WORLD CUP HISTORY: 2010 is Serbia’s first World Cup, but the country only played its first international in 2006 – after the World Cup in Germany. Under the guise of Yugoslavia, they qualified for nine tournaments. At Germany 2006, as Serbia and Montenegro, the team lost all three matches in the group phase, including a 6-0 hammering at the hands of Argentina.
QUALIFICATION: Serbia’s qualifying campaign verified their place as a fast riser in the European game, beating out France for first place in their group. Only eight goals against backs up a solid foundation that the team has built their reputation on, and 22 goals for suggests a balanced team at both ends of the field.
KEY PLAYER: Nemanja Vidic. As Fabio Cannavaro proved for Italy in 2006, a centre-half can dominate a match and a tournament, and Serbia hope Vidic can do the same for them. The Manchester United stalwart is as tenacious as they come. Serbia’s box will be feared because of the big man in the middle, and in an extremely difficult group he will have to be on his game.
EXPECTATIONS: Group D is undoubtedly a nightmare group for Serbia. Germany and Ghana will likely be Serbia’s main threats, but Australia is also a team with talent. All four teams feel they have a right to expect the knockout stage, and Serbia would love to be one of the teams to serve as a heartbreaker in their group.