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Have the odds improved with Marko Pavlovski?

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Pavlovski (R) playing in a friendly; photo: rmp-foot.bePavlovski (R) playing in a friendly; photo: rmp-foot.beMarko Pavlovski, once the captain of Serbia's U19 national team that was led by Ljubinko Drulovic, is now coached by Chedomir Janevski at Mouscron-Péruwelz.

Marko Pavlovski was unable to break into the first team of Portuguese giants Porto over the past two years. He moved to that club after leading Serbia U19 to the title of the 2013 UEFA U19 championship. The manager of Serbia U19 at that time was Ljubinko Drulovic, now the head coach of Macedonia. Due to Drulovic's connections in Portugal, one of the main reasons Porto signed Pavlovski was because of Ljubinko's recommendation.

However, things in Portugal did not work out for Pavlovski. He mainly featured for Porto B, but was far away from the first team. Therefore, earlier this month, he transferred to Belgian side Mouscron-Péruwelz, the club that is coached by Chedomir Janevski. Janevski, of course, is the former manager of Macedonia. He lasted at the helm just over one year from August of 2012 to September of 2013.

Interestingly, Janevski actually called up Pavlovski for two friendly games, against Sweden and Norway, in June of 2013. Pavlovski later withdrew from the squad, and would then lead Serbia U19 to their glory at the UEFA U19 championship. Despite that so called diss, Janevski still gave the green light for Mouscron-Péruwelz to sign Pavlovski this summer.

Janevski now coaches Marko at club level; photo: rmp-foot.beJanevski now coaches Marko at club level; photo:

In the two years since that time, a lot has changed. The hype surrounding Pavlovski, 21, has cooled within his birth country of Serbia. He is nowhere near their national team. So, although he has said in the past that he only wants to represent Serbia, the circumstances often force players to change their mind. For instance, Macedonia was not even in the picture for Arijan Ademi two years ago, but things happen. Ademi had his mind fully on Croatia, but that changed after he was repeatedly passed over.

Who is to say the same can't happen with Pavlovski? He already has an existing relationship with Ljubinko Drulovic from their Serbian U19 days. Drulovic even made Pavlovski his captain. Ademi also had a connection, but through a player. He is first cousins with Agim Ibraimi (their mothers are sisters). Still, a coaching connection is just as strong as a player connection. If Drulovic is in it for the long haul, then Pavlovski could be persuaded to switch national teams.

Drulovic and Pavlovski back in 2013; photo: UEFADrulovic and Pavlovski back in 2013; photo: UEFA

Pavlovski needs to consider a guy like Aleksandar Ignjovski. He was also approached by Macedonia, but his mind was set on Serbia. Ignjovski eventually made several caps for Serbia, but he is now an afterthought for their national team. Let's not kid ourselves. Despite the poor results, the Serbian midfield is stacked with numerous players that feature in the top five European leagues. The Macedonian midfield has none, considering Aleksandar Trajkovski is more of a striker.

How do you guys feel about this matter? Would you welcome Pavlovski to the team, or is it not wise to pursue someone who views Macedonia as second fiddle?


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