English football has welcomed some high quality Serbian players into its ranks. Over the years, the country has provided some top names, but which of them has won the biggest prize?
Here is a list of all Serbian players to have won the Premier League.
All Serbians who have won the Premier League
Centre half Nemanja Vidic is by far the most successful Serbian player in Premier League history. He spent nine seasons with Manchester United and his club won the title on five occasions.
Vidic was the club captain for much of his time at Old Trafford and he was a commanding presence in the heart of the defence. As such, he played a full part in each of those five winning seasons. His first title came at the end of the 2006/07 season, while his last EPL winner’s medal arrived in 2012/13.
Another strong Bosnian international defender, Branislav Ivanovic spent nine years in the Premier League with Chelsea. He joined the West London club from Lokomotiv Moscow in 2008, and instantly became a regular in the heart of the Blues’ defence.
Ivanovic won the FA Cup in his very first season with Chelsea in 2009, but the best was yet to come. He played a full part as his team won the Premier League title in 2009/10 and this was the first of three winner’s medals. Branislav Ivanovic also won the EPL in 2015 and 2017, and he played in the side that won the Champions League in 2012.
In total Ivanovic played in 261 league games for Chelsea, and he also scored 22 useful goals.
After joining Manchester City from Lazio in 2010, Aleksandar Kolarov went on to become one of the longest serving Serbian players in the Premier League. When he signed up, City were just beginning to enter their most successful period and he was part of the team that won the FA Cup in 2011.
A left back, Kolarov could also play in the centre of defence. He wasn’t especially quick, but he was strong in the tackle and his passing and crossing were pin-point accurate. By the time he left City for Roma in 2017, Aleksandar Kolarov had won two Premier League titles in 2011/12 and 2013/14. He was also a danger from set pieces, and scored 21 useful goals for his English club.
Nemanja Matic played for two English Premier League teams, but he was most successful with Chelsea. A defensive midfielder, he rejoined The Blues in 2014 after previously playing in just two games with the club at the start of the decade.
Chelsea were one of the most successful sides in England at that point, and Matic played a full part in their most productive seasons. He first won the Premier League at the end of the 2014/15 season, playing in 36 out of 38 matches. A second title came in 2017 before Matic made a surprise move to Manchester United the following summer.
He continued to perform at his peak, but Nemanja Matic’s only English trophies came during his time with Chelsea.
Striker Mateja Kezman would have hoped to have contributed more to Chelsea’s title winning season of 2004/05. He arrived at Stamford Bridge after a prolific spell in the Netherlands with PSV Eindhoven, where he scored 105 goals in just 122 league games over four seasons.
Kezman found the Premier League to be much tougher than the Dutch Eredivisie, and he couldn’t replicate the same numbers in England’s top flight. In that 2004/05 season, the Serbian international striker scored just four times in 25 league games. It was clearly a disappointing return, but Mateja Kezman featured in enough games to claim a Premier League winner’s medal.
Centre back Matija Nastasic did not make a huge mark on English football. The Serbian international arrived at Manchester City from Fiorentina in 2012, and featured in just 34 EPL games across two seasons.
Injury played a part in his struggles, but City decided to sell him on, and Nastasic joined Schalke 04 in 2014. While he won’t be remembered by many football fans outside of Manchester City, Matija Nastasic’s 13 games in the 2013/14 campaign were enough to earn him a Premier League winner’s medal.
The list is correct as of the end of the 2022/23 Premier League season, so that gives us just six Serbs who have won the title. In most cases, the players made major contributions to their team’s success on the pitch, although two of these internationals would have wanted to make more of an impression during their winning seasons.
How long will it be before we get a seventh name added to the list, as we look for the next generation of EPL players to fly the flag for Serbian football?