‘He is the best in the world’: Dusan Vlahovic hails PSG star

Serbian striking sensation Dusan Vlahovic (24) knows a good forward when he sees one. Speaking to L’Équipe , the Juventus star, who has scored 17 goals in 32 games in all competitions for the Bianconeri this season, is clear on who he perceives to be the best around right now: 

“Kylian Mbappé is so strong, right now he’s the best in the world. At 25 years old, he has already won nearly everything there is to win, he has scored over 40 goals this season (42), that’s an enormous amount of goals. If we stay in France, let’s talk about Olivier Giroud! Statistics occupy an ever growing space in football, but they don’t show how important a player is.

At World Cup 2018, France won it, and the stats say that Giroud scored 0 goals, but if he’s not there, France don’t win it! He was irreplaceable in this team, with all the dirty work he did, his passing, his way of occupying defences, he was one of the key men in this victory.”

Despite his reservations about statistics, the Serb also acknowledges their importance, pointing to himself and his impressive numbers to illustrate his point. Signed from Fiorentina after a fabulous breakout season for La Viola in 2020/2021 (21 goals in 40 games), Juve’s number 9 has 40 goals in 95 games for Massimiliano Allegri’s side: 

” I understand it too. I am not Neymar, Eden Hazard or Lionel Messi, guys who, when you see them, make you go ” Wow, what a player!”.

For me, the advantage is stats, goals, but whatever the profile, the striker is fundamental in a team. If the striker plays well, the team plays well. Football has changed so much, today people say that football is more physical, there is more running involved, but they don’t understand that precisely because football is more physical, your technique needs to be impeccable. You have less and less time and space to do things. People also say that there are no number 10s from back in the day and that it’s a shame, but there are still many quality players like them, but we just see them less because everything is faster.”

Vlahovic’s Juventus qualified for the final of the Coppa Italia by their skin of their teeth last night, going through on aggregate (3-2) despite a defeat on the night to Lazio. The Serb’s fellow striker, Polish marksman Arkadiusz Milik, grabbing the all important goal in the 83rd minute to set up a final against either Atalanta or, ironically, Vlahovic’s former club Fiorentina. 

GFFN | Jack McArdle

 

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