Sport in Serbia

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Sport in Serbia revolves mostly around team sports. Among the most popular sports are football, basketball, water polo, volleyball, handball and tennis. The two main football clubs in Serbia are Red Star Belgrade and FK Partizan, both from capital Belgrade. Red Star is the only Serbian and former Yugoslav club that has won a UEFA competition, winning the 1991 European Cup in Bari, Italy. The same year in Tokyo, Japan, the club won the Intercontinental Cup. Partizan was the first team from Eastern Europe, which played in final of European Cup in 1966. Partizan is the first club from Serbia to take part in the UEFA Champions League group stages subsequent to the breakup of the Former Yugoslavia. The matches between two rival clubs are known as "Eternal Derby" (Serbian: Večiti derbi).

Belgrade Arena, one of the largest indoor-sports venues in Europe

Serbia was hosted the EuroBasket 2005. FIBA considers Serbia national basketball team the direct descendant of the famous Yugoslavia national basketball team. KK Partizan was the European champion in 1992, when they won the European title, although playing all but one of the games (crucial quarter-final game vs. Knorr on foreign grounds: FIBA decided not to allow teams from Former Yugoslavia play their home games at their home venues, because of open hostilities in the region. KK Partizan was not allowed to defend the title in the 1992–1993 season, however, because of UN sanctions against Yugoslavia. Players from Serbia made a deep footprint in the history of basketball, having huge successes, both in the top leagues of Europe and in the NBA. Serbia is one of the traditional powerhouses of world basketball, winning various FIBA World Championships, multiple Eurobaskets and Olympic medals (albeit as FR Yugoslavia). Darko Milicic became an NBA champion in 2004 with the Pistons, while Predrag Stojakovic did the same in 2011 with the Mavericks and Ognjen Kuzmic won the ring in 2015 with the Warriors. Serbia's Women Basketball Team won the European title in 2015 thus qualifying for their first Olympics in 2016.

Novak Djokovic, currently the top ranked male in tennis (as of 2 November 2015)

Serbia's capital, Belgrade hosted the 2006 Men's European Water Polo Championship. The Serbia national water polo team was previously known as the Yugoslavia national water polo team. After becoming independent, Serbia have won 2006 European championship, finished as runner-up in 2008, won bronze medal at 2008 Summer Olympics held in Beijing and won the 2009 World championship held in Rome. VK Partizan won 7 titles of European champion and is the best European team in water polo history along with HAVK Mladost.

Serbia and Italy were host nations at 2005 Men's European Volleyball Championship. Serbia men's national volleyball team is the direct descendant of Yugoslavia men's national volleyball team. After becoming independent, Serbia won bronze medal at 2007 Men's European Volleyball Championship held in Moscow and gold medal in 2011 Men's European Volleyball Championship.

Serbian tennis players Novak Djokovic, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Janković, Viktor Troicki, Nenad Zimonjić and Janko Tipsarević have been very successful and led to a popularisation of tennis in Serbia. As of 2015, Novak Djokovic has won 10 Grand Slam titles and Ana Ivanovic has won one, whilst Jelena Janković has reached one Grand Slam final and have one mix-doubles grand-slam. All three have also been ranked World No. 1 at certain stages in their sports careers. In recent times however, the dominance of the Serbian women has diminished, whilst Novak Djokovic continues to dominate in the men's sport.[1][2] In 2010, Serbia became the 13th nation to win the Davis Cup after completing a 3-2 victory over France in Belgrade.

Milorad Čavić and Nađa Higl in swimming, Olivera Jevtić, Dragutin Topić in athletics, Aleksandar Karakašević in table tennis, Jasna Šekarić in shooting are also very popular athletes in Serbia.

A Serbian Formula One team, Stefan Grand Prix, has attempted to obtain an entry for the 2010 Formula One season.

Sport fandom[edit]

Serbia is very well known for its sport fans. There are two big fan groups: Grobari and Delije, both from Belgrade. When the Serbian national team competes there is usually a huge amount of people.

Rugby league[edit]

Rugby league was introduced into Serbia in 1953, by then secretary of the Yugoslavian Sport Association, Dragan Maršićević. The first rugby league match in Serbia was held in Belgrade on November 26, 1953, between French students and Selection Provence.

Since 2003, Serbia has played international games against other European countries and won the European Shield in 2007 but failed to qualify for the Rugby League World Cup 2008. Serbia came sixth in the Rugby League European Cupin 2009.

Rugby union[edit]

Main article: Rugby union in Serbia


National sports teams[edit]





Water polo:


Rugby football:

Ice hockey:

Sport events hosted in Serbia[edit]

Serbia's hosting sport events record:


Will host:



Volleyball (M) World Championship
Runner Up
European Championship
Champion (2)
CEV Champions League





Medals table[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze Total
Summer Olympic Games 0 1 0 1
FIBA World Cup 2 1 0 3
FIBA EuroBasket 3 1 1 5
Mediterranean Games 0 1 1 2
Summer Universiade 4 2 1 7
Grand Totals 9 6 3 18


  • 1991–92 Euroleague Champions: Partizan
Adriatic League



Water polo[edit]




European Champions:



Davis Cup
World Team Cup


External links[edit]