Dusan Vlahovic admitted he wasn’t like stars Neymar or Lionel Messi and underlined his goals with Juventus amidst links to Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.

The 24-year-old Serbian forward has continued to impress in Turin this season despite the difficulties, netting 16 goals across 28 league matches, managing to stand out despite often being left isolated in Massimiliano Allegri’s system.

Vlahovic has just over two years left on his contract with Juventus and has been linked with a possible move away in the summer, with suitors including Chelsea and PSG. His future may also depend on who sits on the Bianconeri bench next term.

Vlahovic opens up

Speaking in an interview with L’Equipe via Calciomercato.com, Vlahovic first discussed Juventus’ fight for Champions League qualification and the Coppa Italia title.

“It’ll be wonderful, obviously, if we succeed for both, but we cannot be fully satisfied. This is the mentality of this club, due to the needs of its history.

“We had the opportunity to fight for the title, but if you fight until February, it means nothing and it doesn’t count. It’s at the end of May that we see who’s there. Obviously, there are regrets, but there’s still a lot to play for.”

He touched on his prolific form this season.

“Last season was what it was because I wasn’t well physically, I really suffered. This year I feel good, this is the only thing that has changed, otherwise I’m doing everything the same, I work hard, I have my focus on recovery.

“This season I have scored 17 goals, including the Coppa Italia, but I could have done much more, those who play for money, that doesn’t interest me.”

Vlahovic commented on his Ballon d’Or ambitions.

“Obviously, I dream of the Ballon d’Or, but first of all there are many things that have to align. Obviously, it’s a goal of mine, you play for glory and for trophies.”

The Juventus striker spoke about what he’s learnt in Italy.

“In Italy you are immersed in a very tactical world with compact teams, closed games etc., this teaches you many things. I’ve had the opportunity to do this by working with Massimiliano Allegri, who is one of the strongest coaches of the last 20 years and knows how to talk to his players.

“When I arrived at Juve I found a reality that was different from what I expected. I expected the best, but this is more than just the organization of the most banal things, it’s all surprising. When you enter the sports centre, you immediately feel the energy, the desire to win, even the family spirit.”

Vlahovic discussed some of his footballing inspirations.

“Cristiano Ronaldo, obviously, who I followed at Manchester United, when he was a left winger. I liked his movements, his ‘killer instinct’, I think he is one of the best in history. I also liked Zlatan Ibrahimovic a lot, and Fernando Torres with his slightly long hair, in his time at Liverpool.

“And then Karim Benzema, a player I adore, Mbappe is very strong, he is 25 years old and has almost won everything, he has scored 40 goals this season. Giroud is also a giant. The statistics ask for more and more space, but they don’t tell the importance of a player.

“In the 2018 World Cup France won, the numbers say that Giroud scored zero goals but without him France would not have won, with all the dirty work he did, his passes, his way of weighing on the defence, he was one of the fundamental players for the victory.”

Vlahovic commented on the comparisons between him and other players.

“I’m not Neymar, Hazard or Messi, guys who when you see them you say: ‘Wow, what a player!’. But whatever the profile, the striker is fundamental in a team. If the striker plays well, the team play well.

“Football has changed so much that people say it’s more physical, but your technique has to be at the top. You have less and less time and space to do things like the number 10s of the past, what a shame.

“There is still a lot of top-level players, but we see them less because everything is going much faster.”

Finally, Vlahovic was asked about his future and the rumours linking him to Chelsea and PSG.

“I heard, I saw the newspapers, but I didn’t know anything. I was thinking mainly about myself and preparing for a good season.

“Future? Two years have passed and I’m very happy here. This is my answer, I want to win something important with Juve. Then we’ll see, we’ll talk about it later.”

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