Dejan Stefanović

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Dejan Stefanović
Personal information
Date of birth (1974-10-28) 28 October 1974 (age 44)
Place of birth Vranje, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Defender
Youth career
Yumco Vranje
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1993–1995 Red Star Belgrade 60 (10)
1995–1999 Sheffield Wednesday 65 (4)
1999–2003 Vitesse 94 (4)
2003–2007 Portsmouth 112 (3)
2007–2008 Fulham 13 (0)
2008–2009 Norwich City 12 (0)
2010–2011 Havant & Waterlooville
Total 356 (21)
National team
1995–2003 Serbia and Montenegro 23 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Dejan Stefanović (Serbian Cyrillic: Дејан Стефановић; born 28 October 1974) is a Serbian retired professional footballer.

Early life[edit]

While growing up, Stefanović supported Milan and idolized defender Franco Baresi, which inspired him to become a footballer.[1]

Club career[edit]

Red Star Belgrade[edit]

Stefanović began his career in his home town with Dinamo Vranje before being signed by Red Star Belgrade. Whilst at the club he made his international debut for FR Yugoslavia, aged 20, against Hong Kong in January 1995.[2]

Sheffield Wednesday[edit]

During the 1995–96 season, English club Sheffield Wednesday signed Stefanović and his compatriot, striker Darko Kovačević. Stefanović cost the English club £2 million. However, Stefanović struggled to break into the Wednesday side with Emerson Thome and Des Walker among those ahead of him in the pecking order.

In 1998–99, after playing 72 games for the club, Stefanović was released on a free transfer after he failed to make enough first-team appearances to qualify for a work permit extension.

Vitesse[edit]

In August 1999, Stefanović moved to Dutch club Vitesse,[3] joining three of his compatriots: goalkeeper Dragoslav Jevrić, midfielder Nenad Grozdić, and striker Dejan Čurović. Stefanović spent four years at the club, becoming captain during that time. At Vitesse he played 13 UEFA Cup matches.

Portsmouth[edit]

At the start of the 2003–04 season, Stefanović returned to England with Premiership newcomers Portsmouth for £1.85 million.[4] He established himself as a first-choice defender during the club's first season in the top-flight, and was a regular in the 2004–05 campaign, winning the fans' Player of the season award.[5] He was made Portsmouth captain by Alain Perrin in the 2005–06 season, although a dip in form and a habit of speaking out to the press earned him the ire of some supporters. Indeed, he confessed to "not giving 100%" under Perrin due to disliking the French coach, comments criticised as highly unprofessional by some fans.

Stefanović's influence on chairman (and fellow Serbian) Milan Mandarić is said to have been an important factor in the dismissal of Perrin and the re-appointment of Harry Redknapp, and he was an important member of the side that ensured Premiership survival at Wigan in the penultimate game of the season.

Stefanović was converted to a left-back at the start of 2006–07 and was a mainstay of the defence that performed so well for Portsmouth during the season. However, the arrivals of Hermann Hreiðarsson and Sylvain Distin during the summer of 2007 cast his position as a first team regular into doubt and he was replaced as captain by Sol Campbell for the 2007–08 season.

Fulham[edit]

In August 2007, Scottish club Rangers revealed an interest in signing Stefanović[6] but he signed for Fulham.[7]

Norwich City[edit]

Having spent less than a year at Craven Cottage, Stefanović dropped down a division to join Norwich City on 18 July 2008, agreeing a two-year deal.[8]

After twelve starts for the Canaries, during which he picked up one red card, Stefanović ruptured his cruciate knee ligaments and didn't play again for Norwich City in the 2008–09 season.

In August 2009, it was reported that Stefanović was in negotiations to leave Norwich, with the player wishing to return to the south of England.[9] On 1 September 2009, his contract was terminated by mutual consent.[10]

Retirement and return to football[edit]

Stefanović retired in late 2009 due to a knee injury. He remained living in the Portsmouth area and on one occasion admitted his dreams of managing Portsmouth one day.[11]

On 7 October 2010 Stefanović joined Havant & Waterlooville as a player-coach.[12]

Controversies[edit]

In September 2006, Stefanović arose controversy when he said that he will throw away his Serbian passport as soon as he gets his British passport as he does not feel like a Serb any longer.[13][14]

International career[edit]

Stefanović is a full Serbia and Montenegro international, earning his first call-up in 1995 (the country was then known as Yugoslavia, changing to Serbia and Montenegro in 2003). He has a total of 20 caps to his name. Stefanović retired from international football in 2004.

Career statistics[edit]

[15][16]

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
FR Yugoslavia League FR Yugoslavia Cup League Cup Europe Total
1992–93 Red Star Belgrade First League 2 0 2 0
1993–94 14 0 14 0
1994–95 29 9 29 9
1995–96 15 1 2 0 17 1
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
1995–96 Sheffield Wednesday Premier League 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
1996–97 29 2 1 0 1 0 31 2
1997–98 20 2 0 0 1 0 21 2
1998–99 10 0 2 1 0 0 12 1
Netherlands League KNVB Cup League Cup Europe Total
1999–00 Vitesse Eredivisie 14 0 2 0 3 0 19 0
2000–01 27 1 3 0 4 0 34 1
2001–02 25 3 3 1 28 4
2002–03 28 0 1 0 6 0 35 0
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
2003–04 Portsmouth Premier League 32 3 4 0 2 0 38 3
2004–05 32 0 2 0 2 0 36 0
2005–06 28 0 2 0 1 0 31 0
2006–07 20 0 0 0 0 0 20 0
2007–08 Fulham Premier League 13 0 2 0 0 0 15 0
2008–09 Norwich City Championship 12 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Total FR Yugoslavia 60 10 2 0 62 10
England 202 7 13 1 7 0 0 0 222 8
Netherlands 94 4 9 1 13 0 116 5
Career total 356 21 22 2 7 0 15 0 400 23

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dejan Stefanović on Past, Present, Future". Fulham Official Website. 6 February 2008. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  2. ^ Dejan Stefanovic Profile
  3. ^ Vitesse legt Stefanovic vast
  4. ^ "Pompey seal Stefanovic deal". BBC Sport. 20 June 2003. Retrieved 29 August 2007.
  5. ^ "Dejan Stefanovic". The Portsmouth News. 28 February 2007. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-29.
  6. ^ "Smith reveals Stefanovic interest". BBC Sport. 22 August 2007. Retrieved 29 August 2007.
  7. ^ "Fulham complete Stefanovic deal". BBC Sport. 31 August 2007. Retrieved 31 August 2007.
  8. ^ "FULHAM DUO JOIN CITY". Norwich City FC. 18 July 2008. Archived from the original on 18 February 2012. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
  9. ^ "Stefanovic asks to leave Canaries". BBC Sport. 6 August 2009. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
  10. ^ "Stefanovic to leave Carrow Road". BBC Sport. 1 September 2009. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
  11. ^ "Stefanovic: One day my vision is to be Pompey boss". Portsmouth News. 28 June 2010. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  12. ^ "Dejan Stefanovic out of retirement to join Havant and Waterlooville as player-coach". Daily Mail. 7 October 2010. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  13. ^ The Independent (9 September 2006). "The Premiership Interview: Pride and passion of the man who wants to be English". Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  14. ^ Glas javnosti (10 September 2006). "Stefanović baca srpski pasoš" (in Serbian). Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  15. ^ Dejan Stefanović at WorldFootball.net
  16. ^ Vitesse Statistieken Dejan Stefanovic

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Arjan de Zeeuw
Portsmouth F.C. captain
2005–2007
Succeeded by
Sol Campbell