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The Serbia national football team (Serbian: Фудбалска репрезентација Србије / Fudbalska reprezentacija Srbije) represents Serbia in international football competition and is controlled by the Football Association of Serbia, the governing body for football in Serbia.

Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Оrlovi / Орлови
(The Eagles)
AssociationFootball Association of Serbia
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachVacant
CaptainAleksandar Kolarov
Most capsBranislav Ivanović (105)
Top scorerStjepan Bobek (38)
Home stadiumRajko Mitić Stadium, Belgrade
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 34 Decrease 5 (14 June 2019)[1]
Highest6 (December 1998)
Lowest101 (December 1994)
Elo ranking
Current 22 Increase 1 (16 June 2019)[2]
Highest4 (June 1998)
Lowest47 (October 2012)
First international
 Czechoslovakia 7–0 Kingdom SCS Kingdom of Yugoslavia
(Antwerp, Belgium; 28 August 1920)
as Serbia
 Czech Republic 1–3 Serbia 
(Uherské Hradiště, Czech Republic; 18 August 2006)
Biggest win
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia SFR Yugoslavia 10–0 Venezuela 
(Curitiba, Brazil; 14 June 1972)
as Serbia
 Azerbaijan 1–6 Serbia 
(Baku, Azerbaijan; 17 October 2007)
 Serbia 6–1 Bulgaria 
(Belgrade, Serbia; 19 November 2008)
 Serbia 5–0 Romania 
(Belgrade, Serbia; 10 October 2009)
 Serbia 6–1 Wales 
(Novi Sad, Serbia; 11 September 2012)
Biggest defeat
 Czechoslovakia 7–0 Kingdom SCS Kingdom of Yugoslavia
(Antwerp, Belgium; 28 August 1920)
 Uruguay 7–0 Kingdom SCS Kingdom of Yugoslavia
(Paris, France; 26 May 1924)
 Czechoslovakia 7–0 Kingdom SCS Kingdom of Yugoslavia
(Prague, Czechoslovakia; 28 October 1925)
as Serbia
 Ukraine 5–0 Serbia 
(Lviv, Ukraine 7 June 2019)
World Cup
Appearances12 (first in 1930)
Best resultFourth place as Yugoslavia (1930, 1962)
European Championship
Appearances5 (first in 1960)
Best resultRunners-up as Yugoslavia (1960, 1968)

With the national team nicknamed the Orlovi (Орлови; the Eagles), football has a long history in both Serbia and neighbouring countries. Serbia competed under the various forms of Yugoslav national teams where it achieved considerable success, finishing fourth at the 1930 and 1962 World Cups, respectively. Considered by FIFA and UEFA to be the successor of both the Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro national teams, the achievements of the promising team of the 1990s (which featured players such as Dragan Stojković, Dejan Savićević, Predrag Mijatović, Vladimir Jugović and Siniša Mihajlović) was somewhat curbed due to international sanctions imposed against Yugoslavia at the time due to the Yugoslav Wars.

Following the dissolution of Serbia and Montenegro, Serbia has played as an independent nation since 2006, and qualified for the World Cup in 2010 and 2018.

Serbia usually use the home of Red Star Belgrade, the Rajko Mitić Stadium, as their home ground. Occasionally, the Partizan Stadium is also used.

Both FIFA and UEFA consider the Serbian national team to be the direct and sole successor of the Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro teams.[3][4][5]



The Yugoslavian line-up at the 1930 FIFA World Cup

Kingdom of YugoslaviaEdit

The first national team was in the kingdom that existed between the two world wars. The Football Federation of what was then the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was founded in Zagreb in 1919 under the name Jugoslovenski nogometni savez (and admitted into FIFA), and the national team played its first international game at the Summer Olympics in Antwerp in 1920. The opponent was Czechoslovakia, and the historic starting eleven that represented Kingdom of SCS on its debut were: Dragutin Vrđuka, Vjekoslav Župančić, Jaroslav Šifer, Stanko Tavčar, Slavin Cindrić, Rudolf Rupec, Dragutin Vragović, and Jovan Ružić. They lost by a large margin, 0–7,[6] but nonetheless entered their names in the history books.

1930 World CupEdit

In 1929, the country was renamed to Yugoslavia and the football association became Fudbalski Savez Jugoslavije and moved its headquarters to Belgrade. The national team participated at the 1930 FIFA World Cup, finishing in third place.[7] In its first ever World Cup match in Montevideo's Parque Central, Yugoslavia managed a famous 2–1 win versus mighty Brazil, with the following starting eleven representing the country: Milovan Jakšić, Branislav Sekulić, Aleksandar Tirnanić, Milutin Ivković, Ivica Bek, Momčilo Đokić, Blagoje Marjanović, Milorad Arsenijević, Đorđe Vujadinović, Dragoslav Mihajlović, and Ljubiša Stefanović. The national team consisted of players based in Serbian football clubs, while the Zagreb Subassociation forbid players from Croatian clubs to play in the World Cup due to the relocation of the football association's headquarters from Zagreb to Belgrade.[8]

Socialist YugoslaviaEdit

The federation and football overall was disrupted by World War II. After the war, a socialist federation was formed and the football federation reconstituted.

Silver Medal at 1948 and 1952 OlympicsEdit

Yugoslavia begin their football campaign by defeating Luxembourg 6–1,[9] with five different players scoring the goals. In the quarter-finals and the semi-finals, they would take out Turkey[10] and Great Britain[11] by the same score of 3–1. In the final though, they would lose to Sweden.[12]

Having a team with many players from the 1948 generation, Yugoslavia was a formidable side at the 1952 Summer Olympics and finished as runners-up behind the legendary Hungary national team. Against the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia was 5–1 up with 15 minutes of their first round match to go. The Yugoslavs, understandably, put their feet up. Arthur Ellis, the match referee, recorded what happened next in his book, The Final Whistle (London, 1963): "The USSR forced the most honourable draw ever recorded! [Vsevolod] Bobrov, their captain, scored a magnificent hat-trick. After the Soviet Union had reduced the lead to 5–2, he, almost single-handed, took the score to 5–5, scoring his third in the last minute. For once, use of the word sensational was justified." Although Bobrov's early goal in their replay presaged a miraculous recovery, Yugoslavia recovered sufficiently to put out their opponents easily in the second half.

1960s through 1980sEdit

Yugoslavia organized the 1976 European Championship played in Belgrade and Zagreb. The national team participated in eight World Cups and four Euros, and won the Olympic football tournament in 1960 at the Summer Games (they also finished second three times and third once).

Dissolution of Yugoslavia and UN sanctionsEdit

With the end of the Cold War, democratic principles were introduced to the country which brought about the end of Titoist rule. In the subsequent atmosphere, national tensions were heightened. At the Yugoslavia-Netherlands friendly in preparation for the 1990 World Cup, the Croatian crowd in Zagreb jeered the Yugoslav team and anthem and waved Dutch flags (owing to its resemblance to the Croatian tricolour). With the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the team split up and the remaining team of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) was banned from competing at Euro 92. The decision was made on 31 May 1992, just ten days before the competition commenced.[13]

They had finished top of their qualifying group, but were unable to play in the competition due to United Nations Security Council Resolution 757. Their place was taken by Denmark, who went on to win the competition. Yugoslavia had also been drawn as the top seed in Group 5 of the European Zone in the qualifying tournament for the 1994 World Cup. FRY was barred from competing, rendering the group unusually weak.

Serbia and MontenegroEdit

1998 World CupEdit

Although the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, consisting of Serbia and Montenegro, was formed on 27 April 1992, its teams were banned from all international sporting events, including the national football team. Consequently, the national team did not play its first game as a new country before 23 December 1994, a friendly match played in Porto Alegre and in which Brazil won 2–0. This was the first ever team composed of Serbian and Montenegrin players exclusively, while Slobodan Santrač, a former Yugoslavia national team player, was named the team's first ever manager. The next game was played three days later, this time in Buenos Aires, resulting in a 1–0 loss to Argentina.

Also due to the United Nations international sanctions, the team could not participate in 1994 World Cup qualifying nor the Euro 1996 qualifying process.

On 31 March 1995, the team recorded its first official win in history, a 1–0 friendly against Uruguay, simultaneously marking the team's first ever home game, played at Stadion Crvena Zvezda in Belgrade, and the first ever goal scored, courtesy of Savo Milošević. Slightly more than one year later, the team recorded its first ever win in a World Cup qualifying tournament in its first game in such a tournament, a 3–1 win over the Faroe Islands. Shortly after, the team also recorded its biggest win in history, once again against the Faroe Islands, 8–1. Yugoslavia finished second in Group 6, just behind Spain, meaning it had to go through the play-off system in order to qualify. Yugoslavia was paired up with Hungary, and what was believed would be a tough match turned out to be an easy win for Yugoslavia, 7–1 in Budapest and 5–0 in Belgrade, for an aggregate score of 12–1. This was enough to secure Yugoslavia its first ever World Cup appearance as a new country.

The 1998 World Cup seeding had Yugoslavia ranked in 21st position, but the Yugoslavia national team went to France as one of the shadow favorites for the World Cup. The New York Times stated that Yugoslavia could easily be a semi-finalist in that year's World Cup.[14] The justification for such an estimation was partially found in the names of the Yugoslav players, members of great European teams and proven footballers. The draw put the team in Group F alongside Germany, the United States, and Iran. Yugoslavia won its first game 1–0 against Iran thanks to a goal from defender Siniša Mihajlović. The next game was a draw for Yugoslavia. After leading Germany 2–0, last game's hero, Mihajlović, scored an unlucky own goal following a German freekick, and Oliver Bierhoff equalised at 2–2 with only about ten minutes to the match. Nonetheless, Yugoslavia responded in the next game against the United States and won 1–0 due to an early goal in Nantes. Yugoslavia made easy work of Group 6, but despite an excellent record, the game against Germany would prove costly as Germany won the group thanks to a better goal difference.

Due to their second position, Yugoslavia saw itself face the Netherlands in the Round of 16. Yugoslavia entered in the match with a sole attacker, but its defensive tactics proved unsuccessful as Dennis Bergkamp put the Netherlands in front in the 38th minute. Immediately following the start of the second half, Yugoslavia pressured the Dutch, who inevitably conceded a header from Slobodan Komljenović. However, the turning point of this match was a penalty awarded to Yugoslavia after Vladimir Jugović was fouled in the penalty area. Predrag Mijatović's shot dazzled Edwin van der Sar, but not the crossbar, and the scoreline remained the same at 1–1. Such an event demoralized the Yugoslavs, as the Dutch took the initiative. In the late seconds of the game, as everybody was preparing for extra time, Edgar Davids' shot towards the Yugoslav net from a distance of 20 meters and beat goalkeeper Ivica Kralj, to the pure disbelief of the Yugoslav players and fans. This marked the end of Yugoslavia's run in the 1998 World Cup, since there was not much time left to do anything.

Unlucky events forced Yugoslavia out of the tournament, but the team definitely demonstrated its great ability and proved it had a spot among the world's best teams. This was also reflected in the FIFA World Rankings following the 1998 FIFA World Cup, in which Yugoslavia was constantly ranked in the Top 10 for a long period of time.

Euro 2000Edit

The draw for the Euro 2000 qualifiers saw many eyebrows raised as first-seeded Yugoslavia was drawn in a group with Croatia, thus marking the first games between the two teams after the breakup of Yugoslavia. The other teams in the group were the Republic of Ireland, Macedonia, and Malta. When the qualifiers began, the coach was Milan Živadinović, but in July 1999 he resigned and was replaced by Vujadin Boškov.

The team started with a 1–0 win over Ireland in Belgrade, before beating Malta 3–0 in Ta' Qali. The home fixture against the Maltese followed, but was moved to Thessaloniki, Greece due to the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. The team nonetheless won 4–1. The first, highly anticipated match against Croatia took place in Belgrade shortly after the bombing ended, and was interrupted due to a power outage at the beginning of the second half, resuming after 43 minutes[15] and eventually finishing 0–0. A 2–1 defeat against Ireland in Dublin was followed by victories home and away against Macedonia (3–1 and 4–2 respectively), meaning that Yugoslavia needed to win its final qualifier against Croatia in Zagreb, or to draw with Ireland failing to beat Macedonia in Skopje, in order to qualify automatically for Euro 2000. In the event, Ireland conceded an injury-time equaliser, meaning that Yugoslavia's 2–2 draw with the Croatians was good enough.

The draw for the finals placed Yugoslavia in Group C along with Spain, Norway and another former Yugoslav republic, Slovenia. The Slovenians took a surprise 3–0 lead in the first game at the Stade du Pays de Charleroi, but three goals in six second-half minutes enabled Yugoslavia to secure a 3–3 draw. The team then beat Norway 1–0 in Liège, thanks to an early Savo Milošević backheel strike. The final group game, against Spain in Bruges, saw the Yugoslavs take the lead three times, before a Gaizka Mendieta penalty and an Alfonso strike in injury-time secured a dramatic 4–3 win for the Spaniards and top spot in the group. Yugoslavia nonetheless finished second, level on points with Norway but ranked ahead due to its victory in Liège. In each of the three games, the team had one player sent off (Siniša Mihajlović, Mateja Kežman, and Slaviša Jokanović, respectively).

In the quarter-finals, Yugoslavia was once again paired with the Netherlands. Unlike the last time, the co-hosts made easy work of Yugoslavia, winning 6–1 in Rotterdam with Patrick Kluivert scoring a hat-trick.

Savo Milošević was crowned the joint top scorer of the tournament, alongside Patrick Kluivert. Both players scored five goals, although Milošević played one game fewer.[16]

2002 World CupEdit

The 2002 qualifiers marked the first time that Yugoslavia failed to reach a major tournament ever since its return to the big stage after the UN sanctions. The problems started with the major political turmoil in the country as well in the Yugoslav FA, which prompted the new coach Ilija Petković to resign only after one game (2–0 away victory against Luxembourg).

Milovan Đorić took over the team, but under his leadership, the team managed only two draws (1–1 at home vs. Switzerland and also 1–1 away in Slovenia, in both games the opponents managed to equalise in late stages of the game) and a 0–1 home loss to Russia (which marked the team's first home defeat in official matches). After Ðorić's resignation, a three-man commission, consisting of Dejan Savićević, Vujadin Boškov, and Ivan Ćurković, took over the coaching duties, until Savićević ultimately took over on his own. The team managed to bounce back with a draw in Russia and a win in Switzerland, but failed to defeat Slovenia in the penultimate game, thus ended the qualifiers in third position.

2006 World CupEdit

Serbia and Montenegro and Cote d'Ivoire playing in the Allianz Arena at the 2006 FIFA World Cup

After Savićević's disastrous spell as coach of Yugoslavia, the country went under a political transformation, and Ilija Petković became the newly named Serbia and Montenegro's new coach. Initially, the team under his lead experienced dragging failure in the Euro 2004 qualifiers while competing for the first time as Serbia and Montenegro. Despite drawing both games against group favorites and eventual group winners Italy and winning both games against runners-up Wales, Serbia and Montenegro failed to qualify, mostly due to an embarrassing 2–2 home draw and 2–1 away loss to Azerbaijan.

Qualifying for the 2006 World Cup, however, was different. Serbia and Montenegro began the campaign by finishing first with an undefeated record in their qualification group ahead of favourites Spain. The Serbia and Montenegro team also allowed only one goal in the ten matches, the best defensive record of all 51 teams participating in qualification.

For the 2006 qualifiers, Serbia and Montenegro was drawn in a group with Spain, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lithuania and San Marino. Led once again by Ilija Petković as coach, Serbia and Montenegro played some impressive defensive football—the "Famous Four" defense, consisting of Nemanja Vidić, Mladen Krstajić, Goran Gavrančić, and Ivica Dragutinović, with Dragoslav Jevrić as goalkeeper, conceded only one goal in ten games, finishing first with a 6–4–0 record, ahead of Spain.

On 3 June 2006, following a referendum, Montenegro declared its independence from Serbia. As the World Cup was about to start, it was decided that the Serbia and Montenegro team that had qualified for the tournament would compete, with the split into separate teams representing the new countries of Montenegro and Serbia to take place once the team was no longer in the tournament.

In the group stage, Serbia and Montenegro lost their opening game to joint group favourite, the Netherlands. The final score was 1–0 after Arjen Robben scored the only goal of the game. They also lost their second game to Argentina 6–0, Serbia and Montenegro's worst ever international result. With the team's two losses and with Netherlands and Argentina winning both their games, Serbia and Montenegro could no longer qualify for the knockout matches, and was playing for pride alone in their final group game against Ivory Coast. Despite having a 2–0 lead for much of the first half, the Elephants managed to come back and win 3–2, leaving Serbia and Montenegro with a disappointing 0–0–3 World Cup run.


After Montenegro declared independence, Serbia marked their split from Montenegro with a 3–1 win over the Czech Republic. The Euro 2008 qualification process began not long after in 2007 and ended in disappointment for Serbia. A strong start in qualification was overshadowed by the final hurdle of matches where inconsistency took over, the side dropping points against the likes of Finland, Belgium, Armenia and Kazakhstan. They eventually finished third, three points behind runners-up Portugal and Group A winners Poland. Serbia's first ever foreign coach Javier Clemente was sacked after the failure.

Serbia replaced Clemente with Miroslav Đukić, who then left the position on 19 August of the following year without having played any official games, due to various disagreements with the Football Association of Serbia.

2010 World CupEdit

Atmosphere at the start of match vs. France, 9 September 2009
Serbia's starting XI in their famous 1–0 win over Germany at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[17]

Subsequent to Ðukić's rapid departure, Radomir Antić was appointed coach and success followed. Serbia's World Cup qualification campaign began in 2008. Their qualification group featured former World Cup winners and 2006 FIFA World Cup runners-up France, traditionally powerful Romania, as well as Austria, Lithuania and the Faroe Islands. Serbia played consistently during the qualifiers and this led to the team automatically qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. They confirmed qualification with a commanding 5–0 win at home against Romania.

Like in 2006, Serbia went into the 2010 FIFA World Cup as the dark horses of the tournament. Key points justifying their potential surprise-team status included a star-studded defense that was composed by Nemanja Vidić, Neven Subotić, Aleksandar Kolarov and Branislav Ivanović. The captain of Serbia's 2010 World Cup campaign was stalwart Dejan Stanković, who became the only player to feature in a World Cup having played under three different national names (although he never changed nationality; this was a result of geopolitical events involving the identity of Yugoslavia).[18] In their first tournament as an independent nation, they were to face Ghana, Germany and Australia.

Their opening group game was against Ghana and chances came to both sides but a red card to Aleksandar Luković and a handball by substitute Zdravko Kuzmanović in the second half gave Ghana a penalty to take all three points at the death. Asamoah Gyan converted eight minutes from full-time and Serbia were defeated 1–0.

In Serbia's second group match, they sensationally defeated Germany by a score of 1–0 with an acrobatic goal by Milan Jovanović late in the first half. FIFA's official YouTube channel called the win "the most famous day in Serbia's footballing history".[19]

Serbia only needed a single point to reach the knockout stages but were defeated by Australia 2–1 in an entertaining match where Serbia's dominance in the first half and in periods of the second half would have made it look like a Serbia victory. Australia scored 2 goals in the second half through Tim Cahill and Brett Holman. A late Marko Pantelić goal served only as a consolation. They finished last in the group.

Radomir Antić was sacked two games into the Euro 2012 qualification process, a 1–1 draw at home to Slovenia spelling the end to his two-year stint. The sacking meant the bringing in of Vladimir Petrović to the job.

Euro 2012 campaignEdit

Nemanja Vidić, famous Serbian defender, two times FIFA World XI

Serbia once again failed to qualify for the European Championships, making it 12 years since the country last took part in the tournament. Serbia was drawn in Qualification Group C featuring Italy, Slovenia, Estonia, Northern Ireland and the Faroe Islands. The qualifying stage began with Radomir Antić as coach and finished with Vladimir Petrović. Serbia and Antić started the first two games positively with a 3–0 win away to Faroe Islands and a 1–1 draw at home to Slovenia but this result brought the end of Antić's reign as the country's coach. New coach Petrović faced setbacks immediately with an embarrassing 3–1 loss at home to Estonia and an abandoned match resulting in a 3–0 loss to Italy due to crowd trouble from the Serbian away supporters in Genoa.

Serbia returned to form with a 2–1 win at home over Northern Ireland but could only manage a 1–1 draw away to Estonia.

Afterwards, Serbia won back to back games with a 1–0 win away to Northern Ireland and a crucial 3–1 win at home against Faroe Islands. These results put Serbia in pole position to confirm a play-off spot behind Italy.

Serbia needed a win at home against Italy to confirm a play-off spot but their efforts only resulted in a 1–1 draw. The team, however, still had one more chance to confirm a play-off place when they faced Slovenia away. This game was a must win even though Serbia had a superior goal difference over Estonia, a draw was not good enough for progression. Serbia played positively and created a number of chances during the game but a long-range goal put Slovenia up 1–0 at half time. The Serbians then failed to convert numerous chances that they had in the second half, notably Nemanja Vidić's penalty miss midway through the second half. Serbia left empty handed after a 1–0 loss and exited the tournament for the third time in a row during the qualifying group stages, missing out by one point behind Estonia.

Vladimir Petrović was sacked after the team's failure to qualify.

2014 World Cup campaignEdit

Dejan Stanković and Nemanja Vidić announced that they were retiring from international football. This meant that Serbia had lost two key players and that a new era had started. Branislav Ivanović became the new captain. Siniša Mihajlović, a former member of the national team, was appointed as the coach on 24 April 2012. Serbia was drawn in Group A in qualification for 2014 FIFA World Cup, together with Croatia, Belgium, Scotland, Macedonia, and Wales. The team began the qualification campaign with a goalless draw with Scotland and a 6:1 win over Wales. In the next two games, Serbia suffered two defeats, from Macedonia and Belgium.

In 2013, on 22 March, Serbia played in Zagreb against Croatia. The game was highly anticipated in both countries due to their rivalry both on and off the pitch. Croatia won 2–0 and sent Serbia down on the table. Serbia then defeated Scotland 2–0 at home in a crucial qualifier, though their World Cup hopes were taken away after a 2–1 defeat to Belgium. Serbia drew with Croatia 1–1 in the corresponding fixture at home in a spiteful affair, where 18-year-old Aleksandar Mitrović scored an equalizer in the second-half after Mario Mandžukić opened the scoring. They then defeated Wales 0–3 in Cardiff. Dejan Stanković's farewell game was completed in a friendly against Japan, which Serbia won 2–0. He finished his career with 103 appearances for the national team, a record previously held by Savo Milošević, with 102 appearances. Serbia finished qualifying with a 5–1 home win against Macedonia, putting them in third in the group, three points from a playoff spot behind Croatia and group winners Belgium.

Euro 2016 campaignEdit

Serbia once again failed to qualify for the European Championships, making it 16 years since the country last took part in the tournament. Dick Advocaat was appointed as the coach in 2014. Serbia was drawn in Group I in qualification for UEFA Euro 2016, together with Portugal, Denmark, Albania and Armenia. Advocaat started with a draw in a friendly 1–1 game against France. The team began qualification with a 1–1 draw against Armenia. In the next abandoned game against Albania in Belgrade, Serbia was originally awarded with a 3–0 victory, but was later deducted three points. On 14 November 2014, Serbia played against Denmark in Belgrade and lost, 1–3. After this game, Advocaat left, whereupon Radovan Ćurčić was announced as a new coach on 18 November.

In 2015, Serbia's first match was a qualifying match against Portugal in Lisbon, during which Serbia lost 2–1, cutting their chances for qualification to Euro 2016. On 13 June 2015, Serbia played a qualifying match against Denmark in Copenhagen, losing 2–0. On 10 July, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced that it had awarded a 0–3 victory to Albania in the abandoned match held on 14 October 2014, upholding Serbia's three-point penalization. As a result, Serbia became mathematically eliminated from Euro 2016 qualification. On 4 September 2015, Serbia made first victory in this qualification 2–0, against Armenia. On 8 October 2015, Serbia made a spectacular victory against Albania. Serbia beat Albania on Elbasan Arena thanks to Aleksandar Kolarov and Adem Ljajić goals in injury time (2–0). In the table of Group I, Serbia finished second to last place with four points in a five team group.

2018 World Cup: returnEdit

Serbia national team at the 2018 World Cup in Russia

Serbia were drawn with Euro 2016 semi-finalists Wales, Austria, Ireland, Georgia and Moldova. They started off their campaign with a 2-2 draw against Ireland at the Rajko Mitic Stadium and continued this good form with wins over Austria, Georgia, Moldova.

Serbia beat Moldova in Belgrade with goals from Aleksandar Kolarov, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Mijat Gacinovic. This consolidated their first position going into their top-of-the group clash with Ireland. They won this match with a 55th-minute goal from Kolarov. Serbia finished with a 1-0 home win against Georgia, and ended top of Group D and therefore qualified for the 2018 tournament, its first major tournament after an eight-year absence.

In the World Cup, Serbia opened their match against Costa Rica, the team that four years ago had stunned big teams like Uruguay, Italy and England. Despite of Costa Rica's historic achievement four years ago, Kolarov's superb free kick at the second half had made Costa Rica to suffer not just their first defeat since 2006 World Cup, but it is also a historic win for Serbia after eight years. However, Serbia performed poorly in their later encounters, losing 1–2 to Switzerland on a 90-minute goal scored by Xherdan Shaqiri and 0–2 to Brazil, thus once again eliminated from the group stage of a big tournament. Serbia's elimination came out as for the result of lacking experience, since most of Serbia's squad has not played in any big tournaments for eight years.


Serbia has a fierce rivalry with Croatia. This rivalry stems from political roots, and is listed as one of the ten greatest international rivalries by[20] and as the most politically-charged football rivalry by the Bleacher Report.[21] The two sides have a politically turbulent history, which started this rivalry in the 1990s. Both were part of Yugoslavia, which dissolved after war broke out between the constituent republics, including Serbia and Croatia. The two nations have played four times, with Croatia winning one and drawing the other three games.[22]

Team imageEdit

Serbian team before a friendly match versus Ireland in Dublin in May 2008

Kits, colours and badgeEdit

Nicknamed The Blues, the various Yugoslav teams of the 20th century wore a primarily blue kit. This was paired with white shorts and red socks, mimicking the blue-white-red tricolour flag. As Serbia and Montenegro continued this blue-white-red tradition, it was considered appropriate for a newly-independent Serbian team to adopt a different colouring scheme.

Serbia eventually adopted red shirts, blue shorts and white socks, paralleling the primary red theme taken up by other national sports teams. Such a look was also based on a tricolour flag arrangement, albeit this time inspired by the flag of Serbia. The first home kit featured red shirts with a blue and white trim, whilst a cross motif was incorporated ahead of the 2010 World Cup. Taken from the country's coat of arms, it remained on the kits until 2014. In recent years, partly due to FIFA's increasingly-strict kit clash regulations, Serbia have utilised all-red uniforms, abandoning blue altogether.

Serbia's away kits are traditionally white, featuring a red and blue trim.

The badge of the Football Association of Serbia is modelled on the escutcheon of the Serbian coat of arms. It features a modified version of the four firesteels, a historical Serbian emblem, with the addition of a football.


Serbia is nicknamed 'the Eagles' (Orlovi / Орлови).[23] The name refers to the white double-headed eagle found on the coat of arms of Serbia, a national symbol of Serbia.

Kit sponsorshipEdit

In July 2014, a partnership was announced between the Football Association of Serbia and English manufacturer Umbro which is Serbia's official supplier before Puma took over with their home and away kits, debuting 7 September 2014 in the friendly match against France. On 7 September 2014, Serbia unveiled their latest kits also worn at the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifiers campaign.[24]

Kit Supplier Period
  Nike 2006–2014
  Umbro 2014–2018
  Puma 2018–present

Record in major tournamentsEdit

The Football Association of Serbia is deemed the direct successor to both SFR Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro by FIFA, and therefore the inheritor to all the records of the defunct nations.

FIFA World CupEdit

FIFA World Cup qualification in temple

FIFA World Cup record Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
as   Kingdom of Yugoslavia
  1930 Fourth place 4th 3 2 0 1 7 7 Invited
  1934 Did not qualify 2 0 1 1 3 4
  1938 2 1 0 1 1 4
as   SFR Yugoslavia (until 1962 as FPR Yugoslavia)
  1950 Group stage 5th 3 2 0 1 7 3 5 3 2 0 16 6
  1954 Quarter-finals 7th 3 1 1 1 2 3 4 4 0 0 4 0
  1958 Quarter-finals 5th 4 1 2 1 7 7 4 2 2 0 7 2
  1962 Fourth place 4th 6 3 0 3 10 7 4 3 1 0 11 4
  1966 Did not qualify 6 3 1 2 10 8
  1970 6 3 1 2 19 7
  1974 Second group stage 7th 6 1 2 3 12 7 5 3 2 0 8 4
  1978 Did not qualify 4 1 0 3 6 8
  1982 Group stage 16th 3 1 1 1 2 2 8 6 1 1 22 7
  1986 Did not qualify 8 3 2 3 7 8
  1990 Quarter-finals 5th 5 3 1 1 8 6 8 6 2 0 16 6
as   FR Yugoslavia
  1994 Suspended Suspended
  1998 Round of 16 10th 4 2 1 1 5 4 12 9 2 1 41 8
   2002 Did not qualify 10 5 4 1 22 8
as   Serbia and Montenegro
  2006 Group stage 32nd 3 0 0 3 2 10 10 6 4 0 16 1
as   Serbia
  2010 Group stage 23rd 3 1 0 2 2 3 10 7 1 2 22 8
  2014 Did not qualify 10 4 2 4 18 11
  2018 Group stage 23rd 3 1 0 2 2 4 10 6 3 1 20 10
  2022 Future events Future events
Total Fourth place 12/21 46 18 8 20 66 63 128 75 31 22 269 114
* Draw for 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifiers was made on 8 December 1991, however due to break-up of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and consequent military conflict, which broke in early 1991, FSJ ceased to exist as football organization of the SFR Yugoslavia. Organization that remained based in Belgrade, Serbia, was excluded from taking part as FSJ or its successor due to UN sanctions.[25]

UEFA European ChampionshipEdit

UEFA European Championship qualifying in temple

UEFA European Championship record Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
as   SFR Yugoslavia (1960 as FPR Yugoslavia)
  1960 Runners-up 2nd 2 1 0 1 6 6 4 2 1 1 9 4
  1964 Did not qualify 4 2 1 1 6 5
  1968 Runners-up 2nd 3 1 1 1 2 3 6 4 1 1 14 5
  1972 Did not qualify 8 3 4 1 7 5
  1976 Fourth Place 4th 2 0 0 2 4 7 8 6 1 1 15 5
  1980 Did not qualify 6 4 0 2 14 6
  1984 Group Stage 8th 3 0 0 3 2 10 6 3 2 1 12 11
  1988 Did not qualify 6 4 0 2 13 9
  1992 Qualified/Suspended 8 7 0 1 24 4
as   FR Yugoslavia
  1996 Suspended Suspended
   2000 Quarter-final 8th 4 1 1 2 8 13 8 5 2 1 18 8
as   Serbia and Montenegro
  2004 Did not qualify 8 3 3 2 11 11
as   Serbia
   2008 Did not qualify 14 6 6 2 22 11
   2012 10 4 3 3 13 12
  2016 8 2 1 5 8 13
  2020 Future event In progress
  2024 Future event
Total Runners-up 5/15 14 3 2 9 22 39 104 55 25 24 186 109

UEFA Nations League recordEdit

Last update : 20 November 2018

UEFA Nations League record
Season Division Group Pld W D L GF GA P/R RK
2018–19 C 4 6 4 2 0 11 4   27
2020–21 B To be determined
Total 1/2 6 4 2 0 11 4

Recent results and forthcoming fixturesEdit

For more result see: Serbia national football team results

Head to head records (1994 onward)Edit

As of 10 June 2019
  1. ^ The Serbia v Albania match was abandoned with the score at 0–0 shortly before halftime after "various incidents", which resulted in the Albania players refusing to return to the field. UEFA ruled that Albania had forfeited the match and awarded a 3–0 win to Serbia, but also deducted three points from Serbia for their involvement in the events. Serbia must also play their next two home qualifying games behind closed doors, and both the Serbian and Albanian FAs were fined €100,000.[27] Both the Serbian and Albanian football associations were looking to have the decision revisited,[28][29] but the decision was upheld by UEFA.[30] Both associations then filed further appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport,[31] and on 10 July 2015 the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected the appeal filed by the Serbian FA, and upheld in part the appeal filed by the Albanian FA, meaning the match is deemed to have been forfeited by Serbia with 0–3 and they are still deducted three points.[32] Serbian FA announced appeal at the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland.[33]
  2. ^ The Italy v Serbia match was abandoned after six minutes due to rioting by Serbian fans.[34] The UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body awarded the match as a 3–0 forfeit win to Italy.[35]

Head coachesEdit

As of 10 June 2019
Manager Period Record Major competitions
Matches Won Drawn Lost Win % Draw % Loss %
  Mladen Krstajić 2017–2019 19 9 5 5 47.36 26.32 26.32   2018 World Cup – Group stage
  Slavoljub Muslin 2016–2017 15 8 5 2 53.33 33.33 13.33
  Radovan Ćurčić 2014–2016 11 5 0 6 45.45 0.00 55.55   Euro 2016 – Failed to qualify
  Dick Advocaat 2014 4 0 2 2 0.00 50.00 50.00
  Ljubinko Drulović 2014 4 2 1 1 50.00 25.00 25.00
  Siniša Mihajlović 2012–2013 19 7 4 8 36.84 21.05 42.10   2014 World Cup – Failed to qualify
  Radovan Ćurčić 2011–2012 5 2 1 2 40.00 20.00 40.00
  Vladimir Petrović 2010–2011 13 5 3 5 38.46 23.08 38.46   Euro 2012 – Failed to qualify
  Radomir Antić 2008–2010 28 17 3 8 60.71 10.71 28.57   2010 World Cup – Group stage
  Miroslav Đukić 2007–2008 5 0 2 3 0.00 40.00 60.00
  Javier Clemente 2006–2007 16 7 7 2 43.75 43.75 12.50   Euro 2008 – Failed to qualify
  Ilija Petković 2003–2006 30 11 10 9 36.66 33.33 30.00   2006 World Cup – Group stage
  Dejan Savićević 2001–2003 17 4 3 10 23.53 17.65 58.82   Euro 2004 – Failed to qualify
  Boškov-Ćurković-Savićević 2001 8 4 2 2 50.00 25.00 25.00   2002 World Cup – Failed to qualify
  Milovan Đorić 2001 3 0 2 1 0.00 66.66 33.33
  Ilija Petković 2000–2001 4 2 1 1 50.00 25.00 25.00
  Vujadin Boškov 1999–2000 15 6 5 4 40.00 33.33 26.66   Euro 2000 – Quarter final
  Milan Živadinović 1998–1999 6 3 2 1 50.00 33.33 16.66
  Slobodan Santrač 1994–1998 43 26 10 7 60.46 23.25 16.28   1998 World Cup – Round of 16
  TOTAL 265 118 68 79 44.52 25.66 29.81 5 out of 11

For the period before 1992 see: Yugoslavia national football team#Head coaches

Current coaching staffEdit

As of 13 June 2019 [36]
Serbian coaching staff
  • Head coach: Vacant
  • Assistant coach:   Zoran Filipović
  • Coach:   Goran Đorović
  • Coach:   Simo Krunić
  • Fitness coach:   Marko Stojanović
  • Goalkeeping coach:   Nemanja Jovšić
  • Doctor:   Dr. Slobodan Srđanović
  • Physiotherapist:   Filip Petrović
  • Physiotherapist:   Vukan Vukčević
  • Physiotherapist:   Viktor Vujošević
  • Physiotherapist:   Dejan Bogdanović
  • Kitman:   Đorđe Prerad
  • Kitman:   Danijel Dragaš
  • Team manager:   Pavle Simić


Current squadEdit

The following players were called up for Euro 2020 qualifying games against   Ukraine on 7 June and against   Lithuania on 10 June.[37]
Caps and goals updated as of 10 June 2019 after the game against Lithuania.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
12 1GK Predrag Rajković (1995-10-31) 31 October 1995 (age 23) 11 0   Reims
1 1GK Marko Dmitrović (1992-01-24) 24 January 1992 (age 27) 9 0   Eibar
23 1GK Nikola Vasiljević (1996-06-24) 24 June 1996 (age 23) 0 0   Red Star Belgrade

11 2DF Aleksandar Kolarov (captain) (1985-11-10) 10 November 1985 (age 33) 84 11   Roma
2 2DF Antonio Rukavina (1984-01-26) 26 January 1984 (age 35) 58 0   Astana
13 2DF Stefan Mitrović (1990-05-22) 22 May 1990 (age 29) 14 0   Strasbourg
4 2DF Nikola Milenković (1997-10-12) 12 October 1997 (age 21) 14 0   Fiorentina
5 2DF Uroš Spajić (1993-02-13) 13 February 1993 (age 26) 10 0   Krasnodar
2DF Miloš Veljković (1995-09-26) 26 September 1995 (age 23) 9 0   Werder Bremen
18 2DF Filip Mladenović (1991-08-15) 15 August 1991 (age 27) 7 0   Lechia Gdańsk
3 2DF Nemanja Miletić (1991-01-16) 16 January 1991 (age 28) 1 0   Partizan

10 3MF Dušan Tadić (Third captain) (1988-11-20) 20 November 1988 (age 30) 64 15   Ajax
22 3MF Adem Ljajić (1991-09-29) 29 September 1991 (age 27) 39 9   Beşiktaş
17 3MF Filip Kostić (1992-11-01) 1 November 1992 (age 26) 30 2   Eintracht Frankfurt
16 3MF Ljubomir Fejsa (1988-08-14) 14 August 1988 (age 30) 25 0   Benfica
7 3MF Andrija Živković (1996-07-11) 11 July 1996 (age 22) 17 0   Benfica
6 3MF Nemanja Maksimović (1995-01-26) 26 January 1995 (age 24) 15 0   Getafe
14 3MF Mijat Gaćinović (1995-02-08) 8 February 1995 (age 24) 14 2   Eintracht Frankfurt
3MF Nemanja Radonjić (1996-02-15) 15 February 1996 (age 23) 11 0   Marseille
21 3MF Darko Lazović (1990-09-15) 15 September 1990 (age 28) 8 0   Genoa
20 3MF Saša Lukić (1996-08-13) 13 August 1996 (age 22) 8 0   Torino
15 3MF Aleksandar Katai (1991-02-06) 6 February 1991 (age 28) 7 0   Chicago Fire

9 4FW Aleksandar Mitrović (1994-09-16) 16 September 1994 (age 24) 49 25   Fulham
8 4FW Aleksandar Prijović (1990-04-21) 21 April 1990 (age 29) 13 2   Al-Ittihad
19 4FW Luka Jović (1997-12-23) 23 December 1997 (age 21) 6 2   Real Madrid

Recent call-upsEdit

The following players have been called up for the team in the last twelve months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Aleksandar Jovanović (1992-12-06) 6 December 1992 (age 26) 1 0   Huesca v.   Lithuania, 20 November 2018

DF Miroslav Bogosavac (1996-10-14) 14 October 1996 (age 22) 1 0   Čukarički v.   Portugal, 25 March 2019
DF Milan Gajić (1996-01-28) 28 January 1996 (age 23) 0 0   Red Star Belgrade v.   Portugal, 25 March 2019
DF Jagoš Vuković (1988-06-10) 10 June 1988 (age 31) 8 0   Olympiacos v.   Lithuania, 20 November 2018
DF Milan Rodić (1991-04-02) 2 April 1991 (age 28) 5 0   Red Star Belgrade v.   Lithuania, 20 November 2018

MF Sergej Milinković-Savić INJ (1995-02-27) 27 February 1995 (age 24) 12 0   Lazio v.   Ukraine, 7 June 2019
MF Branko Jovičić (1993-03-18) 18 March 1993 (age 26) 2 0   Red Star Belgrade v.   Portugal, 25 March 2019
MF Nemanja Matić INJ (vice-captain) (1988-08-01) 1 August 1988 (age 30) 46 2   Manchester United v.   Germany, 20 March 2019
MF Nenad Krstičić INJ (1990-07-03) 3 July 1990 (age 28) 4 0   AEK Athens v.   Montenegro, 11 October 2018

FW Milan Pavkov (1994-02-09) 9 February 1994 (age 25) 1 0   Red Star Belgrade v.   Portugal, 25 March 2019
FW Danijel Aleksić (1991-04-30) 30 April 1991 (age 28) 2 0   Yeni Malatyaspor v.   Lithuania, 20 November 2018

Previous squadsEdit

Player statisticsEdit

  Still active players are highlighted
Branislav Ivanović is the most capped player with 105 caps.

Most capped playersEdit

As of 10 June 2019 [38]
# Player Pos. Period Caps Goals
1 Branislav Ivanović DF 2005– 105 13
2 Dejan Stanković MF 1998–2013 103 15
3 Savo Milošević FW 1994–2008 102 37
4 Dragan Džajić MF 1964–1979 85 23
5 Dragan Stojković MF 1983–2001 84 15
Vladimir Stojković GK 2006– 84 0
Aleksandar Kolarov DF 2008– 84 11
8 Zoran Tošić MF 2007–2016 76 11
9 Predrag Mijatović FW 1989–2003 73 26
10 Zlatko Vujović FW 1979–1990 70 25

Top goalscorersEdit

As of 10 June 2019[39]
# Player Period Goals Caps Average
1 Stjepan Bobek 1946–1956 38 63 0.60
2 Savo Milošević 1994–2008 37 102 0.36
Blagoje Marjanović 1926–1938 37 58 0.64
Milan Galić 1959–1965 37 51 0.72
5 Rajko Mitić 1946–1957 32 59 0.54
6 Dušan Bajević 1970–1977 29 37 0.78
7 Todor Veselinović 1953–1961 28 37 0.76
8 Predrag Mijatović 1989–2003 27 73 0.37
9 Borivoje Kostić 1956–1964 26 33 0.79
10 Zlatko Vujović 1979–1990 25 70 0.36
Aleksandar Mitrović 2013– 25 49 0.51

Captains (after 1994)Edit

Name Period Major tournaments as the captain
Dragan Stojković 1994–2001 1998 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2000
Savo Milošević 2001–2006 2006 FIFA World Cup
Dejan Stanković 2006–2011 2010 FIFA World Cup
Nikola Žigić 2011
Branislav Ivanović 2012–2018
Aleksandar Kolarov 2018– 2018 FIFA World Cup

Notable playersEdit


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 14 June 2019. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  2. ^ Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". 16 June 2019. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  3. ^ History Archived 27 December 2011 at the Wayback Machine at FSS official website, Retrieved 4 October 2012 ‹See Tfd›(in Serbian)
  4. ^ Serbia at FIFA official website
  5. ^ News: Serbia at UEFA official website, published 1 January 2011, Retrieved 4 October 2012
  6. ^ "Serbia's first match". Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  7. ^ "Yugoslavia on 1930 World Cup". Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  8. ^ History Archived 27 December 2011 at the Wayback Machine at Football Association of Serbia official website, Retrieved 17 May 2913 ‹See Tfd›(in Serbian)
  9. ^ "Yugoslavia - Luxembourg 6-1, 1948". Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  10. ^ "Yugoslavia - Turkey 3-1, 1948". Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  11. ^ "Yugoslavia - Great Britain 3-1, 1948". Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  12. ^ "Yugoslavia - Sweden 1-3, 1948". Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  13. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  14. ^ Vecsey, George (26 June 1998). "Sports of The Times; Scrapbooks Of History For the U.S". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 16 July 2012.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Leading goalscorers". Union of European Football Associations. 2 July 2000. Archived from the original on 11 July 2000. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  17. ^ ESPN Soccernet: Germany 0–1 Serbia 18 June 2010
  18. ^ Bleacher Report: FIFA World Cup 2010: Dejan Stankovic's Strange Record 15 June 2010. By Jon Sainz
  19. ^ YouTube – FIFATV: 'Most famous day in Serbia's footballing history' Published 20 May 2012
  20. ^ "Football's 10 Greatest International Rivalries". 17 November 2010.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 January 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "FIFA Tournaments - Compare Teams". FIFA. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  23. ^ Dnevni sportski list "Sport", #17.485–17.486, Belgrade, 17–18 August 2006: "Srbija je ostvarila rezultat kakav verovatno niko nije mogao da sanja. Bila je to divna fudbalska noc, prvi let i pobeda naših "orlova".
  24. ^ Serbia set to sign new kit deal with Umbro? 6 March 2014
  25. ^ "History of the FIFA World Cup Preliminary Competition (by year)" (PDF). Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  26. ^ "Uefa kaznila Srbiju, bez navijača protiv Litvanije". (in Serbian). 21 December 2018.
  27. ^ "Serbia and Albania disciplinary decision". UEFA. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  28. ^ AFP (25 October 2014). "Albania to appeal UEFA punishment over Serbia fracas". Business Insider. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  29. ^ "Serbia to appeal Uefa decision". 24 October 2014.
  30. ^ "Decisions upheld for Serbia-Albania match". 2 December 2014.
  31. ^ "The football associations of Albania and Serbia file appeals at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)" (PDF). Court of Arbitration for Sport. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  32. ^ "FOOTBALL: The CAS rejects the appeal filed by the Serbian FA, upholds in part the appeal filed by the Albanian FA: the match Serbia-Albania is deemed to have been forfeited by Serbia (0–3)". Tribunal Arbitral du Sport / Court of Arbitration for Sport. 10 July 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  33. ^ "Fudbalski savez Srbije – zvanična web prezentacija".
  34. ^ Italy-Serbia match abandoned due to crowd trouble
  35. ^ UEFA statement on Italy-Serbia case Archived 1 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  36. ^ А репрезентација/Стручи штаб (in Serbian). 6 November 2017.
  38. ^ "Most matches for Serbia football team". Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  39. ^ "Most goals for Serbia football team". Retrieved 3 October 2017.

External linksEdit