With Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Martin Caceres expected to join their Lazio teammates for their medicals July 30th, let’s recap their World Cup adventures in Russia. Milinkovic-Savic’s Serbia had an early exit to their World Cup campaign, starting with a win against Costa Rica, followed by a heartbreaking 90th minute loss to Switzerland in the second group game before losing 2-0 to Brazil in their final game. Milinkovic-Savic played a full 90 minutes in all 3 games and was used in a slightly more offensive role, supporting striker, Aleksandar Mitrovic. Sergej created many offensive chances for the Serbs, with a bicycle kick against Costa Rica being his best of the tournament. He also sent countless balls in to striker Mitrovic, who missed many clear-cut chances throughout the 3 games. The Serbian gem showed off the ball control and footwork in this World Cup that we are used to seeing with Lazio, but ultimately couldn’t get on the board for Serbia. It was a great first experience for the young player in a major international tournament and he clearly had the Serbian coach’s trust in all three games. He will be one of the most important players for his nation in upcoming qualifications and tournaments going forward.
Martin Caceres’ Uruguay had a much more successful World Cup campaign, not conceding a goal in the group stages, while beating Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal in the round of 16 and losing to eventual champions France in the quarter-finals. Caceres also played 90 minutes in every game, clearly a favourite of legendary coach Oscar Tabarez. The Uruguayan defender had a great tournament, showing structured and spirited defensive play while also pushing up to help the attack, creating many chances on set pieces while also attempting 6 shots throughout the tournament. His play clearly inspired Lazio to extend his stay one more year at the club, hoping his injury woes from last season are a thing of the past. He showed his great versatility playing in every defensive position for Uruguay in this World Cup, which can be of huge help to Lazio in the upcoming season.
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