Yugoslavia national football team

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Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Yugoslavia
Nickname(s) Plavi (The Blues)
Association Football Association of Yugoslavia (SvFF)
Confederation EFU
FIFA ranking 3 Decrease 1 (31 December 1963)
Highest FIFA ranking 1 (1956-1957)
Lowest FIFA ranking 10 (1928)
First international  Czechoslovakia 5–0  Yugoslavia
(Antwerp, Belgium; 28 August 1920)
World Cup appearances 9 (First in 1922)
Best result Champions (1962)
European Nations Cup appearances 1 (First in 1956)
Best result 4th (1956)

Olympic medal record
Men's Football
Silver medal – second place 1948 London Team
Gold medal – first place 1956 Buenos Aires Team
Bronze medal – third place 1960 Rome Team

The Yugoslavia national football team is the association football team that represents the country of Yugoslavia in international competition and is controlled by the Football Association of Yugoslavia.

Yugoslavia has qualified for nine FIFA World Cups. In 1962, they became the ninth team to win the World Cup after they defeated Brazil in the final by a score of 2-1. They have also competed at the European Nations Cup once with their best result being a fourth place finish at the 1956 edition.

History[edit | edit source]

Beginnings[edit | edit source]

The first instance of a Yugoslavia happened after the first World War took place with the formation of the Kingdom of Serb, Croats and Slovenes national team being created in 1919 with the team competing in their first match only a year later as they took on fellow debutantes Czechoslovakia at the 1920 Summer Olympics where they lose 5-0 in the first round. Only two years later they would be invite to compete at the 1922 FIFA World Cup in the Netherlands. After defeating Spain by a single goal from Vladimir Vinek, they would be defeated in the quarter-finals, losing 3-0 to the hosts (Netherlands).

In early 1925, Yugoslavia competed in qualifying for the 1926 FIFA World Cup which was held in Spain. In a group which featured, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Poland, they would come out and book their automatic spot into the World Cup with Stevan Luburić scoring four goals during the campaign. After some warm-ups matches during the end of 1925, they were drawn in Group D with 1922 runner-up, Netherlands, Hungary and debutant the United States who was the first team in North America to compete at a World Cup. After only just scraping through to a 1-0 win against the United States from Dušan Petković. After losing 2-1 to Hungary and 2-0 to the Netherlands, they would only just scrape through to the quarter finals by goal average after the match between the United States and Hungary saw match-fixing allegations occur in the Hungary camp.

After defeating Brazil in the quarter finals in extra time from a goal from Petkovic and Franjo Giller, they would fall in the semi-finals to Uruguay before defeating Austria in the third place play-off. Skipping the 1928 Summer Olympics, Yugoslavia finished top of their qualifying group for the 1930 FIFA World Cup which featured Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria. Seeded in Pot 2 for the World Cup, they would put in Group A with hosts, Uruguay, Germany and debutants Peru. Compared to 1926, they had an easier time getting through the group with Blagoje Marjanović scoring five goals during the group stage as they finished behind the hosts. This meant they had to take on Switzerland in the quarters where two goals from Adolf Stelzer knocking Yugoslavia out of the tournament.

The low 30s[edit | edit source]

After winning consecutive Balkan Cups in 1931 and 1932, Yugoslavia would only to make it to the quarter-finals of the 1932 Summer Olympics when they lost to silver medalists the United States 2-0. This would later than see Yugoslavia qualified through to the 1934 FIFA World Cup in Italy as they finished slightly ahead of Romania by goal difference. At the World Cup they were drawn in Group D with Czechoslovakia, Germany and Bulgaria. After comfortably winning their first two games against Germany (5-0) and Bulgaria (6-0), they conceded three goals in their defeat to Czechoslovakia. Yugoslavia though would just survive by goal average as they finished ahead of Germany who would come in third. Brazil though would end the campaign of Yugoslavia as goals from Leônidas and Carvalho Leite gave Brazil the win.

After only get a podium in the following three editions of the Balkan Cup, the next major tournament that Yugoslavia would compete in was the 1938 FIFA World Cup held in Argentina. After only just scraping through qualifying through an 89th minute goal from Blagoje Marjanović against Poland, they would be eliminated in the first round for the first (and to date only) first round exit as two goals from Ștefan Dobay book Romania's spot into the quarters. This would be the last tournament until the second World War ravaged Europe.

After the War[edit | edit source]

Taking out the 1946 and 1947 Balkan Cup, Yugoslavia entered the 1948 Summer Olympics as one of the favorites to win the title. After knocking over Luxembourg and China in the first two rounds, they took on France in the semi-finals. Three different goal-scorers in the semi-final would secure a spot in the gold medal match where they took on Sweden. After conceding the opening goal in the 15th minute, they would equalize from a Stjepan Bobek goal in the 34th minute. With the match looking to go into extra time, a late 85th minute goal from Sweden would relegate Yugoslavia to the silver medal.

In late 1949, Yugoslavia entered qualifying for the 1950 FIFA World Cup which was held in Sweden. After winning 3-0 in Athens, they would be defeated 2-1 to Austria as they would have entered the play-offs for the World Cup. But the withdrawal of Czechoslovkia meant that they qualified through to the World Cup. As the third ranked in the world, they were put in pot one and was drawn in Group D with two debutants (Great Britain and Korea, the United States and Romania. After smashing Korea 7-0 in the opening game in Helsingborg, they would have a shock 2-0 loss to Great Britain in the following game with Stan Mortensen and Billy Wright scoring the goals. A win over Romania was followed by a late draw against the United States with Ervin Katnić getting a goal in the 84th minute. This meant that they would have to take on Sweden in a replay of the 1948 final and after Hasse Jeppson scored the opener, it would take until the 85th minute for a reply with Tihomir Ognjanov scoring the goal. This meant that the game went into extra time with Bror Mellberg scoring the winning goal for Sweden in the 117th minute to knock out Yugoslavia.

Podium winners[edit | edit source]

Losing to the Soviet Union at the following Olympics, Yugoslavia qualified top of their group for the 1954 FIFA World Cup finishing ahead of Finland and Greece. Breezing through on top of the group stage which featured Austria, Portugal and Paraguay. In the quarter-finals against Mexico, they fell behind early by a goal from Tomás Balcázar but two goals on either half from Rajko Mitić secured a spot in the semi-finals as Yugoslavia won 2-1. Much like their first appearance in a semi-final, Yugoslavia would be bundled out of the semi-final with a 3-0 defeat to eventual champions Hungary. A Bernard Vukas double in the third-place playoff would equal their best result at a World Cup.

The following year, Yugoslavia competed in qualifying for the first European Nations Cup. Defeating Finland in the opening round, they took on Hungary for a spot in the main tournament. After winning the first leg 1-0 from a Branko Zebec goal, they conceded the opening two goals of the return leg in Budapest to fall behind. But goals from Miloš Milutinović and Branko Zebec booked Yugoslavia into the main tournament where they would go on to finish in third place. Losing to Romania in extra-time in the semi-final from a Gheorghe Constantin goal before defeating Turkey in the third place playoff.

In December that year, Yugoslavia went on to take out the 1956 Summer Olympics gold medal with wins over the United States and Bulgaria. In the final, they took on Argentina where they would win 2-1. The following year, they was placed in Group 8 of qualifying for the 1958 FIFA World Cup with Czechoslovakia and Poland. Yugoslavia finished top of the group which meant they qualified through as the top seed for the 1958 World Cup. Being placed in Group C with France, Turkey and Canada, Yugoslavia finished second in the group losing to France from two late goals in the last fifteen minutes costing them the top spot in the group. In the quarter-finals, they would lose to Brazil with Mário Zagallo scoring the winning goal for Brazil.

After the World Cup, a dispute between the Football Association of Yugoslavia and it's members saw Yugoslavia not entered into qualifying for the 1960 European Nations' Cup but after the dispute was then blowed over, Yugoslavia qualified for the 1960 Summer Olympics with the national team easily going through their qualifying group before winning their group with ease which featured United Arab Republic, Romania and Turkey. Though a semi-final loss by a toss of the coin against Italy meant that they could only settle for the bronze medal which they defeated Poland. The following year saw Yugoslavia finish top of their qualifying group with nine points with the only draw in the group being a 1–1 draw against Norway. This meant that Yugoslavia entered the 1962 FIFA World Cup in Group A with hosts Mexico, Paraguay and West Germany.

Finishing top of the group with five points, Yugoslavia than won 4–0 against Colombia in the quarter-finals with Dražan Jerković scoring two goals in the match. Jerkovic scored another goal in the semi-final against the Netherlands as he was part of three goal-scorers that gave Yugoslavia a spot into the World Cup final for the first time where they took on Brazil. In the 25th minute, Jerković (who would go on to win the Golden Boot) scored the opening goal in the 25th minute. A second goal was scored in the 51st minute from Dragoslav Šekularac and despite a 77th minute goal from Brazil, Yugoslavia claimed the FIFA World Cup becoming the ninth different nation to win the trophy.

Competitive record[edit | edit source]

FIFA World Cup[edit | edit source]

     Gold       Silver       Bronze  

FIFA World Cup record
Year Round Position Pld W D * L GF GA
France 1906 Did Not Exist
England 1914
Netherlands 1922 Quarter Finalist 6th 2 1 0 1 1 3
Spain 1926 Semi Finalist 3rd 6 2 1 3 9 8
Uruguay 1930 Quarter Finalist 7th 4 2 0 2 9 4
Italy 1934 Quarter Finalist 8th 4 2 0 2 11 5
Argentina 1938 Round 1 12th 1 0 0 1 1 3
Sweden 1950 Quarter Finalist 7th 5 2 2 1 14 6
Chile 1954 Semi Finalist 3rd 6 5 0 1 13 7
Switzerland 1958 Quarter Finalist 6th 4 2 0 2 10 6
Mexico 1962 Champion 1st 6 5 1 0 14 4
United Kingdom 1966 Qualified as Champion, To Be Determined
Total Champion 9/12 38 21 4 13 81 46

European Nations Cup[edit | edit source]

     Gold       Silver       Bronze  

European Nations Cup record
Year Round Position Pld W D * L GF GA
France 1956 Semi Finalist 3rd 2 1 0 1 3 5
Czechoslovakia 1960 Did Not Enter

External Links[edit | edit source]

Template:Football in Yugoslavia

Template:National sports teams of Yugoslavia