'I'm not Neymar or Messi' — Juventus striker Vlahovic asks fans for understanding

Juventus star Dusan Vlahovic | Imago

'I'm not Neymar or Messi' — Juventus striker Vlahovic asks fans for understanding

Ayoola Kelechi 20:40 - 23.04.2024

Dusan Vlahovic who idolises Cristiano Ronaldo has asked fans to understand why he is different from the Portuguese star's biggest rival

Dusan Vlahovic, Juventus' prolific striker currently ranked as the second-highest scorer in Serie A with 16 goals, has humbly acknowledged his own abilities while addressing the expectations placed upon him by fans and pundits alike.

In a candid interview with L'Equipe, Vlahovic expressed his understanding of the importance of statistics in modern football, emphasising that he does not possess the same exceptional qualities as superstars like Neymar, Lionel Messi, or Eden Hazard.

Acknowledging His Strengths and Limitations

Vlahovic, known for his clinical finishing and goal-scoring prowess, highlighted the significance of statistics, particularly goals, in defining his playing style. He admitted that while he may not evoke the same awe-inspiring reactions as renowned players like Neymar or Messi, his contribution lies in his ability to find the back of the net consistently. The 24-year-old Serbian striker emphasized the evolving nature of football, where physicality is increasingly complemented by technical proficiency, and attackers must excel in both aspects to thrive in the modern game.

Juventus forward Dusan Vlahovic || Imago
Juventus forward Dusan Vlahovic || Imago

"I understand it too. I'm not Neymar, (Eden) Hazard or (Lionel) Messi, guys who, when you see them, you say to yourself: 'Wow, what a player!' For me, my advantage would rather be the statistics, precisely, the goals."

Idolizing Cristiano Ronaldo and Other Inspirations

During the interview, Vlahovic revealed his admiration for Cristiano Ronaldo, whom he idolized since the Portuguese star's days at Manchester United. He praised Ronaldo's movement, killer instinct, and overall impact on the game, considering him one of the greatest players in history. Additionally, Vlahovic expressed his admiration for other attacking talents such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Fernando Torres, and Karim Benzema, citing their influence on his own playing style and development as a striker.

"Cristiano Ronaldo, obviously, who I followed from Manchester, when he was a left winger, I liked his movements, his killer instinct, I think he's one of the best in history. Zlatan (Ibrahimovic) I also really liked it, and I liked Fernando Torres with his slightly long hair during his Liverpool days. And then Karim Benzema, a player that I adore."

Remaining Focused Amid Transfer Speculations

Despite being linked with potential moves to Premier League clubs like Chelsea and Arsenal, Vlahovic emphasized his commitment to Juventus and his immediate focus on upcoming Serie A fixtures. With his next appearance slated for Tuesday's clash against Lazio, Vlahovic is determined to maintain his impressive form and continue contributing to Juventus' campaign in the Italian top flight.

"I love playing for this club and I want to be part of its future. My focus right now is on our upcoming games and helping the team achieve our objectives for the season."

Dusan Vlahovic's candid remarks offer insight into the mindset of a rising star in world football. While he may not possess the same flashy skills as some of the game's elite, Vlahovic's dedication to his craft and focus on goal-scoring provide Juventus with a potent attacking threat. As he navigates the challenges of expectation and speculation, Vlahovic remains grounded in his commitment to excel on the pitch and make meaningful contributions to his team's success.