"We can't wait for it to get going at the weekend!"

Pavlovic & Ratkov double interview before EURO 2024

When Serbia face England this Sunday, 16 June at 21:00 CEST in their first group match of UEFA EURO 2024, we have two big reasons to support them. In Strahinja Pavlovic and Petar Ratkov, two of our Red Bulls are in the squad of the Orlovi. We had to catch up with them ahead of the tournament to allow them to share their excitement in a joint interview.

Strahinja Pavlovic and Petar Ratkov in UEFA EURO 2024 double interview


How are things ahead of the big start to the tournament at your team base?

Strahinja: "We arrived on Tuesday, and it is fantastic here. It wasn't such a long journey - we went to Munich and then to our team hotel in Augsburg."


Do you share a room together on national team duty? How is it to have someone from your club with you?

Petar: "Actually we don't, but we all have individual rooms. I am very proud to be able to play for my county on this stage - and to do that together with Strahinja makes it even better."

Strahinja: "Yes, it is actually very cool to have someone from the club there, especially Petar, as we are really very close. We have spent close to every day together over the past year, and now we can share this great experience."

Petar, while Strahinja has been with the national team for longer, you are a relative newcomer - did you think in advance that you would be called up for EURO 2024?

Petar: "I hoped for that over the entire season. There have been phases and moments in which I didn't play a lot and score so much, which I would have liked to do. I have always given my all and was determined to make it. I kept believing in it and managed to achieve it, which makes me very happy."

How was it for you to play a friendly match against Austria?

Strahinja: "I found it fantastic to play against so many familiar faces, especially Onur [Cinel] and Flavius [Daniliuc]. We had a nice chat. I was really pleased to meet Nici Seiwald again too. We swapped shirts after the match!"

Petar: "Strahinja has been a year longer in Salzburg and knows a few more people or knows them better, but facing Flavius and Onur was cool, of course. It's always nice in general to face well-known faces in international matches. Even if we lost the game and I didn't play, it was also a really good match from both teams."  


How did the preparations go for you and what do you think of our group?

Strahinja: "We are very pleased with the preparation, and we had lots of good training sessions and good friendly matches. There was a shorter build-up to the 2022 World Cup. We had the chance as a team to work much more intensively on certain things. We are looking forward already to it getting going at the weekend. Playing against one of the best teams in the tournament will be a big challenge for us, of course."

Petar: "Our group is extremely strong. England are without doubt one of the big favourites, but Denmark are also a good team, especially physically. Slovenia also have some really good players who can make a difference. If we want to make it past the group stage, we have to be at 100 percent. We have to play our own game - we are a good team with a clear plan."

Strahinja, you are facing an old acquaintance in the Slovenia game with Benji Sesko  – will you have any time to catch up?

Strahinja: "It will be interesting! We have faced one another in international football before. We had a 2-2 draw and he scored. We know each other well from our year spent together in Salzburg and will definitely chat before the game - or during the game too, let's see."

Appearances of our boys at EURO 2024

  • Austria: Daniliuc
    vs. France (17.06.), vs. Poland (21.06.), vs. Netherlands (25.06.)
  • Croatia: Sucic
    vs. Spain (15.06.), vs. Albania (19.06.), vs. Italy (24.06.)
  • Serbia: Pavlovic, Ratkov
    vs. England (16.06.), vs. Slovenia (20.06.), vs. Denmark (25.06.)

The first of our boys in action will be Luka Sucic with the Croatian national team on Saturday. We met up with the 21-year-old midfielder for an interview. You can read all about the demand for tickets as well as his audience with the Pope here:

Luka Sucic's euro 2024 Interview

UEFA EURO 2024 on free TV

All the matches at the 2024 European championship, including those featuring our boys, can be seen on free TV in Austria! ServusTV is to broadcast 31 of the 51 matches live and exclusively, including all of the matches of the Austrian national team. The remaining games are on ORF 1.