Siniša Mihajlović and Dejan Stanković have built a special relationship through their playing careers. Their common path was leading them through Rome and Milan in the jerseys of Lazio and Inter, with which they won many trophies. Mihajlović was something of a mentor to Stanković since the beginning of his international career in the Italian Serie A, not only when it comes to football, but also everything else. On the other hand, Stanković has never forgotten that, and he feels a special kind of respect for Mihajlović.
Because of all of the above, there was not a shadow of doubt that Siniša Mihajlović would come to Zlatibor this summer and support Stanković’s football camp Deki5. The 120 trainees of the third shift of the Deki5 camp greeted Mihajlović on the field with applause and great delight, and he gave them precious pieces of advice from the angle of both a player and a coach.
The former manager of our national team pointed out his pleasure to be on Zlatibor, and then stated some interesting facts from his longstanding friendship with Stanković:
– He was 19 when he came to Lazio. Deki was a great football player, he is a great man and a great friend of mine. He is like a brother to me, though he calls me Pop, which is not exactly a compliment to me, meaning I am much older than him – Mihajlović said, smiling, and then added:
– There is no doubt that Dejan can teach these kids many things, about professionalism, training, conduct, respecting the teammates and opponents…It is a big deal for them to have the opportunity to work and be in contact every day with such a player who won numerous trophies and was an example to everyone. It can only be positive for all the kids.
Mihajlović didn’t hide his satisfaction with what he saw at the Deki5 football camp.
– A lot of patience is certainly required. 120 children aged 10-15 are here and good organization is needed, and, as far as I have seen, everything functions impeccably. They have excellent conditions, the coaches are very good, the quality work is being done. Everything functions as a serious football club, which is a rarity in this area of the world. I hope there will be a camp next year, too, for it is extremely good for children. Regardless of whether some of them will become top-class players, it is important that they learn discipline and to respect the authority at that age…Sport teaches them all that, and this type of environment is ideal for something like that. The organization of the “Deki5” camp is truly top-notch and I congratulated Deki and his associates on that. Everything I have seen here is really very nice – Mihajlović concluded.
Since 28th July and the start of work in the camp, Dejan Stanković is on Zlatibor for the entire duration. He is very dedicated to the children, and he also greeted many successful athletes there, like Saša Ilić, Nenad Milijaš, Marko Pantelić, Marco Materazzi, Cristian Chivu, Milica Mandić, Dejan Majstorović. The arrival of Siniša Mihajlović particularly delighted him:
– Siniša Mihajlović is not only a special person in Serbian football, but also in my life. He is my brother, godfather, friend, “Pop”, as I call him. I am proud that he is at the “Deki5” camp, and that he is able to see what and how we do it. His opinion is extremely important to me and I am glad that he likes the entire project. I think the children were able to hear many interesting and educational things from a legend such as my godfather Miha – Stanković concluded.