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Olympic dream will drive Serbia on, says Jojić

They may not have some of their biggest names available, but Miloš Jojić told UEFA.com that Serbia's unity and Olympic dream could take them far at the U21 EURO.

Miloš Jojić on the ball for Serbia against Sweden in a pre-finals friendly
Miloš Jojić on the ball for Serbia against Sweden in a pre-finals friendly ©Getty Images

Having played for Borussia Dortmund for the last 18 months, Miloš Jojić will come up against a number of familiar faces on Wednesday when his Serbia side play their first match at this UEFA European Under-21 Championship against Germany.

The stylish midfielder spoke to UEFA.com ahead of his nation's opening Group A game in Prague, and insisted that the impressive list of players who have not made the trip to the Czech Republic, which includes Lazar Marković and Matija Nastasić, is outweighted by the 23 men coach Mladen Dodić has put his faith in.

On expectations …
We are so happy and proud to be among the eight best teams in Europe. Our victory against Spain was a huge boost for us, but we don't want to stop at merely qualifying for the final tournament. If I have to name one main objective, it is for sure qualifying for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, but we have to take things step by step. In that regard, the first match is always very important. A good start is something that every team needs.

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On tournament preparations …
Firstly, we worked on our physical and mental preparation. I am completely happy with how everything went, and I think we're ready for the test ahead of us in terms of those two areas. After that, we prepared for our opening game against Germany with an emphasis on tactics and a lot of advice from the coaches. Tough games require you to be at 100% of your abilities. Our motivation levels could not be higher.

On absent players …
Of course, we would have been stronger with them, but this generation is full of talented players. This squad knocked out Spain and earned themselves a place in the Czech Republic. Our strength is our team, and I have faith in each and every one of us. In football, the squad is the most important thing, and the Serbia squad deserves respect. Hard work and self-confidence are the most important things.

On Germany …
I know all of their players. Their qualities make them a great side, and Germany certainly have big expectations for this tournament. All the information about them, we got from our scouting team, however, because I have not had a lot of time to watch them. But they are, for sure, a strong team, and one of the big favourites for the tournament.