News Live Scores

World Cup 2010: Serbia Profile

Coach: Radomir Antic
Confederation: UEFA
FIFA Ranking (Apr 10): 16
Previous Appearances: First as Serbia

Background

This will be Serbia’s first appearance as an independent nation after previously competing under the flag of Yugoslavia, and later Serbia and Montenegro. As the Yugoslavs, their best performance at a World Cup was reaching the semi finals twice, once in the first tournament of 1930 and then again in 1962.

They reached the final of the European Championships, but their best achievement at international level was winning Olympic Gold and winning the World Youth Cup in 1987. In recent years the youth team has been the shining light in Serbian football 

How They Qualified

Impressive performances gave Serbia top spot in Group 7 ahead of France, and the team wrapped up qualification with a game to spare. The moment of glory came with a 5-0 thrashing of Romania in Belgrade. Defeat to France was disappointing, and leaves a few questions unanswered ahead of South Africa, but overall this was an efficient qualification.

Strengths
The defence is the strongest part of the Serbian squad, Nemanja Vidic and Branislav Ivanovic commanding the backline to perfection and their attacking instincts at set pieces proved valuable in Serbia’s qualifying campaign. The two attacking midfielders, Milos Krasic and Milan Jovanovic, were exceptional on the wings throughout the campaign and their performances caught the eye of Europe’s best clubs. 

Weaknesses

Serbia’s weakness can come from the central midfield. Dejan Stankovic and Nenad Milijas played throughout qualifying and performed, well but Milijas’ lack of pace can be a problem.

Serbia also lack a classic striker. Target man Nikola Zigic can have a game in which he is not seen at all and Marko Pantelic produces more assists than goals. The lack of depth in this position could be a big problem for the team.

The Coach

Radomir Antic is one of the most well-known managers around, having taken the reign of the big three Spanish clubs. His appointment was greeted with mixed reactions from the demanding Serbian media and public. In the team’s first home game against Lithuania, there were only 15,000 fans, which angered Antic. But as games went on and Serbia’s growing dominance over their opponents grew, the whole nation was behind 'Raddy'. He is like a father figure to the players. 

Star Men

Milos Krasic (CSKA Moscow, Russia)

The blonde haired winger was a delight for the Serbian public during the qualifying campaign. His electrifying pace, great passing and a precise shooting where valuable attributes to the teams play and having caught the eye of European footballs biggest clubs the player can only grow and grow as matches go by.

Milan Jovanovic (Standard Leige, Belgium)

Electrifying pace, a great football brain and an attacking instinct has labelled the player as Serbia’s best at the moment. It was a joy to watch Jovanovic during the campaign, and his excellent performances have seen many European clubs consider meeting his eight million euro valuation. He was Serbia’s top scorer with five goals.

Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United, England)

The rock and commander in defence gives the Serbian team trust in its back line. Vidic was unbeatable in qualification, and coming up for set pieces with Branslav Jovanovic added an edge to the teams attack and with younger defenders coming up in the teamHe will be the team’s leader in South Africa.   

Best XI

Best Footballing Moment

As a young independent team, Serbia’s best moment is yet to come. South Africa will be a great chance for this team full of talent to show the world what they have to offer.

Off The Pitch

Famous For: Games other than football. Serbia is a leader in world team sports. Water polo, volleyball and basketball have given the country many happy moments.

Most likely to: Complain about the draw and being placed in a tough group again

World Cup Objective

Serbia will be a dark horse in South Africa. The team should get out of the group stages and from there on the journey to the semi finals begins. If they fail it will be nothing new for Serbian football.