Calendar (French time) in group G
November 24: Brazil-Serbia, at the Lusail stadium (8 p.m., TF1, BeIN Sports 1)
November 28: Cameroon-Serbia, at Al-Janoub Stadium (11 a.m., BeIN Sports 1)
December 2: Serbia-Switzerland, at Stade 974 (8 p.m., BeIN Sports 2)
Their nickname: Eagles. The double-headed white eagle represents, since the time of the Nemanjic dynasty in the twelfthe century, the symbol of the unity of divine and earthly power.
The group of 26:
Guardians: Marko Dmitrovic, Pedrag Rajkovic, Vanja Milinkovic-Savic.
Defenders: Stefan Mitrovic, Nikola Milenkovic, Strahinja Pavlovic, Milos Veljkovic, Filip Mladenovic, Strahinja Erakovic, Srdan Babic.
Environments : Nemanja Gudelj, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Sasa Lukic, Marko Grujic, Filip Kostic, Uros Racic, Nemanja Maksimovic, Ivan Ilic, Andrija Zivkovic, Darko Lazovic.
Forwards: Dusan Tadic, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Dusan Vlahovic, Filip Djuricic, Luka Jovic, Nemanja Radonjic.
Better Qatar than ever. Since the split between Serbia and Montenegro after the 2006 World Cup, the Aignes have only missed one edition, in 2014, of the four that have been played. However, they never made it past the group stage. They will find, in group G, Brazil and Switzerland, nations already faced in the 2018 edition, for two defeats on the score of two goals to nil.
The selector. Yugoslavia and now Serbia: Dragan Stojkovic has known everything. At only 19, he won the bronze medal at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 1984. He reached his international zenith in the summer of 1990, during the World Cup, with a double in the eighth against Spain (2-1 ), qualifying his country for the quarters.
He was appointed in February 2021 coach of Serbia, at the end of a poor League of Nations (1 victory in 6 games). The former glory of the Red Star of Belgrade passed by Marseille quickly corrected the situation, qualifying his people for the World Cup in a group which counted as favorite Portugal.
Summary note from the cabinet Le Monde
The strong points. The reservoir of talented players from the Balkan countries is still as rich. Whatever the position, there are very technical profiles: Dusan Tadic (Ajax), Filip Kostic (Juventus) or Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio Rome) have been performing at the highest European level for several seasons.
Added to this is an attacking line with varied profiles and very skilful in front of goal with, as headliner, Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham), 9 goals in 11 Premier League games (to be updated). At his side, the young Dusan Vlahovic (22), who arrived in the summer of 2022 at Juventus Turin for 80 million euros and 17e in the classification of the last Ballon d’Or, is announced as one of the future stars of European football. With Fiorentina, he scored 33 goals in Italian Serie A in the 2021 calendar year, a Calcio record since 1960.
The weak spots. The general public remembers the Serbian defensive wall of the 2010 World Cup with Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United), Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea) or Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City). A heavy legacy to bear in a sector where the shoe pinches for several years: Serbia is the most permeable nation among the ten countries directly qualified in the Europe zone.
The rating of the firm (out of 5): 2.5
Serbia seems to be one of the best equipped teams to play spoilsports. If Neymar’s Brazil seems out of reach for first place in Group G, the partners of captain Dusan Tadic have a real card to play for the second ticket synonymous with eighth. She could then cross paths with the first of Group H, that of… Portugal, whom the Eagles beat on the last day of the playoffs.
Keep an eye on him
Aleksandar Mitrović. It has an atypical old-school number 9 style that is both valuable and effective. He was top scorer in the English second division (Championship), scoring a whopping 43 goals in 44 games with Fulham in the 2021-2022 financial year, a record. And if he is not the flashiest name in the attacking sector, the 27-year-old center forward is already the top scorer in the history of Serbia (50 goals). Over the period 2018-September 2022, he shares with Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Kane the record for goals in European selection (38).
Imagine Arsene… that Serbia can say thank you to the referee of the match played against Portugal on March 27, 2021 in Belgrade. We play last minute. While the score is two goals everywhere, Cristiano Ronaldo believes to score despite the save of defender Stefan Mitrovic near the line. Mr. Makkelie – not helped since the Goal Line Technology was not at work – wrongly does not allow the goal.
Two additional points which would have allowed CR7’s partners to finish first in the group. Red with anger, the latter will throw his captain’s armband on the lawn after the match. Picked up by a firefighter, the “relic” will be sold for 64,000 euros at auction to finance the operation of a child suffering from a rare neuromuscular disease.
If you have decided to boycott, know that Serbia is full of pretty spots to visit. A little crush on the Saint-Sava church in Belgrade, a real architectural gem, whose renovation was completed in 2020. For those less keen on worship, Kalemegdan park is worth a visit, which offers breathtaking views of the Danube. Let those who prefer the plate rest assured: the Knez-Mihailova pedestrian street in Belgrade, lined with magnificent neo-Renaissance style houses, will satisfy them.