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Team guide: Serbia

Pipped to top spot in Group 9 by Italy, Radovan Ćurčić's Serbia qualified the hard way by winning away to reigning champions Spain in their Under-21 play-off second leg.

Serbia got the better of Spain in the play-offs
Serbia got the better of Spain in the play-offs ©Getty Images

Serbia pulled off the biggest surprise in qualifying by knocking out holders Spain in the play-offs. After a goalless first leg, the 2011 and 2013 champions were beaten for the first time in 35 competitive matches, 2-1 in Cadiz, an indication of Serbia's potential.

It is the first time since 2009 that Serbia have reached the final tournament, yet they have a history of success, winning the first edition as part of Yugoslavia in 1978 and getting to three subsequent finals: with Yugoslavia in 1990, as Serbia and Montenegro in 2004 and as Serbia in 2007. Ćurčić is delighted to see his side back at the top table. "Qualification means a lot for everybody in Serbian football," he said.

Coach: Mladen Dodić
Born 17/10/69
Dodić steered FK Jagodina to a third-place finish in 2013/14 and the final of the Serbian Cup. The former Napredak, Novi Pazar and Javor boss was hired in late December to replace Radovan Ćurčić, who succeeded Dick Advocaat at the helm of the senior national side.

Tournament record
2013: did not qualify
did not qualify
2009: group stage
2007: runners-up
2006: semi-finals (as Serbia and Montenegro)
2004: runners-up (as Serbia and Montenegro)
2002: did not qualify
2000: did not qualify
1998: did not qualify
1996: did not take part
1994: did not take part
1992: did not qualify (as Yugoslavia)
1990: runners-up (as Yugoslavia)
1988: did not qualify (as Yugoslavia)
1986: did not qualify (as Yugoslavia)
1984: semi-finals (as Yugoslavia)
1982: did not qualify (as Yugoslavia)
1980: semi-finals (as Yugoslavia)
1978: winners (as Yugoslavia)

2015 qualifying (including play-off)
P10 W6 D2 L2 F20 A11
Top scorer: Aleksandar Mitrović (4)
Ever presents: None

Serbia U21s capped at senior level
Filip Djuričić (22), Miloš Jojić (5), Srdjan Mijailović (5)

Players with previous U21 final tournament experience

Most capped player
All-time: 37 Danko Lazović
Current: 23 Luka, Milunović, Aleksandar Pantić

Leading scorer
All-time: 17 Danko Lazović
Current: 6 Aleksandar Mitrović, Luka Milunović

Biggest wins
Final tournament
2-0: Serbia v Belgium, 20/06/07
Semi-finals, Gelredome, Arnhem

2-0: Serbia and Montenegro v Portugal, 25/05/06
Group stage, Cidade de Barcelos, Barcelos

Serbia and Montenegro v San Marino, 12/10/04
Qualifying group stage, Vojvodina, Novi Sad

Heaviest defeats
Final tournament

0-4: Serbia v Czech Republic, 20/06/15
Group stage, Letná Stadium, Prague

7-0: France v Yugoslavia, 16/01/85
Qualifying group stage, Stade Auguste-Delaune, Reims

*Statistics last updated 24/06/15