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Former Partizan director Ivica Iliev opens up: "Dušan Vlahović is no longer the boy I knew!"

28. February 2024
Ivica Iliev (foto:
Ivica Iliev, former Partizan sports director, discusses Dušan Vlahović's evolution from a promising talent to a mature leader at Juventus.

Former Partizan sports director Ivica Iliev spoke to Italian media about the Serbian national team star and the leading figure of "The Old Lady." Having played for Messina and Genoa, Iliev is well-acquainted with Serie A. In a conversation with "TuttoJuve," the main topic was Dušan Vlahović, the star of the Turin club, Serbian national team member, and former spearhead of the club from Humska.

"I see him as more mature in many aspects. He is no longer the boy I knew; he has truly grown up. He takes a lot of responsibility on the field, he's a leader and also a role model for his teammates. He has the trait of a champion, always possessed exceptional boldness. After certain difficulties he experienced, he is now becoming the player we all expected," Iliev told "TuttoJuve."

For Juventus to clinch the title again, Vlahović's scoring spree alone is not enough.

"Dušan has taken Juventus by the hand, is in excellent condition, and has started to score goals consistently. I am really pleased with the period he is experiencing. What happened earlier? I think due to injuries, but also due to the changes that have occurred in recent years at Juventus, it did not work out."

"The team is no longer full of champions, now there are only Dušan and a few others. He is aware that his time has come. His mentality has always been very strong. But clearly, it doesn't depend only on him," said the former Partizan executive.

Ivica Iliev is convinced that Vlahović has not yet shown everything he can...

"Here, 15 goals are worth at least 20-25 of a different quality. Had he played, for example, for Inter, he might have scored more than Lautaro Martínez, who is an excellent striker."

"In Europe, he is easily in the top 10 of the best, and there are few who have his qualities. He deserves to be in a renowned team like Juventus, but the only disappointment is that his goals will not be utilized for the Scudetto. Inter is still too strong, maybe with two or three right reinforcements, things could change," concluded Ivica Iliev.
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