Ranking the best Serbians who've played in the Premier League
Scotland take on Serbia tomorrow in Belgrade to determine who will take one of the few remaining places at the rescheduled Euro 2020. Ahead of the clash tomorrow, we’ve taken a look through Premier League history and ranked the top five Serbians to have played in the competition. With multiple high-profile Serbian attackers flopping on their arrival in England, including Lazar Markovic and Mateja Kezman, it is unsurprising to see this list is dominated by strong defensive players.
5. Dusan Tadic
Coming in at number five is Dusan Tadic, the only attacker making this list. The Ajax star may have never reached the heights that he has in Amsterdam during his late-career renaissance, but he was a key creative force in Southampton sides that challenged for the European places. Tadic jointly holds the record for most assists in a single Premier League game with the four he recorded as Saints crushed Sunderland 8-0 in 2014. Placing in fifth on this list is no disgrace, with all of the top 4 remaining players having at least one Premier League winners' medal to their name.
4. Aleksandar Kolarov
Another Serb who has thrived late in his career after leaving England, Kolarov was a consistent member of Manchester City’s squad on the way to winning the title twice at the Etihad. Complementing traditional Serbian steeliness with a cultured left foot, the full back netted an impressive 21 times for City. At number four, Kolarov can’t quite match the peak or longevity of the top three on this list.
3. Nemanja Matic
Another two-time winner of the Premier League, Matic was a central figure in title-winning sides under both Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte. Though a maligned figure at Manchester United today, there is no denying the midfielder’s dominance at his peak with Chelsea as he combined with N’Golo Kante and Cesc Fabregas to run games for the Blues.
2. Branislav Ivanovic
A teammate of Matic at Stamford Bridge, Ivanovic was a constant in Chelsea’s defence for almost a decade - no mean feat given the managerial upheaval Chelsea went through. The right-back managed to win three league titles as well as the Champions League in 2012 while with The Blues. Now back in England with West Brom, Ivanovic’s chances of picking up any more silverware seem slim.
1. Nemanja Vidic
There can be no argument about the greatest Serbian to have played in the Premier League. Vidic is widely regarded as one of the best centre-backs the league has seen, and has the honours to back it up - in eight years at United he won five league titles and the Champions League. Along with Rio Ferdinand and Edwin van der Sar, he was a cornerstone of truly great United defences, notching up a record 14 consecutive clean sheets in 2008/09. A Premier League and Serbian great, Vidic belongs right at the top of this list.
Honourable mentions: Luka Milivojevic, Mateja Kezman and Milan Jovanovic (not really)
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