Crystal Palace’s Luka Milivojevic quits international duty after being dropped by Serbia

Crystal Palace’s Luka Milivojevic has decided to quit international football after being left out of Serbia’s 30-man squad for this month’s 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

The midfielder, who scored one goal in 38 appearances, fell out with the national team and Serbia’s FA after the country’s group-stage exit at the 2018 World Cup.

He publicly criticised coach Mladen Krstajic for substituting him in a crunch 2-1 defeat by Switzerland but was recalled when Ljubisa Tumbakovic took over during Serbia’s failed bid to reach Euro 2020.

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Crystal Palace


Dragan Stojkovic was named as Tumbakovic’s successor on Wednesday and also axed 35-year old captain Aleksandar Kolarov as he vowed to inject fresh blood ahead of Serbia’s World Cup qualifying campaign.

“I want to thank the new coach for helping me make a decision which I’ve been contemplating for a while,” Milivojevic told Belgrade daily newspaper Vecernje Novosti.

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“I am definitely saying goodbye to my Serbia shirt at the age of 29 and I wish the national team the best of luck in their future endeavours.”

“They accomplished their task of getting me out of the national team and I can only blame myself for not making this decision sooner,” he said.

“I stuck around for the sake of the team as I believed things would get better. I hope they are proud of themselves.”

Serbia start their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign with home games in Belgrade against Ireland on March 24 and European champions Portugal three days later, followed by a visit to Azerbaijan on March 30.

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