Adem Ljajic has said he will remember 2014 as the year in which he silenced his critics and he hopes 2015 will see him return to the Serbia national team, as well as win the Serie A title.
The Roma forward has found some of the best form of his career over the first few months of the Serie A season and he admits in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport that he has matured after realising he was throwing away his talent.
Some encouraging words from former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson have finally sunk in with Ljajic currently Roma's top scorer this season.
"I remember I was 17 and I didn't speak a word of English, a bit like now," said Ljajic, who had a trial with Manchester United. "[Sir Alex] had some beautiful words for me and when they come from him, they stay with you forever.
"I wasn't training well before and I was a bit of a hothead. If I wasn't playing, I was getting into trouble. I was a bit of a crazy lad, but now I know that if I don't give 100 percent even in training, it's not likely I'm going to play.
"I've changed and the result is what you're seeing now. I've scored nine goals, provided seven or eight assists and maybe I could have done even more, but if I play with this consistency, I can make the difference."
Some of the merit in that can also be apportioned to current Roma coach Rudi Garcia, said the Serbian.
"He's been important for me," added Ljajic, 23. "When you're not at your best, on the field or off it, he's always there to help you and he always says things to your face, telling you what needs to change. That's the right thing.
"[Sinisa] Mihajlovic is also very direct. We're used to that in Serbia."
Current Sampdoria coach Mihajlovic first banned Ljajic from the national team in 2012 when he refused to sing the national anthem while he was banned once again by Dick Advocaat, just a month after making his return under the Dutchman last year.
Next year, he hopes to be given a third chance for his country.
"They were both different cases, but I don't want to dwell on them," said Ljajic. "After Roma-Milan, I went for dinner with the new coach [Radovan] Curcic and we clarified a lot of things. I'm ready and waiting for the call to come.
"I love Serbia and I can't wait to regain my place in the national team."
Returning to represent his country is not the only ambition Ljajic has for 2015, however -- beating Juventus to the Serie A title in May is another.
"We all believe in the scudetto," he said. "We're going to try to win it right to the end. Certainly we could have got more from some games and then we would have been top. In general, though, Juventus have won some games by luck whereas we've always been stronger.
"Whenever we won, it was because we played better than our opponents."