Serbia has established itself as a solid World Cup force since 2010, with Qatar Football World Cup representing its third appearance from the last four tournaments. Dragan Stojkovic also becomes the third manager to lead them into a World Cup, as their reputation for sacking coaches shows little sign of abating.
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Serbia did a great job during qualification and finished first in Group A, ahead of Portugal. However, they face a battle to get out of Group G of the tournament, with seasoned campaigners Switzerland and Cameroon aiming to challenge for a last-16 spot behind Brazil.
The 28-year-old has done well in his first season back in the Premier League after helping Fulham get promoted. He shattered records, scoring 43 goals throughout the campaign on his way to being named Player of the Season. And now, he hopes to fire Serbia to glory in the Football World Cup.
How many Serbian goals have Aleksandar Mitrovic scored?
Having made his debut for Serbia in 2013, Mitrovic has since played for Anderlecht, Newcastle United, and Fulham, where he has become a prolific goalscorer. In 157 games since joining Fulham for good, Mitro has scored 90 goals, an incredible return. SERBIA has it all to do in the group stages of the Football World Cup in Qatar as they seek qualification into the knock-out rounds.
Facing Brazil on opening day, Dragan Stojkovic’s men will be hoping for a positive result against the favorites for the FIFA World Cup. Germany’s Lothar Matthaus congratulates Yugoslavia’s Dragan Stojkovic after the Football World Cup match Credit: Reuters. With Cameroon and Switzerland coming soon after, the Serbians hope to put on a positive display in Qatar. They will do so under Stojkovic, the coach with an unusual nickname.
Why is Dragan Stojkovic called Piksi?
During his playing career, Stojkovic played his trade for Red Star Belgrade, where he enjoyed a successful four years, reaching the sem-finals of the UEFA Cup and winning the Yugoslavia First League on two occasions. From there, the player moved to Olympique de Marseille and won the Champions League with the club before ending his career as Jleague MVP with Nagoya Grampus.
Yugoslavia’s Dragan Stojkovic celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal against Germany in a Group Football World Cup match at LensCredit: ReutersDuring his playing career, he picked up his iconic nickname, being called ‘Piksi’ in Yugoslavia, even getting Japanese fans to chant this during his latter days of playing. In a high-profile interview in Serbia, Stojkovic revealed that he was later named Piksi, a cartoon character he enjoyed watching, admitting he never missed an episode.
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This cartoon was Pixie, Dixie, and Mr. Jinks, with him taking the main character’s name. The nickname is still used during his managerial days, as he took over from former club Nagoya Grampus in 2008 before joining Guanzhou R&F in 2015 and being named Serbia’s national team manager in 2021.
Raptors youngster Koloko receives Cameroonian support following NBA debut.
Christian Koloko could barely take his eyes off his phone in the Raptors locker room after Wednesday’s game. The Toronto rookie had just made his NBA debut, despite 3 a.m.His friends and family were still up and about in Cameroon. And the messages of congratulations poured in.
“When you start playing basketball, you always want to play at the highest level. The 22-year-old said, “Sometimes you don’t even think it’s possible until you do it. “I’m here right now, I know I still have a long way to go, but I will continue to work. Yeah, a dream come true. With Khem Birch and Chris Boucher sidelined with injuries in Wednesday’s season opener — an entertaining 108-105 win over Cleveland — Koloko played 15 minutes.
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“It felt amazing,” Koloko said. “When the coach called my name, I was like, ‘Wow, it’s happening.’ I was excited and anxious simultaneously, but basketball was basketball when I stepped on the court. “I’m living a dream, but we won the match, and that’s the most important thing. Koloko had six rebounds and three points, including a massive dunk with the crowd roaring and providing something Toronto has been missing. “Someone great,” Siakam said sternly.
At seven feet, Koloko is the only Raptor aged over 6 to 9. The Raptors selected a center from the University of Arizona with the No. 33, creating an intriguing plot around the two members of the Cameroon team. Koloko and Siakam, drafted 27th by Toronto in 2016, are both from Douala, a city of nearly six million on the southeast bank of the Wouri River estuary on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.
They both grew up playing Football and came relatively late to basketball, joining the league after four years of college. The Raptors have eight international players this season, the league’s most teams. Players have the flags of their respective countries above the lockers at Scotiabank Arena.
Koloko’s initial remarks touched Siakam.
“It’s a trick,” said the 28-year-old Allstar. “I remember those times when I was when everyone was excited for you. Who would have thought that we would both be here? It’s crazy. He’s a good guy too. Allstar guard Fred VanVleet was asked what fans can expect from Koloko this season. Sitting at his locker, Koloko looked around VanVleet’s legs and smiled expectantly. “The sky’s the limit. He’s been impressive,” VanVleet said. “He is improving daily every time he steps onto the pitch. He could be a massive addition to us. He must keep getting his legs under him, getting stronger, getting used to the NBA game and the pace and physicality. “Having him be the only big we’ve got, [he stands out] when he’s out there. We’re going to lean on him when he’s out there.’Extremely brilliant
Koloko appreciates the support of his veteran teammates. “That’s all you need as a beginner. You want people to believe in you, people to trust you when you go out on the pitch, and I feel like you have that here,” he said. Koloko gives VanVleet a real pick-and-roll partner for the first time. “Well, he’s pretty big. I asked for something big,” VanVleet said at the team’s traditional season-opening media day last month.
Koloko is happy to do her part.
“I feel like it’s amazing because Fred is an outstanding pick-and-roll player,” the rookie said. “He knows when to pass the ball; he knows when to attack the big man. My goal is to release it, so when I adjust the screen each time, I try to remove it. Raptors coach Nick Nurse impressed his rookie, saying Koloko is “extremely bright.
“It has a reasonably big engine, which allows it to make an effort, right? “says the Nurse. “Playing hard and putting in the effort always goes a long way towards contributing to a team’s success. He also didn’t lose to Nurse Koloko, Siakam, and VanVleet, who also played four years in Wichita State before jumping to the NBA and behaving with a similar maturity.
The Nurse said taking up the game later in life can be beneficial.
“They’re all three excellent players and especially know what they’re doing on the defensive end,” Nurse said. “But I think a lot of things apply in life. Koloko could see more playing time on Friday in Brooklyn (01) from both Birch (swollen knee) and Butcher (sprained hamstring) are list as doubtful. Otto Porter Jr., who has yet to play a minute for the Raptors, remains out with a strained hamstring even in pre-season.
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