World Cup Ladder 2014 Serbia Matija Nastasic and Aleks Kolarov - Manchester City FC

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Season 2013/14

World Cup 2014 Ladder: Nastasic and Kolarov

  • 14 June 2013 09:37
  • Posted by @porter_mcfc

We examine the prospects of our Serbian duo, Matija Nastasic and Aleks Kolarov, ahead of Brazil 2014.

Matija Nastasic 

Age: 20 

Caps/Goals: 9/0 

Matija Nastasic

International career to date… 

Although he is just 15 months into his senior international career, Matija Nastasic has represented his country at U17, U19 and U21 levels. 

His meteoric rise on the club stage has been mirrored on the international scene. After being handed his Serbia debut against Cyprus in February 2012, Matija has gone on to represent his country in all but one of the last seven World Cup qualifiers. 

After Serbia failed to reach the finals of Euro 2012, the side’s two talismanic figures, Nemanja Vidic and Dejan Stankovic retired. 

It’s to Nastasic’s credit that the 20-year-old has slotted straight into the centre of defence to assume Vidic’s vacated position. 

Will his nation be there? 

Not looking good, unfortunately. 

Serbia currently sit third in Group A, nine points behind Croatia in second with three games to play. With Belgium 12 points out in front, automatic qualification is now impossible but there is a small sliver of hope for a playoff berth. 

Nastasic and co would have to get maximum points from their remaining fixtures while hoping that Croatia follow up their recent loss to Scotland with three more defeats. 

Who's the competition? 

If Serbia did find themselves boarding the plane for Brazil, Nastasic could be fairly assured of a place on it. He has swapped partners in the heart of defence but has impressed alongside either Milan Bisevac or Neven Subotic. 

Already a regular starter for his country in the qualifiers, he’s just finished a magnificent debut season for the Blues and looks set to become an increasingly important player for Serbia in the coming years. 

International highlight 

Just 19 when he made his senior international debut against Cyprus, Nastasic completed the full 90 minutes and was part of the backline which kept a clean sheet against the hosts. 


Aleksandar Kolarov

Age: 27 

Caps/Goals: 41/2 

Aleks Kolarov

International career to date… 

Aleks Kolarov rose through the ranks to enjoy a successful youth career with his country which culminated in reaching the final of the U21 European Championships in 2007. Although the campaign would end in heartbreak with defeat to the Netherlands, the defender’s influential performances won him a spot in the team of the tournament. 

After making his senior debut against Russia in May 2008, he played a part in the World Cup Qualification campaign and was then selected to go to South Africa in 2010. 

He scored his first international goal earlier last November in a 6-1 demolition of Wales, and doubled his tally this month against Vincent Kompany's Belgium. 

The 27-year-old was also named Serbian Player of the Year in 2011. 

Will his nation be there? 

As above. 

Who’s the competition? 

Again, Kolarov would almost certainly be packing his bags should Serbia reach Brazil. At 27, he is now one of the more senior players in the side and has made the left back berth his own, missing just one World Cup qualifier so far through suspension. 

His deputy on that occasion, Nenad Tomovic, may see an opportunity to end Kolarov’s dominance in that position, with his progress at centre back seemingly blocked. 

International highlight

Kolarov was part of the side which sprung one of the surprises of the 2010 World Cup, keeping a clean sheet and defeating eventual finalists Germany in the group stages.

Serbia

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