Sport in Serbia

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Sport in Serbia plays an important role, and the country has a strong sporting history. The most popular sports in Serbia are football, basketball, tennis, volleyball, water polo and handball.

Professional sports in Serbia are organized by sporting federations and leagues (in case of team sports). One of particularities of Serbian professional sports is existence of many multi-sport clubs (called "sports societies"), biggest and most successful of which are Red Star (three world titles and six European in various sports), Partizan (fourteen European titles in various sports), and Beograd in Belgrade, Vojvodina in Novi Sad, Radnički in Kragujevac, Spartak in Subotica.

Football[edit]

Football is the most popular sport in Serbia, and the Football Association of Serbia with 146,845 registered players, is the largest sporting association in the country.[1] Dragan Džajić was officially recognized as "the best Serbian player of all times" by the Football Association of Serbia, and more recently the likes of Nemanja Vidić, Dejan Stanković and Branislav Ivanović play for the elite clubs of Europe, developing the nation's reputation as one of the world's biggest exporters of footballers.[2] The Serbia national football team lacks relative success although it qualified for three of the last four FIFA World Cups. Serbia national youth football teams have won 2013 U-19 European Championship and 2015 U-20 World Cup. The two main football clubs in Serbia are Red Star (winner of the 1991 European Cup and 1991 Intercontinental Cup) and Partizan (finalist of the 1966 European Cup), both from Belgrade. The rivalry between the two clubs is known as the "Eternal Derby", and is often cited as one of the most exciting sports rivalries in the world.[3]

Basketball[edit]

Serbia is one of the traditional powerhouses of world basketball, as Serbia men's national basketball team have won two World Championships (in 1998 and 2002), three European Championships (in 1995, 1997, and 2001), one FIBA Diamond Ball (in 2004), and two Olympic silver medals (in 1996 and 2016) as well. The women's national basketball team won the European Championship in 2015 and Olympic bronze medal in 2016. Serbia men's national 3x3 team have won four FIBA 3x3 World Cups (in 2012, 2016, 2017 and 2018), and two FIBA 3x3 Europe Cup (2018 and 2019). A total of 31 Serbian players (three with an NBA ring) have played in the NBA in last three decades, including Predrag "Peja" Stojaković (three-time NBA All-Star) and Vlade Divac (2001 NBA All-Star and Basketball Hall of Famer).[4] The renowned "Serbian coaching school" produced many of the most successful European basketball coaches of all times, such as Željko Obradović, who won a record 9 Euroleague titles as a coach. KK Partizan basketball club was the 1992 European champion and ŽKK Crvena zvezda women's basketball club was 1979 European champion.

Tennis[edit]

Novak Djokovic, considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time

Recent success of Serbian tennis players has led to an immense growth in the popularity of tennis in Serbia. Novak Djokovic, sixteen-time Grand Slam champion, finished in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2018 as No. 1 in the world.[5] Monica Seles, a former world no. 1, member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, won eight Grand Slam singles titles (while representing Yugoslavia). Ana Ivanovic (champion of 2008 French Open) and Jelena Janković were both ranked No. 1 in the WTA Rankings. There were two No. 1 ranked-tennis double players as well: Nenad Zimonjić (three-time men's double and five-time mixed double Grand Slam champion) and Slobodan Živojinović. The Serbia men's tennis national team won the 2010 Davis Cup, and two World Team Cup (in 2009 and 2012) while Serbia women's tennis national team reached the final at 2012 Fed Cup.[6]

Volleyball[edit]

Serbia is one of the leading volleyball countries in the world. Its men's national team won the gold medal at 2000 Olympics, the European Championship on 3 occasions (in 2001, 2011 and 2019) as well as the 2016 FIVB World League. The women's national volleyball team are current world Champions, has won European Championship three times (in 2011, 2017 and 2019) as well as Olympic silver medal in 2016.

Water polo[edit]

The Serbia men's national water polo team is the second most successful national team after Hungary in the history of sport, having won Olympic gold medal in 2016, three World Championships (2005, 2009 and 2015). The last 3 FINA World Cups in 2006, 2010, 2014. A record 12 FINA World Leagues and seven European Championships in 2001, 2003, 2006, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018, respectively.[7] VK Partizan has won a seven European champion titles, VK Bečej and VK Crvena zvezda one.

Other sports[edit]

Other noted Serbian athletes include: swimmers Milorad Čavić (2009 World champion on 50 meters butterfly and silver medalist on 100 meters butterfly as well as 2008 Olympic silver medalist on 100 meters butterfly in historic race with American swimmer Michael Phelps) and Nađa Higl (2009 World champion in 200 meters breaststroke – the first Serbian woman to become a world champion in swimming); track and field athlete Ivana Španović (long-jumper; 2016 European champion and bronze medalist at the 2016 Olympics); wrestler Davor Štefanek (2016 Olympic gold medalist), taekwondoist Milica Mandić (2012 Olympic gold medalist), and auto-racing driver Dušan Borković (two time European champion: 2012 European Hill Climb Championship and 2015 European Touring Car Cup).

National leagues[edit]

Football:

Basketball:

Volleyball:

Handball:

Water Polo:

Ice hockey:

Rugby football:

National sports teams[edit]

Football:

Basketball:

Volleyball:

Handball:

Water polo:

Tennis:

Rugby league:

Rugby union

Ice hockey:

Achievements[edit]

Football[edit]

Club[edit]

UEFA Champions League
Intercontinental Cup

Basketball[edit]

International (men)[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze Total
Olympic Games 0 2 0 2
World Cup 2 1 0 3
European Championship 3 2 1 6
Total 5 5 1 11

International (women)[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze Total
Olympic Games 0 0 1 1
European Championship 1 0 1 2
Total 1 0 2 3

Club[edit]

Euroleague
EuroLeague Women
  • 1978–79 winners: ŽKK Crvena zvezda
ABA League
WABA League

Volleyball[edit]

International (men)[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze Total
Olympic Games 1 0 1 2
World Championship 0 1 1 2
European Championship 3 1 6 10
Total 4 2 8 14

International (women)[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze Total
Olympic Games 0 1 0 1
World Championship 1 0 1 2
European Championship 3 1 1 5
Total 4 2 2 8

Handball[edit]

International (men)[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze Total
World Championship 0 0 2 2
European Championship 0 1 1 2
Total 0 1 3 4

International (women)[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze Total
World Championship 0 1 1 2
Total 0 1 1 2

Club[edit]

EHF Champions League
EHF Women's Champions League

Water polo[edit]

International[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze Total
Olympic Games 1 1 3 5
World Championship 3 2 3 8
European Championship 7 2 1 10
Total 11 5 7 23

Club[edit]

LEN Champions League
  • 1963–64 Champions League winners: Partizan
  • 1965–66 Champions League winners: Partizan
  • 1966–67 Champions League winners: Partizan
  • 1970–71 Champions League winners: Partizan
  • 1974–75 Champions League winners: Partizan
  • 1975–76 Champions League winners: Partizan
  • 1999–00 Champions League winners: Bečej
  • 2010–11 Champions League winners: Partizan
  • 2012–13 Champions League winners: Crvena zvezda

Tennis[edit]

International[edit]

Davis Cup
Fed Cup

Sporting infrastructure[edit]

Sport events hosted in Serbia[edit]

Multi Sport Events
Aquatic sports
Athletics
Basketball
Boxing
Canoeing
Chess
Cycling
Fencing
Football
Futsal
Gymnastics
Handball
Judo
Karate
Rowing
Shooting
Table tennis
Tennis
Volleyball
Water polo
Weightlifting
Wrestling

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Football Association of Serbia – Official Web Site". Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  2. ^ [1] Soccerlens – 27 January 2010 – Serbia's Endless List of Wonderkids
  3. ^ Matt Fortune (27 November 2009). "THE LIST: The greatest rivalries in club football, Nos 10–1". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
  4. ^ http://www.b92.net/sport/kosarka/nba.php?yyyy=2017&mm=10&dd=13&nav_id=1313938
  5. ^ "Current ATP Rankings (singles)". Association of Tennis Professionals.
  6. ^ "Serbia wins first Davis Cup title". ESPN. 5 December 2010. Retrieved 6 December 2010.
  7. ^ "Osvojene medalje". waterpoloserbia.org. Retrieved 20 March 2013.

External links[edit]