He may be struggling to land a starting XI spot in the Manchester City setup, but Aleksander Kolarov held nothing back during Serbia’s international friendly with France this weekend.
France vs Serbia
When we say he held nothing back, we quite literally mean nothing. The 28-year-old full-back, who has amassed 50 caps over the course of his international career put in a decent shift all things considered, but it was his equalising goal which he will be hoping will have caught the attention of Manuel Pellegrini.
With the French leading 1-0 heading into the last 10 minutes of the match, thanks to a first-half goal from Paul Pogba, it looked as though Serbia were set to suffer defeat in their last fixture before they kick off their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign against Armenia later this week.
However Kolarov had other ideas, and proceeded to level the scoring with a trademark thunderbolt from his left foot. A free-kick routine that may well have been rehearsed on the training ground left France stunned and Hugo Lloris floundering.
In the ten minutes that followed the strike neither side were able to find a winner, with the game finishing 1-1. Yet, whilst France would have wanted to continue their impressive post-World Cup run with another victory, having beaten Spain last week, it was Kolarov’s goal which has garnered the most attention.
The City star has been in and out of Pellegrini’s lineups of late, with fellow left-back Gael Clichy offering strong competition for a starting berth. The ex-Lazio man has been with the Citizens since 2010, but has been linked with an exit on more than one occasion.
Known for his direct style of play Kolarov offers far more going forward than he does defending, and the goal against France is evidence of his obvious aptitude in set-piece situations.
Euro 2016 qualification
Next up for Serbia is Armenia, whom they play this Thursday in the first of their qualification matches. Matches against Albania and Denmark follow before the end of the year, and Portugal then lay in wait next March.
As for France Didier Deschamps’ charges will be hoping to get back to winning ways when they take on Portugal next month in an international friendly.
As hosts of Euro 2016 they automatically qualify for the competition, but will looking to remain as sharp as ever in their bid to continue their return to the top following the shambles of the 2010 World Cup.
Watch the video above to see Kolarov's slammer.