By Johnny Askounis/ email@example.com
Following his successful playing career, Zarko Paspalj visited multiple roles staying close to basketball in Serbia and resurfaced commenting on the recent struggles of the senior national team.
Besides missing three out of the last four editions of the Olympic Games, Serbia is in danger of being eliminated from the 2023 FIBA World Cup. The team coached by Svetislav Pesic is currently preparing for the next international window and a couple of key games for the World Cup Qualifiers, and from there will compete in the 2022 EuroBasket.
Paspalj, 56, a veteran of multiple international tournaments as a leading player for Yugoslavia, shared his view on the situation suggesting a naturalized player as a potential addition to the squad.
“Things in our national team have not been right for a long time,” he said in a radio interview to MaxBet, “Apparently, legends are irrelevant with warnings ignored. We have experienced and are experiencing inevitable failures. We warned about this a long time ago, Duda [Dusan Ivkovic] pointed out these problems 15 years ago. The work we were known for is gone. We are a country of basketball but lack a direction.”
“We always say ‘it is important to participate’ but it is actually important to win. We can talk for hours about the problems,” he added, “The first sign of the bad situation was missing the Olympic Games. Now we are dealing with issues in the World Cup Qualifiers.”
“I think we need a foreign player,” he offered the potential solution, “A player able to make a difference and help us win gold rather than silver medals in a couple of major international competitions. We needed a foreign player in the four position, which is key for us, but we did not want him. I can’t understand that. We are in a very difficult situation and need all the help we can get.”