Wednesday, 01.01.2014

DRULOVIC, Golden ball of the FA of Serbia

The year 2013, for Serbian football will definitely remain written with golden letters in its history, as our youth national team has won the European Championship in Lithuania and brought the big cup in the " House of Football".

Their leader from the sidelines, the coach Ljubinko Drulović was awarded the "Golden Ball of the Football Association of Serbia" as the best Serbian coach, so the former football great star confirmed that a brilliant career is in front of him in future on the coaching level as well.

Exclusively, for the web-site of the national association, Ljubinko Drulović, on the first day of January remembered of some of the most important moments of the European Championship that brought to us so much joy.

drulovic- The strength of emotions that we all experienced during two weeks of the championship, and especially in the semi-final and in the final match, is something that will most certainly remain in my memory for the long time, and it is a kind of joy that I even did not feet when I was winning the titles as a player. I think we all cried after a penalty shootout and a victory over Portugal in the semifinal match and I also cried at the press conference. Those moments are unique, unforgettable ... I realized then that title was not far away - remembers Ljubinko Drulović, at the beginning of 2014.

- Another reminder of the legendary 01.08 and the final match against France:

- That day was very strange, also fulfilled with emotions and expectance ... We received so many messages of support from all sides ... from our friends , the people employed in the association, and colleagues from the " A" National Team ... Well, there was also a famous message, from Mourinho who said to us that a final matches are not played, those matches should be won ... We managed to prepare well the players psychologically, not to burden the players, and it has been seen on the field that a small pressure existed, but only in the first twenty minutes of play... After that we started to play in a right way and I was sure that the French team was not able to win ...

- Our team had a lot of luck in its qualifying group, but only a month later, we dominated in Europe. What is the secret?

- We manage to set an excellent chemistry among the players at the right time. and some guys did not travel to Lithuania just because they were not the part of a group and we have noted it on time. The football qualities were important to me, but I was particularly focused that we would have the right guys in our team, willing to sacrifice themselves until the end and to be the part of the group. I chose those guys, and they trusted me, they did their best, they were champions both on and off the pitch ... Some of them were previously underestimated even in their clubs, but they were my choice and they returned it to me in the best way.    

- What kind of future you foresee for the "golden generation" and can you individually evaluate their prospects?

- We can start from the beginning, the goalkeeper. We had Predrag Rajkovic who was brilliant and impressed Europe, not just with his saves in the semi-final match, but throughout the championship. A lot of things happened to him since those moments , He moved to FK "Crvena zvezda" and made ​​his debut for even the "A" National team, and unfortunately, he doesn't have now an adequate playing time in his club.

As a fortunate circumstance is the fact that he is eligible to play for the current youth team, otherwise his development would be put in the question. Such a pearl of player must not be dropped, because we are short with goalkeepers. Stefan Cupic is a very talented goalkeeper and if he gets a chance in OFK Belgrade and the club provides a support to him, he could have a nice career.

. - The defensive line of our team was most of time consisted of Petar Golubovic, Milos Veljkovic, Aleksandar Filipovic and Nikola Antic.

- Golubovic entered in our team just before the qualifiying campaign started and he played fantastic. He was quite a hit. He can play in two positions and in our team he was brilliant at the position of the right back, he had few assists, he proved himself in a full capacity and covered the problematic place in the team. I heard that he was close to transfer in a big Italian club and it is the right thing for him. I see him as a great player for the "A" National Team in the future, perhaps a successor of Bane Ivanovic, as well as Milos Veljkovic from Tottenham Hotspur who is really progressing from month to month. They are our great prospects for the future. Filipovic's capacities are often doubted, but my technical staff made the best of him. He did his job without any mistake and I hope that he will get the chance in Jagodina, the chance he deserves. We rotated Nikola Antic and Slobodan Urošević at the position of the left-back, they both play in FK "Rad" and they have great quality and they are already the first team players in their club, which is very important.

The midfield line was led by the team captain Marko Pavlovski, who continued in your footsteps by signing for Porto, and he was followed in the midfield line by Maksimovic, Milinkovic-Savic ... ?

Pavlovski is an exceptional player, lucid, technically very gifted, and what is the most important, he is a very smart and hard-working guy. He was the true captain from the start to finish, and his career will go upward because he chose an excellent environment for the development. It will take him some time to prove himself in Porto, it is a great club, but he will succeed because he has a goal and he goes towards it ... Nemanja Maksimovic and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic were our real heroes, although a year younger than the others. They were a fantastic defensive wall in front of the central defender and their performance was fantastic. If they continue like this, they will be able to play for any team in Europe, and to be the very important part of our "A" National Team. They have a chance to achieve again an excellent result with their generation under the leadership of my excellent young colleague Veljko Paunovic.

- Andrija Lukovic has scored the first and the last goal on the championship and therefore he entered his name in all yearbooks?

- It is absolutely deserved for his name to be remembered, and I'm very pleased for that modest and hard-working guy who has the fabulous possibilities. It is the player that can cover any position in the midfield, both on the left and right side, and in the center of midfield area ... he is scoring goals, assisting, he is a great fighter ... He is close to go abroad, a great career is waiting for him, just like Dejan Meleg who already has a good playing time in the famous Ajax. He decided the match in the group against Georgia, he is a very talented player and a good guy. Do not forget Milan Vojvodić of Spartak, a guy dedicated to the success from the first day.

- In the attack line, we had a powerful Aleksandar Mitrovic as well as Uros Djurdjevic and Ognjen Ozegovic ?

- Everything I would say now about Mitrovic has already been said. He dominated in Lithuania impressed Europe, and we expected it from him ... His behavior was excellent from the first to the last day and he gave the example to the others, and he already became a member of the "A" team before ... He did his best and his position is deserved as he is an eye of all of the European big teams. He will be a superstar very quickly. Djurdjevic also has great quality, but also has the fluctuations in the game that were noticeable in Lithuania. If he focuses only on football and chooses the right club abroad, he can also make a lot. We used Ozegovic, he justified the invitation to the national youth team, and he was the only player from the FK "Crvena zvezda" and his club should pay attention to him in the future.

- Do you believe that these guys will meet one day again on the biggest stage?

- As I said, the majority of them will make a superb career, we may compare them with the famous generation of "Chileans" where we noted afterwards the players of Real Madrid, Milan ... These guys are not far from such big players, and they will certainly be important players of our "A" National Team in the near future. Mitrovic is already playing for Anderlecht, Veljkovic in Tottenham Hotspur, Meleg in Ajax, Pavlovski in Porto ... A majority of them are not even 19 years old ...

- You never forget to highlight the role of your coaching staff and the people who were around you?

- The success can not occur by chance. Each team member must contribute, and I had brilliant associates, and everyone would like to have such associates First of all ,a great friendship among us has spontaneously developed and also an exceptional confidence. We were making the decisions together, everyone was entitled to have the opinion, and the decision was mine. No one has put himself in the foreground, we were working for the same thing, we were devoted to the end. The Golden Ball equally belongs to them, as it belongs to me ...

- What would you wish in the 2014 ?

- As always, First, a good health for all people and then, to be more joy in our football for all of the National teams and clubs ... I wish to everyone to have such emotions as we had in Lithuania at least once in a lifetime, and to have that positive energy and the faith in victory. Personally, I wish to continue to work successfully the job I like the most, and I wish a good draw to the "A" National Team in February for the next qualifying campaign for the European Championship - completed his holiday interview for the web-site of the FA of Serbia, the owner of the Golden Ball in 2013, the trophy-winning Head coach, Ljubinko Drulović.

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