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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Dejan Stanković


Dejan Stankovic was born in Belgrade, on September 11, 1978.


Source Wikipedia

He comes from a footballing family as his father played for OFK while his mother played for Sloga.


His first club as a kid was Teleoptik (generally considered Partizan's reserve side) but in 1992 he joined Red Star Belgrade.


He made his debut for "Zvezda" (Star) in 1994. In his first season he played 7 league games and scored 1 goal. Red Star won the Yugoslavian double.


The following year he played more, 24 league games with 4 goals, 4 in the Yugoslav Cup with 1 goal and 2 games in the Uefa Cup. The "Crveno-beli" (The Red and Whites) won the domestic cup but finished 2nd in the league behind Partizan.


In 1996-97 he played 26 league games with 10 goals, 6 in the cup and 5 in the Cup Winners Cup with 2 goals (a brace against Kaiserslautern). Again "Zvezda" finished 2nd behind Partizan and won the Yugoslav Cup.


The 1997-98 season would be his last in Belgrade as a player. He played 28 league games with 15 goals, 7 in the cup and 3 in the Cup Winners Cup with 3 goals. Again, the Red and Whites finished 2nd, this time behind Obilić but with no cup glory.


In 1998 he joined Lazio in Serie A. He made a great debut, scoring against Piacenza in a 1-1 away draw. The manager was Sven-Goran Eriksson and Lazio finished 2nd going extremely close to the Scudetto. They did however win the Italian Supercoppa (2-1 Juventus) and lifted the last ever Cup Winners Cup (Majorca 2-1). Stankovic played 29 league games with 4 goals (Piacenza, Cagliari, Sampdoria, Piacenza), 5 in Coppa Italia with 1 goal (Cosenza), 7 in the CWC with 4 goals (Partizan, Panionios x2 and Panionios again) plus the Italian Supercoppa.


The following season Lazio won the Scudetto and the Coppa Italia. Stankovic made 16 league appearances with 3 goals (Lecce x2, Fiorentina), 4 in Coppa Italia, 11 in Champions League with 2 goals (Maribor, Olympique Marseille) plus the European Super Cup (won beating Manchester United 1-0). Lazio also won the Italian Supercoppa beating Inter 4-3.


In 2000-01 Eriksson was replaced by Dino Zoff in January and Lazio finished 3rd. Stankovic played 21 league games, 2 in Coppa Italia with 1 goal (Udinese) and 9 in Champions League (out in second group phase).


In 2001-02 Zoff started, but was soon replaced by Alberto Zaccheroni. Lazio finished 6th and Stankovic played 27 league games with 7 goals (Brescia, Perugia, Milan, Roma, Udinese, Verona x2), 4 in Coppa Italia and 5 in the Champions League with 1 goal (Galatasaray). It was a negative season for Lazio but Stankovic performed well.


In 2002-03 his former teammate Roberto Mancini returned as manager. Lazio improved and finished 4th (CL qualification). Stankovic played 29 league games with 6 goals (Reggina, Roma, Empoli, Milan, Roma, Parma), 2 in Coppa Italia and 7 in the UEFA Cup (Lazio reached semi-finals, Porto 1-4)


The 2003-04 season would be his last in Rome. In January he joined Inter. He had played 15 league games with 2 goals (Empoli, Perugia), 4 in Coppa Italia with 2 goals (Parma home and away) and 8 in the Champions League. For the record Lazio finished 6th (UC qualification) and won the Coppa Italia (Juventus 4-2 on aggregate).


At Inter he found Alberto Zaccheroni as manager and the Nerazzurri finished 4th. Stankovic played 14 league games with 4 goals (Milan, Brescia, Juventus, Bologna) and 2 games in Coppa Italia. He played alongside Christian Vieri and Matías Almeyda from his Lazio days.


In 2004-05 former Lazio teammate Roberto Mancini arrived as manager (with Fernando Orsi as assistant). The "Beneamata" finished 3rd, reached the quarterfinals of Champions League (Milan 0-5 on aggregate) but won the Coppa Italia (Roma 3-0 on aggregate). Stankovic played 31 league games with 3 goals (Chievo, Atalanta, Cagliari), 6 in Coppa Italia and 10 in CL with 3 goals (Basel, Anderlecht, Valencia). His teammates included Sinisa Mihajlovic, Juan Sebastian Veron and Beppe Favalli.


In 2005-06 Inter finished 3rd but were awarded the Scudetto due to Juventus and Milan's misdemeanours in the Calciopoli scandal. The Nerazzurri 'also' won the Italian Supercoppa beating Juventus 1-0 with a goal by Veron in extra-time and the Coppa Italia (Roma 4-2 on aggregate). In the Champions League the quarterfinals were fatal again (Villareal on away goals). Stankovic played 23 league games with 2 goals (Lecce home and away), 6 in Coppa Italia with 2 goals (Lazio home and away) and 8 in CL with 2 goals (Ajax home and away). He played alongside former Lazio César.


In 2006-07 Mancini was still there but his assistant became Sinisa Mihajlovic. Inter won the league fair and square as well as the Italian Supercoppa (4-3 Roma, from 0-3 down) but lost the Coppa Italia final (4-7 on aggregate to Roma). In the Champions League they only reached the last 16 (Valencia on away goals). Stankovic played 34 league games with 6 goals (Chievo, Catania x2, Milan, Fiorentina, Empoli), 3 in Coppa Italia and 7 in CL. His teammates included Hernan Crespo.


In 2007-08 the Nerazzurri won the Scudetto again but lost the Supercoppa and Coppa Italia finals (both to Roma 0-1 and 1-2). In the Champions League they went out to Liverpool 0-3 on aggregate in the last 16. Stankovic played 21 league games with 1 goal (Udinese), 3 in Coppa Italia and 6 in CL. He played alongside former Lazio Luís Jimenez.


In 2008-09 José Mourinho's reign started. The "Special One" won the league and the Italian Supercoppa (Roma on penalties after 2-2, Stankovic missed his penalty) but again went out in the last 16 in the Champions League (Manchester United 0-2 on aggregate). In Coppa Italia they lost in the semis to Sampdoria 1-3 on aggregate. Stankovic played 31 league games with 5 goals (Roma, Chievo, Catania, Lecce, Milan), 1 in Coppa Italia, 5 in CL plus the Supercoppa.


The 2009-10 season was a vintage one for Inter. They won the so-called "triplete", the Scudetto, Coppa Italia (Roma 1-0) and Champions League (Bayern Munich 2-0). The one they did not win was the Italian Supercoppa as they surprisingly lost 1-2 to Lazio in Beijing. Stankovic played 29 league games with 3 goals (Milan, Udinese, Genoa), 1 in Coppa Italia, 12 in CL with 2 goals (Rubin, Dynamo Kiev) plus the Supercoppa. His teammates included former Lazio, Goran Pandev.


In 2010-11 Rafa Benitez arrived as manager but only lasted 17 games before being replaced by Leonardo. Inter finished 2nd behind Juventus but won the Coppa Italia (Palermo 3-1), the Italian Supercoppa (Roma 3-1) and the Club World Cup (TP Mazembe 3-0). They lost the European Super Cup (Atlético Madrid 0-2) and went out in the quarter-finals of the Champions League (Schalke 3-7 on aggregate). Stankovic played 26 league games with 5 goals (Parma x3, Bologna, Udinese), 3 in Coppa Italia with1 goal (Roma), 7 in CL with 2 goals (Tottenham, Schalke 04) plus another 4 games between Supercups and World Club Cup with 1 goal (Seongnam - South Korea).


In 2011-12 Inter had three different managers: Gian Piero Gasperini (1-4), Claudio Ranieri (5-29) and Andrea Stramaccioni (30-38). Inter had a poor season finishing 6th (EL) and lost the Italian Supercoppa final (Milan 1-2). Stankovic played 19 league games, 5 in CL plus the Supercoppa.


The 2012-13 season would be his last and he only played 3 league games due to Achilles tendon problems. Inter finished 9th under Stramaccioni. In his last year the squad included former Lazio Gaby Mudingayi, Tommaso Rocchi and Juan Pablo Carrizo. He played a total of 326 games for Inter with 42 goals.


At almost 35 Stankovic retired.


He also won 39 caps for Yugoslavia with 9 goals, 22 for Serbia & Montenegro with 4 goals and 42 for Serbia with 3 goals. He played in the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 for Yugoslavia, in the 2006 World Cup for Serbia and Montenegro and in the 2010 World Cup for Serbia. He is the only player to have played at three world cups for three different nations.


After retiring he was assistant to Stramaccioni at Udinese in 2014-15, and then worked briefly as club manager for Inter and as a UEFA consultant. He then coached Red Star Belgrade from December 2019 and stayed until August 2022. He won three consecutive league titles with Zvezda and two domestic cups.


In October 2022 he returned to Italy and joined struggling Sampdoria. The Blucerchiati were bottom of the table and winless. Stankovic was not able to save the sinking ship and "Il Doria" were relegated to Serie B after only 3 wins. He is now manager of Ferencváros in Hungary. He was recently back in Italy with his new club, earning a 2-2 draw against Fiorentina in the Conference League.


Stankovic was a superb player, solid and versatile. He is 1.81 and 75 kilos. He was a central midfielder but could also play externally or behind the strikers. He was a player who could do everything, attack and defend. He had a cracking shot, good aerial abilities, positioning and timing. He was every manager's ideal player, skilful, a good tackler, hardworking and could also score goals.


In his club career he won 1 Yugoslav league title and 3 cups, 6 Scudetti, 5 Coppa Italia's, 6 Italian Supercoppa's, 1 Champions League, 1 Cup Winners Cup, 1 European Super Cup and 1 Club World Cup.


At Lazio Stankovic was part of the glory years. He arrived young but soon became an accomplished midfielder. He played in formidable midfields alongside Veron, Diego Simeone, Matias Almeyda, Sergio Conceição, Nestor Sensini to name a few. He played 208 games for Lazio and scored 34 goals. He won a Scudetto, a Coppa Italia, two Italian Supercoppa's, a Cup Winners Cup and a European Supercup. Six trophies in six years. The name Stankovic at Lazio reminds the fans of success, especially in his first years.


He has three sons and they are all carrying on the family tradition of playing professional football. One, Aleksander, is a midfielder in the Inter squad while another, Filip, is a goalkeeper with Sampdoria. It will be difficult however to emulate Dejan's career.


Lazio Career

Season

Total games (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

Cup Winners Cup

UEFA Cup

UEFA Super Cup

Super Coppa

1998-99

42 (9)

29 (4)

5 (1)

-

7 (4)

-

-

1

1999-00

32 (5)

16 (3)

4

11 (2)

-

-

1

-

2000-01

33 (2)

21

2 (1)

9

-

-

-

1 (1)

2001-02

36 (8)

27 (7)

4

5 (1)

-

-

-

-

2002-03

38 (6)

29 (6)

2

-

-

7

-

-

2003-Jan 04

27 (4)

15 (2)

4 (2)

8

-

-

-

-

Total

208 (34)

137 (22)

21 (4)

33 (3)

7 (4)

7

1

2 (1)

Sources


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