Simon Vukčević

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Simon Vukčević
Симон Вукчевић
Simon Vukcevic.jpg
Vukčević playing for Blackburn Rovers in 2013
Personal information
Full name Simon Vukčević
Date of birth (1986-01-29) 29 January 1986 (age 32)
Place of birth Titograd, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Attacking midfielder
Youth career
1999–2003 Partizan
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2006 Partizan 52 (13)
2006–2007 Saturn Ramenskoye 28 (1)
2007–2011 Sporting CP 77 (13)
2011–2013 Blackburn Rovers 16 (1)
2013–2014 Karpaty Lviv 2 (0)
2013–2014 Vojvodina 10 (0)
2014–2015 Levadiakos 30 (2)
2015–2016 Enosis Neon Paralimni 15 (1)
2016–2017 Chaves 11 (0)
2018 Budućnost Podgorica 0 (0)
National team
2004–2006 Serbia and Montenegro U21 12 (2)
2004 Serbia and Montenegro U23 3 (1)
2004–2005 Serbia and Montenegro 5 (0)
2007 Montenegro U21 2 (1)
2007–2014 Montenegro 45 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 6 May 2017 (UTC)

Simon "Sima" Vukčević (Cyrillic: Симон "Сима" Вукчевић, pronounced [sǐmon sǐːma ʋǔktʃeʋitɕ]; born 29 January 1986) is a former Montenegrin footballer who played as an attacking midfielder.

Vukčević started learning his craft at FK Zabjelo before moving to the Serbian capital to join the FK Partizan youth system at age 13.

Vukčević's father Ilija is the former sporting director at FK Zeta.[1]

Club career[edit]


Blessed with boundless confidence, he spent four years in the youth ranks of Partizan before bursting into the first team, scoring and creating goals from midfield. He was awarded the number 1 shirt, in recognition of his popularity among Partizan supporters.

His best season with the club was the 2004–05 campaign during which he starred with eye-catching midfield displays in domestic league and UEFA Cup. For his efforts with the Serbia and Montenegro under21 team at the 2004 UEFA U-21 Championship in Germany, and with the Serbia and Montenegro Olympic football team at the 2004 Summer Olympics, as well as his contribution at Partizan, at the end of 2004 Vukčević received the Golden Badge Award for the Best Young Athlete of the Year in Serbia and Montenegro given out by DSL Sport. This form, however, did not spill over into 2005–06 season, as Vukčević faced criticism over his excessive solo play and poor shot selection, as well as overall declining form.

Saturn Ramenskoye[edit]

Despite criticism, his move to Russian side Saturn Ramenskoye in January 2006 came as somewhat of a shock. The transfer, said to have cost the Russian club about €7 million, failed to raise Vukčević's form to what it once was at Partizan. In late July 2006, he was even demoted to Saturn's reserve squad with coach Vladimír Weiss publicly blasting him in the Russian press for displaying bad attitude in training and having a lack of manners.[2]

Saturn finished the 2006 season in a disappointing 11th place in the Premier League, and as the 2007 season was about to start Vukčević expressed frustration with coach Weiss playing him out of position. He also said that coming to Saturn was a mistake and that he would have preferred a more ambitious club.[3]

The 2007 season started somewhat more promisingly for Vukčević, as he finally received more playing time, which he used to finally score his first league goal. However, things soon went awry again and he completely lost a spot on the team, which prompted Saturn brass to start looking at options to move him. The departure of coach Weiss and subsequent arrival of Gadzhi Gadzhiev to Saturn bench hardly changed matters for Vukčević as he was completely out of the first team picture.

Sporting CP[edit]

On 25 June 2007, Saturn reportedly agreed a €4 million transfer fee with Sporting Clube de Portugal, but the deal stalled when the Russian club also demanded 20% of any subsequent transfer fees involving Vukčević. Eventually, on 28 June, both clubs agreed a €2 million fee in addition to an agreement about splitting his future transfer fee 50–50.[4]

Vukčević scored on his debut in a pre-season friendly against Lille and soon made himself a mainstay of Paulo Bento's team. His Primeira Liga debut came against Académica de Coimbra in the season opener where he was man of the match, but the midfielder was especially impressive during a rough period Sporting endured around Christmas, several times carrying the side with his never-say-die attitude and eye for goal.

Vukčević scored an important goal against rivals Benfica on 2 March 2008, which ended in a 1–1 home draw. On 27 January, he scored against leaders Porto in Sporting's 2–0 win. He ranked the team's second best league scorer, only behind Liédson.

During the summer 2008 transfer window, Bolton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers were at the top of the list of clubs reportedly interested in signing the Montenegrin player. Nonetheless, Sporting reiterated their desire to keep Vukčević for the 2008–09 season.[5]

At the start of the 2008–09 season, Vukčević got involved in a controversial dispute with Sporting manager Paulo Bento over losing his place in the starting XI. After playing 45 minutes as a substitute in Sporting's 2–0 win over Belenenses, Vukčević declared his intention to leave the club in the December transfer window.[6]

On 21 November 2008, without any warning, he missed training to join his national team one day before expected. Sporting fined him €5,000 and placed him on individual training until further notice. On 29 November, after holding a press conference stating his wish to remain in Sporting and apologizing for his behavior, he was allowed to train with the rest of the team. Sporting told him that "words impress no one," and his future on the club would depend on how he took this second chance. On 5 December, he substituted teammate Hélder Postiga in the 75th minute of the away league game against Estrela da Amadora and scored a goal two minutes later, the last of Sporting's 3–1 win.

In January 2010, Sporting bought the remain 50% interests in future transfer revenue from Saturn for another £2 million.

On 20 August 2011, it was revealed by Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean that Vukčević would undergo a medical at the club after agreeing personal terms in the hope of imminently completing a transfer carrying a fee reported to be around £3 million.

Blackburn Rovers[edit]

On 26 August 2011, it was confirmed that Vukčević had signed a three-year contract with Blackburn Rovers.[7] Vukčević made his Blackburn debut in the 4–3 victory against Arsenal at Ewood Park on 17 September 2011. He scored his first goal for Blackburn on 20 September 2011 in the League Cup against Leyton Orient.[8] On 11 December 2011, he scored his first league goal for Blackburn away at Sunderland.[9]

During his first season at the club, Vukčević made little impact in helping the club survive the Premier League season due to a lack of appearances. Vukčević only appeared 10 times in the season and only managed to score 2 goals. It was rumoured that Vukčević had contract issues midway through the season.[10] This meant that he did not make a single appearance after 7 January 2012 until the end of the season.

Vukčević made his first start of the 2012–13 season on 29 August 2012, in a League Cup second round match against Milton Keynes Dons, in which he played the full 90 minutes.[11] This appearance looked to be the last for Vukčević for the season and the club as they allowed him to go out on loan for the rest of the season with a view to a permanent deal.[12] However, this looked unlikely as in the first game under new manager Henning Berg on 3 November 2012 against Crystal Palace, Vukčević came on as a substitute for Marcus Olsson.[13]

Over the next few months, Vukčević made more first team appearances and was even chosen by new manager Michael Appleton. On 31 January 2013, however, Vukčević's contract at the club was terminated with immediate effect by mutual consent.[14] Before the contract's termination, there were reports he was going to spend the remainder of the season on loan at APOEL in the Cypriot First Division, however no deal was reached.[15] He spent a total of two years at the club, but struggled to break into the regular first team.

Karpaty Lviv[edit]

On 28 February 2013, Vukčević signed a contract with Ukrainian Premier League club Karpaty Lviv until the end of the season with the option to extend.[16] Several days after signing, Vukčević made his debut, coming on as a substitute for Oleksandr Hladkyy in a win against Tavriya Simferopol. Having made two appearance for the club, Vukčević left the club by mutual consent, citing personal reasons.[17]


On 10 August 2013, it was announced that Vukčević signed a one-year contract with Serbian club Vojvodina.[18] He made his debut on 22 August in a match against Sheriff Tiraspol in the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League play-off round of qualification, during which he made an assist.

International career[edit]

Youth level[edit]

In 2002, Vukčević was part of the FR Yugoslavia U-17 squad at 2002 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship.[19]

At age 18, Vukčević was selected by head coach Vladimir Petrović to be part of Serbia and Montenegro under-21 national team at the 2004 European Under-21 Football Championship, held in Germany. Vukčević had a notable tournament, scoring in a 1–2 group stage loss to Italy, as well as in a semi-final penalty shootout against Sweden. Somewhat surprisingly, Serbia and Montenegro progressed to the final, where the nation again lost to Italy, led by rising 21-year-old star Alberto Gilardino and 20-year-old Daniele De Rossi.

Nearly two months later, Vukčević was part of the Serbian and Montenegrin 2004 Olympic team that exited in the first round, finishing fourth in Group C behind gold-medal winners Argentina, Australia and Tunisia.

At the end of the year, Vukčević received the award for Best Young Athlete of Serbia and Montenegro[citation needed].

Vukčević also played for the national under-21 squad that qualified for another European championship, in Portugal in 2006. Already capped five times by the senior national side, Vukčević was hoping to further hone his talents with the under-21s in Portugal, but had a poor tournament. Following an indifferent display in the first group stage match, a 0–1 loss to Germany), head coach Dragan Okuka dropped him from the first team and Vukčević rarely featured in the side for the rest of the tournament. Serbia and Montenegro ultimately progressed to the semi-final, where it lost on penalites to Ukraine.

Vukčević was once again called up, this time at under-21 level, to represent Montenegro in its premier match against Bulgaria in the qualifications for the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, scoring a goal and missing a penalty on his debut in a 2–1 victory.

Senior level[edit]

Following his noted under-21 displays, Vukčević began earning call-ups to the Serbia and Montenegro senior side from head coach Ilija Petković. His debut came at age 18 during a July 2004 friendly, as a substitute against Slovakia in the Kirin Cup in Fukuoka, Japan. He was among a large number of younger players from the domestic league or those who have been out of the national team picture (Bojan Zajić, Đorđe Jokić, Bojan Neziri, Jovan Markoski, Nenad Jestrović, Dragan Šarac, Miloš Kolaković and Aleksandar Pantić) who were able to earn an opportunity to perform in the Kirin Cup.

Several days later, Vukčević featured in another Kirin Cup match, this time against hosts Japan, again as a substitute. As his form at Partizan stabilized, Vukčević received another call-up in February 2005 for a friendly at Bulgaria, which was his first national team start before being substituted for Zvonimir Vukić. Several months later, in June 2005, coach Petković gave Vukčević his competitive debut, substituting him in for Ognjen Koroman during the second half of the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifier at home against Belgium. Serbia and Montenegro played to a sluggish and forgettable 0–0 draw as Vukčević nearly scored on his competitive debut when the Belgian goalkeeper misjudged his seemingly harmless free-kick and had to scramble back to push it against the cross bar.[20]

Four days later, Vukčević was on a plane to Toronto where he played the full 90 minutes in a friendly against Italy at the Rogers Centre. This also turned out to be his last ever appearance for Serbia and Montenegro. His club form at Partizan took a dip in the first part of 2005–06 league season and his transfer to Saturn failed to improve his performances during the early part of 2006 Russian league season, all of which meant that he wasn't getting any more senior call-ups.

As Montenegro seceded from the State Union of Serbia-Montenegro in May 2006, and Vukčević is from Podgorica, he chose to play for an independent Montenegro in the future. He played in their first ever game, when Montenegro defeated Hungary 2–1 in a friendly match on 24 March 2007.

Career statistics[edit]


Club Season League Cup Europe Total
App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals
Partizan 2002–03 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2003–04 12 0 2 0 0 0 14 0
2004–05 26 10 3 0 11 1 40 11
2005–06 13 3 2 0 6 1 21 4
Saturn Moscow Oblast 2006 24 0 8 1 0 0 32 1
2007 4 1 2 0 0 0 6 1
Sporting CP 2007–08 26 6 10 4 11 3 47 13
2008–09 13 4 5 2 4 0 22 6
2009–10 14 1 4 1 9 1 27 3
2010–11 24 2 3 0 7 3 34 5
Blackburn Rovers 2011–12 7 1 3 1 0 0 10 2
2012–13 9 0 2 0 0 0 11 0
Karpaty Lviv 2012–13 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Vojvodina 2013–14 4 0 0 0 2 0 6 0
Career total 179 28 46 9 50 9 273 46

Last update: 15 September 2013

International goals[edit]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 20 August 2008 Ferenc Puskás Stadium, Budapest, Hungary  Hungary 3–3 3–3 Friendly
2. 25 March 2011 Podgorica City Stadium, Podgorica, Montenegro  Uzbekistan 1–0 1–0 Friendly


2002–03, 2004–05
Sporting CP


  1. ^ "Scouts Come Up Trumps For Zeta". UEFA. 18 April 2007. Retrieved 18 April 2007. 
  2. ^ "Article 3131". Jadran Sport. 2 November 2006. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2006. 
  3. ^ "Pogrešio Sam" (in Serbian). Kurir. 14 February 2007. Retrieved 14 February 2007. 
  4. ^ "Public Offer for Subscription – Prospectus" (PDF) (in Portuguese). Sporting CP. 10 December 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  5. ^ "Sporting To Keep Vukcevic". Sky Sports. 9 July 2008. Retrieved 9 July 2008. 
  6. ^ "Sporting Midfielder To Leave In Winter". 22 September 2008. Retrieved 22 September 2008. 
  7. ^ "Simon Signs On". Blackburn Rovers F.C. 28 August 2011. Archived from the original on 29 November 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  8. ^ "Blackburn 3-2 Leyton Orient". BBC Sport. 21 October 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  9. ^ "Sunderland 2-1 Blackburn". BBC Sport. 11 December 2011. Retrieved 11 December 2011. 
  10. ^ "Rovers Taking A Look At Zenden". Vital Football. 7 March 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  11. ^ "MK Dons 2-1 Blackburn". BBC Sport. 28 August 2012. Retrieved 28 August 2012. 
  12. ^ "Rovers To Allow Vukcevic Exit". Sky Sports. 15 September 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  13. ^ "Crystal Palace 2-0 Blackburn". BBC Sport. 3 November 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  14. ^ "Vukcevic Departs". Blackburn Rovers F.C. 31 January 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  15. ^ "Robinson Set To Leave Ewood". Lancashire Telegraph. 31 January 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  16. ^ "Simon Vukcevic Is A Player Of FC Karpaty". Karpaty Lviv. 28 February 2013. Archived from the original on 27 June 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2013. 
  17. ^ "Kram It In: Fulham And Chelsea Hunting Young Croatian Striker". Daily Mirror. 13 April 2013. Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  18. ^ "Simon Vukčević U Vojvodini" (in Serbian). FK Vojvodina. 10 August 2013. Archived from the original on 13 August 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  19. ^ "Swiss Spot On In Denmark". UEFA. 1 January 2006. Retrieved 1 January 2006. [permanent dead link]
  20. ^ "Serbia Montenegro - Belgium". Video Sport. 3 July 2009. Retrieved 3 July 2009. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Nemanja Aleksandrov
Serbia and Montenegro The Best Young Athlete of Serbia and Montenegro
Succeeded by
Žarko Šešum