Slobodan Rajcevic can hardly wait to get started at the FIFA Futsal World Cup Thailand 2012. The 27-year-old is part of the Serbian team set to make history at the tournament, as the south-east Europeans have never reached the showpiece event of the indoor game before.
“I’m very proud and happy. The World Cup is the biggest chance in my career,” the forward told FIFA.com in an exclusive interview. “One day I’ll tell my grandchildren about it. It’s something very special to be at a tournament alongside players like Falcao, Kike, Ricardinho and Pula. We’re dreaming of a quarter-final against Brazil, that would be amazing.”
Yet before that potential match against his idol Falcao, Rajcevic and Co must first negotiate their way through the perhaps most even group in the competition. The White Eagles go up against Egypt, Czech Republic and Kuwait in Group E.
Ahead of his side’s opening game against the Pharaohs on Saturday 3 November, the striker therefore believes Serbia stand a good chance of not only reaching the knockout stages, but also of causing an upset or two.
The World Cup is the biggest chance in my career. One day I’ll tell my grandchildren about it.
“I respect every opponent, but our aim is to finish top of Group E. It won’t be easy, but we have enough quality to do it,” Rajcevic said. “The first match against Egypt is the most important. Victory would give us a very good chance of winning the group.”
The imposing forward has been part of his national side for the last six years and has developed into an “important player” during that time, as he himself says. “But we thrive on our excellent team spirit,” he added.
It was that morale which helped coach Aca Kovacevic’s charges reach the last eight of the two most UEFA Futsal EUROs. At February's continental showpiece, Serbia narrowly lost out 2-1 against eventual runners-up Russia and now they have their sights set on beating the world’s best.
“Our aim is to reach the knockout stages and I’m sure we can do that. Anything is possible once we get there,” Rajcevic said. Should Serbia achieve their objective, it would not only be a remarkable accomplishment, but also a milestone in the history of Serbian futsal.