Yugoslavia national football team
The Yugoslavia national football team (Serbo-Croatian: Fudbalska/nogometna reprezentacija Jugoslavije / Фудбалска/ногометна репрезентација Југославије; Slovene: Jugoslovanska nogometna reprezentanca; Macedonian: Фудбалска репрезентација на Југославија) represented Yugoslavia in international association football.
|Nickname(s)||Plavi (The Blues)|
Brazilians of Europe
|Most caps||Dragan Džajić (85)|
|Top scorer||Stjepan Bobek (38)|
|Home stadium||Red Star Stadium, Belgrade|
| Czechoslovakia 7–0 Kingdom SCS |
(Antwerp, Belgium; 28 August 1920)[a]
| Netherlands 2–0 Yugoslavia |
(Amsterdam, Netherlands; 25 March 1992)[b]
| Yugoslavia 10–0 Venezuela |
(Curitiba, Brazil; 14 June 1972)
| Czechoslovakia 7–0 Kingdom SCS |
(Antwerp, Belgium; 28 August 1920)
Uruguay 7–0 Kingdom SCS
(Paris, France; 26 May 1924)
Czechoslovakia 7–0 Kingdom SCS
(Prague, Czechoslovakia; 28 October 1925)
|Appearances||8[b] (first in 1930)|
|Best result||Fourth place (1930, 1962)|
|Appearances||4[b] (first in 1960)|
|Best result||Runners-up, 1960 and 1968|
Although the team mainly represented the pre-war Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the post-war Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY), various iterations of the state were formally constituted in football, including the:
- Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (1918–1929)
- Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1929–1941)
- Democratic Federal Yugoslavia (1943–1945)
- Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia (1945–1963)
- Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1963–1992)
It enjoyed success in international competition. In 1992, during the Yugoslav wars, the team was suspended from international competition as part of a United Nations sanction. In 1994, when the boycott was lifted, it was succeeded by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia national football team.
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, Artur Dubravčić, Emil Perška, Ivan Granec, and Jovan Ružić. They lost by a huge margin 0–7, but nonetheless got 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 ordered to move its headquarters from Zagreb to Belgrade. The national team participated at the 1930 FIFA World Cup, finishing in fourth place. 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 team was the youngest squad at the inaugural World Cup at an average age of just under 22 years old, and became quite popular amongst the Uruguayan public, who dubbed them "Los Ichachos". The national team consisted of players based in Serbian football clubs, while the Zagreb Subassociation forbid players from Croatian clubs, some of whom were regulars in the national team until then, to play in the World Cup due to the relocation of football association's headquarters from Zagreb to Belgrade.
Silver Medal at 1948 Summer OlympicsEdit
Yugoslavia began their football campaign by defeating Luxembourg 6–1, with five different players scoring the goals. In the quarter-finals and the semi-finals, they would take out Turkey and Great Britain by the same score of 3–1. In the final though, they would lose to Sweden.
Silver Medal at 1952 Summer OlympicsEdit
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 famous "Golden Team" representing Hungary. Against the USSR, 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 USSR 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.
The federation and football overall was disrupted by World War II. After the war, a socialist federation was formed and the football federation reconstituted. It was one of the founding members of the UEFA and it organized the 1976 European Championship played in Belgrade and Zagreb. The national team participated in eight World Cups and four Euros, won the Olympic football tournament in 1960 at the Summer Games (they also finished second three times and third once), and developed a reputation for skillful and attacking football, leading them to be dubbed "the Brazilians of Europe".
Dissolution and UN embargoEdit
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 10 days before the competition commenced.
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 second 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.
After the breakup of Yugoslavia, the FRY consisted of Montenegro and Serbia. The national team of Serbia and Montenegro continued under the name Yugoslavia until 2003, when country and team were renamed Serbia and Montenegro. For the later official football teams, see:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina national football team (member of UEFA and FIFA since 1990s)
- Croatia national football team (member of UEFA and FIFA since 1990s)
- Slovenia national football team (member of UEFA and FIFA since 1990s)
- North Macedonia national football team (member of UEFA and FIFA since 1990s)
- Serbia and Montenegro national football team, (considered successor of Yugoslavia) later
Both FIFA and UEFA consider the Serbian national team to be the direct and sole successor of the Yugoslavia (Kingdom of Yugoslavia, SFR Yugoslavia and FR Yugoslavia) and Serbia and Montenegro national football teams. The teams of other republics were inducted as fully new members.
|Nation||FIFA Active||International tournament(s)||Round|
|UEFA Euro 1996||Quarter-Final|
|1998 FIFA World Cup||Third Place|
|2002 FIFA World Cup||Group Stage|
|UEFA Euro 2004|
|2006 FIFA World Cup|
|UEFA Euro 2008||Quarter-Final|
|UEFA Euro 2012||Group Stage|
|2014 FIFA World Cup|
|UEFA Euro 2016||Round of 16|
|2018 FIFA World Cup||Runner-up|
|UEFA Euro 2020||Qualified|
Serbia and Montenegro (2003–2006)
|1998 FIFA World Cup (FR Yugoslavia)||Round of 16|
|UEFA Euro 2000 (FR Yugoslavia)||Quarter-Final|
|2006 FIFA World Cup (Serbia & Monetenegro)||Group Stage|
|2010 FIFA World Cup|
|2018 FIFA World Cup|
|UEFA Euro 2000||Group Stage|
|2002 FIFA World Cup|
|2010 FIFA World Cup|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||(since 1995)||2014 FIFA World Cup||Group Stage|
|North Macedonia||(since 1991)|
- Croatia has/will appear at their 10th major tournament since independence, most by any other former republic;
- Croatia's runner-up finish at 2018 FIFA World Cup is the best result at a major tournament by any other former republic;
- Croatia was the first former Yugoslav nation to qualify to a major tournament after independence;
- Slovenia has only qualified for major tournaments via play-offs (3);
- Croatia were seeded inside Pot 1 of FIFA World Cup qualifications on 3 successive occasions, in 2010, 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, after FR Yugoslavia who were seeded once in 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification;
- Only three former Yugoslav republics were ever seeded inside Pot 1 in the history of UEFA European Championship qualifying competition, after FR Yugoslavia (UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying), Croatia (UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying) and Bosnia (Euro 2016 qualifying);
- No former SFR Yugoslav republic was ever seeded or in Pot 1 at finals of a major tournament;
- Niko Kranjčar played for Croatia at 2006 FIFA World Cup under his father – head coach Zlatko Kranjčar; likewise Tino-Sven Sušić played for Bosnia at 2014 FIFA World Cup under his uncle – head coach Safet Sušić.
The Yugoslav under-20 team won the FIFA World Youth Championship 1987.
Yugoslavia's traditional colours were blue, white and red, mirroring the tricolour of the nation's flag. This combination was typically manifested through blue shirts, white shorts and red socks, the source of the nickname Plavi (the Blues). The away kit was all-white, featuring blue and red trim.
All of the kits from 1950 to 1990 were sponsored by Adidas.
Kingdom of YugoslaviaEdit
FIFA World Cup recordEdit
Champions Runners-up Third Place Fourth Place
|FIFA World Cup record||Qualification Record|
|1934||Did Not Qualify||2||0||1||1||3||4|
|1966||Did Not Qualify||6||3||1||2||10||8|
|1974||2nd Group Stage||7th||6||1||2||3||12||7||Squad||5||3||2||0||8||4|
|1978||Did Not Qualify||4||1||0||3||6||8|
|1986||Did Not Qualify||8||3||2||3||7||8|
UEFA European Championship recordEdit
Champions Runners-up Third Place Fourth Place
|UEFA European Championship record||Qualification Record|
|1964||Did Not Qualify||4||2||1||1||6||5|
|1972||1/4 play offs||8||3||4||1||7||5|
|1980||Did Not Qualify||6||4||0||2||14||6|
|1984||Group Stage||8th place||3||0||0||3||2||10||Squad||6||3||2||1||12||11|
|1988||Did Not Qualify||6||4||0||2||13||9|
|1992||Banned after qualification||8||7||0||1||24||4|
- *Denotes draws including knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
Mediterranean Games recordEdit
|Football at the Mediterranean Games|
|1991 – present||See Yugoslavia national under-20 team|
- This is a list of honours for the senior Yugoslav national football team
The following players scored ten or more goals for Yugoslavia.
Positive Record Neutral Record Negative Record
|Republic of Ireland||2||1||0||1|
|United Arab Emirates||1||1||0||0|
- Related articles
- List of Yugoslavia international footballers
- List of Yugoslavia national football team goalscorers
- Yugoslavia national football team results (1920–41)
- Yugoslavia national football team results (1946–69)
- Yugoslavia national football team results (1970–92)
- Yugoslavia national under-21 football team
- Yugoslavia national under-20 football team
- Successor teams
- Serbia and Montenegro national football team
- Bosnia and Herzegovina national football team
- Croatia national football team
- Kosovo national football team
- North Macedonia national football team
- Montenegro national football team
- Serbia national football team (considered the only official successor of Yugoslavia by FIFA and UEFA)
- Slovenia national football team
- First international as SFRY: Czechoslovakia 0–2 Yugoslavia (Prague, Czechoslovakia; 9 May 1945)
- As of 1992 before the split of SFR Yugoslavia; for later data see Serbia and Montenegro national football team.
- Yugoslavia earned 4th place below the loser of the other semi-final, the United States, because of a lower goal differential (0 to the United States' +1). No third place match was played.
- Draw for 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifiers was made on December 8, 1991, however due to break-up of SFR 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.
- A farewell to Yugoslavia openDemocracy.net. Dejan Djokic; 10 April 2002
- "Jugoslavija – Venecuela 10-0". Reprezentacija.rs (in Serbo-Croatian). 14 October 2009. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
- "1974 FIFA World Cup Germany ™ - Matches - Yugoslavia-Zaire". FIFA.com. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
- History at FSS official website, Retrieved 4 October 2012 (in Serbian)
- Serbia at FIFA official website
- News: Serbia at UEFA official website, published 1 January 2011, Retrieved 4 October 2012
- History at Football Association of Serbia official website, Retrieved May 17, 2913 (in Serbian)
- "90: 'The team was far better than the country' - The lost brilliance of Yugoslavia". 4 June 2014. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
- "Yugoslavia and the breakup of its soccer team". Retrieved 22 November 2017.
- Merrill, Austin. "The Splintering of Yugoslavia and Its Soccer Team". The Hive. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
- "Kako je plavi dres - pocrveneo". 9 April 2012.
- "Kako je plavi dres pocrveneo". Retrieved 22 November 2017.
- "1930 FIFA World Cup Uruguay 1930". FIFA.com. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
- "History of the FIFA World Cup Preliminary Competition (by year)" (PDF). FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
- Suspended because of United Nations Security Council Resolution 757 during Yugoslav wars. Yugoslavia was replaced by Denmark, who went on to win the tournament.
- "Number of goals for Yugoslavia". Reprezentacija.rs.[dead link]
- Gigi Riva (2016). L'ultimo rigore di Faruk. Una storia di calcio e di guerra [The Faruk's last penalty. A story about football and war] (in Italian). Palermo: Sellerio. ISBN 978-8838935640.
Media related to Yugoslavia national association football team at Wikimedia Commons