and his Lech team-mates welcome Basel on Wednesday
Darko Jevtić and his Lech team-mates welcome Basel on Wednesday ©Przemyslaw Szyszka

When Darko Jevtić ended his association with FC Basel in January with a permanent move to Lech Poznań, he probably did not expect to be back at St. Jakob-Park within months.

Basel-born of Serbian parentage, Jevtić had joined his local club aged eight so the chance of a reunion with the Swiss title holders in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round means a lot. "Football writes amazing stories and this one is unbelievable," said Jevtić.

Though Jevtić had a successful youth career at Basel and made his senior debut early in season 2012/13, four shoulder injuries prevented him making a real breakthrough and he had already been loaned to Wacker Innsbruck before being lent to Lech in summer 2014. Becoming the first Swiss player in the Ekstraklasa, the 22-year-old made the transfer a full-time arrangement on his way to scoring seven goals in Lech's league triumph.

Having knocked out FK Sarajevo in the second qualifying round, Lech now welcome Basel on Wednesday before travelling to Switzerland seven days later. "I cannot wait for this tie," Jevtić said. "The second leg will be especially emotional as it is going to be a kind of homecoming. My father and other family members will be there but I can assure Lech fans that my family have already become fans of the Polish champions."

Not that he himself is no longer a Basel supporter. "When I was a youngster, I watched lots of games in the Joggeli [St. Jakob-Park]," the Swiss Under-21 international said. "FCB grew on me. I spend all my holidays in Basel, where his parents still live. If someone had predicted a few years back that I would face FCB for a place in Europe's premier club competition, I would have looked at them wide-eyed."

Even so, the No10 reckons that Lech can upset the odds. "It is far from a nightmare to face this Basel side. Marco Streller, Fabian Schär and Fabian Frei are gone and we believe in our combination of collective strength and individual skill."

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