Nikola Kalinic reveals how Hellas Verona coach Ivan Juric convinced him to join the club and insists he was ‘not bad’ last season at Roma.
He has experience of several Serie A sides now, at Fiorentina, Milan, Roma and now Verona, where he made the transfer from Atletico Madrid on deadline day.
“It was a very easy decision, as I am here to play,” said Kalinic in his press conference.
“I don’t like being on the bench, I want to give my all for a team. I had many offers, but the phone call from Juric changed everything. He said I should come and work with him in this new squad at a club that treats everyone like family. I remember playing against Verona with Roma and admiring Juric’s style.
“He said: ‘If you like football, then come to us.’ The team plays for the striker, to create scoring opportunities. I am not a star, I arrive on the same level as everyone else. It doesn’t matter how many goals I score, just how many games Verona can win.
“Everyone tells me Juric is a really tough coach, but I’ve worked with Gennaro Gattuso and Diego Simeone, so I’m used to that! I just need a little while to reach full fitness, as I have only trained alone in the last two months.”
Kalinic was considered a flop after leaving Fiorentina for Milan in 2017 and struggled on loan at Roma too.
“I didn’t play that often at Milan and had some injuries, while I wasn’t bad at Roma – I scored five goals when starting seven games. If I can play more consistently, and with greater faith in me, I can do more.”
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