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Serbia team guide

Published: Sunday 1 June 2014, 17.36CET
Serbia have a different man at the helm as they attempt to retain the trophy won 12 months ago, though Veljko Paunović is keen to take things "step by step" in Hungary.
Serbia team guide
Veljko Simić was Serbia's leading scorer in qualifying ©Sportsfile

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2012/13Winner8431
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Last updated: 29/07/2014 01:06 CET
Published: Sunday 1 June 2014, 17.36CET

Serbia team guide

Serbia have a different man at the helm as they attempt to retain the trophy won 12 months ago, though Veljko Paunović is keen to take things "step by step" in Hungary.

The holders' qualification on goal difference ultimately hinged on their opening elite round fixture against Turkey in which Nemanja Maksimović headed a 96th-minute equaliser.

Keen to quell the expectation that comes with being the champions, Veljko Paunović has described his squad as a "new generation" although five of the party were present in Lithuania 12 months ago when Ljubinko Drulović took Serbia all the way: Mijat Gaćinović (FK Vojvodina), Maksimović (Hellas Verona FC), Predrag Rajković (FK Crvena zvezda), Miloš Veljković (Tottenham Hotspur FC) and Sergej Milinković (FK Vojvodina).

Their experience should help a selection featuring two other players who ply their trade abroad – Veljko Simić (FC Basel 1893) and Nemanja Radonjić (AS Roma). "Our victory in 2013 was the greatest moment in our history, we have a great wish to do the same, but we must take things step by step," said Paunović. "Our first targets are qualification for the semi-finals and the FIFA U-20 World Cup."

Qualifying round: Kazakhstan 3-0, Finland 1-0, Austria 1-0 (Group 7 winners)

Elite round: Turkey 1-1, Iceland 6-0, Republic of Ireland 3-1 (Group 4 winners)

Key players
Nemanja Maksimović (midfielder, Hellas Verona FC), Predrag Rajković (goalkeeper, FK Crvena zvezda), Sergej Milinković-Savić (midfielder, FK Vojvodina), Mijat Gačinović (forward, FK Vojvodina)

Coach: Veljko Paunović
Date of birth:
21 August 1977

A gifted midfielder, Paunović moved to Spain when he was 17, turning out for the likes of Club Atlético de Madrid and RCD Mallorca. Spells in Germany, Russia and the United States followed before retirement in early 2012. Capped twice by Serbia and Montenegro, Paunović succeeded the man who guided the U19s to glory last year, Drulović.

Team records

Qualifying top scorers
Veljko Simić: 5
Sergej Milinković-Savić: 4

UEFA European Under-19 Championship best
Winners: 2013

Honours in UEFA youth competitions
UEFA European Under-19 Championship
Winners 2013

UEFA European Under-16 Championship
Runners-up 1990 (as Yugoslavia)

International Youth Tournament (U18)
Winners 1951, 1979 (as Yugoslavia)
Runners-up 1952, 1962 (as Yugoslavia)

Other honours
FIFA U-20 World Cup
Winners 1987 (as Yugoslavia)

Last updated: 12/06/14 14.16CET

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http://www.uefa.com/under19/news/newsid=2113773.html#serbia+team+guide

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