CAREER IN KITS: SAVO MILOSEVIC

CAREER IN KITS: SAVO MILOSEVIC

Back in 1995, Aston Villa splurged £3.5 million on a 21-year-old striker from Partizan Belgrade who’d been banging them in for lols - and it felt like one of those moments that could change the course of history.

Kind of like an episode of Quantum Leap but with Brian Little as Al and Gareth Southgate as Sam. Oh boy.

Savo Milošević arrived in the West Midlands with the sort of goalscoring record that suggested superstardom was in his DNA.

But it didn't work out like it should have done.

Few fans knew much about the conflict in the Balkans at the time but for Milošević, concentrating on football was often hard for a young man so far from a home embroiled in a bloody civil war, following the breakup of Yugoslavia.

Savo was good. He was very good. But his time in the Premier League was a weird mish-mash of mercurial brilliance and horrible misses. Oh, and one massive gobful of spit.

Beginnings - Partizan: 1992-95

Milošević was born in the small town of Bijeljina in the former Yugoslavia. A football was never far from his feet and his talent was soon spotted by scouts from Partizan, the club that would give him his debut in 1992 (and whom he now manages). He scored 14 goals in 31 games during his first season in Belgrade, adding another 51 in the following two seasons, as the club won back-to-back national championships, including the double in 1993/94.

 

 

Aston Villa: 1995-98

In the summer of 1995, Villa brought Savo to the Premier League for a club record £3.5m. Over the course of three years in England, he scored 34 goals in 117 games, including a beauty in the 1996 League Cup final victory over Leeds. But his time at Villa Park was brought to an abrupt end after he spat at his own fans during a league match at Blackburn.

 

 

Real Zaragoza: 1998-2000

Zaragoza forked out £8.5m to take the Serbian to La Liga, where he duly repaid his new employers with goals - including 21 in 1999/2000 as the Aragonese finished fourth.

 

 

Parma: 2000-04

Serie A was his next destination, with Parma parting with €25m for the striker. But his progress in Italy stuttered despite him wearing one of the greatest Parma kits of all time.

 

Parma (2000/004)

 

As a result he was used sparingly and in Jaunuary 2002, he was loaned back to Zaragoza. The Serbian International also had loan spells at Espanyol and Celta Vigo.

 

Zaragoza second spell (Loan) 2002

 

Espanyol (Loan) 2002/03

 

Celta Vigo (Loan) 2003/04

 

Later years: 2004-08

In mid-July 2004, aged 30, Milošević signed a three-year contract with another Spanish top flight club, CA Osasuna. In his second season with the Navarrese, he scored 11 goals in 32 games to help the team qualify for the Champions League.

In the summer of 2007, Savo took a six-month break from competitive football before agreeing terms with FC Rubin Kazan. In November the following year, Milošević scored the decisive goal for Rubin against FC Saturn Ramenskoye, securing the team their first ever league championship.

 

 

Serbia: 1994-2008

Milošević scored 37 goals for his country over the course of a 14-year international career. He appeared at France '98 and then netted five times at Euro 2000, earning himself the Golden Boot.

The striker made his 100th international appearance in June 2006 during the World Cup in Germany, becoming the most capped player in Serbian history.

 

 

Thanks for the memories, Savo.

 

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