Despite its size and relatively small population, Serbia has always produced worldclass athletes who represented this country much better than its officials. Sport has always been a huge part of Serbian culture, so we would like to present to you the most famous athletes from Niš:
Dragan Stojković Piksi
Piksi is arguably one of the best football players to ever come out of Serbia. He was born in Niš in 1965. His professional career started in Radnički Niš, the biggest football club in south of Serbia. The talent he posessed was undisputed, so he quckly caught the attention of Red Star Belgrade, one of the best teams in Europe at the moment. After four seasons in Belgrade, he was sold to Olympique Marseille, setting the record for the biggest transfer for a Serbian player. He finished his career playing for Japanese Nagoya, where he currently has a lot of success as their manager.
Dejan Petković Rambo
The greatness of this football player is depicted in his nickname – Rambo. His story is similar to Piksi’s. He started in Radnički Niš, went to Red Star and later on moved on to the biggest football club in history – Real Madrid. Rambo’s strenght and speed were not exceptional, but his creativness, technique and composure were unparralleled. That is why he found most succes in Brazil, playing for Flamengo. He was known for scoring goals from free kicks, but also from corner kicks!
Andrija is another football player who is currently playing for Benfica in Portugal. He is only 21 years old, but is already considered one of the greatest athletes to come out of Niš. He started his career as a promising prospect in Partizan, Serbia’s most famous football school. After playing a couple of spectacular seasons in Serbian Super Liga, he decided to continue his career in Benfica, a club also known for the development of young players. His biggest accomplishment was the biggest accomplishment of Serbian football – winner of the World Cup Under 20 years of age.
Don’t worry, football is not the only sport played in Niš. Ivan Miljković was a professional volleyball playerwho won sixteen medals playing for his country. Ivan was known for his explosiveness and unblockable smashes. During the golden age of Serbian volleyball, Miljković won gold medals in the Olympic Games in Sydney and two more in European Championships in Austria and and Czech Republic. He also has five more silver and eight more bronze medals.
For a country known for basketball, it would look quite bad if none of them came from Niš. Fortunatelly, Stefan Jović is showing the world what he is capable of. He currently plays for Bayern Munich in Germany. While it took a while for scouts to spot the quality that is Stefan Jović, it didn’t take him long to prove himself once he got the opportunity. Being a point guard, he excelled in defence and improved his passing so he could become an elite European playmaker. He has also played a major role in Serbia’s national team recent succes, winning three silver medals: EuroBasket 2017 in Turkey, World cup in 2014 in Spain and 2016 Olympics in Rio!