MADRID, June 13 — Luka Jovic has pledged to fight for his place at Real Madrid after the Serbia striker was unveiled to his new fans at the Santiago Bernabeu yesterday.
Jovic kissed the badge and applauded around 4,500 supporters that turned out to welcome him after Madrid had confirmed the signing of the player from Eintracht Frankfurt on Tuesday for around €65 million (RM306.4 million).
“I am the happiest kid in the world,” Jovic said in a press conference. “I am very happy to belong to the biggest club in the world and I hope to fulfil everything that is expected of me.”
Jovic’s arrival on a six-year contract means Madrid have added three players this summer, with Eder Militao and Eden Hazard also joining from Benfica and Chelsea respectively.
Hazard will be presented at the Bernabeu tonight, when the club hopes the attendance could even exceed the 70,000 that greeted Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009.
The Belgian is likely to be a guaranteed starter next season but Jovic’s place looks less secure given that Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior were arguably Madrid’s two best players last season.
As it stands, Gareth Bale, Marco Asensio, Brahim Diaz, Isco, Mariano Diaz and Lucas Vazquez also remain at the club, completing a lengthy list of attacking options.
“The competition is fierce but if I work hard, I will get my chance. Then if I don’t take it, it’s my fault,” said Jovic. “I have not talked to Zidane yet but I’ve played as a second striker at Eintracht and I can also play on my own.”
He added: “I think I can be do well with Benzema but it is up to the coach to decide.”
Jovic joined Eintracht on loan from Benfica in 2017 and after making the move permanent, enjoyed a superb second season with the German club, scoring 17 goals in 32 league appearances.
He will be expected to provide more incision up front for Madrid, who lacked goals last season, struggling to fill the void left by Ronaldo’s departure to Juventus.
Club president Florentino Perez claimed Jovic chose Madrid ahead of other interested clubs. “We know very well that others wanted to have you but you have fought to be here,” Perez said.
“We have to start winning again and today is a day to welcome a player who has to help us complete this mission.” — AFP