Dusan Tadic is convinced Serbia can pull off a trick against Brazil at the World Cup on Thursday. According to the 34-year-old Ajax player, his country’s national team has not been as good as it is now for years.
“Everyone talks about Brazil, but this can motivate us,” Tadic said at a press conference on Wednesday with national team coach Dragan Stojkovic in Doha. “We are in top shape. I believe in ourselves.”
Serbia remained undefeated in the World Cup qualifiers. Tadic and his teammates achieved the group victory by defeating Portugal (1-2) in the last round. The striker scored a goal and provided an assist. Portugal still made it to the World Cup finals after the play-offs.
“We want to continue this good streak in the World Cup,” said Tadic. “We want to play bravely here, but above all to enjoy ourselves. We have to focus on ourselves and not look too much at others. We want to make our country proud.”
Serbia reached the World Cup under Stojkovic, who has been head coach since February 2021. The 57-year-old coach made a relaxed impression at the press conference and cleverly responded to a question from a Brazilian journalist, who told him Brazil would play with four forwards on Thursday. “Oh my God, my God,” Stojkovic said. “Four strikers? But maybe they don’t play defenders or what exactly?”
Stojkovic then spoke of Brazil with great respect. “They may have a golden generation of footballers. We were incredibly lucky to draw,” continued the national coach, who will go on to compete with Switzerland and Cameroon in the group stage. “But it’s no different. Italy’s players are at home and watching TV. That’s how life is sometimes.”
There is a good chance that Serbia will not yet have Philip Kostic against Brazil. The Juventus winger has a thigh injury. “We have a squad 99 percent in our heads,” Stojkovic said. “There is still a big question mark behind Kostec’s name.”
Serbia and Brazil start Thursday at 8 p.m. Switzerland and Cameroon are scheduled for 11am earlier in the day in the same group.
Zombie specialist. Friendly twitter guru. Internet buff. Organizer. Coffee trailblazer. Lifelong problem solver. Certified travel enthusiast. Alcohol geek.