For Djordje Mihailovic, a move away from his boyhood club Chicago Fire was something he was considering for several reasons. As a result, when Montreal Impact head coach Thierry Henry gave him a call earlier this month, he had to take it. Very simply, Mihailovic said during a virtual press conference Monday, "when someone like that calls my phone, it’s a big deal to me."
Though Mihailovic, like many, remains impressed with Henry's record as one of the best players of his generation, that was not what convinced him to join the Impact. Over the course of a call that took place while Mihailovic was with the US men's national team in Florida this month, Henry told the player that the team would provide him with exactly what he was looking for: a chance to improve as a player, something he feels Henry is uniquely qualified to help him with.
"It’s also that mentality that I need to learn and I want to learn and I will learn," Mihailovic said. "He knows what it’s like to be the best, to win all the trophies possible, and that’s what I see in my career. I want to win trophies, I want to become the best player possible."
Mihailovic said his decision to leave the Fire in a big-money trade with the Impact last week was one that he put a lot into, but was one solely focused on that search to improve himself. He also believes that "every player comes to a moment where maybe a change is the best thing for them." Henry's call, then, could not come at a better time, but it was the belief Henry placed in him that really sealed the deal for Mihailovic.
"I could sense that desire to have me in the club, the belief that he and his staff [have] in me," Mihailovic said. "When I spoke with Thierry and I heard his words personally, it really solidified my choice to play in Montreal."