The lowdown on new Real Madrid striker Luka Jović
After scoring 17 in the Bundesliga and ten more in the UEFA Europa League for Eintracht Frankfurt, Luka Jović is heading for Real Madrid on a six-season contract. Prepare to be dazzled.
Name: Luka Jović
Club: Real Madrid
2018/19: 55 games, 29 goals
Appearance data includes games for Eintracht, Serbia and Serbia Under-21
Who is he?
Jović tore up the Bundesliga and the UEFA Europa League in 2018/19, and has joined Real Madrid less than two months after his loan move from Benfica to Eintracht was made permanent. He shot to prominence in October when he became the youngest player to score five goals in a Bundesliga game.
What makes him so good?
A powerful penalty-box predator, the Serbian’s range of finishing is matched only by his composure in front of goal. Comfortable up front on his own or with a strike partner, Jović’s finishing is unerring. He’s also quick in transition, physically strong and rarely injured.
The back story
The son of a professional footballer (father Milan was a defender, though), Jović came through the Crvena zvezda youth system, and made his ‘Red Star’ debut in May 2014 aged 16 years and 156 days, getting a late equaliser against Vojvodina to surpass Dejan Stanković as the club’s youngest goalscorer. At 18, the striker swapped Belgrade for Benfica, signing on loan for Eintracht the following summer. His Eintracht breakthrough came in 2017/18 with a backheeled volley to win a tight German Cup semi-final at Schalke.
What happens next?
Real Madrid have signed Jović subject to medical tests, and he should provide able support (and a little bit of competition) to Karim Benzema. In the meantime, he is battling for a starting place with Serbia, and has been included in the squad for the upcoming UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Italy; Jović was Serbia’s seven-goal top scorer in qualifying.
What they say …
“I’ve never seen a 20-year-old with this quality. He’s got something of [Tony] Yeboah and Cha [Bum-kun], and the physique of Gerd Müller. He’s agile, lightning in transition and can score with his right foot, left foot and head.”
Karl-Heinz Körbel, Eintracht record appearance-maker
“He has football in his genes. He’s a street footballer and has a nose for goal. He scores with his head, his right or his left foot. He has technique and a powerful shot with both feet. He just has everything a striker needs.”
Kevin-Prince Boateng, former Eintracht midfielder
What he says …
“Football has meant everything to me ever since I was a child. I would spend the whole day on the pitch and, obviously, it paid off. When I think about the fact that I might retire in ten years, I get scared. Football means everything to me. It hurts to think that one day I will have to stop playing.”
“Every young player looks up to [Lionel] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo. I love [Zlatan] Ibrahimović, but my idol is [Radamel] Falcao.”
“This is the first time I’ve played in the group stage of the Europa League. It is really a phenomenal feeling to be part of this. There are more games, so we do get tired, but we don’t complain and we won’t complain if we were in Europe next season either.”