Antonio Rukavina may not be Serbia’s first-choice right-back, but coach Radmoir Antic is safe in the knowledge he can be relied upon if required. A safe, confident performer, the 26-year-old has featured regularly in his country’s squad since debuting in 2007.
Rukavina began his career at Bezanija in 2002, and spent five seasons on the right of their defence before signing for Partizan. His solitary season with the Belgrade heavyweights was a profitable one in which he helped them seize the Serbian SuperLiga title, before departing for Borussia Dortmund for €2.5m.
Despite significant playing time during the first half of 2008/09, Rukavina was loaned to 1860 Munich for the remained of the season. At the end of the term, the German second-tier side made the move a permanent one.
Rukavina, who can also operate in midfield, played eight games for the Serbian U-21s prior to his senior bow. The Belgrade native started the Beli Orlovi’s South Africa 2010 qualifying curtain-raiser against Faroe Islands, but although his country ran out 2-0 winners, he was rarely tested. His only other appearance Serbia’s preliminary campaign came as a half-time substitute in the 1-0 victory over Austria.