Milinkovic-Savic lining up for Lazio
|Full name||Sergej Milinković-Savić|
|Date of birth||27 February 1995|
|Place of birth||Lleida, Spain|
|Height||1.92 m (6 ft 4 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20 May 2018
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 17 June 2018
Sergej Milinković-Savić (Serbian Cyrillic: Сергеј Милинковић-Савић, pronounced [serɡêj milǐːŋkoʋitɕ sǎːʋitɕ, sěrɡej-]; born 27 February 1995), commonly known as Sergej, is a Serbian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Lazio and the Serbia national team.
Milinković-Savić was born into a sporting family in Lleida, Spain, where his father, Nikola Milinković, played football professionally at the time. His mother, Milana Savić, was a professional basketball player.
Milinković-Savić came through the youth academy of Vojvodina. He was one of the midfielders who emerged from the youth squad that won two consecutive national youth championship titles, alongside Mijat Gaćinović and Nebojša Kosović. Consequently, Milinković-Savić signed his first professional contract with the club on 26 December 2012, penning a three-year deal.
Milinković-Savić made his senior debut in a 3–0 away loss to Jagodina on 23 November 2013. He scored his first goal in a 1–1 away draw with Spartak Subotica on 9 March 2014. In total, Milinković-Savić made 13 league appearances and scored three goals in the 2013–14 season. He also helped Vojvodina win the 2013–14 Serbian Cup in the club's centennial year.
In June 2014, Milinković-Savić signed a five-year contract with Belgian club Genk and was given the number 20 shirt. He made his competitive debut for the club in a 1–1 home league draw with Cercle Brugge on 2 August 2014. Milinković-Savić scored his first goal for Genk in a 1–1 away league draw against Lokeren on 18 January 2015. He scored a total of five league goals in 24 appearances during the 2014–15 season.
On 31 July 2015, it was announced that Milinković-Savić would join Italian club Lazio. He made his debut for the side in a 1–0 home win over Bayer Leverkusen in the first leg of the Champions League play-off round on 18 August 2015. Milinković-Savić scored his first goal for Lazio in a 1–1 Europa League draw with Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk on 17 September 2015. He scored his first Serie A goal in a 3–1 away win over Fiorentina on 9 January 2016. Over the course of his debut season, Milinković-Savić made 35 appearances and scored three goals for Lazio in all competitions.
In his second season at Lazio, Milinković-Savić scored seven goals from 39 appearances (league and cup).
Milinković-Savić represented Serbia at the 2013 UEFA Under-19 Championship, winning the gold medal. He played the full 90 minutes in four out of five games, including the final match of the competition against France that Serbia won 1–0. Subsequently, Milinković-Savić appeared at the 2014 UEFA Under-19 Championship, as the team was eliminated in the semi-final by Portugal after penalties. He missed Serbia's last spot-kick in the penalty shoot-out.
The following summer, Milinković-Savić was one of Serbia's most influential players at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup, as the team won the tournament. He appeared in six out of seven games and scored one goal against Mali in the group stage. Due to his performances during the tournament, Milinković-Savić was awarded the Bronze Ball.
In the summer of 2017, Lazio prevented Milinković-Savić from playing at the 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.
In October 2015, Milinković-Savić received his first call-up to the full squad by manager Radovan Ćurčić for Serbia's UEFA Euro 2016 qualifiers against Albania and Portugal. He remained an unused substitute in both games. In May 2016, Milinković-Savić was selected by newly appointed manager Slavoljub Muslin for friendly matches against Cyprus, Israel, and Russia. However, after failing to receive any playing time in the first two games, Milinković-Savić left the team in agreement with Muslin who said that some other players better fit into his tactical formations.
On 30 October 2017, it was announced that Serbia caretaker manager Mladen Krstajić included Milinković-Savić in the squad for friendlies against China and South Korea. In May 2018 he was named in Serbia’s preliminary squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Style of play
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has established himself as a 'complete midfielder', in the modern sense of the term. Comparable to players such as Zinedine Zidane and Yaya Touré, Milinkovic-Savic blends the traditional attacking movement and finishing ability of an attack midfielder, with the height and physicality of a target man or defensive midfielder. Not only is he capable of scoring impressive goals with his feet and his head, he is an excellent passer of the ball and is constantly looking to help spearhead his team's attacking plays. He is talented at holding up play, using his physical presence to shield the ball outside of the penalty area, allowing his attacking teammates to get into a goalscoring position.
- As of end of 2017–18 season
- Appearance in Supercoppa Italiana
- As of 17 June 2018
|Serbia national team|
- Serbia Youth
- "2018 FIFA World Cup Russia – List of Players" (PDF). FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. 4 June 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
- "Milinkovic-Savic, sport in the genes". fifa.com. 17 February 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
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- "SERGEJ MILINKOVIĆ PROFESIONALAC" (in Serbian). fkvojvodina.rs. 26 December 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
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- "Lazio, Milinkovic-Savic: c'è l'accordo col Genk, in campo già per la Supercoppa" (in Italian). gazzetta.it. 31 July 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
- "Milinkovic-Savic Emotional On Lazio Champions League Debut". forzaitalianfootball.com. 20 August 2015. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
- "Milinkovic-Savic: "Felice per il gol, peccato per il risultato"" (in Italian). sslazio.it. 18 September 2015. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
- "Luković strike seals first Serbia triumph". uefa.com. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
- "Portugal prevail in shoot-out to end Serbia reign". uefa.com. 28 July 2014. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
- "Ecstasy in Auckland as Serbia make history". fifa.com. 20 June 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
- "New Zealand sees stars emerge, Serbia sparkle". fifa.com. 22 June 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
- "Ćurčić objavio spisak za Albaniju: Sergej Milinković-Savić debituje!" (in Serbian). blic.rs. 4 October 2015. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
- "MUSLINOVI "ORLOVI" Ovo je spisak nove reprezentacije Srbije u fudbalu" (in Serbian). blic.rs. 10 May 2016. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
- "BEZ TANDEMA NA RUSE Muslin: Ljajić je povređen, Milinković-Saviću ne odgovara formacija" (in Serbian). blic.rs. 1 June 2016. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
- "Sergej konačno 'Orao', nema Svilara i Živkovića!" (in Serbian). b92.net. 30 October 2017. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
- "Један тим, срцем свим – Младен Крстајић одабрао" [One team, with all their hearts – Mladen Krstajić selects]. FSS.rs (in Serbian). Football Association of Serbia. 24 May 2018. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
- "Player Profile: Sergej Milinkovic-Savic - The Laziali". The Laziali. 1 March 2018. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
- Sergej Milinković-Savić at Soccerway