Mrkel’s pearl got lost in Australia, then "emerged” in the Bulgarian second league

Do you remember Milislav Popovic? Only five years ago, while he was still learning football lessons in the youth team of Cologne, the Football Association of Serbia fought and fought for him to make his debut for our national team. As a 19-year-old, he wore the jersey of the youth selection and played against Spain. It was his only appearance for Serbia.

The young striker’s career did not go as desired. A boy born in Sydney studied in the junior categories of Lazio, Cologne, and then Braunschweig, but in Germany he never got a chance to play for the first team. He returned to Australia last summer via Lafnice, Austria, played one season for McArthur, and returned to Europe in the last transfer window.

15.00: (1.62) Minjor Pernik (3.50) Strumska Slava (5.60)

Popovic he did not manage to leave a trace in the A-league either, he played only 50 minutes for McArthur, spread over five games. He tried to find new happiness this year in Bulgaria, in the jersey of the second league team of Strumska Slava. And for now, it seems that he has finally found an environment in which he will get a chance.

The 24-year-old has already played Popovic more matches in senior football than for all other clubs. He was an actor in six matches in the Strumska Slava jersey, he scored two goals and recorded one assist. The young Australian with a Serbian passport will have the opportunity to further improve that statistic on Monday at 3 pm, when his team will host Minyor in Pernik, within the 12th round of the Second League of Bulgaria.

Popovic penetrated Radomir, a place in western Bulgaria not far from the border with Serbia, named after the country’s former ruler Gavril Radomir, the son of the far more famous Emperor Samuel. He is one of only two foreign football players in Strumska Slava, the other is a Greek international George Efstratijadis.

However, from Popovic’s his career was expected to be much higher than he had achieved so far. This is also stated in the statement of the then director of the younger categories of the Football Association of Serbia, Mitra Mrkele, from 2016 for Večernje Novosti. Popovic was a classic with some other young people who got the opportunity to show themselves in the Serbian jersey, and unfortunately he is not the only one who did not meet expectations.

"At this moment, in the five younger selections of Serbia, we have almost 50 boys who were born abroad, and they have expressed a desire to wear the Serbian jersey. An exceptional player is the striker Milan Senić from Bayer Leverkusen. You’ll see soon. Then Lijanko Vojnović, and now Milisav Popović. These are all our children who have quality and whom we want in the Serbian jersey", He once said Mrkela.

Milsav Popovic at a promotion in Bulgaria (© Instagram)Milsav Popovic at a promotion in Bulgaria (© Instagram)

That Popovic So far, only Septembri from Simitrli and Levski from Lom have seen the quality, to which he gave one goal each in victories with 3: 1 and 2: 0, respectively. Against Levski, of which he is president in the meantime Gavriil Gavrilov resigned because he was furious about the trial against his club, Popovic scored a goal after entering from the bench.

It is of great importance for Strumska Slava Popovic he plays well again on Monday, because Minyor is one of the biggest rivals in the fight for a higher rank. Currently, those two teams share the fourth position, with 23 points each, with Minjor having a better goal difference.

The club from Pernik is the only one that has not suffered any defeats yet. All other clubs have lost at least twice. However, after 11 games, Minyor has six wins and five draws.

Last season, he failed to overcome Strumska Slava. He lost 1: 0 in Radomir, while in April this year they played 1: 1 in Pernik.

BULGARIA ROUND 2 – 12

Saturday

Septamvri Simitli – Spartak Varna 0: 1 (0: 1)

Marek – Dobrudja 1: 1 (1: 0)

Ludogorets II – Marica Plovdiv 3: 1 (1: 0)

Levski Lom – Litex Lovech 2: 3 (1: 1)

Hebar – CSKA 1948 Sofia II 4: 1 (0: 1)

Sozopol – Montana 1: 0 (1: 0)

Etar – Neftochimik 4: 0 (3: 0)

Sunday

Yantra – Septemvri Sofia 1: 0 (1: 0)

Botev Plovdiv II – Svoge 0: 1 (0: 1)

Monday

15.00: (1.62) Minjor Pernik (3.50) Strumska Slava (5.60)

*** Quotas are subject to change

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