Serbia's youngest ever international, star of their FIFA U-20 World Cup win and a Partizan regular, Andrija Živković has impressed in the UEFA Europa League group stage.
Article top media content
Andrija Živković is the youngest player ever to represent Serbia having made his senior international debut aged just 17 years and 92 days. That came less than two months after he turned out – and scored – for Partizan for the first time. Then came this summer's FIFA U-20 World Cup triumph. It is an impressive CV considering he only turned 19 in July, but there looks to be plenty more to come.
Name: Andrija Živković
Debut: 25 August 2013 v Radnički 1923 (Serbian Super League)
Date of birth: 11 July 1996
Preferred foot: left
Height: 170 cm
They say ...
"It's amazing what Živković can do in terms of his running and technical skills. He is a great dribbler with a strong and accurate shot. With Živković in your forward line, you can expect something to happen. Also, though he is young, he never neglects his defensive duties which is equally impressive."
Serbia coach Radovan Ćurčić
"This little kid will be a big player."
Former Serbia coach Siniša Mihajlović, who gave Živković his debut
Živković was born in Nis, a city in the south of Serbia, which is also the home town of Yugoslavia great Dragan Stojković. He joined Partizan's academy aged 15 and continued his schooling in Belgrade. Barely two years later came those debuts for club and country, his international bow coming in Dejan Stanković's farewell, a 2-0 defeat of Japan. A changing of the guard, perhaps? This season he has already scored nine goals in all competitions, including one in UEFA Champions League qualifying and three in the UEFA Europa League group stage.
Playing style ...
He is one person without the ball – he keeps his position and has tactical discipline – but when he has possession he is explosive. He is fast and direct, has phenomenal dribbling ability, a strong shot and an eye for the final pass.
Shades of ...
In terms of how he carries himself and his playing style, he is a mix of three former Partizan wingers from the start of the century: Zoran Tošić, Miralem Sulejmani and Adem Ljajić. Živković, though, may have the edge on all of them in terms of ability.
Eureka moment ...
Despite those early breakthroughs as a 17-year-old, this year's FIFA U-20 World Cup triumph in New Zealand really was the making of Živković. He scored twice, contributed four assists and played every minute of the campaign. There is little doubt that he was the champions' leader and best player.
Best-case scenario ...
Živković is already a Partizan regular and will most likely stay until at least the end of the season, when Europe's giants might start sniffing around. Still eligible for Serbia's Under-19s and U21s, he is neverthless integral to the senior international setup as well. For now, however, he may drop down a level in order to help Serbia reach the 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Poland.
He says ...
"I want to keep my feet on the ground. I listen to everything and to everyone, but I know very well how much hard work and growing up I still have in front of me. The only way for me to do this is to take one step at a time. I hope I can succeed with the senior national team like I have done at youth level. My dream is to continue to improve and one day to be one of the best players."