World Cup Dossier - Serbia

A look at Serbia, who will play Australia in the group stages of the 2010 World Cup. erbia competes under a Serbia banner for the first time in 2010, having previously made World Cups as part of Serbia and Montenegro, FYR Yugoslavia and Yugoslavia.

Previous clashes with Australia None

World Cup History Best Result: 1930, 1962, Fourth (as part of Yugoslavia), 1998: Round of 16 (as Serbia)

As part of Yugoslavia Yugoslavia made the semi-finals of the World Cup on two occasions, losing to eventual champion Uruguay in the 1930 semi-finals and then to Czechoslovakia in 1962. In 1990, the final campaign as Yugoslavia, it made the quarter-finals.

As part of FYR Yugoslavia The Former Republic of Yugoslavia - now comprising just players from Serbia and Montenegro - made its first appearance after the Balkans conflict in 1998, getting through a group containing Germany, Iran and United States, but bowing out to the Netherlands in the second round.

As part of Serbia and Montenegro

After failing to qualify in 2002, 2006 saw a rebranded Serbia and Montenegro side qualify and it was placed in the 'Group of Death' with Argentina, the Netherlands and Ivory Coast. It crashed out with three losses, including a 6-0 humiliation by Argentina.

Road to the World Cup Qualified top in UEFA Group 7

Serbia looked to have a tough task to qualify directly from Group 7 having drawn 2006 World Cup runner-up France in its group along with Austria, Lithuania, Romania and the Faroe Islands. France looked the biggest threat and when Serbia crashed to an away defeat 2-1 in the second qualifying game in St Denis it looked as if Les Bleus would be very tough to toss.

But Serbia's home record kept them in the hunt, while a 3-2 away win in Romania saw Serbia lead at the halfway stage. The significant result was Serbia's 1-1 draw with France in Belgrade, which put it in a position where a win in the final two matches would get it through and relegate France to a play-off battle.

On October 10, Serbia hammered Romania 5-0, booking its place in South Africa despite a 2-1 defeat in Lithuania in the final match. Milan Jovanovic led the goal-scorers with five goals.

Star men Dejan Stankovic - Serbia's captain is a versatile player who can play almost anywhere in the midfield when needed. The Inter Milan stalwart has traditionally taken an attacking position with the national team and has scored an impressive 13 goals in more than 80 matches for his country.

Nemanja Vidic - One of the most highly-rated central defenders in the world, Vidic has impressed with Manchester United over the past three seasons, becoming a regular in Sir Alex Ferguson's side. He has some unfinished business with the World Cup after missing out on his chance to play in 2006 through a combination of injury and suspension.

Stranger than Fiction Serbia has forged a reputation as a strong defensive team, led by Vidic, it conceded just eight goals in 10 games in 2010 qualifying. However, that paled in comparison to 2006 when it conceded just one goal in qualifying, a European record. Serbia competes under a Serbia banner for the first time in 2010, having previously made World Cups as part of Serbia and Montenegro, FYR Yugoslavia and Yugoslavia.