Real Madrid's Luka Jovic adamant Euro U21s won't disrupt pre-season

Real Madrid's new signing Luka Jovic will feature for Serbia at the European Under-21 Championship, which he insists is not a distraction.

Luka Jovic is adamant playing in the European Under-21 Championship with Serbia will not impact negatively on his pre-season preparations for new club Real Madrid.

Jovic enjoyed a stellar campaign on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt from Benfica in 2018-19, scoring 27 goals across all competitions as the German side finished seventh in the Bundesliga and reached the Europa League semifinals.

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The striker's form attracted interest from a host of major European clubs, but Madrid was the one to take the plunge, shelling out a reported EUR 60 million on the 21-year-old less than two months after Frankfurt triggered its apparent EUR 7 m purchase option on him. Jovic is one of the most notable stars at the European Under-21 Championship in Italy, which began on Sunday.

And ahead of Serbia's Group B bow against Austria on Monday, Jovic is certain his participation will not be a problem for the remainder of the close-season.

 

"A lot of players wouldn't be here now if they were me," he told UEFA. "But I already missed out on the [Under-20] World Cup because of injury, so I was completely sure I wanted to join my team here. I knew instantly that, if it were up to me, I would participate in this tournament. I'm not worried — I'll have enough time to rest and get ready for next season."

Expectations of Jovic are particularly high at the tournament, though he insists he is able to detach himself from the pressure. "I had a really good season and I'm satisfied with my achievements," he added. "I can always do better, of course, but let's leave that for the future.

"With regards to the pressure, I don't feel it's grown. I've disconnected myself from it all and I'm fully concentrated on the game and giving my best so that we, as a team, can achieve the best result possible."

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