Petar Ratkov (foto: fss.rs)
Looking forward to the season, Petar Ratkov, Serbian national player and Salzburg forward, aims to win both the title and the Cup in the league.
"We want to be third in the Champions League and advance as far as possible in the Europa League," says Ratkov in a conversation with Nogomania.rs.
Having debuted for the Serbian A national team and being a staple in the U21 squad, Ratkov shone in the Superliga as a youngster and is now scoring in Austria with Salzburg. Given a chance by Dragan Stojković against Hungary in Budapest, Ratkov is now aiming for a spot in the European Championship in Slovakia in 2025 under coach Ljubinko Drulović. As a rising star, he discusses the national team, Drulović, teammates, Aleksandar Mitrović, and Salzburg's prospects with Nogomania.rs.
Scoring in the Cup for Salzburg, Ratkov shares the significance for a striker: "Scoring in the Cup, playing all 120 minutes was vital for me, especially coming back from a serious injury. I started well in Salzburg, and things are falling into place. I'm returning to my old form."
On sharing the locker room with Strahinja Pavlović and Aleksa Terzić, he says they spend all day together, which helps their human relationship and hopes to stay together longer.
Adapting to the team and season expectations, Ratkov feels well-integrated and appreciated. "No one expected such a quick adaptation to the foreign training system, which is intense but suits me. I expect us to win the title and cup and to do well in both the Champions League and Europa League."
Discussing the change of coach in Serbia U21, Ratkov finds Drulović's efforts helpful in improving player quality. "He's showing us we can compete against any team. We lost against England, but we're fighting hard."
Working with coach Dragan Stojković is a great honor for Ratkov. "Every day, I strive to earn more call-ups from the coach. The biggest difference is the approach. The A team shows incredible dedication on and off the field."
Ratkov highlights the advice from his idol Aleksandar Mitrović and cherishes his debut against Hungary. Looking ahead to the match against Luxembourg for the U21 EURO 2025, he expects a good game and is prepared to give his all for a win at home.