At about the same age, the Romanian and the Serbian shared the dressing room at Madrid the 2003-04 season, and in the small team of ... Madrid 2005-06. Both Balkans settled in the Spanish capital and go to know the Mediterranean as well. According to Cosmin Contra this characteristic plus the fact that Paunovic is a man who adapts very easily, will help him to understand the climate of Greek championship.
"He is a Mediterranean-Balkan tempered person. Like you Greeks. I think this is something that will help him to adapt very easily, he comes in the middle of the season and this always is a risk and for the team and the manager. I believe the experiences he has from his footballing career and especially those learned in a high level league as the Spanish is obvious in his work so far said the Romanian manager at SDNA.
Contra met Paunovic as a footballer, but the fact that they both chose to have Madrid as their base, as to engage in coaching led both of them to exchanged technical views.... "I know that after the success with the national team of Serbia (won the Junior World Cup) he wanted to do something else, try a club. He has worked in previous years in small national teams back in his homeland, but feels that the manager needs the daily friction with the job. I think it's a good time to take a club" were the words of Contra for SDNA. As for the young age of Paunovic? "Nobody was born experienced. However the fact that he is new does not mean he cannot manage a Club. The ability to impose yourself and to inspire is not a matter of age but a matter of character" replied Contra.