Damir Ljuljanović: There's a smile back on my face again
Along with the other FC Titograd players, Damir Ljuljanović has crossed a long path from dusk till dawn during the last month. The success has just been crowned – he has been invited to join the senior national team!
The great goalkeeper has excelled during the last season, when FC Titograd (under the old name, Mladost) won third place at the championship, to the trophy in the Montenegro Cup. In the semi-finalsMladost beat Budućnost after a penalty, and Ljuljanović was the hero. Football buffs in Montenegro still remember his great intervention in the second round of the Europa League qualifications, when he stopped the Sturm offence players at Graz, securing a great victory for his team.
The popular “romanticists” are entering the new season very ambitiously, but have undergone a total knockout at the very start. In the first round of qualifications they have been eliminated by B36 Torshavn from the Faroe Islands. Also, their old coach Aleksandar Miljenović has been replaced by Igor Pamić.
Positive energy and good chemistry – have simply vanished. Bent heads became a hallmark of the Titograd team. However, firmly believing that it is not how bad a fall was, but how you pick yourself up and fight on, Ljuljanović and the boys entered the new Montenegro championship.
A tied game with Rudar ensued, then 4 victories – against Iskra, Budućnost, Zeta and Grbalj. FC Titograd is at the top of the board, while Ljuljanović went through all of the junior teams, finally receiving an invitation to join the senior team which is heading for the first Nations’ Cup matches, against Romania and Lithuania.
“There’s a smile back on my face again. I am once again thrilled to get on the court, get back to practices and games. I cannot begin to describe what it means to me to receive an invitation to join the senior team. I will everything that’s in my power to help keep the positive flow, to show serious commitment to practices and games, thus contributing to making a dream come true for all of us in Montenegro who love football – to secure a place at the European championship, our first great championship in history”, Ljuljanović stated for Sport Klub.
“It is impossible to describe how we felt after the elimination by the Faroe Islands team, during the Europa League qualifications. At one point I truly believed that happy moments would never return – but they have. The season’s taken off to a great start, we hold the top position at the chart and can’t wait for the match in the following round and the game with the current champion, the Sutjeska team. I am hoping for a positive result to see me off to the national team”, Ljuljanović concludes.
Montenegro’s first match is against the Romanian team at Ploiesti on 7th September, and three days later Lithuania is arriving to Podgorica.