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Rediff.com  » Sports » Penpix of Serbia & Montenegro's World Cup squad

Penpix of Serbia & Montenegro's World Cup squad

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May 29, 2006 18:17 IST

Serbia & Montenegro's squad for the World Cup finals in Germany comprises the following 23 players:

(Statistics up to and including May 23 2006)

GOALKEEPERS

1-Dragoslav Jevric (Anakaraspor, Turkey) Born: 8.7.74 Caps: 39 Goals: 0

Made his debut in February 2002 and has been the first-choice keeper ever since. Has been in impressive form for both club and country in the past year or so. An excellent shot-stopper and reliable in dealing with crosses.

12-Oliver Kovacevic (CSKA Sofia, Bulgaria) Born: 29.10.74 Caps: 3 Goals: 0  

Left in the wilderness for almost a year after his former club Zeleznik Belgrade was disbanded and a subsequent move to the Turkish first division fell through. His chances of making the squad were boosted by a January move to the Bulgarian first division.

23-Vladimir Stojkovic (Red Star Belgrade) Born: 28.7.83 Caps: 0 Goals: 0

The under-21 keeper established himself as first choice at Red Star Belgrade earlier this season with a string of superb performances. Stojkovic is a promising all-round goalkeeper with lightening reflexes and may well be preferred to Kovacevic as cover for Jevric.

DEFENDERS

3-Ivica Dragutinovic (Seville, Spain) Born: 13.11.75 Caps: 25 Goals: 0

Played for Standard Liege in Belgium for many years before his close-season move to the Spanish first division. Dragutinovic is a solid left back who likes to come forward and delivers good crosses into the penalty box. Will need cover due to his age and decreasing pace though.

6-Goran Gavrancic (Dynamo Kiev, Ukraine) Born: 2.8.78 Caps: 24 Goals: 0

A versatile defender who can play either as right back or in the centre of defence but his appearance at the World Cup is still uncertain due to a knee injury even though he is in the squad. Good at man-marking, outstanding in the air and a dangerous free-kick taker, Gavrancic will almost certainly keep his position in the starting 11 if he is fully fit.

20-Mladen Krstajic (Schalke 04, Germany) Born: 4.3.74 Caps: 44 Goals: 2

One of the most experienced players in the squad and a defensive pillar for some time. Krstajic can play either as a central defender, which is his preferred position, or left back. Excellent in the air and exceptionally useful when coming forward for set pieces, but has lost some of his agility.

5-Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United, England) Born: 21.10.81 Caps: 19 Goals: 1

The best-rated Serbian defender who moved to Manchester United from Spartak Moscow during the January transfer window after an impressive 18-month spell with the Russian side. Outstanding in the air, physical when he needs to be, good passer of the ball and reads the game well, but his man-marking and pace leave a bit to be desired.

15-Milan Dudic (Red Star Belgrade) Born: 1.11.79 Caps: 11 Goals: 0  

A decent central defender or right back yet to prove himself at international level. Good passing skills, but lack of pace or any other exceptional defensive qualities is likely to leave him on the fringes of the team and mainly on the bench.

14-Nenad Djordjevic (Partizan Belgrade): Born: 1.8.79 Caps: 15 Goals: 1

Preferred to Dudic as a substitute before he was dropped due to poor form for his club. Solid in the air but often left for pace, which makes him a liability at top level. Unlikely to figure in the World Cup finals unless a more able player gets injured.

13-Dusan Basta (Red Star Belgrade) Born: 18.8.84 Caps: 2 Goals: 0

A real prospect as a full back or right-sided midfielder. Impressed last season for his club and the under-21 national team, has been in outstanding form since recovering from a four-month lay off after fracturing his shoulder. Should be a real asset if used.

MIDFIELDERS

11-Predrag Djordjevic (Olympiakos Piraeus, Greece): Born: 4.8.72 Caps: 33 Goals: 1

Can be useful on the left side of midfield with his sublime skill, vision and strong left foot in dead ball situations, but lack of pace limits his all-round abilities, especially in defence. Will need strong cover due to his age.

4-Igor Duljaj (Shakhtar Donetsk, Ukraine): Born: 29.10.79 Caps: 36 Goals: 2

Excellent defensive midfielder who never stops running. Equally efficient in feeding the forwards as well as protecting the back four, Duljaj is without doubt the first choice in his position with an outstanding work rate and commitment.

7-Ognjen Koroman (Portsmouth, England) Born: 19.9.78 Caps: 24 Goals: 1

Reasonably quick down the right flank but not the most gifted midfielder in terms of close control. Still, he established himself as a starter due to tireless running in both directions, often helping out the defence at critical moments.

10-Dejan Stankovic (Inter Milan, Italy) Born: 11.9.78 Caps: 57 Goals: 10

The team's most influential midfielder with outstanding all-round abilities. Can be moved around a flat or diamond-shaped four-man midfield, good provider and dangerous when coming into the box behind the forwards. Very good in the air too; without doubt the team leader.

18-Zvonimir Vukic (Partizan Belgrade) Born: 19.7.79 Caps: 25 Goals: 6

Normally a first-choice playmaker but his participation hangs in the balance after he suffered a serious foot injury during the winter break which was still keeping him on the sidelines for much of the second half of the season. He is in the squad though and could well feature as he is a talented attacking midfielder with an eye for goal and a good free-kick taker. Had a difficult six-month spell with Portsmouth before moving back to the Serbian champions on loan.

22-Sasa Ilic (Galatasaray, Turkey) Born: 30.12.77 Caps: 31 Goals: 5

Originally cover for Vukic and very effective when coming off the bench but now more likely to break into the first 11 after good performances in the Turkish first division. Ilic is also very good with the ball at his feet but not particularly strong when having to defend.

17-Albert Nadj (Partizan Belgrade): Born: 29.10.74 Caps: 41 Goals: 3

The veteran defensive midfielder has been recalled after an absence of several years following excellent performances for his club. A utility player and a good substitute.

2-Ivan Ergic (FC Basel, Switzerland) Born: 21.1.81 Caps: 0 Goals: 0

Strong and versatile midfielder who can be rotated in any midfield position. Has overcome illness to win his place in the squad.

FORWARDS

8-Mateja Kezman (Atletico Madrid, Spain) Born: 12.4.79 Caps: 46 Goals: 17

Put a difficult year with Chelsea and the national team behind him with four crucial goals in as many matches for his country in the closing stages of the World Cup qualifying campaign. A poacher and his ever-present hunger for goals makes him a top-class striker in spite of all his shortcomings.  

19-Nikola Zigic (Red Star Belgrade): Born: 25.9.80 Caps: 10 Goals: 3

A real menace in the air with his height of 2.02 metres and has exceptional ball control for a man of his size. A predator in the box and just as efficient in heading the ball down for Kezman and the onrushing midfielders.

21-Danijel Ljuboja (Vfb Stuttgart, Germany) Born: 4.9.78 Caps: 14 Goals: 1

A quick and elusive forward who can get away from his marker, but more reliable as a provider than finisher. Excellent first touch and passing abilities, a good substitute for either Kezman or Zigic.

9-Savo Milosevic (Osasuna, Spain) Born: 2.9.73 Caps: 97 Goals: 35

By far the most experienced player and a valuable substitute even though he is well past his prime. Always unselfish and prepared to sacrifice himself for the team, still plays his heart out for his country.  

16-Mirko Vucinic (Lecce, Italy) Born: 1.10.83 Caps: 3 Goals: 0.

The Montenegrin striker burst on to the scene in 2005-06 with 19 goals for Lecce and found the net regularly again this season even though his side were relegated from Serie A. ideal understudy for Kezman.

Source:
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