Al-Hilal striker Alexandar Mitrovic believes his international teammate Dusan Vlahovic is the best striker in Italy. The Serbian forward made the move to Saudi Arabia this summer and took time out to speak with La Gazzetta dello Sport about his first impressions of the league, calling Al-Hilal the Real Madrid of the Saudi League:
Is this the best Mitrovic ever?
“I feel good physically and mentally. And at 29 I have reached full maturity. But I’m not stopping: I’m already thinking about the next goal…’.
Do you dream of one goal in particular?
‘No, I have only one dream: to score in all competitions. But to achieve this there is only one secret: to stay focused on one match at a time.”
Are you satisfied with Saudi Arabia or do you miss the Premier League?
“When I received the offer from Al Hilal, I talked about it with my family: giving up was impossible. I have no nostalgia for England, I played many years there. I am happy to have finally landed at a top club: Al Hilal is a bit like Real Madrid in Europe.
What level did you find in Cristiano Ronaldo’s tournament?
“Difficult to make comparisons. It is not yet at the level of the Premier League, but at this rate it will be in the future. Of Arabia, I was positively surprised by the football and the people’s interest in it.”
Would you recommend an adventure in Arabia to Vlahovic?
“Yes, I would also recommend it to Dusan, but then it depends on what he wants. In the national team we talked about Arabia, he asked me how I am getting on. However, if I have to be honest, I see him happy and focused on Juve. He is happy to be part of one of the strongest clubs in Europe’.
You often play with Vlahovic in Serbia and he is a bit like your big brother: how did you find Dusan in the national team?
‘We have a very good relationship. Dusan I saw well, after all he started the championship by scoring two goals in three games. He is young, but top”.
Is Vlahovic the best 9 in Serie A?
“Potentially yes. He has everything to score 25 goals, he has already done it in the past. I hope he already scores against Lazio. But Dusan, like all bombers, needs to play all the time and be supported by the team with assists, crosses… Vlahovic is very strong, but to finalise he needs the support of Chiesa, Kostic, Locatelli…’.
Sarri misses Milinkovic-Savic: he always makes a difference”.
“Sergej is very strong. He will be missed by Lazio, of which he was a legend, and also by Juve because a player like him makes the difference in all the big games, at the Bianconeri as at Inter or Milan. Good thing we have him at Al Hilal. He’s doing well, Sergej, but he always speaks fondly of Italy’.
You too have never hidden a soft spot for Serie A: will you be able to experience one last ball in Italy in the future?
“In life and in football you never know. In the past I was close to Serie A, but now I am very happy at Al Hilal and I want to do great things here and win titles. But I still follow the Italian league and I cheer for Roma.
In Arabia – and thanks to Neymar’s assists – do you think you can score 40-50 goals with Al Hilal?
“I hope so, we’ll see… It’s great to play with Neymar, one of the best in the world.”