10 indispensible facts about Serbia
1. Serbia’s involvement in international football began in 1920 when it was part of Yugoslavia. It has played as an independent team only since 2006.
2. The Serbs’ biggest achievement to date is qualifying for the 2010 World Cup. They finished bottom of a group which also included Germany, Ghana and Australia.
3. They have so far failed to qualify for the finals of the European Championship. In the 2012 qualifiers, a win in their last match against Estonia would have taken them through, but they lost 1-0.
4. The most popular sports besides football are tennis, basketball, volleyball, water polo and athletics.
5. The national team is known as the ‘Orlovi,’ or the Eagles.
6. The best achievement by a Serbian club side to date is Red Star Belgrade’s European Cup victory in 1991.
7. Savo Milosevic and Dejan Stankovic hold the record for international appearances with 102 caps each. Milosevic is also record goalscorer with 37.
8. Roman Emperor Constantine the Great was born in Nis, Serbia, in 274 AD.
9. In parts of the country where there are no churches, the zapis - a tree which is regarded as sacred after a cross is inscribed into its bark - will do just as well for holding services.
10. Serbia is the world’s biggest exporter of raspberries, accounting for nearly one third of the global total. But they’re not as good as the ones from Blairgowrie.
Compiled by Signe Akmenkalne
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