Before we proceed with Part II of our list, let us first re-visit Part I and Nos 10-6 which you can read here.

  1. Nemanja Maksimovic (21, FC Astana)

Nemanja Maksimovic burst onto the international scene when he scored the winning goal in the U20 World Cup final last year, which quickly earned him a move to Kazakh champions FC Astana.

Since then, Maksimovic has been a regular starter in a decent FC Astana team that even managed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stage this year. Although Astana’s Champions League journey has largely been a forgettable affair, Maksimovic has played out some impressive games, receiving some much-needed appraise from local journalists.

A defensive midfielder by trait, Maksimovic can still score an odd goal or two and if his progress continues at the current rate, he may well follow in the footsteps of Nemanja Matic.

  1. Srdjan Plavsic (20, Crvena Zvezda)

Marko Grujic may have stole the spotlight in Crvena Zvezda this year, but Srdjan Plavsic‘s performances have not gone unnoticed either.

Capable of playing in the centre of the midfield or as a winger, Plavsic is a versatile attacking midfielder whose lightning speed and keen eye for through-balls added a new dimension to the Crvena Zvezda record-breaking forward line.

The recent transfer of Grujic to Liverpool will hopefully allow Plavsic to finally step out of Grujic’s shadow and build on his solid performances that saw him register 2 goals and 12 assists in 35 outings in the Serbian SuperLiga.

If he can continue his progress, there is no reason to doubt he will become a regular international in due time.

  1. Mijat Gacinovic (21, Eintracht Frankfurt)

Gacinovic is yet another player in the long list of talented Serbian wingers who have recently caught the attention of international media.

The former Vojvodina player has spent most of the current season on the bench, unable to cement a regular starting spot in the Bundesliga minnows Eintracht Frankfurt. However, all that changed in the relegation play-off against Nuremberg, as Gacinovic started both matches and played a crucial role in securing Bundesliga football for at least one more year.

If he is able to build on his recent performances, Mijat Gacinovic will probably be awarded with more regular opportunities to showcase his immense talent.

10 Serbian Youngsters Destined For Glory – Part I

  1. Andrija Zivkovic (19, Partizan)

You may have heard of Andrija Zivkovic earlier this year after his dazzling performances in the Europa Leaguehe eventually finished his Europa League season with an impressive record of four goals and two assists in mere five appearances.

However, Zivkovic has spent most of 2016 in the dark, as a result of a controversial contract dispute with Partizan that ended with the youngster removed from the squad. This minor setback has done him no good, but he is still a very talented player ready to take on any opponent.

Certain Partizan representatives have already dubbed him for stardom and Zivkovic has often been called a more talented version of Lazar Markovic, due to prevalent similarities in their playing styles.

  1. Nemanja Mihajlovic (20, Partizan)

Once Andrija Zivkovic was removed from the squad, Partizan quickly needed to find a suitable replacement on the wings and, unsurprisingly, they turned to another recent academy graduateNemanja Mihajlovic.

The 20-year-old winger soon became unstoppable, dribbling past the opposing defences with relative ease and releasing his teammates with precise through-balls time after time. After only a handful of games, Mihajlovic not only cemented his starting place, but became the key player in a powerful Partizan side that eventually secured Europa League football next year.

Soon enough, the fans recognized Mihajlovic’s performances and found an interesting way to pay respect to him, regularly chanting his name and calling him a more talented version of Andrija Zivkovic.

In the end, hard work paid off for the 20-year-old winger, as his first senior season with Partizan proved to be an incredible success with as many as 10 goals and 17 assists in only 25 appearances.

Remember this namethis kid is going is places.

About the author – Dusan Lucic

Dusan has been writing sports-related articles for 5 years and has a keen interest in the Premier League, Bundesliga and Serbian SuperLiga. He has previously written for Bleacher Report, Arena Sport, Sportal and the News Hub. He is currently studying Serbian language and literature at the University of Belgrade.


Share this article:


Impressive Europa League performances have made Andrija Zivkovic, the Serbian Messi as they call him, one of the hottest properties in European football this season.

It never is easy to be compared with one of the greatest football players alive, and we have often seen those name tags being nothing more than mere marketing tricks.

However, such is not the case with the Serbian starlet Andrija Zivkovic.

The 19-year-old Partizan winger has caught the attention of a great number of Europe’s top clubs over the past few months due to his stellar performances for Serbia and for his club in the UEFA Europa League.

Nine goals in just 12 games for Partizan this season, five of which came in the European competition and the latest one at AZ Alkmaar on Thursday have alerted the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan among others, who would love to see the young player in their ranks.

Partizan wunderkind has been voted Europa League player of the week earlier in the competition, following his impressive display in the 3-1 win over Augsburg in the UEFA Europa League group stage Matchday 2, thus once again announcing himself to the footballing world.

This boy has made a steady progress since he was 17 years old, but the 2015 has actually been the year of his true making.

Leading his Under 20 teammates at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand, Andrija Zivkovic was the key man in Veljko Paunovic’s team which were crowned the world champions in the summer. He scored two goals, added four assists and played every minute on his team’s route to the title.

Leader on the pitch, Zivkovic missed out on the most valuable player award despite being the most outstanding performer in the final game against Brazil as well.

Undeterred in his rise to prominence, Zivkovic went from strength to strength as a Partizan regular, keeping his feet firmly on the ground. Humble and modest despite the hype surrounding him, Zivkovic wants to remain in Belgrade and help his team overcome the domestic struggles.

Andrija Zivkovic possesses great pace and stamina. Highly explosive player, he is one person with the ball and different one without it.

His off-ball movement rarely goes out of his position and tactical routine, but with ball at his feet Zivkovic uses his phenomenal dribbling ability to beat the defenders with his cut-ins, strong shot and precise final pass for his teammates.

Unpredictable with his finish, Andrija Zivkovic has a lot to offer as you never quite know what his next move will be.

The uncertainty and unpredictability, however, go far beyond his footballing qualities.

Coming through Partizan youth ranks and the renowned football academy, Andrija Zivkovic is the youngest player to make a senior appearance for the Serbian national team, but also the youngest Partizan captain ever.

He signed his first professional contract in 2013, having agreed on a three-year deal. His contract expires at the end of the season, but both Partizan and Zivkovic seem willing to sign a new deal. However, with certain issues and problems regarding his contract it will be interesting to see if Partizan will be able to hold on to him past January.

In a move that has been described as controversial, the former Partizan management structure had sold the majority of Zivkovic’s contract (75%) to Pini Zahavi’s investment fund for €1.25 million only a year ago.

Current structure headed by the chairman Zoran Popovic is actively looking for a legal solution to the problem, attempting to retrieve the part of Zivkovic’s contract with the mission to prevent Pini Zahavi from taking the player to his club Apollon Limasol before selling him further on to the interested parties.

Andrija could be forced to go to a club that is not of his own liking due to the legal complications which still remain unresolved and which prevent his current club from making any decision with an ownership claim of only 25% in his deal.

Such is the poor destiny of Serbian clubs, who are often forced to sell players in order to keep their books in the green.

Partizan and another bright Serbian pearl Andrija Zivkovic are, unfortunately, not an exception.

About the author – Miloš Markovic

Sports journalist from Serbia, Editor in Cheif at Sportske.net and contributor to FutbolgradLive. Worked with Inforstrada and FIFA covering Serbia’s international games during the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.

twitter: @milosemarkovicu


Share this article: