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Pršo push for Croatia
Few would have bet on Dado Pršo being top of the UEFA Champions League scoring charts at Christmas, but then not many outside France or Croatia had even heard of the Monaco striker before he crashed in four goals against Deportivo La Coruna on his 29th birthday last month.
Wednesday, 17 December 2003

 

Since then Prso has not stopped scoring, firing Croatia into the UEFA EURO 2004 finals with goals in each leg of the play-off against Slovenia and helping Monaco open up an eight-point gap at the top of Ligue 1. 

"Football is like that," he told uefa.com. "Sometimes you score all the time, other times you can't buy a goal. But I don't think it has happened by chance. Every forward will tell you that the harder you work the luckier you get and I believe that I've gone on this run because I've continued to work hard to improve my game." 

His four goals against Deportivo have certainly changed his life. "I get recognised far more now and the number of phone calls and interview requests I get is astounding," he said. "It's a shame that it works like that because even if I hadn't scored four goals, I'd still be the same person and the same player." 

His Champions League achievements may have given the pony-tailed striker a taste of stardom, but it was the goal in the second leg against Slovenia which booked Croatia's place in Portugal that he remembers with most fondness. 

"The goal against Slovenia means an awful lot," he said. "It's the goal that got Croatia to EURO 2004™ and, for that reason, it is the most beautiful moment of my career. To score four against Deportivo is a big deal of course, but the team won 8-3 so even without my four they would have won." 

Prso's brilliant form in all competitions has certainly turned heads across Europe and was a welcome upturn in fortunes after a season that had begun badly with Monaco. "At the start I wasn't in the team due to injury," he explained. "I was out for a couple of months and [Emmanuel] Adebayor did well in my place. He took his chance and then so did [Fernando] Morientes when he arrived. By the time I was fully fit the team was doing very well so it's normal that the coach didn't want to make changes." 

However, an injury to Morientes saw Prso seize his chance of first-team football in the game against Deportivo and now he is hoping to establish a regular striking partnership with the Spanish international. "We are similar players because we're both strong in the air and we enjoy playing with a smaller striker, but I think that we work well together all the same," he said.

The Croatian's contract with Monaco expires in the summer, and he admits that he is still in the dark about his future in France. "I just have to do my best until the end of the season and then I will make a decision on my future," he said. "I have no preference right now. If I end up re-signing with Monaco I'd be happy, but then if I got a good transfer I'd be happy too." 

Should he continue to score goals with monotonous regularity in the second half of the season, he may be able to name his price come the summer.
- Matt Spiro

 

 

 

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