Serbia have decided to strip Branislav Ivanovic from the captaincy ahead of the upcoming international friendlies against Morocco and Nigeria. Aleksandar Kolarov is now expected to lead the national side with Nemanja Matic appointed as the vice-captain. Speaking in a news conference, Serbian head coach Mladen Krstajić said: “Kolarov, the new captain, and (Nemanja) Matic, his deputy, have the power to follow in Ivanovic’s footsteps. We have made a decision which remains an internal matter but I want to make it clear there is no misunderstanding with Ivanovic who remains part of the team.”
The decision to strip Ivanovic from the leadership role does not come as a surprise, given the 34-year-old had shown the lack of pace during the World Cup qualification phase which was criticised by the fans and pundits alike.