Luka Jovic labelled Cristiano Ronaldo as “the greatest of all time” and hopes to emulate the Portugal forward’s achievements in Italy after leaving Real Madrid for Fiorentina.
Ronaldo ended a nine-year spell with Madrid in 2018 to join Juventus, where he won two Serie A titles in three seasons before returning to Manchester United ahead of the 2021-22 campaign.
Jovic has followed a similar path, leaving the Spanish capital to move to Fiorentina on a two-year deal as part of a free transfer that will see Madrid take half of any future fee the Viola receive.
While Ronaldo left having taken LaLiga by storm with Los Blancos, Jovic departs after a largely unsuccessful spell in which he scored just three goals in 36 league games.
Madrid paid €60million in 2019 for the Serbia international after he impressed for Eintracht Frankfurt, but Jovic is aiming to put the past behind him as he referenced Ronaldo as one of his idols.
“I am inspired by Cristiano, he is the greatest of all time and I hope I can do what he did in Italy,” Jovic told reporters on Thursday.
Jovic will wear Ronaldo’s iconic number seven shirt, though the Fiorentina signing insists it was “the only one available that I liked”, and believes a different system with the Viola will help him thrive.
“I’ve never played in this competition, but I have experience in Europe and I think we have the qualities to go far,” he added.
“I always played better with two strikers, but in Frankfurt we played with three and in Madrid also with one. I’m just saying that I have to help, the rest is the coach’s job.
“I’ve been training all summer and I think I’ve come here fit – I just have a little calf problem that doesn’t bother me.”
— ACF Fiorentina English (@ACFFiorentinaEN) July 8, 2022
Jovic will not be the only Serbia striker operating in Serie A, with international team-mate and former Fiorentina forward Dusan Vlahovic playing up top for Juve.
Vlahovic and Dejan Stankovic share the record for the most goal scored by a Serbian in Serie A (51), but Jovic insists he will put international friendships aside with the Juve attacker now becoming a rival.
“Dusan did great in Italy and I will try to do the same,” he continued. “In the national team we are team-mates and here rivals. He spoke to me greatly about the championship and about this club.”