'Unbelievable feeling' for world champion Milos
22 June 2015|Tottenham Hotspur
History-maker Milos Veljkovic declared himself “over the moon” after lifting the FIFA Under-20 World Cup with Serbia.
Our 19-year-old defender was ever-present for his nation throughout a gruelling tournament in New Zealand, which saw his side face extra time in each of their knockout matches all the way up to Saturday’s Final against Brazil – where they lifted their first ever World Cup title after a 2-1 victory.
With the team having arrived back in Serbia to a heroes’ welcome, Milos admitted the magnitude of his national team’s achievement is yet to fully sink in.
“I don’t think we’ve realised what we’ve achieved properly yet because we’ve been a bit tired from all the travelling but for the people of Serbia and, of course, for us as a squad it’s a massive thing because it’s the first time we’ve been world champions,” he said.
“We’re back in Serbia now – at the airport there were so many people and so much media to welcome us. Everything has been unbelievable – I’m over the moon!”
Serbia’s campaign began with a 1-0 defeat to Uruguay in their group stage opener on May 31, but they responded well with 2-0 wins over Mali and Mexico to advance to the last 16.
Subsequent games against Hungary (2-1 win) and a USA side featuring our Academy defender Cameron Carter-Vickers went the distance – the latter match going to penalties after a goalless 120 minutes – before consecutive 2-1 victories after extra time against Mali in the semi-final and Brazil in the Final won them the trophy.
“The whole tournament for us was unbelievable,” Milos said. “We lost the first game, although we played well, but we went on to perform well in all the games after that. We went to extra time throughout the knockout stages – we won once on penalties and three other times we won in extra time, but that just shows that we have a strong mentality.”
On his quarter-final clash with Spurs defensive colleague Cameron, Milos added: “It was good to play against Cameron in the USA game – we were actually up against each other directly because we both had penalties in the same round of sudden death and both missed!
“I think we were the eighth kick takers – Cameron went first, he missed, then I had a chance to win it and I missed as well. The next shot from America was missed and then we scored, but I respect Cameron because he played really well and he was just unlucky on that particular occasion.”