Torino attacker Nikola Vlasic sat down with Serie A ahead of Matchday 19 to speak about his reasons for joining the Granata, his football idol, and his responsibility in valuing the club’s history.
Croatian attacking midfielder Nikola Vlasic has played in his domestic league, in Russia and in England. He had a tough time at West Ham and that led to him joining Torino on loan in the summer. A fellow Croatian, his coach Ivan Juric, has helped him rebuild his confidence.
“He was of course the factor for me to come here, but not the only factor. I like the club, I like Italian football, I like the city, so it’s all different factors. You know, like I said, his famous style of football has also attracted me… When you feel the coach, the staff, the people in the club, have confidence in you, it’s easier to play and then they give you the freedom to express yourself on the pitch, this for me is the most important, because I just want to be happy and play football…”
His hard work has paid off internationally too. In the 2022 World Cup, he earned a Bronze medal with Croatia. A feat one of his idols, and a Serie A legend, achieved against all odds in the 1998 edition.
“Zvonimir Boban is huge in Croatia, and if you ask any player who is around my age, it will probably be Zvonomir Boban, Prosinecki – all the players that were third in the World Cup… He’s my favourite…”
Torino’s glory days date back to the 1940s, but even a newcomer like Vlasic feels the responsibility of seeking to live up to the Granata’s glorious history.
“I feel it, because you know, every time I come to the Stadio Grande Olimpico Torino and I walk here around the locker room, the stadium, I see this… what this team has won, and all the faces and the names of the big players… You just feel it inside, when I’m in the city, when I walk around the centre, I feel the love the people have for this club, and you know, I feel the same…”