Serbia is relatively small country with only slightly above 7 million inhabitants currently, and one might think that it would be fairly easy to select 11 best Serbian soccer players of all time.
Things, however, are rarely that simple, and recent U-20 World Cup in New Zealand which Serbian national team had won, is the best argument in defense of this statement. This clearly shows that soccer or football if you will, has some strong roots in the small country of only 34,116 square miles.
Most of the players who are featured on this list have spent some part of their respective careers in the Serbian capital, Belgrade. If you ever manage to find yourself in this part of the world, don’t miss the chance to check out 11 best restaurants in Belgrade, Serbia. But I digress. Let me get back to the topic at hand. In order to understand some of our choices, you first have to understand the history of Serbian national team and its federation.
Serbia’s Football Association was established on April 18th 1919, but at that time, it was the FA of The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes which would, in half a year become The Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia, being a multicultural entity, had consisted of 6 republics (including Serbia) and great number of nationalities. Since we are talking about Serbian players exclusively, you won’t find the likes of Predrag Mijatović, Davor Šuker, Robert Prosinečki, Zvonimir Boban, Dejan Savićević, Safet Sušić, Srečko Katanec, Stjepan Bobek, Zlatko Čajkovski, Branislav Zebec, Josip Katalinski, Darko Pančev and many others on this list. Still, Serbian soccer players portfolio is deep enough by itself, and you will likely recognize most of these players.
Now, everyone has their own favorite player in mind when looking at these types of lists. This is yet another reason why it’s hard to compile the given list, and why there’s no place for subjective opinions. All players have been selected based on strictly chosen criteria which consists of both relevant experts’ opinion and the relevant data. Data consists of players’ career stats with most relevant points of emphasis being in accordance with their respective positions e.g. goals for strikers and clean sheets for goalkeepers. Career honors have also been taken into account, but so have been the league and club quality in which the respective player had performed. After all, it’s harder to achieve something if you play in a weaker club; wouldn’t you agree? Without further ado, let us get on our way to the list of 11 best Serbian soccer players of all time.