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Vlahovic: Pioli is ‘a person of the highest human depth’

Thu 18 March 2021 | 11:49

The Viola frontman talked about their upcoming clash against the Rossoneri as he praised teammate, Franck Ribery, their time with Pioli as Fiorentina coach, and his rise as a Serie A player.

Dusan Vlahovic

praised Stefano Pioli ahead of their clash with

AC Milan

admitting that the former

Fiorentina

boss was

“like a father”

to them.

Vlahovic, who had scored only one goal before his penalty against

Sassuolo

on December 16th, currently has a total of 12 goals in his 26 appearances with the Viola.

Talking about the penalty, which followed his early goal drought, Vlahovic told

Il Corriere dello Sport

:<em>

“It weighed a lot, even for me. But at the same time the penalty gave me the opportunity to breathe.”

“It was like a breath of fresh air; it gave me life. From that moment it became easier, it took a lot of weight off. I worked harder every day with the coach and my teammates.”

When asked about the comparisons between him and

Zlatan Ibrahimović

, he added:

“I never liked comparisons. Let’s be clear, it’s an honour to be compared to Zlatan, it also gives you a dose of responsibility.”

"But there’s also the risk of getting burnt. In football, as in life, you need humility, a spirit of sacrifice, a willingness to listen to everyone, especially those who can give advice and suggestions.”

“Then it’s up to you to remain yourself.”

Vlahovic later talked about teammate,

Franck Ribery

, admitting that the Frenchman’s advices have been a great help to him.

“Post-lockdown he arrived at the sports centre at least two hours before the call-up. If he does it, who is almost 38 years old and has won everything a football can only imagine, I can never sleep.”

“It’s a luxury that I don’t want to give myself. He gave me a lot of practical advice on the pitch from the start, but he also helped me off it.”

“When I was down, he spoke to me and told me to never give up. That’s how I understood what it means to be a champion on the pitch and in life.”

The 21-year-old further commented on his rumored link to Milan, saying:

“I have a contract with Fiorentina until 2023. I feel great in Florence, they love me.”

“I arrived as a kid and I have become a man. There will be time and way, later on, to talk.”

“Right now, I’m focused on the 11 finals awaiting us. We also have to score points for the President.”

“He has an incredible passion for football. I have not forgotten that after having dribbled with him, I started scoring continuously.”

Fiorentina are currently preparing to take down Pioli’s men as they set to host the Rossoneri on Sunday.

“Everyone studies the football that Milan play, but these are the most fascinating games,”

Vlahovic said.

“We can’t wait and, above all, we won’t let our guard down.”

“I won’t be distracted by anything. The past, the hat-trick included, doesn’t count anymore. You must look ahead, only think about improving.”

“Now, the only thing that matters is to do well on Sunday. We are all aware of that.”

Concluding about Pioli’s return to Artemio Franchi as Fiorentina’s opponent, Vlahovic sent his well wishes to their former coach, saying:

“He’s a great coach and I hope he gets as far as possible in the Europa League. He has done excellent things in the League too, it’s not coincidence that he’s fighting for the Scudetto.”

“But he’s also a person of the highest human depth. When I arrived in Florence, Davide’s tragedy had just happened.”

“Pioli was with us players, he was like a father.”


source: SportMob