After returning to Eintracht Frankfurt on loan for the rest of the 2020/21 season from Real Madrid, Luka Jovic has made the dream re-start to life in the Bundesliga with the Eagles.
bundesliga.com: How are you finding your return to the Bundesliga?
Luka Jovic: "Phenomenal, really. I really missed the Bundesliga. I have great memories of it and I'm happy to be back."
bundesliga.com: What were the important factors in your decision to return to Eintracht?
Jovic: "It was my aim to get more game time, play more and that's the main reason I decided to come back."
bundesliga.com: How has the Frankfurt team changed in the meantime?
Jovic: "Not a lot. There are still a lot of the same players, with a few changes. A couple are gone, a couple new in. It didn't take long to settle in with so many of the guys still here. The people at the club are still the same and I'm very happy to be back and wear the club's colours."
bundesliga.com: How has the Bundesliga changed in the meantime?
Jovic: "I've played four games and a bit over 100 minutes but I know how the league works, I’m ready. I'll work on getting fitter but I'm ready for the challenges ahead of me."
bundesliga.com: How have you developed as a person and a player?
Jovic: "I've certainly improved and grown in Madrid, even if it's a different dimension. It was an honour to play for the biggest club in the world and a joy to train with the best players in the world."
bundesliga.com: In a footballing sense, what did you take from your time with Real Madrid? What did you learn from the likes of Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema?
Jovic: "It was difficult at the start as I was still young, at 21. It took some time to settle in and get my head around the fact that I was here with the best players in the world over the last 10 years, in various positions. I've definitely learned a lot and come back more experienced."
bundesliga.com: Were you able to develop a special instinct as a player and striker alongside such teammates?
Jovic: "Absolutely. There are players there who you learn from every day. To train against the best defenders was a good schooling for me."
bundesliga.com: What is your greatest strength?
Jovic: "It's not for me to say. Others should explain but I can say that I'm a fox in the box and am always well-positioned."
Watch: The best of Luka Jovic
bundesliga.com: Do you feel like somewhat of a star in the Bundesliga?
Jovic: "Honestly, no. I've come back to regain a bit of confidence, to get back to my previous level, not to be branded as a star. I'm back because it was the best option for me at this moment."
bundesliga.com: Who was your idol in football as a kid?
Jovic: "There were plenty. Ronaldo, then Ibrahimovic, but I can say that Falcao was the one I watched most. I think we have a similar playing style and I'd like to be as successful as him someday."
bundesliga.com: You were a match-winner in your first game against Schalke with two goals. How ideal was that for you?
Jovic: "It was unexpected. Honestly. I'm very happy that I came back in this manner. It was a special game for me, emotional, also because it was a farewell for our captain and other things which I don't want to delve into here. But it was a phenomenal feeling, to celebrate a comeback like that and I hope it will continue in this way."
Watch: The return of Jovic
bundesliga.com: Have you set a specific target for the rest of the season?
Jovic: "No. No specific number of goals. I just want to reach my old level and help my teammates to reach the important targets."
bundesliga.com: Have you noticed a certain deal of respect from your opponents since your return?
Jovic: "Honestly, I don't notice that on the pitch but Filip Kostic told me that when I came on against Hertha, the opposition reacted differently to it, though I didn't notice."
bundesliga.com: What kind of role does Filip Kostic play for you? He is the only one in the attack who has remained since you first left.
Jovic: "Yeah, that's the only Yugo-clique that remains. Filip and I get on brilliantly, on and off the pitch. We get a feel on the pitch for how we'll set up the next play and it's very important for me that he's here. I think it holds true for him too."
Watch: Frankfurt's flying Eagles!
bundesliga.com: Do you miss Ante Rebic or Sebastian Haller?
Jovic: "Yeah, they were great times when we produced historic results for this club but now there are others here who deserve to be spoken about. I actually don't want to look back, rather I'd like to talk about the present."
bundesliga.com: You're eight games unbeaten, including six wins. In a Champions League place at the moment. What is this team capable of?
Jovic: "This team has more quality compared to my first spell here. The guys are mentally strong, physical and unbelievably dominant. We have a great chance to reach our goals if we continue to play as we have so far."
bundesliga.com: Now the important games are coming, including against Bayern Munich. Would you say you're on the same level as Bayern at the moment?
Jovic: "No, I wouldn't say so. Bayern are a very dominant team but we'll try everything to get a good result from them."
bundesliga.com: You've now played both La Liga and the Bundesliga. In what ways do you think Bundesliga is stronger?
Jovic: "They're very different leagues. Each have their pros and cons. Some players are better suited to the Spanish league, but I can emphasise that the Spanish league is technically better, while the Bundesliga is more physical."
bundesliga.com: Is Eintracht on the way to becoming a top team in the Bundesliga?
Jovic: "It would be too ambitious to say that the Champions League is realistic for us. There are other teams with quality, though we do too. We can, with our desire and quality, reach that goal."
bundesliga.com: What is missing, to take that final step towards consistently contesting at the top?
Jovic: "There are different teams and the details will decide. For example, Mönchengladbach, they're behind us and this season were in a Champions League group with Real. Dortmund have enormous quality and are also behind us at the moment. We have to give 100 percent to stay in the race."
bundesliga.com: Fredi Bobic had a special role to play in bringing you back. How would you describe his impact on the club?
Jovic: "Fredi worked hard on me and my return. I'm very thankful that he and others in the club made my return possible. But I think Fredi's worth is clear to see in the fact of where the club was when he arrived and where it is now."
bundesliga.com: Where do your roots in football lie?
Jovic: "I started playing football at five and went to Red Star Belgrade very early, playing in the youth teams. I didn't get enough playing time with the first team, which led me to moving to Benfica. Afterwards, I went to Eintracht and that was the best career move I made."
bundesliga.com: Did you start with a club in Bijeljina or just with friends on a park?
Jovic: "I did play tournaments for FK Loznica but I also trained alone all the time, while in Belgrade, so I could be well-prepared for the games on the weekend."
bundesliga.com: What memories do you have of your beginnings and time at Red Star Belgrade?
Jovic: "The best memories. It's the club I was with for 10 years. Those not at the club cannot understand the emotions. I feel it's my club and I'm happy I was there. A very important club in my life."
Watch: From start to Frankfurt, the story of Jovic
bundesliga.com: What role did your father have in your development into
Jovic: "A large role. If he didn't put so much passion and work into it, I wouldn't be here. I'm very thankful for him. He often went beyond his boundaries, so I could fulfil my dream of being a footballer."
bundesliga.com: How hard was your move from home in 2008?
Jovic: "In the moment my father got the offer from Belgrade, I was over the moon. I saw it as a step towards fulfilling my dream but to be so young and move to a city like Belgrade and a club like Red Star was difficult for me. I missed my family a lot but they were always there to support me and I'll always be thankful for that."
bundesliga.com: To what extent was it an advantage that you went through the entire youth system at Red Star?
Jovic: "It was certainly an advantage. From the off, you learn how to win and develop that winning mentality. I won almost every match with Red Star and was with a very good generation, so that had a big influence on my mentality in football."
bundesliga.com: Are there coaches or friends who have had a big influence on your development as a player?
Jovic: "Tomo Milicevic brought me to Red Star. Afterwards, I had a few youth coaches who were important to my development but I would highlight Bratislav Zivkovic the most. He helped me the most, also privately. He was the most important figure in the youth academy."
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