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2019. Szeptember 11. 10:19  -  David Rechnitzer
Introducing: Danilo Pantic

We sat down to talk to our summer signing from Chelsea.

It is just after training on a Tuesday.... one half of the squad is having lunch while recent signing Danilo Pantic has one eye glued on the TV screen. The Serbian national team are playing a basketball game against Argentina in China. However, the game does not start well and the south Americans run into an early 12-4 lead. Serbia would later come back into the game but the Argentinians would eventually win. 

Did you ever want to play basketball besides football at a young age or did you just like this sport?
I always played football and there was always football on TV. I was born in a small town and there was a population of around 16-17,000. I started kicking the ball at a very young age. I first played for the local club before signing for Partizan at the age of 10. My father also played but only at an amateur level. I was the first from my family to sign for a big team. I moved to Belgrade with my sister, while my parents remained back at home. I always like to get back home whenever I have spare time. One of my long term targets is to help out the local amateur club back home. 

Is everyone there either a Partizan, or Zvezda supporter?
In Serbia, generally everyone supports one of the two big Belgrade clubs, but they also support their local teams. I remember being delighted when I signed for the team from the capital.

You were very young when you made it into the first team. What was it like to be part of that team at the young age of 16-17?
It was not an easy thing but you have to learn to handle it. They say in Serbia that the talented youngsters are under lots of pressure and everyone expects that something extra from them. However, at the same time you are only a kid. It was a great experience and my dreams came true when I first stepped out onto the pitch for my debut with the first team.

The offers quickly started to come from other clubs. You could read about Juventus wanting you, but it was Chelsea that eventually signed you. You then went on loan for two years to Holland. What was this period like?
It was a fantastic chance but also really difficult to leave home. You have to grow up suddenly from one minute to the next. A new place, new surroundings and your family left behind at home together with your friends and girlfriend. As I am not an EU citizen, it was not that easy to get my work application passed, which is why I ended up in Holland. That was also a big moment of my career when I agreed to accept the offer from Chelsea and I signed. 

Things have been much better for you in the last two seasons when you were on loan with Partizan. You were always on the pitch and scored goals and provided assists. You were even captain of the side for a couple of games...
We also won two cups. The final was one I remember back to after we beat Zvezda at their own stadium. It is really interesting to think back to when I returned back home as I was still just 20 years old. However, I was already considered an experienced player. We won the cup in the first year but also did well in Europe. We made it to the last 32 of the Europa League. I also played a few minutes of the play off game with Vidi. This was a good period for me and I really enjoyed playing again for the team I came through the youth ranks. 

You continuously played for the international youth sides and also represented the U21 side, but for some reason the Serbian side did not do as well as they could have.
This is correct and the qualification went really well for us with eight wins in a row. We suffered in the tournament and we could not play our own game. It is sad it turned out this way but I am still proud to have represented my country at U21 level in the European Championships. 

What were your first impressions of Vidi? You have already had a few training sessions and have also played in a friendly game.
I have only really been here a couple of days and everything is new. I am trying to do my best to get to know the others both on the pitch and off it. It is never easy to be with a new club for the first few days. I know that I will quickly adjust and get used to the tempo and all will be fine. I am working hard and am ready for the task ahead of me. I want to get to the best form as soon as I can. 

What do we need to know about Danilo Pantic when he is not playing football or in training?
Sorry, but there is nothing too interesting that I can say as I am just an average guy. I like to listen to music and watch films and be with my girlfriend and friends but there is nothing too extra. I came here to play football and I want to be in the best form for the task ahead of me. 

MOL Fehérvár FC - Minden jog fenntartva
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