Serbia national football team

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Serbia
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Оrlovi / Орлови
(The Eagles)
AssociationFootball Association of Serbia
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachLjubiša Tumbaković
CaptainAleksandar Kolarov
Most capsBranislav Ivanović (105)
Top scorerStjepan Bobek (38)
Home stadiumRajko Mitić Stadium, Belgrade
FIFA codeSRB
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 33 Increase 2 (24 October 2019)[1]
Highest6 (December 1998)
Lowest101 (December 1994)
Elo ranking
Current 23 Decrease 1 (18 October 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)

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

With the national team nicknamed the Orlovi (Орлови; the Eagles), football has a long history in Serbia. 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 Serbian 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]

History[edit]

Competing within Yugoslavia[edit]

The Yugoslavian line-up at the 1930 FIFA World Cup

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.

The federation and football overall was disrupted by World War II. After the war, a socialist federation was formed and the football federation reconstituted. From 1945 to early 2003, the national team competed as Yugoslavia, although SFR Yugoslavia broke up in 1991.

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.

Due to international sanctions against Yugoslavia, the team could not participate in 1994 World Cup qualifying nor the Euro 1996 qualifying process.

The 1998 World Cup seeding had Yugoslavia ranked 21st among the world's national teams, but Yugoslavia was widely recognized as one of the shadow favorites for the World Cup. The New York Times suggested that Yugoslavia could easily be a semi-finalist in that year's World Cup.[7] 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, Mihajlović, scored an 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 finished second in the group and Germany won the group with 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 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 missed, 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 Edgar Davids' shot towards the Yugoslav net from a distance of 20 meters and beat goalkeeper Ivica Kralj. This marked the end of Yugoslavia's run in the 1998 World Cup.

The draw for the Euro 2000 qualifiers saw first-seeded Yugoslavia 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 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[8] 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 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 won 6–1 in Rotterdam with Patrick Kluivert scoring a hat-trick. Despite Yugoslavia's elimination, 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.[9]

2006 World Cup: Competing as Serbia and Montenegro[edit]

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

After Savićević's 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 failure in the Euro 2004 qualifiers while competing for the first time as Serbia and Montenegro. Despite drawing both games against group favourites and eventual group winners Italy and winning both games against runners-up Wales, Serbia and Montenegro failed to qualify, mostly due to a 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 with the "Famous Four" defence, 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 no points.

Contemporary history[edit]

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 Cup[edit]

Atmosphere at the start of match vs. France, 9 September 2009
Serbia's starting XI in their 1–0 win over Germany at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[10]

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, 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 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 defence that was composed by Nemanja Vidić, Neven Subotić, Aleksandar Kolarov and Branislav Ivanović. The captain of Serbia's 2010 World Cup campaign was 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).[11] 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 defeated Germany by a score of 1–0 with a 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".[12]

Serbia only needed a single point to reach the knockout stages but were defeated by Australia 2–1. Australia scored two 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.

Slump (2011-2016)[edit]

Nemanja Vidić was named twice in the 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 a 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. Ahead of the qualifying campaign for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, 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. 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, 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.

After failing to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, 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 defeated Albania with a goal each from Aleksandar Kolarov and Adem Ljajić. In the table of Group I, Serbia finished second to last place with four points in a five team group.

2018 World Cup[edit]

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. Kolarov's free kick at the second half meant Serbia won their first World Cup game after eight years. Serbia lost their later encounters, losing 1–2 to Switzerland with 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.

Euro 2020 campaign[edit]

After the 2018 World Cup, Mladen Krstajić became permanent coach for Serbia. Serbia started the campaign of 2018-19 UEFA Nations League, which served as a part of UEFA Euro 2020 campaign. Serbia were allocated into league C, and were drawn into group 4 with Montenegro, Lithuania and Romania. With both wins against Lithuania and Montenegro and both draw games against Romania, Serbia finished on top of the group, securing the Euro 2020 play-off spot and being promoted into league B for 2020-21 season.

For Euro 2020 qualifiers, Serbia were drawn into Group B with 2016 champions Portugal, Ukraine, Lithuania and Luxembourg. Serbia kicked off the qualifiers with 1–1 away draw game against Portugal. But in the next away game against Ukraine, Serbia lost the game 0–5, making it the biggest defeat for Serbia. This game also spawned a lot of controversy due to Krstajić's coaching style. After the 4–1 home win against Lithuania, Krstajić was sacked mainly because of the loss against Ukraine and replaced with Ljubiša Tumbaković. Tumbaković started with a 2-4 home loss against Portugal. The next two games were away wins against Luxembourg and Lithuania.

Rivalries[edit]

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 goal.com[13] and as the most politically-charged football rivalry by the Bleacher Report.[14] 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.[15]

Team image[edit]

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

Kits, colours and badge[edit]

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.

Nicknames[edit]

Serbia is nicknamed 'the Eagles' (Orlovi / Орлови).[16] The name refers to the white double-headed eagle found on the coat of arms of Serbia, a national symbol of Serbia.

Kit sponsorship[edit]

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.[17]

Kit Supplier Period
United States Nike 2006–2014
England Umbro 2014–2018
Germany Puma 2018–present

Record in major tournaments[edit]

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 Cup[edit]

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
Uruguay 1930 Fourth place 4th 3 2 0 1 7 7 Invited
Italy 1934 Did not qualify 2 0 1 1 3 4
France 1938 2 1 0 1 1 4
as  SFR Yugoslavia (until 1962 as FPR Yugoslavia)
Brazil 1950 Group stage 5th 3 2 0 1 7 3 5 3 2 0 16 6
Switzerland 1954 Quarter-finals 7th 3 1 1 1 2 3 4 4 0 0 4 0
Sweden 1958 Quarter-finals 5th 4 1 2 1 7 7 4 2 2 0 7 2
Chile 1962 Fourth place 4th 6 3 0 3 10 7 4 3 1 0 11 4
England 1966 Did not qualify 6 3 1 2 10 8
Mexico 1970 6 3 1 2 19 7
West Germany 1974 Second group stage 7th 6 1 2 3 12 7 5 3 2 0 8 4
Argentina 1978 Did not qualify 4 1 0 3 6 8
Spain 1982 Group stage 16th 3 1 1 1 2 2 8 6 1 1 22 7
Mexico 1986 Did not qualify 8 3 2 3 7 8
Italy 1990 Quarter-finals 5th 5 3 1 1 8 6 8 6 2 0 16 6
as  FR Yugoslavia
United States 1994 Suspended Suspended
France 1998 Round of 16 10th 4 2 1 1 5 4 12 9 2 1 41 8
South KoreaJapan 2002 Did not qualify 10 5 4 1 22 8
as  Serbia and Montenegro
Germany 2006 Group stage 32nd 3 0 0 3 2 10 10 6 4 0 16 1
as  Serbia
South Africa 2010 Group stage 23rd 3 1 0 2 2 3 10 7 1 2 22 8
Brazil 2014 Did not qualify 10 4 2 4 18 11
Russia 2018 Group stage 23rd 3 1 0 2 2 4 10 6 3 1 20 10
Qatar 2022 Future events Future events
CanadaMexicoUnited States 2026
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.[18]


UEFA European Championship[edit]

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)
France 1960 Runners-up 2nd 2 1 0 1 6 6 4 2 1 1 9 4
Spain 1964 Did not qualify 4 2 1 1 6 5
Italy 1968 Runners-up 2nd 3 1 1 1 2 3 6 4 1 1 14 5
Belgium 1972 Did not qualify 8 3 4 1 7 5
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1976 Fourth Place 4th 2 0 0 2 4 7 8 6 1 1 15 5
Italy 1980 Did not qualify 6 4 0 2 14 6
France 1984 Group Stage 8th 3 0 0 3 2 10 6 3 2 1 12 11
West Germany 1988 Did not qualify 6 4 0 2 13 9
Sweden 1992 Qualified/Suspended 8 7 0 1 24 4
as  FR Yugoslavia
England 1996 Suspended Suspended
BelgiumNetherlands 2000 Quarter-final 8th 4 1 1 2 8 13 8 5 2 1 18 8
as  Serbia and Montenegro
Portugal 2004 Did not qualify 8 3 3 2 11 11
as  Serbia
AustriaSwitzerland 2008 Did not qualify 14 6 6 2 22 11
PolandUkraine 2012 10 4 3 3 13 12
France 2016 8 2 1 5 8 13
Europe 2020 Future event In progress
Germany 2024 Future event
Total Runners-up 5/15 14 3 2 9 22 39 104 55 25 24 186 109


UEFA Nations League record[edit]

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 Rise 27
2020–21 B To be determined
Total 1/2 6 4 2 0 11 4

Recent results and forthcoming fixtures[edit]

For more result see: Serbia national football team results

Head to head records (2006 onward)[edit]

As of 14 October 2019
  1. ^ Serbia were sanctioned by UEFA to play one home match (against Luxembourg on 14 November 2019) without spectators for racist behaviour in their home match against Portugal.[20]
  2. ^ 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.[21] Both the Serbian and Albanian football associations were looking to have the decision revisited,[22][23] but the decision was upheld by UEFA.[24] Both associations then filed further appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport,[25] 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.[26] Serbian FA announced appeal at the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland.[27]
  3. ^ The Italy v Serbia match was abandoned after six minutes due to rioting by Serbian fans.[28] The UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body awarded the match as a 3–0 forfeit win to Italy.[29]


Head coaches[edit]

As of 14 October 2019
Manager Period Record Major competitions
Matches Won Drawn Lost Win % Draw % Loss %
Serbia Ljubiša Tumbaković 2019– 4 3 0 1 75.00 00.00 25.00
Serbia Mladen Krstajić 2017–2019 19 9 5 5 47.36 26.32 26.32 Symbol confirmed.svg 2018 World Cup – Group stage
Serbia Slavoljub Muslin 2016–2017 15 8 5 2 53.33 33.33 13.33
Serbia Radovan Ćurčić 2014–2016 11 5 0 6 45.45 0.00 55.55 Symbol delete vote.svg Euro 2016 – Failed to qualify
Netherlands Dick Advocaat 2014 4 0 2 2 0.00 50.00 50.00
Serbia Ljubinko Drulović 2014 4 2 1 1 50.00 25.00 25.00
Serbia Siniša Mihajlović 2012–2013 19 7 4 8 36.84 21.05 42.10 Symbol delete vote.svg 2014 World Cup – Failed to qualify
Serbia Radovan Ćurčić 2011–2012 5 2 1 2 40.00 20.00 40.00
Serbia Vladimir Petrović 2010–2011 13 5 3 5 38.46 23.08 38.46 Symbol delete vote.svg Euro 2012 – Failed to qualify
Serbia Radomir Antić 2008–2010 28 17 3 8 60.71 10.71 28.57 Symbol confirmed.svg 2010 World Cup – Group stage
Serbia Miroslav Đukić 2007–2008 5 0 2 3 0.00 40.00 60.00
Spain Javier Clemente 2006–2007 16 7 7 2 43.75 43.75 12.50 Symbol delete vote.svg Euro 2008 – Failed to qualify
Serbia and Montenegro Ilija Petković 2003–2006 30 11 10 9 36.66 33.33 30.00 Symbol confirmed.svg 2006 World Cup – Group stage
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Dejan Savićević 2001–2003 17 4 3 10 23.53 17.65 58.82 Symbol delete vote.svg Euro 2004 – Failed to qualify
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Boškov-Ćurković-Savićević 2001 8 4 2 2 50.00 25.00 25.00 Symbol delete vote.svg 2002 World Cup – Failed to qualify
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Milovan Đorić 2001 3 0 2 1 0.00 66.66 33.33
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Ilija Petković 2000–2001 4 2 1 1 50.00 25.00 25.00
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Vujadin Boškov 1999–2000 15 6 5 4 40.00 33.33 26.66 Symbol confirmed.svg Euro 2000 – Quarter final
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Milan Živadinović 1998–1999 6 3 2 1 50.00 33.33 16.66
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Santrač 1994–1998 43 26 10 7 60.46 23.25 16.28 Symbol confirmed.svg 1998 World Cup – Round of 16
TOTAL 269 121 68 80 44.98 25.27 29.73 5 out of 11

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

Current coaching staff[edit]

As of 3 September 2019 [30]
Serbian coaching staff
  • Head coach: Serbia Ljubiša Tumbaković
  • Assistant coach: Montenegro Aleksandar Janković
  • Coach: Serbia Nikola Žigić
  • Goalkeeping coach: Serbia Darko Belojević
  • Doctor: Serbia Dr. Dejan Aleksandrić
  • Physiotherapist: Serbia Slobodan Branković
  • Physiotherapist: Serbia Nemanja Božić
  • Physiotherapist: Serbia Viktor Vujošević
  • Physiotherapist: Serbia Dejan Bogdanović
  • Physiotherapist: Serbia Zoran Vujić
  • Kitman: Serbia Nenad Dragaš
  • Kitman: Serbia Danijel Dragaš
  • Team manager: Serbia Pavle Simić

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following players were called up for Euro 2020 qualifying games against  Luxembourg on 14 November and  Ukraine on 17 November 2019.[31][32]
Caps and goals updated as of 14 October 2019 after the game against Lithuania.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Marko Dmitrović (1992-01-24) 24 January 1992 (age 27) 12 0 Spain Eibar
1GK Predrag Rajković (1995-10-31) 31 October 1995 (age 24) 12 0 France Reims
1GK Emil Rockov (1995-01-27) 27 January 1995 (age 24) 1 0 Serbia Vojvodina

2DF Aleksandar Kolarov (captain) (1985-11-10) 10 November 1985 (age 34) 88 11 Italy Roma
2DF Nikola Maksimović (1991-11-25) 25 November 1991 (age 27) 22 0 Italy Napoli
2DF Nikola Milenković (1997-10-12) 12 October 1997 (age 22) 16 1 Italy Fiorentina
2DF Uroš Spajić (1993-02-13) 13 February 1993 (age 26) 11 0 Russia Krasnodar
2DF Filip Mladenović (1991-08-15) 15 August 1991 (age 28) 9 0 Poland Lechia Gdańsk
2DF Milan Rodić (1991-04-02) 2 April 1991 (age 28) 6 0 Serbia Red Star Belgrade
2DF Nemanja Milunović (1989-05-31) 31 May 1989 (age 30) 4 1 Serbia Red Star Belgrade
2DF Nemanja Miletić (1991-01-16) 16 January 1991 (age 28) 3 0 Serbia Partizan

3MF Dušan Tadić (Third captain) (1988-11-20) 20 November 1988 (age 30) 65 15 Netherlands Ajax
3MF Adem Ljajić (1991-09-29) 29 September 1991 (age 28) 43 9 Turkey Beşiktaş
3MF Luka Milivojević (1991-04-07) 7 April 1991 (age 28) 34 1 England Crystal Palace
3MF Filip Đuričić (1992-01-30) 30 January 1992 (age 27) 24 4 Italy Sassuolo
3MF Nemanja Gudelj (1991-11-16) 16 November 1991 (age 27) 24 1 Spain Sevilla
3MF Mijat Gaćinović (1995-02-08) 8 February 1995 (age 24) 17 2 Germany Eintracht Frankfurt
3MF Nemanja Maksimović (1995-01-26) 26 January 1995 (age 24) 17 0 Spain Getafe
3MF Nemanja Radonjić (1996-02-15) 15 February 1996 (age 23) 14 1 France Marseille
3MF Sergej Milinković-Savić (1995-02-27) 27 February 1995 (age 24) 13 0 Italy Lazio
3MF Saša Lukić (1996-08-13) 13 August 1996 (age 23) 11 0 Italy Torino

4FW Aleksandar Mitrović (1994-09-16) 16 September 1994 (age 25) 53 31 England Fulham
4FW Andrija Pavlović (1993-11-16) 16 November 1993 (age 25) 5 0 Cyprus APOEL
4FW Đorđe Despotović (1992-03-04) 4 March 1992 (age 27) 0 0 Russia Orenburg

Recent call-ups[edit]

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 Boris Radunović (1996-05-26) 26 May 1996 (age 23) 0 0 Italy Hellas Verona v.  Paraguay, 10 October 2019
GK Nikola Vasiljević (1996-06-24) 24 June 1996 (age 23) 0 0 Serbia Red Star Belgrade v.  Lithuania, 10 June 2019
GK Aleksandar Jovanović (1992-12-06) 6 December 1992 (age 26) 1 0 Denmark AGF v.  Lithuania, 20 November 2018

DF Marko Gobeljić INJ (1992-09-13) 13 September 1992 (age 27) 3 0 Serbia Red Star Belgrade v.  Luxembourg, 14 November 2019
DF Stefan Mitrović (1990-05-22) 22 May 1990 (age 29) 15 0 France Strasbourg v.  Lithuania, 14 October 2019
DF Antonio Rukavina (1984-01-26) 26 January 1984 (age 35) 59 0 Kazakhstan Astana v.  Luxembourg, 10 September 2019
DF Matija Nastasić (1993-03-28) 28 March 1993 (age 26) 28 0 Germany Schalke 04 v.  Luxembourg, 10 September 2019
DF Miloš Veljković (1995-09-26) 26 September 1995 (age 24) 9 0 Germany Werder Bremen v.  Lithuania, 10 June 2019
DF Miroslav Bogosavac (1996-10-14) 14 October 1996 (age 23) 1 0 Serbia Čukarički v.  Portugal, 25 March 2019
DF Milan Gajić (1996-01-28) 28 January 1996 (age 23) 0 0 Serbia Red Star Belgrade v.  Portugal, 25 March 2019
DF Jagoš Vuković (1988-06-10) 10 June 1988 (age 31) 8 0 Unattached v.  Lithuania, 20 November 2018

MF Filip Kostić INJ (1992-11-01) 1 November 1992 (age 27) 32 2 Germany Eintracht Frankfurt v.  Luxembourg, 14 November 2019
MF Nemanja Matić (vice-captain) (1988-08-01) 1 August 1988 (age 31) 48 2 England Manchester United v.  Luxembourg, 10 September 2019
MF Aleksandar Katai (1991-02-06) 6 February 1991 (age 28) 9 0 United States Chicago Fire v.  Luxembourg, 10 September 2019
MF Darko Lazović (1990-09-15) 15 September 1990 (age 29) 9 0 Italy Hellas Verona v.  Luxembourg, 10 September 2019
MF Ljubomir Fejsa (1988-08-14) 14 August 1988 (age 31) 25 0 Portugal Benfica v.  Lithuania, 10 June 2019
MF Andrija Živković (1996-07-11) 11 July 1996 (age 23) 17 0 Portugal Benfica v.  Lithuania, 10 June 2019
MF Branko Jovičić (1993-03-18) 18 March 1993 (age 26) 2 0 Serbia Red Star Belgrade v.  Portugal, 25 March 2019

FW Milan Pavkov INJ (1994-02-09) 9 February 1994 (age 25) 1 0 Serbia Red Star Belgrade v.  Luxembourg, 14 November 2019
FW Luka Jović (1997-12-23) 23 December 1997 (age 21) 7 2 Spain Real Madrid v.  Luxembourg, 10 September 2019
FW Aleksandar Prijović (1990-04-21) 21 April 1990 (age 29) 13 2 Saudi Arabia Al-Ittihad v.  Lithuania, 10 June 2019
FW Danijel Aleksić (1991-04-30) 30 April 1991 (age 28) 2 0 Turkey İstanbul Başakşehir v.  Lithuania, 20 November 2018

Previous squads[edit]

Player statistics[edit]

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

Most capped players[edit]

As of 14 October 2019 [33]
# 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 Aleksandar Kolarov DF 2008– 88 11
5 Dragan Džajić MF 1964–1979 85 23
6 Dragan Stojković MF 1983–2001 84 15
Vladimir Stojković GK 2006– 84 0
8 Zoran Tošić MF 2007–2016 76 11
9 Predrag Mijatović FW 1989–2003 73 27
10 Zlatko Vujović FW 1979–1990 70 25

Top goalscorers[edit]

As of 14 October 2019[34]
# 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 Aleksandar Mitrović 2013– 31 53 0.59
7 Dušan Bajević 1970–1977 29 37 0.78
8 Todor Veselinović 1953–1961 28 37 0.76
9 Predrag Mijatović 1989–2003 27 73 0.37
10 Borivoje Kostić 1956–1964 26 33 0.79

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 players[edit]

Honours[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 24 October 2019. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  2. ^ Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 18 October 2019. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  3. ^ History Archived 27 December 2011 at the Wayback Machine at FSS official website, Retrieved 4 October 2012 (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". reprezentacija.rs. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ http://www.arhiva.serbia.gov.rs/news/1999-08/19/13984.html
  9. ^ "Leading goalscorers". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 2 July 2000. Archived from the original on 11 July 2000. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  10. ^ ESPN Soccernet: Germany 0–1 Serbia 18 June 2010
  11. ^ Bleacher Report: FIFA World Cup 2010: Dejan Stankovic's Strange Record 15 June 2010. By Jon Sainz
  12. ^ YouTube – FIFATV: 'Most famous day in Serbia's footballing history' Published 20 May 2012
  13. ^ "Football's 10 Greatest International Rivalries". Goal.com. 17 November 2010.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 January 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "FIFA Tournaments - Compare Teams". FIFA.com. FIFA. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  16. ^ 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".
  17. ^ Serbia set to sign new kit deal with Umbro? Football-shirts.co.uk 6 March 2014
  18. ^ "History of the FIFA World Cup Preliminary Competition (by year)" (PDF). FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  19. ^ "Uefa kaznila Srbiju, bez navijača protiv Litvanije". rts.rs (in Serbian). 21 December 2018.
  20. ^ "Disciplinary - Inside UEFA – UEFA.com". UEFA.com. 21 October 2019.
  21. ^ "Serbia and Albania disciplinary decision". UEFA. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  22. ^ AFP (25 October 2014). "Albania to appeal UEFA punishment over Serbia fracas". Business Insider. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  23. ^ "Serbia to appeal Uefa decision". Goal.com. 24 October 2014.
  24. ^ "Decisions upheld for Serbia-Albania match". UEFA.com. 2 December 2014.
  25. ^ "The football associations of Albania and Serbia file appeals at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)" (PDF). tas-cas.org. Court of Arbitration for Sport. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  26. ^ "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.
  27. ^ "Fudbalski savez Srbije – zvanična web prezentacija". fss.rs.
  28. ^ Italy-Serbia match abandoned due to crowd trouble
  29. ^ UEFA statement on Italy-Serbia case Archived 1 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^ СТРУЧНИ ШТАБ (in Serbian). 3 September 2019.
  31. ^ "СЕЛЕКТОР ЉУБИША ТУМБАКОВИЋ САОПШТИО ИМЕНА ИГРАЧА ЗА ДУЕЛЕ ПРОТИВ ЛУКСЕМБУРГА И УКРАЈИНЕ" (in Serbian). 8 November 2019.
  32. ^ "Србија без повређених Костића, Павкова и Гобељића". Sportski žurnal (in Serbian). 11 November 2019.
  33. ^ "Most matches for Serbia football team". reprezentacija.rs. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  34. ^ "Most goals for Serbia football team". reprezentacija.rs. Retrieved 3 October 2017.

External links[edit]

Official
Unofficial