- Category : Football Player
- Type : ME
- Profile : 2/4 - Hermit / Opportunist
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Consciousness 1
Dragan Stojkovic (born March 3, 1965), also known under the nickname Piksi is a Serbian former footballer. He is manager of J. League side Nagoya Grampus.
Stojkovic was long time captain of the Yugoslavia national football team and Red Star Belgrade, and is considered one of the best players in the history of Yugoslavian and Serbian football.
He is one of the five players to be awarded the title Star of the Red Star. He is widely considered to have never shown his true potential in Europe as injury prevented him from establishing himself at Marseille and at European level despite being considered Red Star's greatest player of a squad that went on to great heights, such as winning the European Cup, with some of their players becoming stars at AC Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid.
Born to father Dobrivoje and mother Desanka in Niš, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia, Stojkovic took to football very early while growing up in Pasi Poljana community near Niš. He has been nicknamed Piksi after Pixie, one of the characters from the cartoon Pixie & Dixie and Mr. Jinks.
A 175 cm, 73 kg midfielder and occasional forward, Stojkovic began his professional playing career with Yugoslav First League and hometown side Radni?ki Niš in 1981-82 when he made one first-team appearance. The next four seasons, Stojkovic appeared in 69 matches for Radni?ki and scored eight goals.
Red Star Belgrade
With top Yugoslav teams chasing his signature in the summer of 1986, twenty-one-year-old Stojkovic moved to Red Star Belgrade where he would spend the next four illustrious seasons, scoring 54 times in 120 appearances and developing into the best player in the league. He was the Yugoslav League MVP in 1988 and '89 season, and was named the Yugoslav Footballer of the Year both years.
On 3 May 1989 his stellar performances with Red Star earned him the title of Zvezdina zvezda only given out to the very best players in the club's storied history.
Olympique de Marseille
In the summer of 1990, twenty-five-year-old Stojkovic made the much publicized move to Olympique de Marseille for a transfer fee of £5.5 million, joining the star-laden squad bankrolled by French businessman/politician Bernard Tapie. The expectations were sky-high with a team featuring world-class players such as Jean-Pierre Papin, Éric Cantona, Chris Waddle, Carlos Mozer, Manuel Amoros, Didier Deschamps, Jean Tigana, Abédi Pelé, etc. as well as newly arrived midfielder Basile Boli and new head coach Franz Beckenbauer fresh off winning the 1990 FIFA World Cup with Germany. Stojkovic had his own shining moments at the said World Cup, all of which only contributed to Marseille's interest.
Early into his debut season, Stojkovic sustained a knee injury for which he had to have surgery in Germany, forcing him to the sidelines for months. In fact, the entire 1990-91 league season was injury riddled for the Serb and he ended up making only eleven league appearances. Beckenbauer stepped down from the coaching post during the winter break although he remained with the club in an adviser capacity. The new head coach to replace the famous German was Raymond Goethals. In the final of the UEFA European Champions' Cup, Marseille played against Stojkovic's former team Red Star. Stojkovic, a penalty kick specialist, entered the game late during the extra-time as a substitute, but as the match eventually went to penalty shootout, he informed head coach Goethals that he doesn't want to take a penalty shot against his former team. Red Star won the European Cup in the shootout.
He would remain Marseille player for the next four seasons with a half-season loan move to Hellas Verona sandwiched in-between his stints in Marseille.
Nagoya Grampus Eight
In the spring of 1994 Stojkovic signed with Japanese J-League team Nagoya Grampus Eight, then managed by Arsène Wenger and featuring Gary Lineker. He spent seven seasons with the Grampus Eight, retiring as a player in 2001. Stojkovic played 183 matches for the club, scoring 57 times. He was named J-League MVP for the 1995 season.
Stojkovic made his under-21 debut on 11 October 1983 versus Norway in Pancevo as part of qualifying for the 1984 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship. Playing under head coach Ivan Toplak, the youngster from Radnicki Niš scored on his debut as Yugoslavia won 6-2.
Stojkovic made 84 career international appearances, scoring 15 times, those split between the SFR Yugoslavia national team and the FR Yugoslavia national team. He played for the former in Euro 84 and the 1990 FIFA World Cup and for the latter in the 1998 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2000. He made his international debut on November 12, 1983 in a scoreless draw against France. His final international match was against the country he spent much of his playing career in, Japan, on July 4, 2001.