20220122 Lazovic MNE

Globe-trotting Lazovic living the EHF EURO dream

Three continents, six countries: the least you can say is that Vuk Lazovic has, at 33, a few airmiles behind him. The Montenegrin line player played in a few European countries, including one season in the German Bundesliga, before moving to South Korea in 2018. There he became the first European player to play in the local first division, for SK Hawks in the city of Cheongju.

“That was very useful for me, as a player. The Asian style is completely different compared to what we are used to in Europe. I feel like, after playing in South Korea for three seasons, I am physically a way better player on the physical side,” says Lazovic, who has still found the time to come back and play at every EHF EURO since 2016.

You would think that playing in this kind of league, with a completely different style of play, made things difficult for Lazovic. But, according to him, it is actually quite the opposite.

“I had to work to adapt but it was not that hard. Everything is easy if you’re willing to try. Now I run more and longer, but I don’t feel like I’ve lost my power. I can honestly say that I feel better physically now than I have done for years,” Lazovic adds.

And that shows at the current EHF EURO, where Lazovic is currently “living a dream”. Montenegro progressed to the main round of the competition for the first time since 2008, thanks to their amazing team spirit.

“This is our strongest point, that’s true, since we had problems in the preparation. But I think we play very good on the court as well,” he says.

After their first main round win against Croatia, can Montenegro keep their dream alive against the Netherlands on Saturday?

“We will do everything it takes. I feel like we are getting better and better every day. Our goalkeeper (Nebojsa Simic) is having amazing performances, but we all play like machines. We just keep moving forward,” Lazovic predicts.

After such a start in the competition, what could be the limit for Montenegro? Lazovic does not want to talk about the semi-finals just yet.

“We’ll just take game after game, see where that brings us. I mean, teams are afraid of us now, they think we can beat them any time. And that’s a victory already,” he thinks.

And talking of victories, the one against Slovenia which sent Montenegro to the main round was of course a special one for Lazovic, whose wife Barbara is Slovenian.

“That was interesting,” he laughs. “I know almost all the players in the Slovenia team so yes, it was special. But don’t worry, my wife was happy for me.”

By the looks of things, she might have some more reasons to be happy in the next future.

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