"I can always do better" warns the new Real Madrid striker as he targets Under-21 EURO glory with Serbia.
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What a year this has been for Luka Jović. After a sensational season on loan with Eintracht Frankfurt, where he scored ten goals in the UEFA Europa League, the prolific striker agreed a deal to join Real Madrid earlier this month.
Before he moves to the Santiago Bernabéu, however, the 21-year-old is determined to star for Serbia at the 2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championship. Jović has already scored at senior level but is hungry to shine at these finals after his seven goals in qualifying.
Serbia have not got past the group stage since 2007. Do you think this team is ready to take the next step forward?
Luka Jović: First of all, I was not aware of that statistic, so I hope we manage to break that bad tradition and get into the next round of the competition. We certainly have confidence to achieve something like that, so I hope we succeed.
How does it feel to be representing your country at an international competition like this?
Every player wants to give their best when they play for their country and national team. It's the same for us, and we hope we won't disappoint our people, as we represent our country wherever we are in the world.
Serbia face Austria, Germany and Denmark in Group B. How difficult will that be and do you see Germany as the group favourites?
The group is definitely strong. We know Austria a little bit better as they were in the same group as us [in the qualifiers], but there will still be a lot of players who weren't there during the qualifiers. We're going to approach the first match with caution as it's regarded as the most important.
I would definitely single out the Germans: as you said, they are the favourites in the group. Germany is a footballing powerhouse, but we won't give in easily and we will give our all to beat them.
You know Germany well after your excellent season with Frankfurt. Does that success and increased media attention motivate you even more or does it add to the pressure?
That's true, I had a really good season and I'm satisfied with my achievements. I can always do better, of course, but let's leave that for the future. With regards to the pressure, I don't feel it's grown. I've disconnected myself from it all and I'm fully concentrated on the game and giving my best so that we, as a team, can achieve the best result possible.
How important is it for you to be participating in this competition as a preparation for your move to Real Madrid?
A lot of players wouldn't be here now if they were me. But I already missed out on the [U20] World Cup because of injury, so I was completely sure I wanted to join my team here. I knew instantly that if it were up to me, I would participate in this tournament. I'm not worried – I'll have enough time to rest and get ready for next season.