Stojkovic: “I don’t play tennis”
For Vladimir Stojkovic it must have been his last big tournament. The goalkeeper is now 35 years old, but in a 2-0 defeat by Brazil, the Serb showed that he can still play at a high level. He saved four times in the private duel against Neymar, kept his team in the game and foiled a higher defeat. The goalkeeper didn’t want to hang his performance so high. “It would have been a special day for me if we had qualified for the next round. That would have been important. I don’t play tennis. That’s life, I hope we’ll have more success in the future.” According to Stojkovic, “details have been decided” against Brazil. For his trainer it is clear: “Individual quality was the deciding factor for Brazil. We took more risks after the break, had a chance to equalise, but then we were punished,” Krstajic said.
Serbia goes home, but with her head held high. Coach Mladen Krstajic said after the end: “I would like to thank my players, congratulate them. We wanted to show a good face of Serbia after eight years. We can be very satisfied. This is the path we must continue.” Goalkeeper Stojkovic is not worried about the future either: “We have shown that we have something. “We’ve had a lot of problems in the past, and from now on we’ll be more successful again.”
Years ago talks with Borussia Dortmund
And what will happen to the goalkeeper currently under contract to Partizan Belgrade? “I don’t know if I’ll continue to play in Serbia,” the keeper said. “Soon the transfer period will begin. I think I’ll change.” The 35-year-old is not tired of changing. The Serb, who had already been Serbia’s regular keeper at the World Cup in South Africa, has already played for 12 clubs. He played games for Sporting Lisbon, Wigan Athletic, FC Nantes. Red star Belgrade, Maccabi Haifa or Nottingham Forest. A real migratory bird. “Seven years ago, for example, I had talks with Borussia Dortmund,” he says. It crushed itself. Now he hopes for offers. Not so easy as a 35-year-old. But the game against Brazil may have helped to attract prospects.