Dusan Vlahovic believes his injury problems are behind him ahead of Serbia’s decisive World Cup match against Switzerland on Friday, saying he will play “with one foot” if necessary.
Vlahovic was an unused substitute as Serbia squandered a 3-1 lead in Monday’s thrilling 3-3 draw with Cameroon, playing just 24 minutes off the bench in a 2-0 loss to Brazil on the first round with a groin injury.
Serbia needs to beat Switzerland to have any chance of finishing in the bottom 16, while their fate could be decided on goal difference if Cameroon beats Brazil and Vlahovic is determined to participate.
Asked about his condition at a press conference on Wednesday, Vlahovic said: “I managed to recover in 10 days to be available for the national team.
“We all talk to the coach every day, he knows my capabilities. If you need one foot, I’m ready.
“The question is how much I can help the team. I feel much better and ready to help us go to victory.
“We feel supported and you can see and feel in the air that people believe in us. We knew that the game with Switzerland would be decisive for us, we live with it.
“We promise to play our best against them. If they are better, let them beat us, if not, then we will win.”
— Opta Analyst (@OptaAnalyst) November 28, 2022
Switzerland are two points ahead of Serbia to qualify from Group E at the 2018 World Cup with a 2-1 victory in a tense head-to-head matchup.
Following this game, Swiss scorers Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri, both of Albanian-Kosovo origin, were charged by FIFA after they showed up to celebrate their strikes with an Albanian nationalist gesture.
These celebrations led Serbia, which does not recognize Kosovo’s independence, to file a formal complaint, but Vlahovic did not want to be distracted from the field before the teams reunited.
“We are not interested in provocations, we are here for football history,” Vlahovic said.
“There is nothing better and more beautiful than winning the next match. Going to the playoffs will mean everything to the entire nation and to us.”