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  28/05/2011: Kolarov & Lazio
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Aleksandar Kolarov was born on 10 November 1985 in Belgrade. His traumatic childhood, when he experienced at first hand the Nato bombings in Belgrade in 1999, has forged his character and determination to succeed. He was 14 when it was happening, “It was a difficult time during the bombings, but when you have something like that every day, after three days it becomes normal for you” he said.

But kids are kids. After a couple of days, he just went out to play and get on with his life. He just wants to play football, and as the bombings continued, and his school was closed for many months, the only chance for him was playing football in the street.

Young Kolarov lived in Belgrade and his house was less than 2 km away from a military airbase that has been bombed everyday. "The fear was there for the first one or two days, but you have to continue with your life. At nine o’clock, you would hear the siren when the planes were coming, bombs fell near my house, the windows blew in, so there was nothing you could do. You could hear them overhead and could see where the bombs were being dropped,” he said during an interview by Mark Ogden from The Telegraph.

His football career started in the youth school at Red Star Belgrade but he did not play for the first team. In 2003 he moved to Čukarički Stankom and played 37 games. Kolarov's switch from FK Čukarički to OFK Beograd in February 2006, during the 2005-06 season winter break, was highly controversial. Under contract with Čukarički at the time, Kolarov filed a request to be released dated January 31, 2006 on the grounds that his "contract just expired" even though it was good until January 2007. Soon after his request, Kolarov went public with his desire to join OFK Beograd.

Seeing that they had a disgruntled player on their hands, Čukarički set a €300,000 transfer fee for Kolarov due to the fact he still had one more year left on his contract with the club. OFK on the other hand did not acknowledge this and simply signed Kolarov without paying a fee. Over the coming years Čukarički took the case in front of Serbian Football Association, where all of their official complaints got rejected.
 
Year and a half later, in summer 2007, when Kolarov was sold by OFK Beograd to S.S. Lazio, Čukarički president Aleksandar Mihajlovic publicly stated that Kolarov "was stolen from Čukarički by OFK Beograd". For that, he was punished by Serbian FA on the verbal delict grounds and given one year ban on performing any functions in Serbian football.

Kolarov with SS Lazio

In the summer of 2007, OFK Beograd sold Kolarov to Lazio for € 925,000, and has sign four years contract to Le Aquile, and like many Balkan youngsters, he had a soft spot for Italian football and supported Lazio as a kid.

Kolarov's first goal for Lazio came at the Stadio Oreste Granillo in Reggio Calabria on 30 September 2007, as he hit a rocket from 40 meters to secure a draw against  Reggina.

In his second season in Italy, Kolarov established himself as Lazio's first choice at left back, scoring a spectacular goal against Lecce at the Stadio Via del Mare. It got even better for the Serbian in the second Derby della Capitale of the season. With Lazio 3–2 up, Kolarov received the ball in defence from goalkeeper Fernando Muslera and proceeded to run the length of the pitch virtually unopposed. Having run 85 metres, Kolarov then slotted the ball past a hopeless Doni in the AS Roma goal, Lazio won by 4-2. He celebrated his goal with a Sign of the Cross in Serbian Orthodox fashion. Like everyone who scores against AS Roma in the cross-city derby, he is a darling for the Ultras afterward.

Primarily a left-back, he is capable of playing at centre-back and as a left winger and is known for his overlapping runs down the wings. He is also known for his powerful shot which has knocked out numerous players and referees during his spells with Lazio. The following are some of them:

Referee Massimiliano Saccani was knocked out for several minutes in February 2009 by one of the Kolarov powerful shot during a match against Torino.

Nine months later it was the turn of Ezequiel Lavezzi from Napoli, who also suffered the same fate.

During a Lazio training session, Kolarov also managed to break three fingers of his team-mate Sebastiano Siviglia after unleashing another power shot.

A a result of his powerful shot, his nickname at Lazio was "Serbian Roberto Carlos."

During his time with Lazio, Kolarov has gathered experience in the UEFA Champions League. He scored six goals in 82 appearances, and raised 2 trophies with Lazio:
- Coppa Italia 2008–09
- Supercoppa Italiana 2009

For the 2009–10 season, Kolarov switched his shirt number from 3 to 11, wearing the number previously worn by his fellow Serbian Siniša Mihajlović, who possessed similar characteristics to Kolarov.

On 24 July 2010 he moved to Manchester City for £18 million transfer fee. Although no-one is disputing his skill, there has been surprise at just how much Manchester City have paid for him.

Kolarov with National Team

Kolarov was a part of the successful Serbia under-21 side which reached the final of the 2007 U-21 Championships held in the Netherlands.
 
As a key member of that side, Kolarov was named in the UEFA Team of the tournament. In the semi-final clash with Belgium, he scored a free-kick from long range.
 
The following year, Kolarov was a part of the Serbian side, which competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. In the same year, he also made his senior debut for the Serbian national team.

(Ali Alkatiri)

 
 
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