Partizan wonderkid Filip Stevanovic can`t play for Serbian youths during this international break due to an injury but he attended the call-up and found himself taken aback by the surprise gift. Actually, Serbia U-19 manager Ilija Stolica handed over hand watch to 17-year old winger for a last season`s goal of the week award, for a free-kick goal Partizan youngster scored away to Spartak Subotica towards the end of the season, but due to Covid-19 measures some of the weekly awards ceremonies have been postponed.

-I was pleasantly surprised when Serbia U-19 manager presented me with a hand watch. I truly respect Ilija Stolica and I`m gutted not to be able to play Latvia and Bulgaria games. I watched live coverage from Riga and lost my nerves because of the final result. We have great generation of boys full of massive potential and I hope my national team peers will make amends against Bulgaria in Gornji Milanovac, so that we go back to winning ways – said Filip Stevanovic, recipient of two goal of the week awards last season.

-I received first award for my goal against Rad when I beat several defenders and curled the ball in. Of course, I prefer when I score from open play after breaking forward or dribbling my way through but I can`t complain about this free-kick goal in Subotica. I had a feeling I was gonna score. After the training session prior to the game, I practiced free-kicks with Natcho and after hitting the net boss Milosevic said “I`d like to see you doing the same tomorrow”. I promised to score against Spartak as long as we get an odd free-kick and so it happened. I`d like to thank all of them who voted for me and I hope I`ll be in competition for goal of the week award this season as much as possible.

Filip Stevanovic has his favourites among free-kick specialists.

-I used to admire Ronaldinho before, now I carefully observe how Messi approaches the ball and his shooting technique. I`m happy to have Natcho next to me, we are often practicing free-kicks after the training sessions. I have to admit he is still more successful than me, but I`m closing in. He always approaches me, gives me advice and tells me what I need to fix. I have my shooting style from the early age and now I`m just working on certain technical bits. I don`t analyse keepers too much, I just always know how and where I`m going to send the ball – said the most talented young Serbian player today.


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