Political instability and upheaval have not sated Serbia's love of the game
The team formerly known as Yugoslavia, then Serbia & Montenegro, and now simply Serbia (or ‘Beli Orlovi’ the ‘White Eagles’), topped their Group 7 of the European Zone, ahead of 2006 World Cup runners-up France. We reckon they’ll go all the way to the Quarter-finals if they keep it up.
Radomir Anti Anti is a wise-old head, but has no previous FIFA World Cup experience. He does, however, have an impressive club resume – he is the only person to have managed FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Atlético Madrid. However, managing the Serbian national team is a different battle altogether and it’s bound to be scary being the new kid on the block – even if he is 60 years old.
Player to watch
Milan Jovanovi Following disappointing spells at Shakhtar Donetsk and Lokomotiv Moscow, the 29-year-old attacker relaunched his career in Belgium, at Standard Liege. He was Serbia’s leading scorer in the qualifiers and is set to join Liverpool for the 2010/11 season.
We’re on the ball
World Cup appearances: 10 (nine as part of Yugoslavia, once as Serbia & Montenegro) Previous best: Fourth, 1932 & 1962 as Yugoslavia) Odds of winning: 66/1 Strange but true: When the injured Mirko Vucini withdrew from the 2006 World Cup squad, coach Ilija Petkovi replaced him with his own son, Dusan, who then withdrew because of intense media pressure. Fixtures: Ghana, June 13, 6pm, Pretoria Germany, June 18, 3.30pm, Port Elizabeth Australia, June 23, 10.30pm, Nelspruit