Madrid's Jovic absolutely world class, says Eintracht boss Hutter

By Sports Desk January 19, 2021

Eintracht Frankfurt head coach Adi Hutter hailed the "greatness" of Luka Jovic following his stunning start to life back in the Bundesliga.

Jovic scored two goals in his return for Eintracht last week after re-joining the German club on loan until the end of the season, having endured a difficult period at LaLiga champions Real Madrid.

The Serbia international only scored twice in 32 appearances under Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane in the Spanish capital, where he arrived for €60million in 2019.

But Jovic came off the bench and scored twice in 28 minutes as Eintracht defeated Schalke 3-1 in the Bundesliga on Sunday.

Jovic matched his Madrid tally in the stunning cameo for Eintracht, where the 23-year-old netted 27 goals in 2018-19 before making the move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Previewing Wednesday's showdown with Freiburg, Hutter discussed Jovic and his partnership with Eintracht star Andre Silva.

"Strikers are always a bit egotistical, but when it is about the team or Eintracht Frankfurt, everyone puts their ego aside," Hutter told reporters.

"Luka [Jovic] does that sovereignly. When you bring back someone who had his best time here and scored 27 goals in a year, then gets loaned out and scores two goals in 32 games, and then comes back and scores two goals in about 25 minutes, it's logical that the attention is more on that than on Andre Silva's 12th goal of the season.

"But when you hear Luka's statements that it is an honour for him to play in a team with Andre, it shows the greatness and character of Luka and it shows the respect he has for Andre Silva. I have spoken to Andre before and he said that competition is very important for him and that quality in the team is important. That doesn't bother him at all.

"I also can't imagine that Andre Silva, who has previously played for Milan and Sevilla, can't handle competition. I think he has also seen that Luka is another striker with whom he can harmonise.

"As always, I'm keeping a low profile. He [Luka Jovic] has shown in this short season that he is an absolute world-class striker with a high calibre. We'll leave it open as to whether he'll play from the start [against Freiburg]."

Silva's goal to open the scoring against Schalke was his 12th of the season, taking him level with Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland – only Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski (21) has more in 2020-21.

Eintracht – eighth in the standings – are the only team to win all three of their Bundesliga games in 2021 and have now won four on the bounce in the league for the first time since early 2019.

Related items

  • Czechia ready to step up in Schick's absence, says Hasek Czechia ready to step up in Schick's absence, says Hasek

    Czechia head coach Ivan Hasek insisted he has players ready to replace Patrik Schick in their must-win final group game against Turkiye on Tuesday. 

    Shick, who became his nation's top scorer at the European Championships with his goal against Georgia, limped off shortly after scoring and is a doubt for their final Group F fixture. 

    "Patrik has been with the physios and doctors for the last two days," Hasek said. "He wasn't training. He's getting better, but we will see tomorrow.

    "Schick is a key player, one of the best scorers in Europe. But if he's not able to play, we need to replace him. And we have players who are able to replace him and they are ready and been working hard," added Hasek.

    After claiming a point in their opening two group games, Czechia know they must rectify their current three-game winless run against their opponents on Tuesday to progress to the last-16 of Euro 2024. 

    Turkiye have won their two previous matches against Czechia at the European Championships, with both of these encounters, as per this year’s, coming in the last group game.

    "There is a positive energy in the team," Hasek said of the feeling among his squad ahead of the game at the Volksparkstadion. 

    "Some of the players have not played yet, not got that many opportunities and we want to win for them, mostly so that their chances of getting on the pitch and playing here remains. 

    "I really have great trust in my team, they play as one man and I think we will show that on the pitch."

  • Vinicius calls for patience as Brazil improvements acknowledged Vinicius calls for patience as Brazil improvements acknowledged

    Vinicius Junior acknowledged that he and his team-mates must improve following their goalless draw with Costa Rica in their opening game of the Copa America. 

    The nine-time champions were frustrated by their opponents at the SoFi Stadium, with Los Ticos becoming only the third CONCACAF side to keep a clean sheet against the Selecao Canarinho at the tournament after Mexico (2001 and 2007) and Honduras (2001).

    Brazil registered 19 attempts at Patrick Sequeira's goal, but only three were on target, with Rodrygo (6) and Lucas Paqueta (5) having the majority of those chances. 

    Vinicius failed to make an impact on proceedings in Los Angeles and was replaced by future Real Madrid team-mate Endrick for the final 20 minutes. 

    The 23-year-old has now been substituted in Brazil's last six competitive matches and knows Dorival Junior's side must improve to achieve success at the tournament. 

    "We know we can improve, we have to improve," Vinícius said. "I also know what I can improve, evolve and do for our team."

    Vinicius, who scored 24 goals in 39 appearances for Los Blancos this season, arrived at the tournament with the weight of a nation on his shoulders with all-time leading scorer Neymar, out of the Copa America due to injury. 

    The Real Madrid winger has registered just one assist in his last five appearances for his nation, but has called for patience from the Brazil fans. 

    "New coach, new players, everything takes time," Vinícius said. "Our fans want everything immediately done, but we're going little by little. In the next game, I'm sure we'll play much better because we now already understand what the competition will be like, what the pitch, what the referees will be like.

    "Every time I enter the field for the national team, I have three or four players marking me."

    Brazil face Paraguay in Las Vegas on Saturday before concluding their Group D campaign against Colombia, who beat the Albirroja on Matchday 1. 

  • Positive vibes: Boyz striker Nicholson hoping to overcome bittersweet milestone with victory over Ecuador Positive vibes: Boyz striker Nicholson hoping to overcome bittersweet milestone with victory over Ecuador

    For Shamar Nicholson, Jamaica's senior Reggae Boyz 1-0 loss to Mexico in their Copa America opener was a bittersweet occasion, as that encounter marked his 50th international appearance for the country.

    Though Nicholson would have loved to celebrate the significant milestone in victory, but it was not to be. As such, he was left ruing what could have been, as he reflected on his career journey which started at Trench Town High school, blossomed at Boys' Town Football Club, and he is now bearing fruit as one of Jamaica's top-rated strikers.

    Across those 50 games, Nicholson has so far tallied 19 goals and won three medals –silver and the 2017 Caribbean Cup and Concacaf Gold Cup, and an historic bronze at 2023-24 Concacaf Nations League.

    "Yeah, it was special moment," Nicholson declared in a recent interview with Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) media.

    "It's just a pity that we didn't get to win to make it more special, but it was a proud moment for me and my family, my friends, coaching staff, and everyone, who have supported me along the way during bad time and good time. So it was really a proud moment," he added.

    Shamar Nicholson (right) and rising sensation Keheim Dixon.

    Nicholson’s rise to becoming one of Jamaica's key players has been marked by determination and hard work. Though a man of few words, the 27-year-old's achievements on the international stage is a testament to his dedication and talent, as his true personality comes to light when the ball is at his feet.

    Since making his debut in 2017, the towering striker has become a mainstay in the senior Reggae Boyz team, especially giving his scoring prowess and physical presence on the field, which makes him a constant threat to opponents.

    In fact, it is for that reason why Nicholson has made the rounds at clubs in Slovenia, Belgium, Russia and now France. In Slovenia he scored 18 goals for Domzale, and later tallied 30 goals for Belgian outfit Charleroi. He later moved to Spartak Moscow, where he had eight goals and won the Russian Cup, before being loaned out to French Ligue 1 side Clermont, where has four goals to date.

    Each league and club offered a different challenge, but for Nicholson, the experiences were worthwhile contributions to his development.

    "Yes, I will say culture wise (France and Belgium are somewhat similar), but I think it was also a good experience, you know, because the level is high and really physical, and it also challenges you mentally. So I think it was a good experience and I learned a lot," Nicholson shared.

    Despite the defeat to Mexico in keen contest where Michail Antonio had a goal ruled out for offside and the Boyz generally squandered a few good half chances.

    While that result was not in their favour, Nicholson believes there were positives to take from the game, and, as such, he remains optimistic and focused on the challenges ahead, particularly the upcoming clash against Ecuador.

    Shamar Nicholson celebrates with Reggae Boyz teammates.

    He emphasized the importance of staying positive and focused, as the Heimir Hallgrimsson-coached Boyz hunt an historic first goal and, by extension, point at the prestigious Copa America tournament 

    The Reggae Boyz have shown in previous tournaments that they can bounce back from setbacks, and Nicholson is confident they will do so again. Hallgrimsson’s side is currently at the foot of Group B without a point, a statistic they could very well change with victory over Ecuador on Wednesday at Allegiant Stadium.

    They will then close out the group stage against current leaders Venezuela on Sunday.

    “The vibe is right, you know, everyone is positive despite the loss (against Mexico), and we all have a positive mindset. So, it's just to take things step by step. You know, we prepare in training, so it's just to go there and believe, and I think we're ready for that game,” Nicholson ended.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.