Serbs, Sport

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Summary

The Serbs (, ) are a South Slavic nation and ethnic group native to the Balkans.

Details

Serbs are famous for their sporting achievements, and have produced many talented athletes.

Over the years country gave many internationally renowned football players such as Dragan Džajić (officially recognized as "the best Serbian footballer of all times" by Football Association of Serbia; 1968 European Footballer of the Year third place) and more recent likes of Nemanja Vidić (Premier League Player of the Season and member of FIFPro World XI, both awards for 2008–09 and 2010–11 seasons respectively), Dejan Stanković (Serbia's most capped player with 103 appearances for national team), and Branislav Ivanović. Serbia has developed a reputation as one of the world's biggest exporters of expat footballers.

Total of 22 Serbian players played in the NBA in last two decades, including Predrag "Peja" Stojaković (three-time NBA All-Star) and Vlade Divac (2001 NBA All-Star and FIBA Hall of Famer). Serbian players that have not played in the NBA but nevertheless made a great impact on the game in Europe include four members of FIBA Hall of Fame from the 1960s and 1970s – Dragan Kićanović, Dražen Dalipagić, Radivoj Korać, and Zoran Slavnić – as well as recent stars of European basketball such as Dejan Bodiroga (2002 All-Europe Player of the Year) and currently active Miloš Teodosić (2009–2010 Euroleague MVP). Renowned "Serbian coaching school" produced many of the most successful European basketball coaches of all times, such as Željko Obradović (won record eight Euroleague titles with four different clubs), Božidar Maljković (four Euroleague titles with three different clubs), Dušan Ivković (two Euroleague titles), and Svetislav Pešić.

Novak Đoković, seven-time Grand Slam champion and 2011 Laureus Sportsman of the Year, finished in 2011 and 2012 as No. 1 in the world and is currently No. 1 in the ATP Rankings. Ana Ivanovic (champion of 2008 French Open) and Jelena Janković were both ranked No. 1 in the WTA Rankings.

Other noted Serbian athletes include: swimmers Milorad Čavić (2009 World champion on 50 meters butterfly and silver medalist on 100 meters butterfly as well as 2008 Olympic silver medalist on 100 meters butterfly in historic race with American swimmer Michael Phelps) and Nađa Higl (2009 World champion in 200 meters breaststroke – the first Serbian woman to become a world champion in swimming); track and field athletes Emir Bekrić (hurdler; bronze medalist at the 2013 World Championships) and Ivana Španović (long-jumper; bronze medalist at the 2013 World Championships); shooter Jasna Šekarić (1988 Olympic gold medalist) and taekwondoist Milica Mandić (2012 Olympic gold medalist).

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External Links

  • WikipediaProject Rastko – Serbian cultural and historical research societyArticles about the Serbs by Westerners

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