Serbia Player Ratings vs Brazil: Vanja Heroics Delay Unstoppable Selecao

At the Lusail Stadium in Doha, Brazil and Serbia clashed heads in the final fixture of Matchday One of the World Cup group stages. While the Balkans managed to survive the Selecao’s early onslaught, their walls were shattered after an hour of play, with Richarlison settling the battle with a personal brace. So here are our player ratings for Serbia who lost their opening fixture to Brazil by two unanswered goals.

Serbia (3-5-1-1)

Vanja Milinkovic-Savic – 7

The Torino shot-stopper kept the East Europeans in the match for as long as possible with a string of heroic saves. He committed a howler with one of his passes, but made up for it by denying Raphinha. Eventually, he conceded twice, but he surely wasn’t the culprit on either occasion.

Nikola Milenkovic – 6

The Fiorentina centre-back had a decent outing in general but he almost gifted Vinicius a goal in the first half with a clumsy clearance.

Milos Vilejkovic – 6

The defender kept Richarlison at bay for an hour, but ultimately gave him too much time and space to score a world class acrobatic goal.

Strahinja Pavlovic – 6.5

The young centre-back is followed by some of the biggest clubs in Europe, and perhaps he earned additional suitors with another fine display. Although Richarlison had the quicker reaction on the rebound, he looked solid and composed otherwise.

Andrija Zivkovic – 5.5

The right wingback ran hard up and down the flank, but offered little on the attacking phase.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic – 5.5

The Lazio star is one of the best technicians in the game, but Casemiro and Paqueta hardly gave him a sniff at the ball. Helped his team defensively, but this shouldn’t be his primary duty.

Nemanja Gudelj – 6

The Sevilla veteran was happy to do the dirty work in the middle of the park, and it felt that Brazilians were only able to find their footing and enjoy their football following his exit.

Sasa Lukic – 6

The Torino captain never shied away from a physical duel, but the midfield battle was a lost cause for Serbia. Earned a needless yellow card for dissent.

Filip Mladenovic – 5.5

Despite having Filip Kostic and Radjonic in the squad, Dragan Stojkovic opted for a more defensive option on the left. He did his duty at the back, but offered little to none on the other end of the pitch.

Dusan Tadic – 5.5

The Ajax veteran is one of the finest ballers around, so it was a shame to see him deprived from the ball for such long spells.

Aleksandar Mitrovic – 5.5

Though it wasn’t his fault, the Fulham striker spent his night chasing hopeless plays while being easily warded off by Marquinhos and Thiago Silva.

Read our Player Ratings for Brazil


Nemanja Radonjic – 5.5

The Torino man was supposed to add an attacking dimension to the left flank, but he just couldn’t find a way past Danilo.

Ivan Ilic – 5

The young Verona midfielder replaced the experienced Gudelj, and whether it was his fault or not, this is when Serbia truly began to lose the plot in the middle of the park.

Darko Lazovic – 5.5

Another Verona ambassador who failed to leave a positive mark.

Dusan Vlahovic – 5

Isolated and hardly touched the ball. The striker must have seen flashes from his some his outings for Juventus earlier this season.

Nemanja Maksimovic – N/A

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