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Dejan Stanković
Dejan Stanković - Inter Mailand (3).jpg
Personal information
Full name Dejan Stanković
Date of birth 11 September 1978 (1978-09-11) (age 31)
Place of birth Belgrade, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.81 m (5 ft 11+12 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current club Internazionale
Number 5
Youth career
1992–1994 Red Star Belgrade
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1994–1998 Red Star Belgrade 85 (30)
1998–2004 Lazio 137 (22)
2004– Internazionale 175 (24)
National team
1998– FR Yugoslavia/Serbia 86 (13)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 26 January 2010.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 26 January 2010

Dejan Stanković (Serbian Cyrillic: Дејан Станковић; born 11 September 1978 in Belgrade) is a Serbian footballer who currently plays for the Italian Serie A side Internazionale and the Serbian national team, which he captains. He is an attacking midfielder who can also play out wide on the wings or track back in a defensive midfield role. "Deki", as he is nicknamed in Italy, is best known for his effective, accurate passing and creativity as well as his ability to score goals from long distance.[1]


Early life

Stanković grew up in Zemun, a suburb of Belgrade. Both of his parents, Borislav and Dragica, have strong football backgrounds.

Club career

Stanković began playing football for FK Teleoptik, based in his neighbourhood of Zemun. However, when spotted by Red Star cadet squad coach Branko Radović, 14-year-old Dejan transferred to Red Star Belgrade's youth system.


Red Star Belgrade

Stanković then passed every age category at his hometown club.[2] In the youth teams, he was coached by Pižon Petrović, playing alongside future professionals Nikola Lazetić and Nenad Lalatović.

During the 1994–1995 season, Stanković's debut opportunity for first team action came under head coach Ljupko Petrović against crosstown rivals OFK Beograd. Fighting for a spot on the team led by, among others, Rambo Petković, Darko Kovačević, and Nebojša Krupniković, 16-year-old Dejan made seven league appearances that season as the team won league title. He scored his first goal against Budućnost Podgorica, soon becoming a first team regular and a fan favourite. Before the start of the 1997-98 season, he was made squad captain at the tender age of 19, the youngest ever in the club's history. Despite not winning the league he captained the team to two domestic cup victories.

During the early '90s, Red Star was under an international ban because of a United Nations sanction imposed on FR Yugoslavia, meaning that the team could not compete in any European competition. The ban was lifted ahead of the 1996-97 season, and Stanković played a huge part in a memorable two-leg victory over Kaiserslautern (0:1, 4:0) in the Cup Winners' Cup.


In the summer of 1998, he transferred for £7.5 million (DM24 million) to S.S. Lazio,[citation needed] where he scored on his Serie A debut versus Piacenza on 13 September 1998. In those years, Lazio had an all-star squad with world class players at almost every position, but Stanković quickly secured a regular first-team place despite competition from fellow midfielders Pavel Nedvěd, Juan Sebastián Verón and Roberto Mancini. His work rate and impressive performances earned him the nickname Il Dragone ("The Dragon") from fans.[3] He had five and a half successful seasons in the Biancoceleste part of Rome, before earning a high profile move to Internazionale in February 2004.


During the latter part of Stanković's career at Lazio, the Biancoceleste struggled with financial problems and were forced to sell many of their best players. Many of the big-name teams in European football knew that the club would have to sell Stanković in the near future, so there was fierce competition for his services during the 2003-04 winter transfer window. Juventus were favorite to getting Stanković's signature, but he eventually chose Internazionale in a deal that sent Macedonian international Goran Pandev (50% registration rights) in the opposite direction plus €4M cash.[4][5]

The fact that old Lazio teammate Roberto Mancini was already at Inter may have influenced his decision. In early February 2004, Stanković played his debut match for Inter - a Serie A clash against Siena. On 21 February 2004, he scored a spectacular goal directly from a corner kick to put Inter 0-1 up in Derby della Madonnina versus fierce rivals A.C. Milan.

On 7 May 2006 he played his 100th match for Inter. Stanković showed good form during the 2006-7 Serie A campaign, scoring some decisive goals. His strike against Catania and his memorable goal against city rivals Milan have enhanced his reputation with the fans of Internazionale.

According to the official ratings of the La Gazzetta dello Sport, Stanković has been selected as the man of the match five times so far during this years Serie A campaign. He renewed his contract on 2 February 2007, with Inter securing his services until at least 2010.

On 19 October 2008, Stanković scored a superb goal in Inter's 4-0 hammering of A.S. Roma. After receiving a pass from Sulley Muntari, he slid the ball past the Roma goalkeeper into the net, his 24th goal in all competitions for the Nerazzuri, thus ending a year-long goal drought.[6] On 7 February 2009, Stanković celebrated his 200th appearances for Inter in all competitions at the away game with Lecce. Inter hammered the newly-promoted team 3-0 with Stanković heading in the third goal following a slick pass from Maicon. Stanković's good form continued as he scored Internazionale's second goal against Milan in the 270th Milan Derby on 15 February. This turned out to be the winning goal after Alexandre Pato had pulled one back. Inter went on to win a fourth consecutive title, his fifth Serie A trophy.

The 2009-10 season began well for Stanković. In the 29 August Milan derby, he played in a deeper role to replace the injured Esteban Cambiasso. Nevertheless he scored Inter's fourth goal and his second in consecutive Milan derbies in a 4-0 thrashing, a spectacular 30-yard strike after quickly collecting Sulley Muntari's pass.[7] He subsequently scored against Rubin Kazan and Udinese to continue his rich vein of form under Mourinho. He also scored a wonder-goal from 54 metres in a 5-0 thrashing against Genoa, volleying the ball straight in from Marco Amelia's clearance.[8]

International career

Stanković made his international debut for the old Yugoslavia team against South Korea on 22 April 1998, scoring two goals in a 3-1 victory.[9] He played at the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 when the Serbian national team was still called Yugoslavia and soon established himself as an important player.

The Yugoslavia team became Serbia and Montenegro by the time 2006 World Cup qualifying started and Stanković started in all games and scored 2 goals but missed the last qualifer through injury. At the 2006 FIFA World Cup, he was given the number 10 shirt and Savo Milošević captained the new Serbia and Montenegro team in their first World Cup but they failed to progress to the knock-out rounds after losing all their group matches to Côte d'Ivoire, Argentina and the Netherlands. After Milošević retired, the midfielder took over as captain of the re-formed Serbian national team, following the break up of Serbia and Montenegro.

In the 2010 World Cup qualifying, Stanković has started in and captained all but two of Serbia's matches. They qualified for their first World Cup as an independent nation.

Career statistics

Club Season League Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Red Star Belgrade 1994–95 7 1 7 1
1995-96 24 4 2 0 26 4
1996-97 26 10 5 2 31 12
1997-98 28 15 4 3 32 18
Total 85 30 11 5 96 35
Lazio 1998–99 29 4 5 1 7 4 41 9
1999-00 16 3 4 0 11 2 31 5
2000-01 21 0 2 1 9 0 32 1
2001-02 27 7 4 0 5 1 36 8
2002-03 29 6 2 0 7 0 38 6
2003 15 2 4 2 8 0 27 4
Total 137 22 21 4 47 7 205 33
Internazionale 2004 14 4 2 0 0 0 16 4
2004-05 31 3 6 0 10 3 47 6
2005-06 23 2 7 2 8 2 38 6
2006-07 34 6 4 0 7 0 45 6
2007-08 21 1 3 0 6 0 30 1
2008-09 31 5 2 0 5 0 38 5
2009-10 17 3 1 0 5 2 23 5
Total 171 24 23 2 41 7 232 35





External links

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