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1 Man, 3 Countries

Posted by John Hickey on

Few countries in the past have a history as complicated as that of Yugoslavia. However, this complex history has provided soccer fanatics with the interesting story of Dejan Stankovic, a player who has played the FIFA World Cup three times with three different counties.

In 1991 Slovenia, Croatia and Macedonia declared their independence from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and this lead to the creation of a rump state known as Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Stankovic, born in Belgrade, would represent FR Yugoslavia in his first World Cup experience in 1998.

In 2003, Bosnia and Herzegovina declared independence and what was left of Yugoslavia would become Serbia and Montenegro. This newly formed country would qualify for the 2006 World Cup where Stankovic was the nations #10 and scored 2 goals. Interestingly enough, just 6 days before the World Cup's inaugural match Montenegro declared independence from Serbia. This means that, due to the short notice and out of respect to the squad who qualified, FIFA allowed a country that didn't exist anymore to participate in the tournament.

After 2006, Stankovic now was the captain of the Serbia National Team that we know to this day. In 2008 Kosovo was the final nation to break away from what was once a united Yugoslavia, but it didn't change Serbia's nomenclature.

The 2010 World Cup in South Africa was Stankovic's third and last appearance in international soccer's biggest stage. Whether for Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro, or Serbia, Stankovic has always competed with both immense talent and powerful will, making his fans, regardless of where they're from, always feel well represented.


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