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.


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Serbia has a long tradition of developing talented footballers who, unfortunately, often leave the country at young ages, sometimes even before making a professional debut, on their way for stardom.

The latest batch of Serbian youngsters is no different and many of them have already broke through at famous clubs, but there are still a lot of Serbs who deserve far more recognition than they are currently receiving.

This article will present the Serbian footballers who still haven’t caught the eye of well-known clubs and agents, meaning that many famous Serbs will be omitted from the list despite their unquestionable talent. For instance, the likes of Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United), Filip Kostic (Stuttgart), Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio), Marko Grujic (Liverpool) need no introduction and will therefore be excluded from the list.

Before we proceed with Part I of our list, let us first highlight the honorable mentions, the promising youngsters who barely missed out on a place in the final cut: Luka Jovic (18, SL Benfica), Ivan Saponjic (18, SL Benfica), Andrija Pavlovic (22, Cukaricki), Boris Radunovic (20, Atalanta) and Srdjan Babic (20, Real Sociedad).

  1. Sasa Zdjelar (21, Olympiacos)

Sasa Zdjelar has spent the last few years between OFK Beograd and Olympiacos, occasionally playing for both clubs with varying success.

It was clear that Zdjelar is a talented defensive midfielder when he broke through at OFK Beograd in 2013, but his early move to Olympiacos and consequent loan spells at OFK Beograd have apparently done him no good, as his progess has worryingly stagnated in the last couple of years.

Zdjelar is still an immensely talented kid, but he needs to find a club that will offer him a competitive place in the team rather than spend most of his days warming the bench at Olympiacos.

Once Zdjelar secures a transfer out of Greece and that is only a matter of time right now, he will be able to kickstart his career and hopefully fulfil his potential. Don’t write him off just yet.

  1. Miroslav Bogosavac (19, Partizan)

Bogosavac is yet another youngster who came out of the famous Partizan academy in recent years, but unlike most of recent graduates, he is a defensive player who usually plays in the left-back position.

He has been a mainstay in Partizan since he debuted earlier this year and his performances have generally been solid, if unentertaining at timesthe 19-year-old dully fulfilled his defensive duties throughout the season, but his reluctance to go forward will need to be addressed in the coming season.

Once he develops further and starts feeling comfortable going forward, he will be a potent addition to any side, let alone Partizan.

10 Serbian Youngsters Destined For Glory – Part 2

  1. Vukasin Jovanovic (20, Zenit St. Petersburg)

Although he has just moved to Zenit St. Petersburg, the career and the playing style of Vukasin Jovanovic bear ample resemblance to the aforementioned Sasa Zdjelar.

Jovanovic is perhaps a bit more versatile than Zdjelar, as he is capable of playing both as a playmaking center-back or as a robust defensive midfielder. Judging by Jovanovic’s performances in Crvena Zvezda before he signed for Zenit, there is little doubt he has the skills required to become a regular international for Serbia.

However, his career choices may come back to haunt him.

The past six months have been rather disappointing for the 20-year-old defender who spent most of his time playing in the Zenit youth setuphe will be hoping for more first-team involvement next year, but that is far from guaranteed.

Similar to Zdjelar, the following season could prove to be decisive for his development and he will be wise to revise his options elsewhere, either on loan or on a permanent move.

  1. Predrag Rajkovic (20, Maccabi Tel Aviv)

Although still only 20 years old, Predrag Rajkovic is an experienced goalkeeper who has already featured extensively for Maccabi Tel Aviv in both the Israeli Premier League and the Champions League.

Generally speaking, Rajkovic is a fantastic shot-stopper who is not afraid to step out of his line, but there is still a lot of room for improvement, as his focus can sometimes get lost in the worst possible moment, which usually results in needlessly conceded goals.

To be honest, Rajkovic has conceded plenty of goals this year (16 goals in 6 Champions League matches for instance), but his performances cannot be judged in a simplistic view of this daunting statisticthe Maccabi defence showcased a blatant inability to defend and a tendency to fall apart in a matter of minutes on numerous occasions (e.g. vs Porto or Chelsea). Were it not for Rajkovic, they would probably have ended their Champions League run in an even worse manner.

Further, Rajkovic has reportedly already received several transfer offers from Europe and it may not be long before we see him at a better club.

  1. Mirko Ivanic (22, BATE Borisov)

BATE Borisov were quick to secure the signing of Mirko Ivanic once it was clear that he had no intention of extending his contract with Vojvodina, as he had long outgrown the Serbian SuperLiga.

The former Vojvodina midfielder has had certain trouble adapting to his new environment following his move to Belarus, but he has already shown glimpses of his fascinating abilities in the limited playing time he has been offered so far.

The jury is still out on Ivanic, but he might prove to be as every bit as talented as Marko Grujic, if he is able to overcome his current difficulties.

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.


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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


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