Vukčević playing for Blackburn Rovers in 2013
|Full name||Simon Vukčević|
|Date of birth||29 January 1986|
|Place of birth||Titograd, SFR Yugoslavia|
|Height||1.79 m (5 ft 10 1⁄2 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking midfielder|
|Enosis Neon Paralimni|
|2015–||Enosis Neon Paralimni||0||(0)|
|2004–2006||Serbia and Montenegro U21||12||(2)|
|2004||Serbia and Montenegro U23||3||(1)|
|2004–2005||Serbia and Montenegro||5||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 7 December 2013.
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 U21 team at the 2004 UEFA U-21 Championship in Germany and Serbia and Mentenegro 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. However, the form didn't spill over into 2005–06 season as Vukčević faced criticism over his excessive solo play and poor shot selection, as well as overall deteriorating form.
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.
Saturn finished the 2006 season at disappointing 11th place in Russian 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.
The 2007 season started somewhat more promisingly for Vukčević as he finally got some 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.
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.
Vukčević scored on his debut in a pre-season friendly against Lille OSC and soon made himself a mainstay of Paulo Bento's team. His Portuguese 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 FC 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.
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.
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.
On 26 August 2011, it was confirmed that Vukčević had signed a three-year contract with Blackburn Rovers. 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. On 11 December 2011, he scored his first league goal for Blackburn away at Sunderland.
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 mananged to score 2 goals. It was rumoured that Vukčević had contract issues midway through the season. 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. 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. 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.
Over the next few months, Vukčević made more first team appearances and was even chosen by new manager Michael Appleton. Although on 31 January 2013, Vukčević's contract at the club was terminated with immediate effect by mutual consent. Before the contract termination, there was reports that he was potentially going to spend the rest of the season on loan at APOEL in the Cypriot First Division, but no deal was struck. He spent a total of 2 years at the club, but struggled to break into the regular first team.
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. Several days after signing for the club, Vukčević made his debut, coming on as a substitute for Oleksandr Gladkiy, in a win against Tavriya Simferopol. Having made two appearance for the club, Vukčević left the club by mutual consent, citing personal reasons.
On August 10, 2013, it was announced that Vukčević signed a one-year contract with Serbian club FK Vojvodina. He made his debut on August 22, 2013 in a game against FC Sheriff Tiraspol in the 2013-14 UEFA Europa League play-off round of qualification, during which he made an assist.
At the age of 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 in Germany. Vukčević had a notable tournament, scoring in a group stage loss to Italy (1–2), as well as in a semi-final penalty shootout against Sweden. Somewhat surprisingly, Serbia-Montenegro progressed all the way to the final where it lost again to Italy, led by rising 21-year-old star Alberto Gilardino and 20-year-old Daniele De Rossi.
Barely two months later, Vukčević was then part of the Serbian and Montenegrin 2004 Olympic football team that exited in the first round, finishing fourth in Group C behind gold-medal winners Argentina, Australia and Tunisia.
He also played for the national under-21 squad that qualified for another European championships, this time in Portugal 2006. Capped five times already for 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 game (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-Montenegro ended up progressing to semifinal 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 Under-21 European Championship 2009, scoring a goal and missing a penalty on his debut in a 2–1 victory against the Bulgarians.
Following his noted under-21 displays, Vukčević started getting call-ups to the Serbia-Montenegro senior side from head coach Ilija Petković. His debut came at the age of 18 during 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 get an opportunity to show what they could do in the Kirin Cup.
A couple of days later Vukčević featured in another Kirin Cup match – this time versus Japan, again as a sub. As his form at Partizan stabilized, he 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. Couple of months later in June 2005, coach Petković gave Vukčević his competitive debut, putting him in for Ognjen Koroman during the second half of the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifier at home versus Belgium. Serbia-Montenegro played to a sluggish and forgettable 0–0 draw as Vukčević almost scored on his competitive debut when the Belgian keeper misjudged his harmless free kick and had to scramble back to push it against the cross bar.
Four days later, Vukčević was on a plane to Toronto where he played the full 90 minutes in a friendly versus Italy at the Rogers Centre. This also turned out to be his last ever appearance for Serbia-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 Montenegro in the future. He played in their first ever game, when Montenegro won over Hungary in a friendly match that ended 2–1 on 24 March 2007.
|Saturn Moscow Oblast||2006||24||0||8||1||0||0||32||1|
Last update: 15 September 2013
|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|
- First League of Serbia and Montenegro Winner: 2
- Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira Winner: 1
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| The Best Young Athlete of Serbia and Montenegro