Saints at the World Cup: Tadić

By SFC Media time Thu 07 Jun International
Photo by Getty Images

We take an in-depth look at each of the four Southampton players heading to Russia for the 2018 World Cup; part three looks at Dušan Tadić and Serbia.

Road to Russia

Failure to qualify for any international tournaments since 2010 has this year been rectified for the nation of Serbia, who are perhaps ushering in a new era for Serbian football all together, as they prepare for Russia 2018.

Changed afoot, just three weeks after successfully leading the team into qualification, Serbia's coach, Slavoljub Muslin, was relieved of duty and replaced with former defender, Mladen Krstajic.

Currently ranked 34th in the world by FIFA, Group D winners Serbia booked a place in Russia only losing one group game, with Saints playmaker Tadić having a hand in all of their qualification campaign - scoring four times.

World Cup fixtures

Costa Rica vs Serbia
Sunday 17th June (1pm BST)
Samara Arena

Serbia vs Switzerland
Friday 22nd June (7pm BST)
Kaliningrad Stadium

Serbia vs Brazil
Wednesday 27th June (7pm BST)
Spartak Stadium
Moscow

The Coach

Mladen Krstaji, head coach of Serbia national team, during the press conference ahied the international friendly football match between Marocco and Serbia at Olympic Grande Torino Stadium on 22 March, 2018 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Massimiliano Ferraro/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Serbia coach Mladen Krstajić

Seasoned pros Aleksandar Kolarov, Branislav Ivanovic, Nemanja Matic and of course Dušan Tadić were included in Mladen Krstajić's maiden World Cup squad selection, as Serbia look to get past the group stages for the first time since 1998.

This is the former defender's first managerial posting, but he represented Serbia and Montenegro as a player at the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

The 44-year-old was capped 59 times for Serbia, and was part of the national side's "Famous Four" defensive setup, which also included former Man United stalwart Nemanja Vidić.

Player to watch

ULSAN, SOUTH KOREA - NOVEMBER 14:  Sergej Milinkovic-Savic of Serbia competes for the ball with Kwon Chang-Hoon of South Korea during the international friendly match between South Korea and Serbia at Ulsan World Cup Stadium on November 14, 2017 in Ulsan, South Korea.  (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
Sergej Milinković-Savić in an international friendly against South Korea

Midfielder Sergej Milinković-Savić has emerged as one of the world’s hottest prospects this summer and it is rumoured that Jose Mourinho is eager to take him to Manchester United ahead of next season.

The 23-year-old has scored 25 goals in 122 games since making his Lazio debut, and has been prolific for Serbia's youth teams, before receiving senior recognition in October 2015.

Compared to Paul Pogba, the United target is said to blend good attacking movement and finishing ability, with height and physicality in midfield.

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