- Deolu Akingbade
Aleksandar Mitrovic Serbian Hero
Tracking His Career So Far From Belgrade To London
It is the 89th minute of a decisive World Cup qualifying game. In the Estadio da Luz, Serbia and Portugal are duking it out in a deadlocked match. Lille star Renato Sanches scored early to give the hosts the advantage. However, Ajax talisman Dusan Tadic evened it out in the middle of the first half. The Serbian skipper lofts a ball over a frenzied crowd of players. It falls right in the path of Aleksandar Mitrovic, who heads the cross past the Portuguese keeper. After the ball successfully reaches the goal, the Serbian squad goes crazy. Mitrovic tears his shirt off, ecstatically running across the pitch.
A few minutes later and the Serbians have booked their tickets to Qatar. Soccer legend Cristiano Ronaldo stands stunned while the Orlovi celebrates in front of the away section of fans. Mitrovic is at the head of the celebrations.
Many casuals might wonder about the “mystery man” who consigned Portugal to the playoffs. Who is he? For Whom does he play? Mitrovic has been on fire all year, and this crucial goal might just catapult him into the limelight.
A dynamic striker by nature, Aleksandar Mitrovic scores a steady stream of goals for both club and country. Mitrovic helps his club, Fulham, a lot with his goals. He has scored 20 times in just 17 league appearances this season, making him the top goalscorer in the Championship. On top of that, he has laid on five assists for his teammates. His splendid performances have lifted Fulham to second in the Championship while also giving him the October POTM Award.
The explosive forward made a significant impact on the Serbian national team as well. Mitrovic scored eight goals for his side, tied second in all of Europe. He is a dependable striker for the Serbian national team, instrumental in the successful World Cup qualifying campaign.
FROM BELGRADE TO LONDON
Aleksandar Mitrovic, born in present-day Serbia, started his career with Serbian SuperLiga soccer giants Partizan. He spent a year on loan with their affiliate side Teleoptik before returning to Partizan. Mitrovic became hot property across Europe thanks to his 2012-13 season. Although he was just 18 years old, Mitrovic became the top goalscorer of an elite Partizan side and earned widespread plaudits from the media.
After that breakout season, Mitrovic landed a move to Belgian side Anderlecht. An unstoppable Mitrovic scored 36 league goals in two seasons while winning the 2013-14 Belgian Pro League and 2014 Belgian Super Cup.
Despite being just twenty-one years old, the dynamic striker moved to Newcastle for thirteen million euros. One of the most exciting young talents in the game, Mitrovic ultimately failed to live up to the lofty expectations set for him. He gained a reputation as a hothead who could not keep his cool. In his three seasons with Newcastle, Mitrovic scored a paltry seventeen goals. His loan move to Fulham did not raise controversy with Newcastle supporters.
With Fulham, he amazed many. He scored twelve goals in seventeen games to help Fulham secure promotion to the Premiership. However, after he was acquired permanently, he scored a mediocre eleven goals in thirteen games. After again being relegated to the Championship, he netted 26 times for his side, again helping to promote them. But in a woeful 20/21 season, Mitrovic only found the net three times in 27 games. Mitrovic is, again, tearing it up in the Championship. But, if promoted, can Mitrovic make the grade is the question on everyone's lips.
CLUB AND COUNTRY
For Fulham, Mitrovic is unstoppable. Here we are going to attempt to explain why.Mitrovic usually gets his goals from inside the 18-yard box. A cross makes its way to him. From there, he works his magic. A fox in the box, Mitrovic uses an array of skill moves to confuse his marker. He is one of the most dangerous strikers in the Championship, and his presence alone can disrupt entire defences.
European qualifiers are more competitive, but Mitrovic maintains his status as an elite striker. Most notably, he hit the winning goal past Portugal to qualify for the World Cup. However, he is vital to Serbia, scoring eight goals in World Cup qualifying. He is consistent in all the competitions he is playing in. One might wonder why he is not receiving attention from clubs that his contemporaries are getting.
Mitrovic should only get better as he gets closer and closer to securing promotion. His side is second in the Championship table. They have a legitimate chance to dislodge AFC Bournemouth from the top spot on the table. Statistically, Mitrovic is miles ahead of everyone else in the goalscoring race and could be a contender to lead the assist race. Although he was shaky in previous years, the Smedervo-born striker found his form to show his worth to the London-based club.
For Serbia, Mitrovic is always excellent, and his performance in qualification reaffirms the statement. He is the top scorer for the Serbian national team and has 69 caps. Although national team games will be on hold until January, Mitrovic will still look forward to his next international match to further boost his stock.
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