Serbia coach Mladen Dodić said his team have "an additional obligation" to succeed in the Czech Republic following their counterparts' FIFA U-20 World Cup triumph in New Zealand.
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Serbia Under-21s gathered together at their hotel in Prague to witness "the greatest day for Serbian football" – victory against Brazil in the FIFA U-20 World Cup final in New Zealand.
Serbia could not have hoped for better inspiration ahead of their UEFA European Under-21 Championship Group A fixture against hosts Czech Republic on Saturday evening. Players watched the first half of their counterparts' triumph from their hotel beds, before meeting in the lobby to join staff and dignitaries to witness the remainder of their 2-1 win after extra time.
Many of the players triumphant in Auckland have also been part of the U21 setup, so it was little surprise that those in the Czech capital were quick to send congratulatory messages to their friends. "A phenomenal morning," said midfielder Miloš Jojić. "I believe this evening [against the Czechs] will be the same. We have been in daily contact with our friends in the U20s and have watched all of their games. They have made us so proud. We can only promise that we will do our best as we have the same dream."
Dodić, whose team opened their final tournament campaign with a 1-1 draw against Germany, added: "It is to hard to explain our feelings at the moment; we are proud and happy. Now, our Under-21 team has an additional obligation and motivation to do their best in the Czech Republic. I am optimistic and I believe in them. One day, all of these guys will be in the senior team and Serbia will be an important player on the world and European football scene."
Filip Djuričić, goalscorer on matchday one, said he and his team-mates now have the chance to "write a golden chapter in the history of Serbian football". Radovan Ćurčić, who guided the U21s through qualifying before being promoted to the A-team job, said: "Congratulations from the bottom of my heart. This is an unforgettable day for Serbian football and I am so proud."