Adem Ljajić

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Adem Ljajić
Adem Ljajic.jpg
Ljajić with Partizan in 2009
Personal information
Full name Adem Ljajić
Date of birth (1991-09-29) 29 September 1991 (age 24)
Place of birth Novi Pazar, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.81 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Playing position Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current team
(on loan from Roma)
Number 22
Youth career
FK Jošanica
2005–2008 Partizan
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2008–2010 Partizan 38 (9)
2010–2013 Fiorentina 78 (15)
2013– Roma 61 (14)
2015– Internazionale (loan) 2 (0)
National team
2007–2008 Serbia U17 9 (1)
2008–2010 Serbia U19 13 (6)
2008–2010 Serbia U21 10 (1)
2010– Serbia 14 (2)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 4 October 2015.
† Appearances (goals)

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 7 September 2015

Adem Ljajić (Serbian Cyrillic: Адем Љајић, Serbian pronunciation: [ǎːdɛm ʎǎːjitɕ]; born 29 September 1991) is a Serbian footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder or winger for Italian club Internazionale, on loan from Roma, and the Serbia national team.

Ljajić was set to join England's Manchester United from Partizan in January 2010,[1] but they withdrew their option to sign him in December 2009.[2] Instead, he joined Fiorentina for a reported fee of around €8 million in January 2010.[3] In August 2013, after three years in Florence, Ljajić joined Roma for a fee of €11 million, signing a four-year contract.[4]

Club career[edit]


Born in Novi Pazar, Serbia, then SFR Yugoslavia, Ljajić joined Partizan as a 14-year-old in 2005, signing from a Serbian lower tier club FK Jošanica.[5] Ljajić was the first player to wear the number 22 for Partizan after Saša Ilić transferred out to Galatasaray in 2005.[6] He made an appearance for Partizan in the first leg of the second qualifying round of the 2008–09 UEFA Champions League on 29 July 2008, entering the match as a second-half substitute.[7] He made a second substitute appearance in the second leg and another substitute appearance in the second leg of the third qualifying round. He scored his first competitive goal for Partizan on 23 November 2008 in a league match against OFK Beograd.

Proposed move to Manchester United[edit]

In October 2008, Manchester United had given Ljajić a trial, although no information was given about the length of the trial initially.[8] The following day, Partizan general secretary Darko Grubor said, "It is not true that Ljajić went to England without permission. We have been in contact with Manchester United for some time now and Ljajić was with the international team in Britain, participating in the UEFA European Under-19 Championship qualifying round, at this moment so it was handy for him to go on trial now."[9]

On 2 January 2009, Manchester United announced the signings of both Ljajić and his Partizan team-mate, Zoran Tošić. Tošić would join the club immediately, while Ljajić would remain at Partizan for the remainder of 2009, joining United in January 2010.[10] Despite being unable to officially join the club until January 2010, Ljajić made regular trips to Manchester throughout 2009 to train with the United first team, and so that the club's coaches could monitor his progress.[11] However, United decided not to take up their option to sign Ljajić due to issues surrounding the club's application for a work permit.[12][13] Following the collapse of the transfer, Partizan manager Goran Stevanović claimed that the situation had put Ljajić into "psychological shock", but that the player was "handling the situation well".[14] Partizan's Director of Football Ivan Tomić stated "I think that they will regret this decision in future."[14]


After his proposed move to Manchester United fell through, Ljajić joined Fiorentina.

On 13 January 2010, Italian club Fiorentina announced the signing of Ljajić. After passing a medical, Ljajić signed a five-year contract,[15] with Partizan receiving a reported fee of €8 million for the player.[3] Ljajić made his debut in Fiorentina's 2–2 draw away to Cagliari on 31 January 2010, coming on as an 82nd-minute substitute for Manuel Pasqual.[16] However, his first half-season at the club under head coach Cesare Prandelli was spent settling into the new surroundings.

The arrival of Ljajić's compatriot Siniša Mihajlović as head coach saw increased first-team opportunities for Ljajić. He scored his first Viola goal from the penalty spot against Lazio on 18 September 2010, which Fiorentina lost 1–2.

On 2 May 2012, Ljajić was substituted in a match against Novara. His reaction to this substitution was to sarcastically applaud the manager Delio Rossi, who grabbed and attempted to punch Ljajić. Fiorentina announced after the match that Rossi had been dismissed as manager, and they would take proportionate measures against Ljajić. Ljajić's team-mate Valon Behrami, who was on the bench at the time of the incident, said no one, including him, had heard Ljajić insult Rossi, which disproved the manager's claims that Ljajić insulted his family. Behrami added Rossi should be ashamed for his actions, as well as lying to the media.[17][18]

Ljajić scored a brace as La Viola thrashed Internazionale 4–1 on 17 February 2013.[19]


With the departure of Erik Lamela to Tottenham Hotspur for around €30 million in August 2013, Ljajić was sought by Roma as a replacement. The signing was completed on 28 August 2013 for a fee of €11 million, potentially rising to €15 million depending on the club's success, with Ljajić signing a four-year contract.[4] He scored his first goal for Roma against Hellas Verona on his debut. He scored again in Derby della Capitale, Roma won the game 2-0.

Internazionale loan[edit]

On 31 August 2015, Ljajić signed for Internazionale on a season-long loan, with an option to make the transfer permanent at the end of the season.[20]

International career[edit]

Ljajić made his international debut for the Serbia under-21 squad in a European Championship qualification match against Hungary on 7 September 2008. On 26 October 2010, it was announced by Serbia coach Vladimir Petrović that Ljajić would receive his first senior call-up against Bulgaria in a friendly match on 17 November 2010.

Ljajić had been already part of the Serbian under-17 and under-19 teams since 2007.

Ljajić was removed from his country's squad by coach Siniša Mihajlović after refusing to sing the national anthem in a 2–0 friendly loss against Spain on 28 May 2012 due to personal reasons.[21] Ljajić previously signed a code of conduct established by Mihajlović that includes, among other things, to sing the Serbian national anthem, "Bože pravde" ("God of Justice").[22] Mihajlović said:

"It was said that the players who agrees with the text of the agreement shall sign it, but those who do not agree can go home. Ljajić has failed to comply with the agreement was signed and this is why he had to leave the team. My decision should serve as a clear example at the first step to any kind of indiscipline and disrespect. I am sad about Ljajić, he is a player on whom I counted. We talked, but he did not want to explain to me why he did not sing the national anthem, but said that he could not for religious reasons. Therefore, he is removed from the team. It is not directed personally against him, had any of the players who would do the same, I would acted identically. There are some things over which I can not move, and one of them was the not singing of the national anthem."[22]

Ljajić confirmed Mihajlović's statement, also claiming that he loves Serbia and that he has a will to play for its national team, but added that he must respect himself, inferring that he was not going to play under Mihajlović any longer.[23]

On 17 February 2014 the new head coach of Serbian national team, Ljubinko Drulović, made a statement and said that he would not be requiring from players to sing the national anthem but to give their all for their country on the field and therefore confirmed that Ljajić will make a return to the national team in a match against Republic of Ireland which will be played on 5 March.[24] Ljajić scored his first goal on 7 June 2015 in a 4–1 friendly win against Azerbaijan.

Personal life[edit]

Ljajić is an ethnic Bosniak,[25] and practising Muslim.[26] He is not related to politician Rasim Ljajić, who is a friend of his father's.[27]

Career statistics[edit]


As of October 2015[28]
Club Season League Cup Continental Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Partizan 2008–09 24 5 5 1 4 0 33 6
2009–10 14 4 2 0 8 2 24 6
Total 38 9 7 1 12 2 57 12
Fiorentina 2009–10 9 0 1 0 0 0 10 0
2010–11 26 3 2 0 0 0 28 3
2011–12 15 1 3 0 0 0 18 1
2012–13 28 11 3 1 0 0 31 12
2013–14 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
Total 78 15 9 1 1 0 88 16
Roma 2013–14 28 6 4 0 1 0 33 6
2014–15 32 8 2 0 7 1 41 9
2015–16 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Total 61 14 6 0 8 1 75 15
Internazionale (loan) 2015–16 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Career total 179 38 22 2 21 3 222 43


As of match played 7 September 2015
Serbia senior team
Year Apps Goals
2010 1 0
2011 5 0
2012 1 0
2013 0 0
2014 2 0
2015 5 2
Total 14 2

International goals[edit]

"Score" and "Result" columns list Serbia's goals first.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 7 June 2015 NV Arena, Sankt Pölten, Austria  Azerbaijan 2–1 4–1 Friendly
2 4 September 2015 Karađorđe Stadium, Novi Sad, Serbia  Armenia 2–0 2–0 UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying





  1. ^ "Exclusive: Adem Ljajic Q&A". Manchester United. 4 March 2009. Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  2. ^ "Manchester United end interest in Serbian Adem Ljajic". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 2 December 2009. Archived from the original on 5 December 2009. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "Partizan prodigy Ljajić joins Viola". (Union of European Football Associations). 13 January 2010. Archived from the original on 16 January 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Adem Ljajić" (PDF) (Press release) (in Italian). Associazione Sportiva Roma. 28 August 2013. Retrieved 28 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "Od prodaje Ljajića, Jošanica dobila 31.945 eura" [From the sale of Ljajić, Jošanica got 31,945 euros]. Sandzak Live (in Serbian) (Sandž 24 June 2010. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  6. ^ "Trojica prekobrojnih, Ljajiću 22!" (in Serbian). B92. 27 July 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2011. 
  7. ^ UEFA Champions League – Fixtures & Results
  8. ^ Papers: Reds eye 'Little Kaka'?
  9. ^ United trial Serb starlet: Partizan confirm Ljajic stint
  10. ^ "Serbians to join United". (Manchester United). 2 January 2009. Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  11. ^ Ljajić, Adem (4 March 2009). Exclusive: Adem Ljajic interview. Interview with Thompson, Gemma. Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  12. ^ Hibbs, Ben (3 December 2009). "Reds won't pursue Ljajic". (Manchester United). Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  13. ^ Nichols, Matt (4 December 2009). "Ljajic decision explained". (Manchester United). Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  14. ^ a b Taylor, Daniel; Wilson, Jonathan (4 December 2009). "Manchester United accused of causing 'psychological shock' to Adem Ljajic". (Guardian News and Media). Archived from the original on 7 December 2009. Retrieved 6 December 2009. 
  15. ^ "Definito l'accordo per Ljajic". ViolaChannel (in Italian) (ACF Fiorentina). 13 January 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2010. 
  16. ^ "Serie A / Cagliari – Fiorentina". ViolaChannel. ACF Fiorentina. 31 January 2010. Retrieved 31 January 2010. 
  17. ^ Behrami: Rosi je slagao šta mu je Ljajić rekao (eng. Rossi lied what Ljajic had said to him
  18. ^ Fiorentina coach Dellio Rossi attacks Adem Ljajic then gets sacked
  19. ^ "Fiorentina 4–1 Internazionale". ESPNFC. 17 February 2013. 
  20. ^ "Adem Ljajic joins Inter". (FC Internazionale Milano). 31 August 2015. Retrieved 2 September 2015. 
  21. ^ "Sportsday – Monday 28 May as it happened". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 28 May 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  22. ^ a b "Mihajlović: Ljajić je znao pravila (Mihajlović: Ljajić knew the rules)". The Večernje novosti. Retrieved 26 January 2013. 
  23. ^ "Ljajić: Volim Srbiju, poštujem sebe" [Ljajić:I love Serbia, I respect myself] (in Serbian). The B92. Retrieved 26 January 2013. 
  24. ^ "DRULOVIĆ: Ja ću pevati himnu, igrači ne moraju!" [Drulović:I will sing the anthem, the players don't have to] (in Serbian). Telegraf. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  25. ^ Ratko Dmitrović. "Mali Ljajić". Novosti. 
  26. ^ "BOŽE PRAVDE: Adem Ljajić se moli Alahu pred utakmicu". (in Serbian). 14 April 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  27. ^ Đurović, U. (9 July 2008). "Rasim LJajić mi nije otac". Glas javnosti (in Serbian). Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  28. ^ "Serbia - A. Ljajić - Profile with news, career statistics and history". Soccerway. Retrieved 22 March 2015. 
  29. ^ "22 Adem Ljajic". FC Internazionale Milano. Retrieved 2 September 2015. 

External links[edit]