Aleksandar Kolarov may be accustomed to regular first-team football with a big club in a prestigious European league, but the 24-year-old has had to be content with being Serbia’s reserve left-back since making his international debut in 2008.
Kolarov made his breakthrough at Cukaricki Stankom, where he played alongside his older brother Nikola, in 2004, and was transferred to Beograd two years later. Thanks to some arresting performances, Lazio, his boyhood idols, signed him on a four-year contract in 2007 and he has since made a place in their starting XI his own.
A pacy, attack-conscious full-back, he has become renowned for his long-range piledrivers. His first goal for the Roman heavyweights, indeed, was from fully 40 metres against Reggina.
Kolarov also scored a wonder goal – albeit of a different sort – in the Rome derby last year, receiving the ball from his goalkeeper, running the length of the field and slotting the ball past Doni with his right foot to complete a 4-2 victory.
For the start of the 2009/10 campaign, Kolarov switched from the No3 to the Biancocelesti No11 jersey previously worn by his compatriot Sinisa Mihajlovic, to whom he is sometimes compared for by stylistically eccentric. He is a firm favourite of the Lazio supporters, who refer to him as the ‘Serbian Roberto Carlos’.
Kolarov was part of Serbia’s squad at the UEFA European U-21 Championship in 2007, and the following year appeared at the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament and made his full international bow.