Serbia and Montenegro national football team

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Serbia and Montenegro (2003–2006)
FR Yugoslavia (1992–2003)
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Плави / Plavi (The Blues)
Association Football Association of Serbia and Montenegro (2003–2006)
Football Association of Yugoslavia (1992–2003)
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
FIFA code SCG (2003–2006)
YUG (1992–2003)
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Highest 6 (December 1998)
Lowest 101 (December 1994)
Elo ranking
Highest 4 (June 1998)
Lowest 39 (June 2006)
First international
 Brazil 2–0 FR Yugoslavia Serbia and Montenegro
(Porto Alegre, Brazil; 23 December 1994)
Last international
 Ivory Coast 3–2 Serbia and Montenegro Serbia and Montenegro
(Munich, Germany; 21 June 2006)
Biggest win
 Faroe Islands 1–8 FR Yugoslavia Serbia and Montenegro
(Toftir, Faroe Islands; 6 October 1996)
Biggest defeat
 Argentina 6–0 Serbia and Montenegro Serbia and Montenegro
(Gelsenkirchen, Germany; 16 June 2006)
World Cup
Appearances 2 (first in 1998)
Best result Round of 16: 1998
European Championship
Appearances 1 (first in 2000)
Best result Quarter-finals: 2000

The Serbia and Montenegro national football team (Serbian: fudbalska reprezentacija Srbije i Crne Gore; фудбалска репрезентација Србије и Црне Горе) was a national football team that represented the federation of Serbia and Montenegro. It was controlled by the Football Association of Serbia and Montenegro. For 11 years, it was known as the FR Yugoslavia national football team when the two countries were called the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, until February 2003, when the name of the country was changed to Serbia and Montenegro.[1] In 2006, Montenegro declared its independence from Serbia, with the result that the country's football team was renamed as the Serbia national football team on 28 June 2006 with the Montenegro national football team created to represent the renewed state of Montenegro.


Prior to 1991


Slobodan Santrač era (1994–1998)

Although the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was formed on 28 April 1992, its teams were banned from all international sporting events, including football. Consequently, the national team did not play its first match as a new country until 23 December 1994, a 2–0 friendly defeat to Brazil in Porto Alegre. 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 match was played only three days later, a 1–0 loss to Argentina in Buenos Aires.

Due to the United Nations international sanctions, the team could not take part in the 1994 FIFA World Cup qualification, nor the UEFA Euro 1996 qualifying process.

On 31 March 1997, the team recorded its first official win in history, a 1–0 friendly against Uruguay, simultaneously marking the team's first ever home match, 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 FIFA World Cup qualifying tournament in its first match 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 matchup 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 the 21st position, but the Yugoslav national team went to France as one of the shadow favourites for the World Cup. The New York Times stated Yugoslavia could easily be a semi-finalist in that year's World Cup.[2] 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 match 1–0 against Iran thanks to a goal from defender Siniša Mihajlović. The next match was a draw for Yugoslavia; after leading Germany 2–0, last game's hero, Mihajlović, scored an unlucky own goal following a German free-kick, and Oliver Bierhoff equalised at 2–2 with only about ten minutes to the match. Nonetheless, Yugoslavia responded in the next match against the United States and won 1–0 due to an early goal in Nantes. Yugoslavia finished second in Group F, for despite finishing level on points with Germany, Germany finished first via a superior goal difference.

Finishing second, Yugoslavia was drawn with 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 level at 1–1. In the late seconds of the match, Edgar Davids took a shot from 20 metres out which beat goalkeeper Ivica Kralj, to the disbelief of the Yugoslav players and fans. This marked the end of Yugoslavia's run in the World Cup.

Euro 2000

The draw for the Euro 2000 qualifiers saw many eyebrows raised as first-seeded Yugoslavia was drawn in a group alongside Croatia, marking the first matches 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[3] 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 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 automatically qualify for Euro 2000. As it happened, Ireland conceded an injury-time equaliser, meaning Yugoslavia's 2–2 draw with the Croatians was sufficient for automatic qualification.

The draw for the Euro 2000 final stages placed Yugoslavia in Group C alongside Spain, Norway and another former Yugoslav republic, Slovenia. The Slovenians took a surprise 3–0 lead in the first match 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 match, 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 their head-to-head victory in Liège. In each of the three matches, Yugoslavia 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. However, unlike the last encounter, the co-hosts made easy work of Yugoslavia, winning 6–1 in Rotterdam, with Patrick Kluivert scoring a hat-trick.

One of the few bright spots of Yugoslav team in the whole tournament was Savo Milošević, who finished as the joint top scorer of the tournament, alongside Patrick Kluivert. Both players scored five goals, although Milošević played one less match.[4]

Failure to qualify for 2002 World Cup

The 2002 World Cup qualifiers marked the first time Yugoslavia failed to qualify for a major tournament ever since its return to "big stage" football after the UN sanctions. The problems began with the major political turmoil in the country as well in the Yugoslav FA, which prompted new head coach Ilija Petković to resign after only one match, a 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 against Switzerland and 1–1 away against Slovenia. In both matches, the opponents equalized in late stages of the match). Yugoslavia then lost 0–1 at home to Russia, marking the nation's first home defeat in official matches. After Đorić'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 finishing their qualifying group in third position.

Ilija Petković era (2003–2006)

Serbia and Montenegro and the Ivory Coast playing in the Allianz Arena at the 2006 World Cup

After Savićević's disastrous spell as head coach, 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 matches against group favourites and eventual group winners Italy, and winning both matches against group 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.

However, Yugoslavia qualified for the 2006 World Cup. Serbia and Montenegro began their 2006 World Cup 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 its ten matches, the best defensive record out 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, Serbia and Montenegro played some impressive defensive football: the "Famous Four" defence consisting of Nemanja Vidić, Mladen Krstajić, Goran Gavrančić and Ivica Dragutinović, with Dragoslav Jevrić as goalkeeper allowed only one goal in ten matches, finishing first in their group with a 6–4–0 record.

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 eliminated from the tournament.

In the group stage of the World Cup, Serbia and Montenegro lost their opening match to joint group favourites the Netherlands 1–0, with Arjen Robben scoring the only goal of the match. They then lost their second match to Argentina 6–0, the side'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 match against the Ivory Coast, who had also been mathematically eliminated. 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 dissolution

A week after Serbia and Montenegro's final match against the Ivory Coast, the Football Association of Montenegro applied for separate membership to UEFA. The Football Association of Serbia was granted Serbia and Montenegro's place in UEFA and FIFA, with the new Serbia national team playing its first match in August 2006 against the Czech Republic. The Montenegro national team played its first international following admittance to UEFA against Hungary in March 2007.

Kit history

FR Yugoslavia

1994 Home
1998 WC Home
1998 WC Away
Euro 2000 Home

Serbia and Montenegro

2004 Home
2004 Away
2006 WC Home
2006 WC Away

World Cup record

  • 1930 to 1990See Yugoslavia
  • 1994Banned because of international sanctions due to the Yugoslav wars (as FR Yugoslavia)
  • 1998 – Round 2 (as FR Yugoslavia)
  • 2002Did not qualify (as FR Yugoslavia)
  • 2006 – Round 1 (as Serbia and Montenegro)

European Championship record

  • 1960 to 1992See Yugoslavia
  • 1992Qualified, but banned because of international sanctions during Yugoslav wars (as FR Yugoslavia)
  • 1996Banned because of the sanctions (as FR Yugoslavia)
  • 2000 – Quarter-finals (as FR Yugoslavia)
  • 2004Did not qualify (as FR Yugoslavia/Serbia and Montenegro)

Major competitions squads

World Cup

European Championship



  1. ^
  2. ^ Vecsey, George (26 June 1998). "Sports of The Times; Scrapbooks Of History For the U.S". The New York Times. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Leading goalscorers". Union of European Football Associations. 2 July 2000. Archived from the original on 11 July 2000. Retrieved 12 July 2012. 

External links

  • Serbia & Montenegro football history at RSSSF
  • Serbia & Montenegro international games at RSSSF
  • Serbia & Montenegro player stats at RSSSF

Note that the RSSSF pages are still slightly outdated with regard to the renaming of the last Yugoslavia and the succession issues.

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