Nikola Zigic’s got his boots back on in new role

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Cult hero Nikola Zigic, who has been absent from the public eye since leaving the club in 2015, has landed a managerial role on the international stage.

According to a report from Serbian news site “Hotsport”, the 6ft 7.5in former striker will be assistant manager to Mladen Krstajic, with Zigic’s second game in the new role taking place at the Estadio de Luz, in their UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers clash against Portugal tonight. His first game since his taking the role last Monday ended in 1-1 draw away to Germany in a friendly.

The Serbian made his debut for the national team in 2004, accumulating 20 goals in 57 appearances in an international career that saw him feature in the 2006 & 2010 World Cup, before captaining his side in his final two appearances in 2011.

During his international career, Zigic has played alongside Premier League veterans such as Aleksander Kolarov, Branislav Ivanovic and Nemanja Matic.

After leaving Blues in 2015, his footballing days have gone under the radar with little activity being reported on his whereabouts or indeed his involvement in the game.

The Birmingham City fanbase are still ever fond of the friendly giant though, who amassed a special relationship with the fans during a topsy turvy tenure at the club which saw him score against Arsenal in the 2011 league cup final, shortly followed by relegation to the Championship.

The League cup quarter-final tie at home to local rivals Aston Villa etched his name into Birmingham folklore as his late winner sent the club into the semi-finals of the competition they then went onto win.

Staying with the club in the following seasons after the clubs drop from the top flight, Zigic enjoyed another four seasons in Birmingham and played in their Europa League campaign as well as being called on to help the club avoid the drop during the latter end of his time here.

Serbia have rated the target man highly, awarding him their footballer of the year award in 2003 & 2007. Now the 38 year old will be helping to guide his native country through their Euro Qualifiers group, in which they will face Portugal, Ukraine, Luxembourg and Lithuania.

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