It didn’t take long for newcomer David Milinković to fall in love with his new club.
Milinković arrived in Vancouver in January 2020 on a one-year loan from English Championship side Hull City, and he feels already attached to the club and city.
“I was really happy when I signed for this club. When I arrived, it was even better because the team welcomed me really well, even the coach, the director, the staff, the physical therapists. Everyone, all the staff really made me feel welcome, this made me confident and I’m really glad to be in this club,” Milinković said in his native French language.
He says that he spoke with head coach Marc Dos Santos upon his arrival in Vancouver, to which he found out he wasn’t the only Francophone on the team.
“After all, I do speak English, but it felt even better to know that there were other Francophones on the team. Youssef Dahha speaks French, Maxime Crépeau also does, and the Dos Santoses speak French so that’s superb, that really helped me by adapting to the club quickly,” said Milinković.
Playing at a North American level is a first for the French player. Prior to his arrival, Milinković had played close to 100 professional appearances in Italy, Scotland, and England combined.
With a first few good spells, Milinković says that signing with the 'Caps is a huge step for his career, having arrived at the club with a lot of ambitions.
“The key to my recent success with the Whitecaps is that I arrived here determined because I didn’t play much with Hull City last year. So I arrived from Hull City and I really wanted to show my best level of play to everyone. What I’ve shown so far is only the beginning,” said Milinković.
Milinković says that he previously watched a lot of Major League Soccer games last year, he says that the style of play compared to European fields really impressed him because of the intensity.
“There are a lot of technical qualities on the field, there is a high level of endurance. With supporters filling the stadiums every match, we only have one objective for them and it’s to give everything on the pitch. The level of play is really elevated, so you have to be physically ready in order to play in this league,” said Milinković.
Amid his strong start with the team, Milinković has had to take a pause from soccer. Born in Antibes, a resort town on the French Riviera, his family back in France are constantly in his thoughts while they are in lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“My close relatives are confined for 15 days, they can’t leave their place, it’s a difficult time for everyone but that’s the precautions we need to take. It’s better that they don’t leave because the virus is a lot more elevated in France,” said Milinković.
MLS announced on March 19 that it will extend its season suspension until May 10. Milinković is eager to get back on the pitch, but he says that health should be everyone’s number one priority and that soccer should take a break like everyone.
“We only have one desire, and that’s playing soccer again, but health is the top priority for everyone. When we will come back on the pitch, we will do everything for our supporters, go out on the field and win as many games as possible and have a big season.”