The rivalry between Benfica and Sporting can reach unbelievable levels sometimes. And on Wednesday, even a Liverpool loanee has ended up involved in one more of their endless comparisons.
Portuguese newspaper O Jogo has managed to get an interview with Partizan manager Vladimir Vermezović, who worked with both Benfica’s Andrija Zivkovic and Sporting’s Lazar Markovic at the Serbian club.
So with a headline saying “Zivkovic is better than Markovic”, the outlet made a big deal out of the interview.
The manager didn’t actually say something so absolute. When asked to compare both players, he answered: “They occupy similar areas on the pitch. Lazar is more direct, attacks the opposing goal faster, but Zivkovic scores more goals and is much more dangerous with the ball, faces the opponents face to face with no fear and goes through them.”
“Zivkovic likes to control the game, he’s a player who takes the responsibility, who likes to risk and has the ability to decide a match. There are games that are won at the end and Zivkovic is one of those players who can decide it at the last minute. And there are few like those.”
Like you can see, he didn’t actually ‘better’, although the in comparison to Zivkovic, Markovic was slightly damned by faint praise.
Lazar Markovic is on loan at Sporting from Liverpool until the end of the season. He has six appearances and one goal for the club so far, that he used to play for Benfica will obviously help the rivalry.