Whatever happened to Goran Bunjevcevic?

The former Serbia and Montenegro international, Goran Bunjevcevic, spent five years with Tottenham Hotspur from 2001 to 2006 and made just 57 appearances for the North London club. He was never quite suited to the demands of the Premier League and his preferred position was sweeper, one that is rarely used in the English game.

He was brought to White Hart Lane by Glenn Hoddle for a fee of £1.4 million from the Serbian outfit, Red Star Belgrade. The Serbian game is slower and less physical and his style of play was very much appreciated in that country, with Goran often being referred to as the “Serbian Beckenbauer” for he had very good technique and an exemplary disciplinary record. He was also known for his good reading of the game and the ability to spot and produce an incisive pass. He was signed by Spurs as a replacement for the recently departed Sol Campbell, but they were very different players. He was not helped by the injury problems he had shortly after his arrival in England, and he suffered a fractured cheekbone against Chelsea, ruling him out for the remainder of his first season.

Hoddle used Goran in a variety of position at Spurs, playing him across the back four and in midfield. Unfortunately once the former England manger had departed White Hart Lane the Serbian found it difficult to get a game. He was released by Spurs in June 2006 after making few appearances under Martin Jol.

Bunjevcevic was born and raised in Yugoslavia before playing football for a number of different clubs at a young age. Due to the Yugoslav wars he was forced to move to Belgrade and appeared for lower league sides BASK and Graficar before getting his chance with top-flight team, FK Rad. Good performances there then earned him his move to Red Star, where he was soon made captain after a series of impressive displays, becoming one of their most influential players.

After leaving England he went on to have one season in Holland with ADO Den Haag before retiring in 2007. His international career brought him 16 caps. Currently he is back at Red Star Belgrade where he is acting as the Serbian club’s Sporting Director.