Canaries midfielder still savouring 'pure joy' of his brilliant promotion-sealing strike

PUBLISHED: 20:00 02 May 2019 | UPDATED: 13:24 03 May 2019

Mario Vrancic spoke to the media at Colney about his key role in Norwich City's promotion Picture: Tony Thrussell

Mario Vrancic spoke to the media at Colney about his key role in Norwich City's promotion Picture: Tony Thrussell

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Mario Vrancic experienced 'pure joy' when he slammed home the goal which proved pivotal to Norwich City's promotion - taking him a step closer to fulfilling a childhood prediction.

The midfielder found the top corner from 25 yards against Blackburn on Saturday and although Rovers hit back quickly, the superb strike lit up Carrow Road and proved enough for a 2-1 win which sealed City's return to the Premier League.

“I would say it was definitely the most important one,” Vrancic said, when asked if it was the best goal of his career.

“I had lots of time, I was surprised no one attacked me so I was just determined that I was going to hit the ball properly to score and fortunately it went in – and pure joy, everybody was celebrating!”

That goal followed hot on the heels of a brilliant free-kick deep into injury-time against Sheffield Wednesday which salvaged a 2-2 draw a week earlier.

“I'm just doing my job, right?!” Vrancic said with a smile. “Important goals but every goal is important in a promotion season, so I'm just happy.”

The Bosnia & Herzegovina international, who joined the Canaries from Darmstadt in the summer of 2017 for a reported £650,000, having just been relegated from the Bundesliga.

Mario Vrancic celebrates his brilliant long-range strike against Blackburn Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesMario Vrancic celebrates his brilliant long-range strike against Blackburn Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

“Actually there's a funny story,” the former Mainz and Paderborn midfielder added, whose family moved to Germany when he was young, fleeing war-torn Bosnia.

“One of my best mates, his mother is from Norwich, and when I was like 12 or 13 years old we used to play together. He said 'one day you're going to play for Norwich City in the Premier League!' and I've achieved it.”

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The 29-year-old has nine goals and 10 assists to his name this season, from 37 games, despite missing all of pre-season with a groin injury.

“It's always part of, as a player, to be patient somehow,” he continued. “I was injured and in came into the squad after the first international break against Middlesbrough (a 1-0 home win in September), I came on and the team were doing well.

“I came on almost every game and we were winning almost every game, so there was no reason for the manager to change something.

“But sometimes you just have to wait for your chance and you have to be there to use the chance, as simple as that, to get your elbows out and show that you deserve to play and start the games.”

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