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Simon Vukčević (Cyrillic: Симон Вукчевић, pronounced [sǐmon ʋǔktʃeʋitɕ]; born 29 January 1986) is a Montenegrin retired footballer who played as an attacking midfielder.

Simon Vukčević
Simon Vukcevic.jpg
Vukčević playing for Blackburn Rovers in 2013
Personal information
Full name Simon Vukčević
Date of birth (1986-01-29) 29 January 1986 (age 33)
Place of birth Titograd, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
Zabjelo
1999–2003 Partizan
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2006 Partizan 52 (13)
2006–2007 Saturn 28 (1)
2007–2011 Sporting CP 77 (14)
2011–2013 Blackburn Rovers 16 (1)
2013 Karpaty Lviv 2 (0)
2013 Vojvodina 10 (0)
2014–2015 Levadiakos 30 (2)
2015–2016 Enosis Neon 15 (1)
2016–2017 Chaves 11 (0)
2018 Budućnost 0 (0)
Total 241 (32)
National team
2004–2006 Serbia and Montenegro U21 12 (2)
2004 Serbia and Montenegro U23 3 (1)
2004–2005 Serbia and Montenegro 5 (0)
2007 Montenegro U21 2 (1)
2007–2014 Montenegro 44 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

After starting his senior career at the age of 17 with Partizan, winning two national championships during his tenure, he went on to play professionally in Russia, Portugal – playing 135 competitive matches while scoring 28 goals for Sporting CP and conquering the 2008 Taça de Portugal – England, Ukraine, Greece and Cyprus.

Internationally, Vukčević represented both Serbia and Montenegro[1] and Montenegro.

Club careerEdit

PartizanEdit

Born in Titograd, Socialist Republic of Montenegro, Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Vukčević started playing football at the FK Zabjelo youth academy, signing with FK Partizan at age 13. He was promoted to the first team of the latter ahead of the 2003–04 season.

The 18-year-old Vukčević scored a career-best ten goals in the 2004–05 campaign, helping his team win the eighth First League of Serbia and Montenegro in their history and 19th overall. He was eventually awarded the number 1 shirt in recognition of his popularity among supporters[2] but, during 2005–06, faced criticism over his excessive individual play and poor shot selection, as well as overall declining form.

SaturnEdit

In January 2006, Vukčević joined FC Saturn Ramenskoye for a reported fee of €7 million. In late July, however, he was demoted to the reserve squad with coach Vladimír Weiss publicly blasting him in the press for displaying bad attitude in training and having a lack of manners.[3]

Subsequently, Vukčević expressed frustration at his manager playing him out of position. He also said that coming to the Russian Premier League club was a mistake, and that he would have preferred a more ambitious project.[4]

Even though Weiss was dismissed early into the 2007 season, being replaced by Gadzhi Gadzhiev, Vukčević's fate did not change for the better.

SportingEdit

On 25 June 2007, Saturn reportedly agreed a €4 million transfer fee with Sporting Clube de Portugal, but the deal stalled when the former also demanded 20% of any subsequent transfer fees involving Vukčević. Three days later, both clubs agreed a €2 million fee in addition to an agreement about splitting his future transfer fee 50–50.[5] He made his Primeira Liga debut on 17 August, playing 71 minutes in a 4–1 home win over Académica de Coimbra.[6]

During his first year, Vukčević also found the net in home fixtures against FC Porto (2–0)[7] and S.L. Benfica (1–1).[8] He ranked second in the team in goals scored at seven, only behind Liédson.[9]

During the 2008 summer transfer window, Bolton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers were at the top of the list of clubs reportedly interested in signing Vukčević – nonetheless, Sporting reiterated their desire to keep the player.[10] Shortly after, he got involved in a controversial dispute with manager Paulo Bento over losing his place in the starting XI; after playing 45 minutes as a substitute in the 2–0 home defeat of C.F. Os Belenenses, he declared his intention to leave the Estádio José Alvalade.[11]

On 21 November 2008, without any warning, Vukčević missed training to join his national team one day before expected, being fined €5,000 and placed on individual training until further notice. On 29 November, after holding a press conference stating his wish to remain in Sporting and apologising for his behaviour, he was allowed to train with the rest of the team.[12][13] On 5 December, after coming on for Hélder Postiga in the 75th minute of the league game at C.F. Estrela da Amadora, he scored shortly after in a 3–1 victory.[14]

Sporting bought the remaining 50% rights on a future transfer from Saturn in January 2010, for another £2 million.[15]

Blackburn RoversEdit

On 26 August 2011, after a successful medical, Vukčević agreed to a three-year contract with Blackburn Rovers.[16] His maiden Premier League appearance took place on 17 September when he played 25 minutes in a 4–3 home win against Arsenal at Ewood Park,[17] and he scored his first goal three days later in a 3–2 victory over Leyton Orient in the League Cup, also at home.[18] His first league goal came on 11 December, in a 2–1 loss away to Sunderland;[19] he made little impact during his first season, and his team was relegated.[20][21]

With the Rovers back in the Championship, Vukčević made his first start of the campaign on 28 August 2012, playing the full 90 minutes in a 1–2 defeat against Milton Keynes Dons in the second round of the League Cup.[22] It seemed likely that he would be allowed to leave on loan with a view to a permanent deal,[23] but in the first match under new coach Henning Berg, on 3 November against Crystal Palace, he took the field after replacing Marcus Olsson.[24]

Over the next few months, Vukčević made more first-team appearances and was even chosen by new manager Michael Appleton. On 31 January 2013, however, his contract was terminated with immediate effect by mutual consent, with the player having appeared in 21 matches across all competitions.[25] Shortly before this happened, there were reports he would move to APOEL FC of the Cypriot First Division, but no deal was reached.[26]

Karpaty LvivEdit

On 28 February 2013, Vukčević signed a contract with Ukrainian Premier League club FC Karpaty Lviv until 30 June with the option to extend.[27] His first appearance occurred three days later, when he played eight minutes in a 2–0 away win over SC Tavriya Simferopol.

Vukčević left in April 2013 by mutual consent, citing personal reasons.[28][29]

Later yearsEdit

On 10 August 2013, Vukčević joined Serbian SuperLiga's FK Vojvodina.[30] In the following years he failed to settle at any club or country, representing Levadiakos FC (Superleague Greece), Enosis Neon Paralimni FC (Cypriot top level) and G.D. Chaves (Portuguese top tier).[31]

On 30 March 2018, 32-year-old Vukčević announced his retirement.[32]

International careerEdit

YouthEdit

Vukčević was part of the FR Yugoslavia under-17 squad at the 2002 UEFA European Championship.[33] At age 18, he was selected by head coach Vladimir Petrović to be part of the Serbia and Montenegro under-21 team at the 2004 European Championships, scoring for the eventual runners-up in a 1–2 group stage loss to Italy and also converting his penalty shootout attempt in the semi-finals against Sweden;[34][35] he participated in the Summer Olympic Games also that year, and was subsequently honoured with the Golden Badge Award for the Best Young Athlete of the Year in Serbia and Montenegro by DSL Sport.[36]

Vukčević also played for the under-21 side in the 2006 European Championship. After a 0–1 loss against Germany in the group phase opener,[37] manager Dragan Okuka dropped him from the first team.

SeniorEdit

Vukčević began earning call-ups to the Serbia and Montenegro senior team from Ilija Petković. His debut came on 11 July 2004 against Slovakia at the age of 18, when he replaced Saša Ilić late into the 2–0 win for the Kirin Cup.

Vukčević was given his competitive debut on 4 June 2005, when he came in for Ognjen Koroman for the last eight minutes of the 0–0 home draw to Belgium for the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. His last appearance for Serbia occurred four days later, when he featured the entire 1–1 friendly draw with Italy at Toronto's Rogers Centre.

After Montenegro seceded from Serbia and Montenegro in May 2006, Vukčević chose to represent the newly created nation. He won his first cap on 24 March 2007, in a 2–1 friendly defeat of Hungary.[38] He scored the first of two international goals on 20 August of the following year, helping to a 3–3 draw against the same opposition in another exhibition game.[39]

Personal lifeEdit

Vukčević's father, Ilija, worked as director of football at FK Zeta.[40][41]

Career statisticsEdit

ClubEdit

[42]

Club Season League Cup Europe Total
App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals
Partizan 2002–03 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2003–04 12 0 2 0 0 0 14 0
2004–05 26 10 3 0 11 1 40 11
2005–06 13 3 2 0 6 1 21 4
Saturn 2006 24 0 8 1 0 0 32 1
2007 4 1 2 0 0 0 6 1
Sporting 2007–08 26 7 10 4 11 3 47 14
2008–09 13 4 5 2 4 0 22 6
2009–10 14 1 4 1 9 1 27 3
2010–11 24 2 3 0 7 3 34 5
Blackburn Rovers 2011–12 7 1 3 1 0 0 10 2
2012–13 9 0 2 0 0 0 11 0
Karpaty Lviv 2012–13 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Vojvodina 2013–14 4 0 0 0 2 0 6 0
Career total 179 29 46 9 50 9 273 47

International goalsEdit

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 20 August 2008 Ferenc Puskás, Budapest, Hungary   Hungary 3–3 3–3 Friendly
2. 25 March 2011 City Stadium, Podgorica, Montenegro   Uzbekistan 1–0 1–0 Friendly

HonoursEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Simon Vukčević je moj naslednik" [Simon Vukčević is my successor]. Blic (in Serbian). 23 December 2004. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Partizan: Simon Vukčević nosi broj 1" [Partizan: Vukcevic wears number 1] (in Serbian). B92. 1 August 2004. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  3. ^ "F.C. Porto: Vukcevic está em conflito com o F.C. Saturn e é um alvo apetecível" [F.C. Porto: Vukcevic is at war with F.C. Saturn and is a nice target] (in Portuguese). Mais Futebol. 3 June 2007. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Pogrešio Sam" [I was wrong]. Kurir (in Serbian). 14 February 2007. Retrieved 14 February 2007.
  5. ^ "Oferta pública de subscrição – Prospecto" [Public offer for subscription – Prospect] (PDF) (in Portuguese). Sporting CP. 10 December 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
  6. ^ "Sporting goleia Académica" [Sporting rout Académica]. Correio da Manhã (in Portuguese). 17 August 2007. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Sporting-FC Porto, 2–0 (Vukcevic 13', Izmailov 15')". Record (in Portuguese). 27 January 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  8. ^ Falcão Cardoso, Bruno (5 February 2015). "Sporting x Benfica: os goleadores do Alvalade XXI" [Sporting x Benfica: the scorers of Alvalade XXI] (in Portuguese). Vavel. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  9. ^ Almeida, Isaura (14 July 2009). "Vukcevic quer voltar a ser o melhor parceiro para Liedson" [Vukcevic wants to be the best partner for Liedson again]. Diário de Notícias (in Portuguese). Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  10. ^ Acedo, Francisco (9 July 2008). "Sporting to keep Vukcevic". Sky Sports. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  11. ^ "Sporting midfielder to leave in winter". Goal. 22 September 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  12. ^ "Vukcevic fica de castigo" [Vukcevic is grounded]. Record (in Portuguese). 21 November 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  13. ^ "Vuk nas mãos de Paulo Bento" [Vuk in the hands of Paulo Bento]. Correio da Manhã (in Portuguese). 29 November 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  14. ^ "Sporting dá a volta na Reboleira" [Sporting come from behind at the Reboleira] (in Portuguese). UEFA. 6 December 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  15. ^ Almeida, Isaura (29 April 2010). "Prioridade de Costinha é vender passe de Vukcevic" [Costinha's priority is the sale of Vukcevic's rights]. Diário de Notícias (in Portuguese). Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  16. ^ "Simon signs on". Blackburn Rovers F.C. 26 August 2011. Archived from the original on 29 November 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  17. ^ "Saturday football as it happened". BBC Sport. 17 September 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  18. ^ "Blackburn 3–2 Leyton Orient". BBC Sport. 21 October 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  19. ^ McNulty, Phil (11 December 2011). "Sunderland 2–1 Blackburn". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  20. ^ Wilson, Paul (21 March 2012). "Should Blackburn's Steve Kean be manager of the year?". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  21. ^ Platt, Oliver (8 May 2012). "From Ronaldinho to relegation: How Venky's Blackburn dream turned sour". Goal. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  22. ^ "MK Dons 2–1 Blackburn". BBC Sport. 28 August 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  23. ^ "Rovers to allow Vukcevic exit". Sky Sports. 15 September 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  24. ^ "Crystal Palace 2–0 Blackburn". BBC Sport. 3 November 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
  25. ^ "Vukcevic departs". Blackburn Rovers F.C. 31 January 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  26. ^ Cryer, Andy (31 January 2013). "Robinson set to leave Ewood". Lancashire Telegraph. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  27. ^ "Simon Vukcevic is a player of FC Karpaty". Karpaty Lviv. 28 February 2013. Archived from the original on 27 June 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
  28. ^ "Вукчевич покидает Карпаты" [Vukcevic leaves the Carpathians] (in Russian). Football UA. 8 April 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  29. ^ Malyon, Ed (13 April 2013). "Kram it in: Fulham and Chelsea hunting young Croatian striker". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
  30. ^ "Simon Vukčević u Vojvodini" [Simon Vukčević to Vojvodina] (in Serbian). FK Vojvodina. 10 August 2013. Archived from the original on 13 August 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  31. ^ "Simon Vukcevic assina pelos flavienses" [Simon Vukcevic signs for the flavienses] (in Portuguese). Sábado. 22 June 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  32. ^ "Simon Vukčević završio karijeru" [Simon Vukčević ended career]. Večernje novosti (in Serbian). 30 March 2018. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  33. ^ "Swiss spot on in Denmark". UEFA. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  34. ^ "Sculli keeps Azzurrini alive". UEFA. 29 May 2004. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  35. ^ "Penalties decide epic semi-final". UEFA. 5 June 2004. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  36. ^ "KO SAM JA? Bio sam Partizanov biser i najbolji sportista države, a osvojio sam jednu titulu" [WHO AM I? I was Partizan's gem and the best sportsperson in my country, but I only won one title]. Telegraf (in Serbian). 2 January 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  37. ^ "Polanski gets Germany going". UEFA. 23 May 2006. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  38. ^ "100 footballers have worn Montenegro football jersey to date". Total Montenegro News. 31 May 2018. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  39. ^ Doce, Nacho (20 August 2008). "Futebol: Malta perde na Estónia, Vukcevic marca pelo Montenegro" [Football: Malta lose in Estonia, Vukcevic scores for Montenegro]. Público (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  40. ^ Radović, Aleksandar (18 April 2007). "Scouts come up trumps for Zeta". UEFA. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  41. ^ "Ilija Vukcevic: "Ele vai sair em Janeiro"" [Ilija Vukcevic: «He will leave in January»]. Record (in Portuguese). 22 November 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  42. ^ Simon Vukčević at Soccerway

External linksEdit

Awards
Preceded by
Nemanja Aleksandrov
  The Best Young Athlete of Serbia and Montenegro
2004
Succeeded by
Žarko Šešum