Dejan Stanković inherited football genes from his parents. Father Bora played for the football club “OFK Belgrade”, while his mom Dragica played for “Sloga” from Zemun. Dejan made his first football steps in “Radnički” from Nova Pazova, while he experienced his first football failure in the football club “Zemun” where he was assessed as “not being sufficiently talented”. At this early age he showed the qualities of determination and self-confidence that made him grow through career were already evident that time! “If we cannot make it in “Zemun”, we will try in “Teleoptik” football club”, the decision was made in agreement with his Dad Bora.
Popular “opticians” unlike their more famous neighbours recognized Dejan’s talent quickly. “Bring the birth certificate and two photos – right away”, Dejan’s coach Dragan Šipka said. The first goals, victories resulted in the invitation by the FC “Crvena zvezda”. The legendary talent hunter from Zvezda’s football factory, Toma Milićević, contacted the Stanković family. And as if by accident, Deki started to play football in a red-and-white jersey in the “golden” season of 1990/1991. Only four years later, in the 1994/1995 season, by the decision of the head of the expert staff Ljupko Petrović, Dejan Stanković became the youngest player in the first team in the history of the giant from “Marakana”. It happened on 11 February 1995 in the match with “OFK Beograd”. On that day, Deki was 16 years and five months old.
The European episode against the German “Kaiserslautern” and the victory (4:0) in Belgrade definitely engraved Dejan’s name in the hearts of many generations of Crvena Zvezda fans. It happened during one of the three senior seasons of Dejan’s plays in the red-and-white jersey.
And then, in the summer of 1998, the European “dream team” was composed in Rome. Among the many aces that wore the Lazio jersey at the time, the place was kept for the 20-year-old Dejan Stanković. It was Deki’s year to remember! The spring debut in the national team of Yugoslavia (friendly match against South Korea in Belgrade) seasoned with two goals. Two months later, he had a debut at the World Championships in France.
Deki was a resident of the “eternal city” for five and a half years. In the winter of 2004, after lots of fights with the competition, the Milan’s “Inter” managed to have the Serbian international sign the contract with them. Dejan Stanković played 231 matches for the “black-and-blue” guys from the “Giuseppe Meazza” stadium during the nine and a half seasons of playing for “Inter”.
The happiest moment of Dejan’s career took place while he was playing for the team from Milano on 22 May 2010. At the Real Madrid Stadium, “Santiago Bernabeu”, the Champions League final match in the 2009/2010 season was played: Bayern – Inter 0:2. Dejan Stanković carried the most prestigious cup for the best European football club in the season, wrapped in the Serbian flag.
Dejan Stanković played 103 matches for the national team from the aforementioned debut match in the national selection of the FR of Yugoslavia in April 1998 in Belgrade until the end of his career in 2013. During his 15 years of playing career, he played under the names of the three countries: for the FR of Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro, and finally for Serbia. Last time, in his farewell match, he played for the “Eagles” in October 2013, in a friendly game against the selection of Japan in Novi Sad.
Trophies and recognitions
Titles of the National Champion
- Crvena zvezda (1995.), Lacio (2000.), Inter (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010.)
National Cup Winner
- Crvena zvezda (1995, 1996, 1997.), Lacio (2000.), Inter (2005, 2006, 2010, 2011.)
National Super Cup Winner
- Lacio (1998, 2000.), Inter (2005, 20006, 2008, 2010.)
Champion League Winner
- Inter 2010.
UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup
- Lacio 1999.
UEFA Super Cup Winner
- Lacio 1999.
Winner of the World Clubs Championship
- Inter 2010.
- The best Serbian footballer 2006, 2010