- Lazarevic was the hero of Helsinki for Serbia of their FIFA Futsal World Cup play-off
- His hat-trick towards Finland fired the Eagles to September’s finals in Lithuania
- The striker and his compatriots imagine they will attain the quarter-finals
Joy knew no bounds at the Energie Arena in Vantaa, Finland, on the night of 9 December 2020, as Serbia’s nationwide futsal crew danced and sang in a circle shortly after the last whistle introduced their play-off tie to a detailed. After edging a 1-0 win at house, a spectacular 5-5 attract the return leg was sufficient for the Eagles to safe victory over Finland.
At the coronary heart of this joyous throng was hero of the hour Jovan Lazarevic, whose hat-trick performed a serious half in serving to Serbia to grab the final European ticket to the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021™.
In an important match, the 23-yr-outdated emphatically demonstrated that he’s in a category of his personal and a participant who’s able to main the line and delivering high-drawer performances when it issues most, regardless of nonetheless being a relative teen.
“Scoring three goals was an incredible feeling, but it was also a victory for my team-mates,” Lazarevic stated proudly after the match. “It was definitely my night in Helsinki [Editor’s note: Vantaa is just north of the capital Helsinki], and all my hard work in futsal paid off in one match with this result. I’m happy because all the futsal fans in Serbia will be delighted with our performance.”
With his targets, the striker – who performs for FC Mostar SG in Bosnia and Herzegovina – ensured that Serbia can be taking part in at their first Futsal World Cup since Thailand 2012, and he’s assured that he and his crew will go far at this world showdown.
“I’m expecting nice things from our crew. If we make it to the quarter-finals, it could be an excellent consequence for Serbian futsal.
“I’m expecting great things from our team,” he stated. “I can’t wait to see where we stand as a country and how good we really are. The World Cup is a place where we can test ourselves against the very best sides. It is a big stage, and every club in the world will be watching all the players very closely. It’s a good opportunity for all of us. I’m sure we can be successful. We’ll find out exactly where we stand.”
Serbia reached the spherical of 16 at their first and solely earlier World Cup in Thailand 9 years in the past, and Lazarevic is hoping they will go even additional in Lithuania. “Progressing through the group stage is a realistic goal for us, and anything is possible after that,” he defined. “If we can make it to the quarter-finals, it would be a good result for Serbian futsal.”
Reaching the final eight of a World Cup is an formidable goal; in any case, the World Cup performs host not solely to the sport’s greatest groups but additionally its greatest stars. “I admire players like Lozano, Diego and Merlim,” stated Lazarevic. “I’d love to have the chance to play against some of them at the World Cup.”
But the place does this optimism come from, and why does the technically adept left-footer have such confidence in himself and his crew? “Our biggest strengths are our youth and our camaraderie off the pitch,” the striker defined. “We also play very quick, modern futsal. Having said that, we still have plenty of room for improvement. We have to stay focused for the full 40 minutes rather than just part of it.”
As nicely as successful him loads of new followers, Lazarevic’s three targets in World Cup qualifying towards Finland can have made his father’s coronary heart sing. This is especially essential to Lazarevic, who could be very near his father. “My dad is my icon and my idol,” he stated. “He has always supported me and I owe everything to him. I’m so happy to be able to make him proud.”
In Lithuania this September, Lazarevic can have one other alternative to make his father and all Serbian followers smile. The undeniable fact that he can be celebrating his twenty fourth birthday on the eve of the event may show to be an excellent omen. And who is aware of – that joyful night in Helsinki may quickly be adopted by one other unforgettable evening in Kaunas, Klaipeda or Vilnius.