Jovetic: “Facing Fiorentina feels like a movie”


Former Fiorentina forward Stevan Jovetic says facing his old team in the Conference League final feels like a dream. The Montenegrin international spoke with La Gazzetta dello Sport ahead of next weeks final in Athens, sharing his experience of his time in Florence:

What was your first thought about the final against Fiorentina?

“I could hardly believe it. In such a short time, so many memories flooded back. There are still guys from that time I keep in touch with: Frey, Mutu, Kuzmanovic, Seferovic. Then the three historic kit managers of Viola, especially Leo Marchetti. Friends. It really feels like a movie script. Truly. I also thought about something else: last year, all the teams I played for made it to the European finals—Inter, Manchester City, Fiorentina, Sevilla. Evidently, it was my turn, and I’m proud and happy because it’s the first major final of my career.”

Should we start with Florence or talk about your time at Olympiacos?

“I’ve grown a lot since 2008. That’s life. Since becoming a father to Luka, Stephanìe, and Miodrag, who is the oldest at four years, I’ve started to see everything differently. My Fiorentina? Yes, I had long hair, we played well, we were strong, had fantastic teammates, my goals against Liverpool, that Champions League match against Bayern Munich where the refereeing (Ovrebo, editor’s note) was less than perfect, to put it mildly… Without that incident, we would have made it to the final, I’m almost sure. Do you know what I remember most? The goal against Sporting Lisbon, when we won the playoffs to get into the Champions League: that’s when everything changed.”

When asked directly, Sinisa Mihajlovic said: “The best player I’ve ever coached? Jovetic.”

“It was a wonderful statement. His passing deeply moved me. It affected me. He and I had a beautiful relationship; everyone loved him. I remember that when he showed up, everything stopped. He was Sinisa.”

You’ve had a lot of coaches: shall we quickly go over them?

“Prandelli was my first mentor; I learned countless things about Italian football from him. Then Montella, very strong. At Inter, I had Mancini, then Pioli for a short while, a decent person. But do you know who was number one for me? I had him for a short time, I think only a few weeks, but it was enough: Spalletti, the best of them all.”

At Olympiacos, you’ve changed three coaches…

“Now we’re doing great with Mendilibar. We’re in a good moment.”

Can you reveal something about your team? Is El Kaabi really that strong? (laughs)

“Nooo, I can’t reveal our secrets: otherwise, everyone in Florence will read everything… Yes, El Kaabi is really strong. I didn’t know him before, but he has an incredible knack for scoring goals. Thirty-five goals speak volumes…”

What is your team’s strength?

“We have a lot of individual quality. Then, the organization and the fans: we’ll be playing in a stadium that’s not our own, but our fans will be there in large numbers. This will help us. It will feel like playing at home.”

The final in one word?

“It’s the beauty and, let’s say, the downside of football: it’s wonderful to see Fiorentina again, but it depends on how it ends…”

JoJo: if you score, will you celebrate?

“No, if it happens, I won’t celebrate. I care too much about Viola, out of respect, because they have given me so much.”


Serie A obsessive.