The Bosnian War meant Nikica Jelavic grew up playing football instead of going to school, and that might be why he's such a natural goalscorer:
“I was six when the war started and this might sound strange, and people might find it difficult to understand, but it was the best time of my life. I swear,” he said.
“There were no rules. I would wake in the morning, leave the house and then I would spend the day playing football in the fields and swimming in the river.
“My father was on the frontline and my mother was at home, so I had a kind of freedom that a lot of children do not get. It was different for us because the normal rules had broken down because of the war and that meant we didn't have to go to school.
“I remember that I always played with boys who were older than me. It was more of a challenge, but I was still the best player. It was a great time for me and for my generation. I was too young to realise just how serious the situation was.
“It is always a good discussion with my dad, but the war is one thing he doesn't talk too much about. It is too difficult for him.
“If you compare me with someone like Phil Neville, he is always focused even days before a game but I never think about things.
“That's just the way I am. I never think about how many touches I take to score a goal or how I score a goal, I don't have those kind of thought processes.
“If I have the ball when I see the goal then I will shoot. Why complicate it?
“I am the player in the box most of the time and to me this means that usually one touch is enough because I am already so close to the goal. It is natural for me. Maybe if I started to think about what I do then I would stop being able to do it because it wouldn't be natural anymore.”
“We are a strong team,” he said. “I have heard all about the success that Everton enjoyed in the mid-Eighties and what a great team they had back then. I can't promise that we are ready to get back to those levels just yet but I do believe we are strong enough to play Champions League.
“We have already beaten Manchester United this season, and last season we beat Manchester City, so we have shown that we can play and also that we can compete.
“I have had two bad experiences playing against Liverpool in this country, but I did beat them in a pre-season friendly when I was with Rapid Vienna.
“Obviously, it is a big derby and it is a big game for everyone and I want to beat Liverpool with Everton. If I see the goal, then I will shoot."
Quotes or other material sourced from Daily Express
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
318 Posted 26/10/2012 at 06:53:50
So happy to have this lad in the team now. In the space of a year he has changed Everton.
319 Posted 26/10/2012 at 07:28:55
It's great to have a player like Jelavić at Everton. We've been starved of goals scorers for years now.
A brace on Sunday please Jelly man
325 Posted 26/10/2012 at 08:36:54
I've always believed that football's quite a simple game that's been complicated for no apparent reason. Just look at when any team makes a substitution: 20 minutes of frantic paper writing and diagrams — no wonder they look confused.
Nope, your naturals don't need all that bullshit — just get them on and they'll know what to do. I bet no-one ever told Georgie Best what to do... he'd have just given them the Homer Simpson stare...
So let's hope we keep it simple on Sunday — no need to complicate things and a victory is guaranteed.
332 Posted 26/10/2012 at 09:40:09
349 Posted 26/10/2012 at 12:05:34
350 Posted 26/10/2012 at 12:05:58
And he acted just like a kid in warm-up, wanting to have shots at TH the whole time. I already love the man but a couple on Sunday and he's set for life.
351 Posted 26/10/2012 at 12:11:45
352 Posted 26/10/2012 at 12:16:26
354 Posted 26/10/2012 at 12:24:12
A: I score lots of goals.
This guy is fantastic.
359 Posted 26/10/2012 at 12:49:02
This lad is something we have lacked for years. I really think he is the answer!
383 Posted 26/10/2012 at 15:11:19
386 Posted 26/10/2012 at 15:50:09
395 Posted 26/10/2012 at 16:16:20
Gotta love this guy, can't be more straightforward!
396 Posted 26/10/2012 at 16:30:10
The latest shambles of the Everton marketing dept is that they are unable to print special characters, in other words, the accent over the ć in his name.
Funny then, that the shirt that he wears himself has the accent — so the kit man at the club can obviously print it... but Everton Marketing/Kitbag can't...
I know it's petty, but if you are paying £12 for a name and number then it should really be right.
404 Posted 26/10/2012 at 17:09:31
411 Posted 26/10/2012 at 17:27:08
This knowledge certainly doesn't impair my appreciation of Jelavic's talent, I enjoy his performances greatly. Being a blue is always a privilege and, no matter how bad things may get, I still pity those who weren't chosen.
439 Posted 26/10/2012 at 20:05:44
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.