After Serbia’s two decades in the European Championship wilderness and group-stage exits in their last three World Cups, it is high time the country’s talented crop of attack-minded players made their mark on a major tournament.

The Eagles have yet to land since Serbia became an independent nation in 2006, despite proven firepower in their ranks and a squad packed with regulars from Italy’s top-flight clubs.

Euro 2024 in Germany could be their opening, with the country’s leading football icon Dragan Stojkovic in charge for his second major tournament and certain to build his team around a strong attacking line.

Serbia will pin their hopes on marksman Aleksandar Mitrovic extending a superb run of form in all competitions, with five goals from seven games in Euro 2024 qualifying and averaging a goal per game in the Saudi league this season.

Dusan Vlahovic has abundant potential after two-and-a-half Serie A seasons with Juventus that have garnered 33 goals in 75 matches but he faces a critical test as to whether he can unleash his flair and deft finishing on the international stage.

Veteran captain Dusan Tadic will play a pivotal role as an attacking midfielder tucked behind Mitrovic, while Serbia can also turn to Fulham’s Sasa Lukic, AC Milan’s Luka Jovic and versatile former Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

But while Serbia’s attacking threat is clear, so is their defensive frailty, having leaked eight goals in three games in a dismal 2022 World Cup and kept clean sheets in only two Euro 2024 qualifying matches.

Serbia will have to plug those holes in Germany and may need the stars to align if they are to advance from the group stages of a major tournament for the first time.

Serbia have a tricky group, drawn with one of the favourites England, former winners Denmark, and Slovenia, but still have a chance to advance as one of the four best third-place finishers.

Stojkovic sees Group C as a big challenge, with an unenviable opener against England that will make goals and points in the remaining two matches vital to Serbia’s chances of making history.

“Game by game we will go to make a result as best as possible… the games against Slovenia and Denmark will be really, really important for us,” he said.

“We need to be ready to fight against all three teams. But these two games, Slovenia and Denmark, will be decisive.”


Previous Euro performance: Debut

Other honours: World Cup group stage 2010, 2018, 2022

FIFA ranking: 33rd

Nickname: Eagles

Coach: Dragan Stojkovic

Star players: Aleksandar Mitrovic, Dusan Tadic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic

Main clubs: Red Star Belgrade, Partizan Belgrade

How did they qualify: Group G runners-up behind Hungary

Pre-Euro friendlies:

Austria 2 Serbia 1 (June 4)

Sweden 0 Serbia 3 (June 8)


Serbia vs England – June 17, 2024 – 12:30 am IST

Slovenia vs Serbia – June 20, 2024 – 6:30 pm IST

Denmark vs Serbia – June 26, 2024 – 12:30 am IST


Goalkeepers: Predrag Rajkovic (Real Mallorca/ESP), Vanja Milinkovic-Savic (Torino/ITA), Dordje Petrovic (Chelsea/ENG)

Defenders: Nemanja Gudelj (Sevilla/ESP), Nikola Milenkovic (Fiorentina/ITA), Strahinja Pavlovic (Salzburg/AUT), Filip Mladenovic (Panathinaikos/GRE), Milos Veljkovic (Werder Bremen/GER), Uros Spajic (Red Star Belgrade), Srdan Babic (Spartak Moscow/RUS), Nemanja Stojic (Backa Topola)

Midfielders: Dusan Tadic (Fenerbahce/TUR), Filip Kostic (Juventus/ITA), Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Al-Hilal/KSA), Nemanja Maksimovic (Getafe/ESP), Sasa Lukic (Fulham/ENG), Andrija Zivkovic (PAOK/GRE), Mijat Gacinovic (AEK Athens/GRE), Ivan Ilic (Torino/ITA), Srdan Mijailovic (Red Star Belgrade), Lazar Samardzic (Udinese/ITA), Veljko Birmancevic (Sparta Prague/CZE)

Forwards: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Al-Hilal/KSA), Luka Jovic (AC Milan/ITA), Dusan Vlahovic (Juventus/ITA), Petar Ratkov (Salzburg/AUT)


All of Serbia’s matches at Euro 2024 will be telecasted on the Sony Sports Network. The matches will also be live-streamed on the SonyLIV app.

– With inputs from AFP