Montenegro national football team
The Montenegro national football team (Montenegrin and Serbian: Fudbalska reprezentacija Crne Gore / Фудбалска репрезентација Црне Горе) has represented Montenegro in international football since 2007. It is controlled by the Football Association of Montenegro, the governing body for football in Montenegro. Montenegro's home ground is Podgorica City Stadium in Podgorica.
|Nickname(s)||Hrabri sokoli / Храбри соколи|
(The Brave Falcons)
|Head coach||Faruk Hadžibegić|
|Most caps||Fatos Bećiraj (68)|
|Top scorer||Stevan Jovetić (24)|
|Home stadium||Podgorica City Stadium|
|Current||64 (16 July 2020)|
|Highest||16 (June 2011)|
|Lowest||199 (June 2007)|
| Montenegro 2–1 Hungary |
(Podgorica, Montenegro; 24 March 2007)
| San Marino 0–6 Montenegro |
(Serravalle, San Marino; 11 September 2012)
| England 7–0 Montenegro |
(London, England; 14 November 2019)
Montenegro is one of the world's newest international teams, having joined FIFA and UEFA in 2007, following the restoration of Montenegrin independence in 2006.
Following the independence of Montenegro from Serbia and Montenegro, Serbia was set to represent both Serbia and Montenegro in the Euro 2008 qualifying stage. UEFA, however, would be willing to include Montenegro as a late entry if FIFA ratified a separate Montenegrin Football Association before September 2006. However, this did not occur before the competition began.
In October 2006, Montenegro was granted provisional membership of UEFA, with a debate regarding full membership scheduled at a full UEFA Congress in January 2007. Montenegro's first FIFA World Ranking was joint 199th place, the last place on the list by default.
On 26 January 2007, the Montenegro FA was granted full membership of UEFA. The team played its first FIFA-recognized friendly match against Hungary on 24 March 2007 at Stadion Pod Goricom in Podgorica. Montenegro won 2–1 in front of 12,000 spectators. Striker Mirko Vučinić scored the country's first goal in the 62nd minute. On 31 May 2007, Montenegro was admitted as FIFA's 208th member.
Montenegro's first coach was Zoran Filipović. In 23 matches, Filipović recorded eight victories, eight draws and seven defeats. He left in January 2010 when his contract expired. During his tenure, Montenegro rose to 73rd position in the FIFA rankings.
Montenegro played at the 2007 Kirin Cup, but finished in last place behind Japan and Colombia.
On 26 March 2008, Montenegro recorded one of its best results with a 3–1 win over Norway.
First competitive matchesEdit
On 6 September 2008, Montenegro played their first World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria at the Podgorica City Stadium. Bulgaria took the lead in the 11th minute with a goal from Stiliyan Petrov. Mirko Vučinić scored in the 61st minute to tie the game, before Igor Burzanović put Montenegro ahead 82nd minute from a penalty. However, a last-minute equalizer from Blagoy Georgiev denied Montenegro their first competitive win. In their next match on 10 September, they achieved another notable result when they held the Republic of Ireland to a 0–0 draw.
Another near-upset came in a narrow 2–1 loss against Italy. After Alberto Aquilani's early strike, Vučinić quickly equalized, but Aquilani scored the winning goal ten minutes later. Their second match against Italy ended 2–0 in favour of the world champions. Another disappointment came when the team could only draw 0–0 against Georgia, followed by a 2–2 draw against Cyprus after being two goals down. On 5 September 2009, Montenegro took an early lead against Bulgaria in Sofia with Stevan Jovetić putting them 1–0 up, only for Bulgaria to recover and win 4–1. After drawing 1–1 with Cyprus, Montenegro finally registered their first competitive win, beating Georgia 2–1. They then drew 0–0 with the Republic of Ireland at Croke Park. They finished fifth in the group with nine points, below Cyprus on goal difference.
During the UEFA Euro 2012 qualification campaign, the team recorded further success. They opened their campaign with a 1–0 victory over Wales; Mirko Vučinić scored the only goal. A few days later, the team defeated Bulgaria 1–0 in Sofia. The next month, they beat Switzerland 1–0 and then recorded a 0–0 draw in London against England. On 4 June 2011, Montenegro drew 1–1 against Bulgaria, with Radomir Đalović scoring for Montenegro early in the second half, but Ivelin Popov scoring minutes later, to keep Montenegro second in the group, behind England on goal difference.
Montenegro were beaten 2–1 by Wales in Cardiff. They were still second in Group G, but Switzerland closed the gap between them to only three points.
In the June 2011 FIFA rankings, Montenegro recorded their highest ranking of 16th.
On 7 October, Montenegro came back from 2–0 down to draw 2–2 against England in Podgorica, after Wayne Rooney was sent off. Wales beat Switzerland 2–0 to ensure Montenegro won a play-off place, putting the team two matches away from qualifying for Euro 2012. In their last match in the qualifiers, Montenegro lost 2–0 to Switzerland in Basel. On 13 October, the draw for the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying play-offs was held in Kraków, Poland. Montenegro were paired with the Czech Republic, but they lost 3–0 on aggregate and failed to qualify.
Montenegro were drawn in Group H in the qualifiers, along with England, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova and San Marino.
In their first match, Montenegro tied against Poland in a 2–2 draw. On 11 September, Montenegro played against San Marino in Seravalle. In a one-sided match, Montenegro won 6–0, the biggest win in the team's history. Montenegro then beat Ukraine 1–0 in Kiev, with the only goal scored by Dejan Damjanović. In their last match in 2012, Montenegro faced San Marino in Podgorica on 14 November, and won 3–0.
Montenegro played their fifth qualifier match against Moldova in Chișinău on 22 March 2013, winning 1–0 through Mirko Vučinić's goal. Montenegro then returned to Podgorica to play the second-placed England. The outcome was a 1–1 draw.
Leading their World Cup qualifying group, Montenegro hosted Ukraine on 7 June 2013. They suffered their first defeat in the group, losing 4–0. The match also saw Montenegro finish the match with nine men after Vladimir Volkov and Savo Pavićević were sent off. Their last four matches yielded just a single point; a 1–1 draw in Poland. Their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign finished with a 5–2 home defeat to Moldova, and they finished third behind England and Ukraine.
Ups and downsEdit
On 23 February 2014 in Nice, Montenegro were drawn for qualification in Group G alongside Russia, Sweden, Austria, Moldova and Liechtenstein. Though they opened their campaign with a 2–0 win over Moldova, they failed to qualify with a 0–0 tie against Liechtenstein, a 1–0 loss to Austria and a 1–1 tie at home to Sweden.
On 27 March 2015, Montenegro's home match against Russia was abandoned after 67 minutes due to crowd violence, after the Russian left-back Dmitri Kombarov was hit by a projectile. The score was 0–0 and Russia had missed a penalty moments before the match was abandoned. The Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was hit by a flare, causing a second 33-minute delay. The abandoned match was ruled a 3–0 win in Russia's favour.
Montenegro finished fourth at the end of the campaign and placed 95th on the FIFA ranking list.
Montenegro participated in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification and were placed with Poland, Denmark, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Romania. Poland and Romania had been participants in the UEFA Euro 2016, but Montenegro began by drawing 1–1 away to Romania, beating Kazakhstan 5–0 at home and defeating Denmark 1–0. However, they then lost 3–2 away to Armenia despite leading 2–0, and were defeated 2–1 at home by Poland. Montenegro then rebounded, beating Armenia 4–1 and Kazakhstan 3–0. They later eliminated Romania with a 1–0 victory, but losses to the Danes and Poles ended Montenegro's chance of qualifying.
Having failed to reach the World Cup, Montenegro had a dismal performance in the 2018–19 UEFA Nations League C. The team was grouped with Serbia, Romania and Lithuania. Montenegro only managed two victories, all against Lithuania, and suffered two losses to Serbia, one defeat to Romania at home and an away draw to the Romanian side as well. This effectively denied Montenegro a chance to qualify to the UEFA Euro 2020 playoff.
The EURO 2020 qualifiers for Montenegro have been the worst in the team's short history. After unsuccessful Nations League campaign, the team started off with a 1–1 away draw to Bulgaria, following a controversial penalty for the hosts. It was followed with a 1–5 loss at home to England despite having taken an early lead.
On the day of the match with Kosovo, Serbian coach Ljubiša Tumbaković and two players originated from Serbia, due to political reasons, abandoned the national team, betraying the squad in unprecedented condition before the two crucial matches for qualifiers. Montenegro managed to avoid defeat against Kosovo (1-1), however they lost to Czech Republic 0–3. The same result occurred in the rematch, one month later. With no chances to qualify directly, Montenegro failed to win the match against last placed Bulgaria (0-0), and lost to Kosovo (0-2).
At the end of their worst campaign, Montenegro suffered the biggest defeat in history. On 14 November 2019, they were defeated against England in London 7-0.
Except the fact that they finished qualifiers without single victory, Montenegro scored only three goals on eight matches, and conceded 22. Also, throughout the entire qualifying campaign the team had troubles with injuries of the key players, especially Stevan Jovetić and Stefan Savić.
Montenegro national football team is present on FIFA rankings since June 2007. Until now, best ranking of Montenegro was 16th place in the world (June 2011).
Below is a list of Montenegro position on FIFA ranking-list by every six months, with number of points.
The Football Association of Montenegro owns Camp FSCG, a Montenegrin training ground. Built in 2007, the centre has a total area of 54,000 square metres. It is located on Ćemovsko polje, a plain located in the outskirts of Podgorica outskirts between the settlements of Stari Aerodrom and Konik. It consists of six pitches with stands and floodlights, and House of Football – the seat of the Football Association of Montenegro.
The camp currently represents an important asset for the whole Montenegrin football system. The grounds are home to all Montenegrin national teams (men and women) and numerous local teams from Podgorica. CAMP FSCG meets the criteria for Montenegrin First League games and UEFA competitions for young players.
At competitive matches, the Montenegrin home ground Podgorica City Stadium is often filled to capacity. The stadium is regarded as too small to meet the needs of the national team. Demand for the World Cup qualifier against Italy in 2009 was 30,000 tickets; 40,000 for the Euro 2012 qualifying match against England in 2011.
Montenegro's loudest and most loyal supporters are named Ultra Crna Gora (Ултра Црна Гора; Ultra Montenegro). As an ultras group, their support consists of standing up and singing for 90 minutes both home and away. They occupy the north and south stands of Podgorica City Stadium. Choreography is usually performed at the beginning of games. Ultra Crna Gora consists of many subgroups, mostly named after Podgorica's neighborhoods and Montenegrin towns in other parts of the country.
In international football, players can normally only play for one national team once they play in all or part of any match recognised as a full international by FIFA. However, an exception is made in cases where one or more newly independent states are created out of a former state. Based on current FIFA rules, a player will be eligible to play for Montenegro, even if he had previously represented Serbia and Montenegro or any other country, if at least one of the following statements applies:
- The player was born in Montenegro;
- At least one of their parents and/or at least one of their grandparents was born in Montenegro;
- The player has lived in Montenegro continuously for any five-year period.
Due to mixed ancestries, it is likely that a high percentage of the players eligible to play for Montenegro will also remain eligible to play for Serbia, and vice versa. However, once they have played for either Serbia or Montenegro in any competitive fixture, they are no longer eligible to play for any other nation.
The following players were called up for Euro 2020 qualifying game against England on 14 November and friendly match against Belarus on 19 November 2019.
Caps and goals as of 19 November 2019 after the game against Belarus.
The following players have been called on the last 12 months.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|GK||Andrija Dragojević||25 December 1991||0||0||Pyunik||v. Kosovo, 14 October 2019|
|DF||Adam Marušić INJ||17 October 1992||33||0||Lazio||v. England, 14 November 2019|
|DF||Stefan Savić INJ (Vice-captain)||8 January 1991||52||5||Atlético Madrid||v. Kosovo, 14 October 2019|
|DF||Žarko Tomašević INJ||22 February 1990||37||4||Astana||v. Bulgaria, 11 October 2019|
|MF||Marko Janković INJ||9 July 1995||21||1||Crotone||v. England, 14 November 2019|
|MF||Aleksandar Šćekić INJ||12 December 1991||17||0||Partizan||v. England, 14 November 2019|
|MF||Vukan Savićević INJ||29 January 1994||4||0||Samsunspor||v. England, 14 November 2019|
|MF||Nebojša Kosović||24 February 1995||18||1||Kairat||v. Kosovo, 14 October 2019|
|MF||Luka Mirković||1 November 1990||3||0||Budućnost Podgorica||v. Kosovo, 14 October 2019|
|MF||Marko Bakić||1 November 1993||15||0||Mouscron||v. Czech Republic, 10 September 2019|
- SUS Suspended
- INJ Withdrew due to an injury.
- PRE Preliminary squad.
- WD Withdrew
- RET Retired from international football.
|Head coach||Faruk Hadžibegić|
|Assistant coach||Mehmed Janjoš|
|Assistant coach||Miodrag Džudović|
|Goalkeeping coach||Dragoje Leković|
Player/coach records are accurate as of 19 November 2019. Players in bold are still active at international level.
Most capped playersEdit
C – captain (starting as captain); O – official competition games (qualifiers, Nations League); F – friendlies; G – goals
O – official competition games; F – Friendlies; First – First goal; Last – Last goal
|#||Player||Montenegro career||Captain (Total Caps)|
|1||Mirko Vučinić||2007–2017||36 (46)|
|2||Stevan Jovetić (current captain)||2007–||24 (51)|
|3||Fatos Bećiraj||2009–||9 (69)|
|Branko Bošković||2007–2014||9 (29)|
|5||Stefan Savić||2010–||7 (52)|
|6||Vukašin Poleksić||2007–||6 (38)|
|7||Nikola Vukčević||2014–||4 (40)|
|8||Marko Simić||2013–||2 (41)|
|Igor Burzanović||2007–2008||2 (8)|
|10||Radomir Đalović||2007–2011||1 (26)|
|Simon Vukčević||2007–2014||1 (45)|
|Milan Jovanović||2007–2014||1 (36)|
|Nikola Drinčić||2007–2014||1 (33)|
|Milorad Peković||2007–2013||1 (34)|
Montenegro have participated in five qualification rounds for World Cup or European Championship tournaments. Montenegro have never qualified, and their biggest success was reaching the play-offs for Euro 2012.
Montenegro first tried to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, but they finished fifth in their group. They had more success in the Euro 2012 qualifiers, when they finished second in their group to reach the play-offs, but lost to the Czech Republic.
In the qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup, Montenegro finished third, and two years later, in the qualifiers for Euro 2016, they finished fourth in their group. They again finished third in their 2018 World Cup qualifying group. Worst performance came in the qualifiers for Euro 2020, as Montenegro finished last-placed in the group without single victory.
|FIFA World Cup qualifiers||30||10||10||10||47||43||+4|
|UEFA European Championship qualifiers||28||6||8||14||20||45||-25|
|UEFA Nations League||6||2||1||3||7||6||+1|
Updated: March 03, 2020
|FIFA World Cup record||FIFA World Cup qualification record|
|1930 to 1990||Part of SFR Yugoslavia||N/A|
|1994 to 2006||Part of FR Yugoslavia / Serbia and Montenegro|
|2010||Did not qualify||10||1||6||3||9||14||5/6|
|2022||To be determined||To be determined|
|UEFA European Championship record||UEFA European Championship qualifying record|
|1960 to 1992||Part of SFR Yugoslavia||N/A|
|1996 to 2004||Part of FR Yugoslavia / Serbia and Montenegro|
|2008||Did not enter|
|2012||Did not qualify||10||3||3||4||7||10||2/5|
|2024||To be determined||To be determined|
Recent results and fixturesEdit
|5 September 2019 International Friendly||Montenegro||2–1||Hungary||Podgorica, Montenegro|
Mugoša 75' (pen.)
|Report||Holender 2'||Stadium: Podgorica City Stadium|
Referee: Dimitar Mečkarovski (North Macedonia)
|10 September 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying Group A||Montenegro||0–3||Czech Republic||Podgorica, Montenegro|
Darida 90+5' (pen.)
|Stadium: Podgorica City Stadium|
Referee: Ali Palabıyık (Turkey)
|11 October 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying Group A||Montenegro||0–0||Bulgaria||Podgorica, Montenegro|
|20:45||Report||Stadium: Podgorica City Stadium|
Referee: Andreas Ekberg (Sweden)
|14 October 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying Group A||Kosovo||2–0||Montenegro||Pristina, Kosovo|
|Report||Stadium: Fadil Vokrri Stadium|
Referee: Artur Soares Dias (Portugal)
|14 November 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying Group A||England||7–0||Montenegro||London, England|
Kane 19', 24', 37'
Šofranac 66' (o.g.)
|Report||Stadium: Wembley Stadium|
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (Spain)
|19 November 2019 International friendly||Montenegro||2–0||Belarus||Podgorica, Montenegro|
|Report||Stadium: Podgorica City Stadium|
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann (Malta)
Below is a summary of Montenegrin national team results against every opponent country.
- As of 19 November 2019
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||1||0||1||0||0||0||+0||0.00|
|Republic of Ireland||2||0||2||0||0||0||+0||0.00|
FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifyingEdit
|1||Poland||10||8||1||1||28||14||+14||25||Qualification to 2018 FIFA World Cup||—||3–2||4–2||3–1||2–1||3–0|
|2||Denmark||10||6||2||2||20||8||+12||20||Advance to second round||4–0||—||0–1||1–1||1–0||4–1|
UEFA Euro 2020 qualificationEdit
|1||England||8||7||0||1||37||6||+31||21||Qualify for final tournament||—||5–0||5–3||4–0||7–0|
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- Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 1 August 2020. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
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- Mark Chaplin (2006). "No decision yet on Gibraltar". UEFA.com. Archived from the original on 28 November 2006. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
- Simon Hart (2007). "UEFA to consider 24-team EURO". UEFA.com. UEFA. Archived from the original on 19 February 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
- "Soccer-Montenegro beat Hungary 2–1 in international debut". Reuters.co.uk. Reuters. 24 March 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
- "Montenegro take a bow with victory". UEFA.com. UEFA. 2007. Archived from the original on 4 June 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
- "Blatter's third term confirmed". FIFA.com. FIFA. 2007. Retrieved 17 October 2007.
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- "Montenegro Arrests Fans for Football Violence". balkaninsight.com. Balkan Insight. 31 March 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
- "SPISAK „SOKOLA" ZA MEČEVE SA ENGLESKOM I BJELORUSIJOM". fscg.me (in Serbian). 30 October 2019.
- "POZIV ZA JOŠ PETORICU IGRAČA". fscg.me (in Serbian). 9 November 2019.
- "„Sokoli" protiv Engleske i bez Jankovića i Savićevića". Vijesti (in Serbian). 12 November 2019. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
- Montenegro national football team at EU-football.info
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