Euro 2024 Team Guide: Serbia – A Psychological Journey

This article is part of the Guardian’s Euro 2024 Experts’ Network, a cooperation between some of the best media organisations from the 24 countries who qualified. is running previews from two countries each day in the run-up to the tournament kicking off on 14 June.

Serbia’s national team has always been more about psychology than football for decades. However, this time, it might work in Serbia’s favour. Heading to a major tournament without any expectations for the first time, after a series of disappointing performances, could be the key to their success. Despite a poor qualification campaign and fluctuating form of players, Serbia might shine with the absence of pressure.

The Coach
Dragan Stojkovic, a former player turned coach, has led the team back to the championship after 24 years. Despite facing criticism and doubts about his tactics, Stojkovic remains confident in his team’s abilities and mental strength. Advancing beyond the group stage would be a crucial test for him to prove his worth.

The Icon
Dusan Tadic, the captain of the team, is seen as the leader on and off the field. With his partnership with striker Aleksandar Mitrovic and understanding with coach Stojkovic, Tadic is a key player to watch. Fans believe he could be the successor to Stojkovic in the No 10 shirt.

One to Watch
Lazar Samardzic, a young talent playing for Udinese, has chosen to represent Serbia over Germany. Seen as a future star in the team, Samardzic’s creativity and leadership skills could make a significant impact on the squad.

The Maverick
Dusan Vlahovic, a player of high calibre, is known for his unpredictable performances. With the potential to shine in the tournament, Vlahovic’s role in the team could be crucial for Serbia’s success.

The Spine
The backbone of the Serbian team consists of goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic, defender Strahinja Pavlovic, captain Dusan Tadic, and midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. With these key players, Serbia aims to connect its game and make an impact in the tournament.

Probable Starting XI
The probable starting lineup for Serbia includes a strong combination of talent and experience, with players like Tadic, Mitrovic, and Milinkovic-Savic leading the charge.

Celebrity Fan
Tennis ace Novak Djokovic stands out as a prominent supporter of the Serbia national team. Despite some controversies, Djokovic’s unwavering support for his country’s team is well-known.

Culinary Delight
Serbia’s traditional drink, rakija, is a favorite among fans and players alike. Known for its unique taste and effects, rakija holds a special place in Serbian culture and even gets mentioned in press conferences and by NBA stars.

With a mix of talent, experience, and psychological strength, Serbia’s national team is gearing up for Euro 2024 with high hopes and aspirations.