- Serbia are preparing for the 2022 FIFA World Cup with few days to go before kick off
- Serbia star forward Aleksandar Mitrovic is nursing an injury but has been selected for the tournament
- Serbia head coach Dragan Stojkovic has insisted Mitrovic must play even ‘without a leg’
Serbia national head coach Dragan Stojkovic has no concerns his star forward Aleksandar Mitrovic will miss the 2022 FIFA World Cup – even if he has to go to Qatar “without a leg”.
Mitrovic has been impressive for Fulham in the Premier League this season scoring nine goals in 12 games but missed the last two matches due to a foot injury, raising concerns he might miss the World Cup set to start five days from now.
Fulham head coach Marco Silva suggested the Serbia international may be a doubt for the World Cup prior to Sunday’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester United.
While Silva admitted fears over Mitrovic’s chances at the World Cup, Stojkovic reiterated his more defiant stance as he suggested the Fulham forward would play on one leg.
“Mitrovic will go to the World Cup without a leg, we can also cut off his head — he’ll still go,” he added. “We have until tonight to change things, but I strongly doubt anything will change.
“We’ll see today when they come [for training]. With his behaviour and games, and the injuries he had… He begged to play after that.”
Stojkovic remains confident the 28-year-old will be fit for Serbia’s Group G opener against Brazil on November 24, along with Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic, who has been sidelined with a groin issue.
Stojkovic said: “I don’t like when my players don’t play because of injuries. It’s obvious that they are out of the team for a long time and it’s good that I firmly believe that they will be ready.
“We are working on it. There is a song by Aleksandra Prijovic that says: ‘It’s not who was told, but who was destined’.
“I haven’t seen the players yet, but now I’m going to hang out with the doctors. I guess the players will arrive by [6pm, for training].
“There are problems and small problems, but there is still a long time before the match with Brazil, this [friendly on Friday] against Bahrain is not important for us.”
Serbia will start their World Cup bid with a tough match against favorites to lift the trophy Brazil on Thursday November 24 before taking on Cameroon on Monday 28 and then closing their Group G matches with a clash with Switzerland on December 2.