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Serie A

Vlahovic pledges to ‘become a champion’ at Juventus

As the Bianconeri set to finish their Serie A campaign against his old club Fiorentina, Dusan Vlahovic committed to build on his first half-season with Juventus and “become a champion.”

Vlahovic joined Massimiliano Allegri’s team for €70 million after scoring 17 goals in 21 Serie A games for Vincenzo Italiano’s side this season and adding seven more in 14 league outings since coming to Turin.

In Monday’s 2-2 tie with Lazio, the striker became the joint-highest scoring Serbian player in Serie A history.

With one more league goal, he would become only the second player under the age of 23 to score 25 goals in a Serie A season in 60 years, the other being Ronaldo for Inter in 1997-98.

During Juventus’ disappointing conclusion to the season, though, Vlahovic has struggled to replicate his Fiorentina success, averaging a league goal every 151.86 minutes for Juve instead of every 109.47 minutes for his old team.

Juventus will finish fourth in Serie A for the second year in a row, having won the title in the previous nine seasons. They also lost the Coppa Italia final against Inter last month.

But Vlahovic remains happy with his decision to move to Turin and sees room for improvement.

Speaking at the Turin book fair, Vlahovic was asked about former Fiorentina boss Cesare Prandelli labelling him a “true champion” recently, replying:

“I would like to say, speaking of myself as a champion. I wouldn’t say I like it. There is a long way to go to work.

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Vlahovic pledges to 'become a champion' at Juventus

“And I will give my all, and we will become a champion.

“I like Juve’s DNA, this desire to fight and not give up, to go over the limit, until the end.

“And I am a bit like that too. I like working, above all because when I stop playing, even if it’s early.

“I don’t want to have regrets. And I want to give everything, and I don’t want to have regrets.

“This is my job, I am privileged, and I don’t see why it should be different. of course, you always do better.

“Even when you have done something extraordinary, you must be aware and satisfied, without exaggerating.”

Juventus can end this Serie A campaign with a maximum of 73 points.

They are guaranteeing their worst such return since the 2010-11 campaign (58 points, under Luigi Delneri).

The Bianconeri’s hopes of a successful campaign suffered a huge blow when Italy’s Euro 2020 star Federico Chiesa sustained an anterior cruciate ligament injury in January.

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Vlahovic pledges to 'become a champion' at Juventus

Vlahovic played with Chiesa at Fiorentina and cannot wait to see the winger return to full fitness next term.

“He saw me grow up as a kid,” he said of Chiesa. “We shared three years at Fiorentina. Luckily, we’re together again.

“He got injured when I arrived, and I hope he’ll be back as soon as possible. We hope to find our understanding of the pitch, which has remained from Florence.

“I can’t wait to play with him, take the field, fight with him, and win together.”

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