What a journey it has been thus far…
Looking at his curly hair flying around the pitch behind him made a lot of people laugh, but it was only before Stevan Jovetic took the ball to his feet.
Then the laughs turned into utter amazement and disbelief.
The youngest-ever Partizan player to wear a captain’s armband at 17 years, 10 months and 21 days – a record held for four years – Stevan Jovetic made a great impression for the Belgrade-based club.
A born leader and match-winner, the Montenegro international has been rather quick to display his technical ability, which set high above the rest in the Serbian football. Impressive dribbling skills and uncanny creativity led to comparisons with one of Italy’s greatest sons – Roberto Baggio.
But the path Jovetic took on his rise to prominence failed to deliver the expectations to the full.
Fortunately for the 27-year-old forward, things are starting to look up and if we are to make any early – albeit premature – conclusions, we’d go on to say that Sevilla might be the perfect springboard for the Montenegro star to be propelled back onto the brightest stage.
Italian Failed Job
It all started so well for the teenager, who made a dream €10 million move to Serie A powerhouse Fiorentina in 2008. Viola was quick to fall in love with the charismatic boy was just getting the hang of his new surroundings, when an injury struck – ruling him out for the entire 2010/11 season.
Jovetic refused to go down without a fight and managed to make a successful return from his cruciate ligament injury by scoring 14 and 13 Serie A goals in two successive seasons for the club.
His Italian spell was not entirely moonlight and roses though, as a troubling Inter stint would prove later on. Three years in a Manchester City shirt were not enough to convince the Premier League lovers of Jovetic’s ability and the boy got dispatched to Inter Milan. In a combination of poor relationships with the staff and inability to get accustomed to the new surroundings ended up costing both Jovetic and Inter dearly.
The Italian side were obliged to buy out his contract in 2016 – even though he was not featuring in Frank de Boer and Stefano Pioli’s plans – and in a clear case of paradoxical affair, the Nerazzurri’s new signing was enjoying most of the club’s action from the stands.
Jovetic’s career took somewhat of a blockbuster turn which saw the Montenegro forward go on an incredible six-day journey.
From the stands of San Siro Stadium to the biggest attraction in Spanish football in less than a week, Stevan Jovetic’s adventure is worthy of a great science fiction movie.
Having only arrived last Tuesday, Jovetic needed less than ten minutes on the pitch to score for the Andalusian side against none other than great Real Madrid. His goal was not enough to save Sevilla from Copa del Rey elimination, but Stevan Jovetic got another taste of the royal blood just days after in La Liga showdown at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Jovetic sealed a thrilling turnaround for Los Rojiblancos, who were trailing behind for the good part of the match.
The Montenegro forward has singlehandedly ended Real Madrid’s impressive 40-match unbeaten run in all competitions, sending a clear message to all of those who doubted his during his Italian struggles by opening his Spanish account.
It was also a clear message for all of those who dared doubt Sevilla and its ability to resurrect from the seemingly hopeless situation.
Rojiblancos have gone through plenty of problems during the summer of 2016, with trophy-laden manager Unai Emery out of the club together with an entire football team.
Sevilla’s director of football stepped up to the plate and displayed great vision and courage in the first place. Jorge Sampaoli’s appointment was a clear message of intent and direction Sevilla are hope to be heading. The temperamental tactician and his attack-oriented football have transformed Sevilla – raised their potential a notch – a turned them into proper la Liga title contenders.
The Andalusian side are given the outside odds of 20/1 to lift the domestic trophy at the end of the season and I have no doubt that the resurrected Stevan Jovetic can play a crucial role in achieving what would definitely be a dream end of the season for Sevilla.
And himself for that matter.
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