Borussia Dortmund's new Serbian recruit Milos Jojic knows a thing or two about derbies
Borussia Dortmund's new Serbian recruit Milos Jojic knows a thing or two about derbies

Dortmund's Milos Jojic: A man for the big occasion

Dortmund - It would be fair to say that Milos Jojic's recent transfer to Borussia Dortmund raised many an eyebrow across the black and yellow half of the Ruhrgebiet.

Belgrade roots

Even the most avid fan of the European game probably couldn’t tell you all that much about the 21-year-old Serbian who, only 18 months ago, was plying his trade on loan in Serbia’s second tier at Fudbalski klub Teleoptik.

Born in the Belgrade suburb of Stara Pazova, Jojic was just 12 when he joined Serbian football giants FC Partizan from hometown club Jedinstvo Stara Pazova. A four-year deal was the subsequent reward for six years’ hard labour in the youth ranks, although the 1.77-metre midfielder would have to wait a while yet to sample first-team football with his beloved Black and Whites.

Jojic spent almost two years honing his craft at feeder club Teleoptik, scoring 14 goals in 60 appearances, before making his long-awaited Partizan debut in a 5-2 win over Hajduk Kula in September 2012. By the end of the self-same season, he was already well on the road to earning legendary status, thanks in no small part to his title-clinching free-kick against fierce local rivals Red Star Belgrade on 18 May 2013.

'Best in Germany'

The talented youngster picked up where he left off at the start of the following campaign, netting six goals, laying on seven assists and enjoying a goalscoring debut in Serbia’s 2-0 friendly win over Japan on 11 October 2013. His stock rising, it nevertheless came as quite the surprise when eight-time Bundesliga winners and German giants BVB made their move during the 2013/14 winter break.

Naturally, Jojic jumped at the opportunity. “I know that Dortmund’s fans are the best in Germany,” he told Bild. “I can’t wait to play here. I want to help the team, but it’s also important for to me to learn the language as quickly as possible. Maybe next time, I’ll be able to give the interview in German. My biggest goal is to win the UEFA Champions League with BVB.”

Derby aficionado

To supplement his ambition, the 2013 Jelen Super Liga Player of the Year is blessed with enviable technical ability, boasts a powerful shot, isn’t afraid to run at defenders and is a dab hand when it comes to set pieces. “I really like [FC Bayern midfielder] Toni Kroos,” he said. “He scored the decisive goal against Red Star in 2007. I like how he plays. It’s a similar style to mine.”

Operating in a deeper midfield role to that which he is accustomed, Borussia's No14 enjoyed a rather low-key debut in a 4-3 friendly win over Fortuna Düsseldorf, but if that didn’t quite warm BVB hearts, the Serbian’s firm grasp of local derbies should at least earn the Bundesliga tenderfoot a few welcome brownie points at his new home, the Signal Iduna Park: “Nothing tops scoring against Red Star if you’re a Partizan player. It’s like Schalke against Dortmund.”

Christopher Mayer-Lodge