Football

A Tribute To The Technical Excellence Of Dejan Stankovic

A Tribute To The Technical Excellence Of Dejan Stankovic

Italian football has given us a lot down the years.

While Serie A is starting to return to prominence following a spell in the doldrums where the wider football fanbase fell out of love for the calcio on offer, you'd be hard pushed to find someone who doesn't have fond memories of the unquestionably outstanding period from the late 80s to the early-to-mid 00s.

Countless legends of the game plied their trade in Italian football during those years and names like Baggio, Batistuta, Crespo, Pirlo, Maldini, Davids, Nedved, Nesta, and countless more will often come up in regular football conversation for many, and deservedly so, but there are a few who perhaps do not get the credit they deserve.

Dejan Stankovic is someone you don't hear much about these days, but he will be fondly remembered by all who saw him play. His best years came at Lazio and Inter Milan, and when you think of Stankovic, you probably have one of his many jaw-dropping goals that you immediately associate with him.

That's because Stankovic was a true master of the art of striking a ball, and left behind him a collection of outrageous long-range screamers.

The Serbian was a danger from anywhere inside his opponent's half, and we've had a look back at some of his most notable strikes to pick out our favourites in tribute of the great man.

Perhaps the best example of just how good his technique was, his goal against Genoa was scored from an impossible angle with no run-up. A goalkeeping error, yes, but the manner in which he directed the ball to the net is absurd.

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And if that wasn't enough... He did it again.

In what has been celebrated as one of the best Champions League goals ever scored, Stankovic caught a Manuel Neuer clearance right on the sweet spot. Just look at the form as he strikes the ball...

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And it wasn't just volleys. This goal against Chievo in a crazy game that eventually finished 4-3 shows exactly why he was a threat from anywhere inside the opponent's half.

There were many more goals, 81 of them to be exact, but our top three showcase exactly why we appreciate him so much. Pure technique.

He wasn't the fastest, he wasn't the most clever thinker in midfield, and he wasn't the toughest tackler, but what Stankovic did offer was immaculate passing at long-range and the ability to catch a ball so sweetly that goalkeepers didn't stand a chance.

An integral part of Jose Mourinho's treble winning Inter side of 2008, a season where he popped up with a number of incredible and vital goals, he was never a great scorer of goals. The most he managed in a single season of Italian football was 9, both in his first season at Lazio and in the 10/11 season with Inter.

But he was a scorer of great goals. And they really were great.

Dejan Stankovic, we salute you.

Balls Team

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