Sergej Milinkovic-Savic reflected on Serbia’s journey to the World Cup in Qatar and their ambitions at the tournament.
The 27-year-old midfielder is hoping to play a leading role for his country at the World Cup, an important crossroad in his career. Milinkovic-Savic only has 18 months left on his contract with Lazio and recent reports have increasingly linked Juventus with a move, with suggestions today that he’s already agreed personal terms with the Old Lady.
Speaking to FIFA’s media department (via LazioNews24), Milinkovic-Savic first discussed his and Serbia’s goals for the World Cup in Qatar.
In my opinion, we have to have realistic expectations and keep calm, like during the qualifiers. We have to play one game at a time and accumulate as many wins as possible. But the first goal now is to get through the group stage.
He examined the opponents in Serbia’s group stage – the country have been drawn into Group G alongside Switzerland, Cameroon and Brazil.
At the last World Cup we had Switzerland and Brazil in the group. Initially I was disappointed because I would have liked our opponents to be different. But thinking back, it’s not such a bad thing.
We can try to do better than we did in Russia. Honestly, I am looking forward to the World Cup. I can’t wait for the organisation and preparation for this great spectacle to begin.
The 27-year-old midfielder reflected on Serbia’s qualification path to the World Cup and their special moments on the pitch.
Definitely the most important game was the one in Portugal, the one that decided everything. But also the one in Ireland. There for the whole game we were up by one goal and then we conceded an unlucky goal, for which we had to win in Portugal.
But I’m sure I will always remember that game, because then we achieved the impossible. It was something that nobody believed could happen.
Portugal? There are many things I will never forget. The first is the referee whistling the end. The moment I saw the players on the bench running onto the pitch and those on the pitch hugging each other. It is something I will never forget.
The celebrations continued for a long time, after the stadium emptied, our fans stayed in their section. And then everything followed. In the locker room, on the bus, in the hotel… It was truly a night to remember.
Finally, Milinkovic-Savic explained why he decided to represent Serbia on the international stage instead of the other nations he’s eligible for.
I was born in Spain, then I lived in Austria. My mother is Serbian, my father Bosnian. But somehow, we always did all our holidays in Serbia. That’s why I decided to play for the Serbian national team.
Playing for your country and your people is one of the most important things in a player’s career. Yes, I may not have lived here, but after spending a lot of time here with my family, I started to feel the need to play for this national team. For my country.