- Lazarević gave Serbia victory in Futsal World Cup play-off
- His hat-trick against Finland propelled his team to Lithuania
- The striker is now aiming for a place in the quarter-finals
On December 9, 2020 at the Arena de Vantaa, the Finns look shabby. From the final whistle of this return jump-off, the players of Serbia gathered in the middle of the field to sing and dance together. Winner of a short header (1-0) in the first leg, Serbia validated their ticket for the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021 ™ after a spectacular draw (5-5), snatched away on his opponent’s field.
In the middle of this small cheering crowd, Jovan Lazarević does not sulk his pleasure. The striker, who has just signed a hat-trick, will remain the hero of the day and one of the architects of the qualification of Serbia for the world meeting. At 23, he splashed some of his talent, proving in the process that you don’t have to have many years of experience to handle the pressure.
“Of course, I was delighted to have scored three goals, but that achievement is to the credit of a whole group. It was my night. In one game, I reaped the rewards of all the sacrifices I had made so far. I’m really happy because I know that all futsal fans in Serbia have enjoyed watching this match a lot, “Lazarević said.
Thanks to FC Mostar SG striker in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia are preparing to experience their second Futsal World Cup, nine years after Thailand 2012, and approach it with great ambitions. “We have potential. I can’t wait to see where we are collectively and what we are really worth against the best. The World Cup will give us the opportunity to meet some high quality opponents. is also a huge showcase and I know that all the clubs in the world will follow each match closely. For us, it’s an opportunity, “he admits.
Room for improvement
Nine years ago in Thailand, for their first participation, the Serbs reached the round of 16. Lazarević wants to do even better this year. “We can reasonably hope to make it through the group stage. After that anything is possible, but a place in the quarter-finals would already be considered a good result for Serbian futsal,” said Lazarević, who appreciates Lozano, Diego and Merlim, and hope with the opportunity to play against them during the world tournament.
The Serbian left-hander is optimistic, and believes that his selection has the necessary assets to live up to his ambitions. “We have a young group and we are very close off the field. We play a modern game, while lively,” he says, while being aware of the possible improvements. “We still have a lot of room for improvement. We have to learn to stay focused during the 40 minutes of the game. We cannot afford to play intermittently.”
Since his hat-trick in Finland, Lazarević has seen the number of his admirers increase. His father has always been by his side. “He is my hero and my idol. He has always been there for me and I owe him absolutely everything. If he is proud of me today, I can only be delighted”, concludes Lazarević who, in next September, will once again have the opportunity to make Serbia proud.