Serbia World Cup MATCH SCHEDULE
STARTS AT20:00 GMT+0100
Republic of Ireland
STARTS AT20:00 GMT+0100
Since becoming an independent country in 2006, Serbia’s World Cup track record doesn’t make for good reading. They were knocked out in the group stages in both 2010 and 2018, and did not qualify for the 2014 Finals in Brazil. They’ll be looking to advance further this time around in Qatar.
The Serbia World Cup qualifiers were a sign the team is on the up. Pit in a group with Portugal, both sides were unbeaten as they faced each other in the all-important final game. Played in Lisbon, the score was locked at 1-1 going into the final minutes – a result which would see the Portuguese qualify in top spot.
However, an incredible 90th minute Aleksandar Mitrovic header sent the Serbs into rapture – seeing them head automatically to the Finals and consigning Portugal to the tricky two-legged playoff route.
The man who has overseen Serbia’s World Cup qualifying success is Dragan Stojković. A former player in the old Yugoslav league, he eventually signed for Japanese side Nagoya Grampus Eight in 1994, racking up nearly 200 appearances over the next seven years.
After retiring in 2001, Stojković became president of the Serbian Football Association at the age of just 36, going on to take a similar role at Red Star Belgrade in 2005. He eventually took up a coaching role at former club Nagoya Grampus in Japan, winning the J-League in the process – before taking over at Chinese Super League side Guangzhou R&F.
Forward Dušan Tadić is the captain of Serbia having been a regular in the team since 2012. A talented left-footed attacking player, he was at Southampton from 2014–2018 before moving to Ajax in the Eredivisie – a league he had previously experienced with Groningen and Twente
His first season in Amsterdam was more than impressive, with Tadić netting 38 goals in 56 games. He continued to feature in the side that has won numerous domestic titles since, also being named as captain here as with the national team. However, turning 34 a day before Qatar 2022 begins on 21st November, this is likely to be his last shot at performing for his country in the World Cup.
Among Serbia’s national team, their top scorers are:
Among Serbia’s national team, players with the most assists are:
all with 5 assists each.
Aleksandar Mitrovic has been the leading striker for Serbia since 2014. Even when his club sides Newcastle and Fulham have been relegated to the Championship, Mitrovic would still regain his starting position in the national team. He is due to play a big role at the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
Serbia’s first World Cup group game couldn’t be any tougher – they face Brazil on 24th November in Group G. They’ll then be looking to take three points from Cameroon four days later, before another hard test comes against Switzerland in the final game.
Zoran Tošić signed for Manchester United in 2009 along with Partizan teammate Adem Ljajić. After only five appearances in two seasons, Tošić left to join CSKA Moscow where played consistently until 2017. A return to Partizan was next but he now plays his football in Kazakhstan. Despite making 76 caps for his country, 35 year-old Tošić has not played for Serbia since 2016.