Zdravko Kuzmanovic is a very unique member of Radomir Antic’s squad. He was born in Switzerland, whose U-21 team he represented, and has never played club football in Serbia. A tall, well-rounded midfielder, he has nonetheless thrived since debuting for the Beli Orlovi in 2007.
Born in Thun in 1987, the son of a footballer, Kuzmanovic began his career with Basel in 2005. Two years and 34 outings later and he was on his was on his way to Fiorentina, penning a four-and-a-half-year contract as a 19-year-old.
Kuzmanovic flourished in the colours of La Viola, both in Serie A and in Europe, and attracted the interest of several clubs at the end of the 2008/09 season. Stuttgart won the battle for his services, and he duly impressed in his first term in the Bundesliga.
Kuzmanovic ran out for the Switzerland U-21s in 2006, but despite being wanted by their senior team, he elected to represent Serbia, whom he qualified to play for through his parents. "I'm Serbian and I want to give all for my country. It's a matter of what you feel in your heart and I must listen to it," he explained at the time.
Those words were music to Antic’s ears. Kuzmanovic was promoted into his squad and made his first senior international appearance in March 2007. He also scored his maiden goals in a 3-2 defeat by Belgium, and played six games in South Africa 2010 qualifying.