Monday, November 24, 2014

Former republics of Yugoslavia Greatest All-time team



Yugoslavia 1992

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

This is the all-time team for the former Yugoslavia.  I have also create an all-time team for Serbia and Croatia.  I also create one for the rest of the former Yugoslavia without players from Croatia and Serbia.  

Historically, Yugoslavia was loaded with football talents, but they did not perform as well as they should have. They only reached two European Championship Final in the 1960's and an Olympic Gold Medal in 1960.  The most memorable result probably came in 1987 when they won the U-20 World Cup.  The backbone of the team helped Red Star Belgrade to win the European Cup in 1991.  The players went on to star in major clubs throughout Europe.
Yugoslavia at the World Youth Cup, 1987

Team
GK: Vladimir Beara  (born in Croatia of Serb enthicity)
He played on three World Cups; 1950, 1954 and 1958.  He was considered one of the greatest keepers from the Warsaw Pact.  With Hajduk Split (1946–55), he won the Yugoslav league title in 1950, 1952 and 1955. In 1955, he moved to Belgrade's Red Star (1955–60), where he won even more Yugoslav league titles, in 1956, 1957, 1959, 1960, and won the Yugoslav Cup in 1958 and 1959. He was Red Star's goalkeeper against Manchester United in the last game United had played before the Munich Air Disaster. Beara ended his career in German clubs Alemannia Aachen (1960–62) and Viktoria Köln (1963–64).

GK:  Milutin Soskic  (Serbia)
Milutin Soskic  was a legend with FK Partizan between 1955 and 1966.  In 1966, Partizan  reached the Final of the European Cup, where they lost to the Ye-Ye team of Real Madrid. He later played for Koln in Germany from 1966 to 1971, winning the German Cup in 1968.  He was capped by Yugoslavia for 50 times between 1959 and 1966.

GK: Asmir Begović (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
The Begović family fled the Bosnian War to Germany and moved Canada when Asmir was 10 years old. He grew up in Canada and played for their youth team before switching to play for Bosnia and Herzegovina senior team. He helped Bosnia and Herzegovina to qualify for the WC in 2014.  Professionally, he started with Portsmouth. He spent most of his career with Stoke City in England. He was used as a backup for Chelsea.

RB: Milutin Ivković (Serbia)
Milutin Ivković played 39 times for Yugoslavia.  He played for them at 1928 Summer Olympics and FIFA World Cup 1930, where they reached the semifinal. He is considered the best rightback in Yugoslavian football history.  He obtained a medical degree in 1931 while serving as an active player.  During the War, he was an active in resistance movement. He was executed by firing squad in 1943.
Milutin Ivković (R)
RB: Branko Stanković (born in Bosnia of Serb ethnicity) 
He was best remembered for his career with Red Star Belgrade, where he won 4 league titles and established himself as one of the best defender in Yugoslavian football history.  He participated at two World Cups and twice at Olympic Games. Stanković is one of the most elegant defense players of his time. Because of his playing style, he earned his nickname Ambassador. 

CB:  Josip Katalinski  (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
He was capped 41 times for Yugoslavia.  He went to Euro 1976.  He scored the winning goal for the game against Soain that helped Yugoslavia to qualify for the World Cup in 1974.  He played for FK Željezničar from 1965 to 1975. He made more than 250 league appearances and, although he was a defender, he scored 48 league goals. I and Nice in France.  In 1975, he joined Nice in France. 

CB: Nemanja Vidic (Serbia)
He spent 9 seasons as the starting center-back at Manchester United from 2006 and 2014, where he won every major trophy and established himself as one of the best center-backs of his generation.  He also played for Red Star Belgrade and Spartak Moscow.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 2006 and 2010. He was part of the "Famous Four" Serbian national team defense that conceded just one goal during the 2006 World Cup qualification campaign
Nemanja Vidic 
CB: Ivica Horvat (Croatia)
Horvat gained 60 caps.  He played in both 1950 and 1954 World Cup Finals and won a silver medal at the 1952 Summer Olympics.  In the Final, they lost the legendary Hungarian team of the 1950's. Horvat played from 1945 until 1957 for Dinamo Zagreb. In 1957 he moved to Germany to Eintracht Frankfurt, where he stayed until the end of his career.
  
CB: Velibor Vasovic (Serbia)
He was a legend at FK Partizan.  He lost the European Cup to Real Madrid in 1966.  A year later, he later joined Ajax and established himself as one of the best defenders in Europe.  In 1971, he captained Ajax as they won their first European Cup, playing alongside Johan Cruyff.  He is considered one of the greatest Ajax defenders. He played 32 times for Yugoslavia.

LB: Robert Jarni (Croatia)
He was a member of Yugoslavia's Golden Generation of the 1990's.  He went to the WC Finals in 1990 with Yugoslavia and later, represented Croatia at the WC Finals in 1998, where they reached the semifinal.  Professionally, he began Hadjuk Split had played in big clubs such as Juventus and Real Madrid as well as Real Betis where he played the longest.  He also played in England and Italy.
Robert Jarni

RB/LB: Fahrudin Jusufi (Gorani born in Kosovo)
He was the greatest fullback in Yugoslavian football history.  He played at the 1962 FIFA World Cup and at the 1960 Summer Olympics, where his team won the gold medal.   During his career, he played for FK Partizan, Eintracht Frankfurt, Germania Wiesbaden and FC Dornbirn, retiring in 1972. He was part of the Partizan squad when they became vice-champions of Europe after losing the 1966 European Cup Final against Real Madrid.

LW/LB/CB: Branco Zebec (Croatia)
Zebec was one of the greatest players ever from Yugoslavia. In his heyday the player from FK Partizan and Red Star Belgrade fascinated the world with his performances at the World Cups in 1954 and 1958. With Partizan he won 3 Yugoslav Cups (1952, 1954, 1957). With Red Star Belgrade he won the national championship in 1960. He led Yugoslavia to second-place at Euro 1960. 
Branco Zebec
CM: Luka Modric (Croatia)
Modric is one of the greatest playmakers of his generation. He earned more 90 caps for Croatia.  He currently plays for Real Madrid and won the Champions' League for the 2013-2014,  2015-2016 and 2017-2017 season.  He also played with Dinamo Zagreb and Tottenham Hotspurs.  He played in the WC Finals of 2006 and 2014, as well as the European Championship of 2008, 2012 and 2016.  In 2018, he led Croatia to finish 2nd at the World Cup Finals.
Luka Modric
CM: Zlatko Čajkovski (Croatia)
He was considered one of the best Yugoslavian players ever.  He played for FK Partizan before moving to play for Koln in Germany. Internationally, he played between 1942 and 1943 twice for the Independent State of Croatia, and between 1946 and 1955 he played 55 times for the Yugoslav national team scoring seven goals. Participating at the Olympic Games 1948 and 1952 he won the silver medal on both occasions.  He also participated in the FIFA World Cups of 1950 and 1954. 

AM: Dejan Savicevic (Montenegro)
Dejan Savicevic was a part of the Red Star Belgrade team that won the 1990–91 European Cup before joining A.C. Milan in 1992. With Milan, he won three Serie A titles and the 1993–94 UEFA Champions League. He represented Yugoslavia at the 1990 and 1998 FIFA World Cups.  However, his international career was limited by the FIFA ban on Yugoslavia.

AM: Dragan Stojkovic (Serbia)
He is considered one of the best players in the history of Yugoslavian and Serbian football. He starred for Yugoslavia at the 1990 FIFA World Cup (where he was named in the World Cup All-Star Team) and 1998 FIFA World Cup where he captained the team. He was a star player at Red Star Belgrade, but he was playing for Marseille when Red Star Belgrade beat Marseille in the 1990 Final of the European Cup.
Dragan Stojkovic
AM: Dragoslav Sekularac (Serbia)
He was considered one of the best player in Red Star Belgrade history.  He later played for Independiente Santa Fe in Colombia for five seasons, before transferring to Millonarios from Bogotá and ending his playing career in the German Bundesliga with Karlsruher SC.  He played in the 1958 and 1962 World Cup Finals, where his team reached the semifinal in 1962.  

RW: Aleksandar Tirnanić (Serbia)
He played 50 times for the Kingdom of Yugoslavia between 1929 and 1940.  He went to the WC Finals in 1930, where he became among the youngest goal-scorer in history.  Tirnanić spent most of his senior club career with BSK Beograd for which he appeared in 500 matches. He later played for SK Jugoslavija, BASK, Jedinstvo  and Sloga .

LW: Dragan Dzajic (Serbia)
Džajić is viewed by some football experts as perhaps one of the most underrated players in European football, partly because he played in Yugoslavia. He is considered one of the greatest left wing in history of the game.  He played most of his career with Red Star Belgrade.  He was capped 85 times for Yugoslavia.  He was voted the best player at Europran Championship in 1968, where Yugoslavia finished second.
Dragan Dzajic
LW/FW: Bernard Vukas (Croatia)
In 2000, he was voted by the Croatian Football Federation as the best Croatian player of all time.  He had 59 caps.  He was also a part of the Yugoslavia team in the 1950 FIFA World Cup and 1954 FIFA World Cup.  With Yugoslavia he won 2 silver medals in the Olympic games: 1948 and 1952. His career was associated with Hajduk Split, but he also played in Italy and Austria.

FW:  Stjepan Bobek (Croatia)
He played for Partizan between 1945 and 1959 helping them win two Yugoslav First League titles and four Yugoslav Cups, and was named the club's greatest player in history in 1995. Internationally, he is the all-time top scorer for Yugoslavia, scoring 38 goals in 63 appearances between 1946 and 1956, and was member of Yugoslav squads which won two Olympic silver medals (in 1948 and 1952) and played in two World Cups (in 1950 and 1954).

ST:  Predrag Mijatović (Montenegro)
At club level, Mijatović played for six different clubs: Budućnost Podgorica, Partizan, Valencia, Real Madrid, Fiorentina and Levante. He is best remembered for scoring the winning goal against Juventus as Real Madrid won the 1998 Champions' league, its first title since 1966.  He played 73 times for Yugoslavia.  In 1997, Mijatović was runner-up for the Ballon d'Or, behind Ronaldo and ahead of Zinedine Zidane.


ST: Davor Suker (Croatia)
Davor Suker  was a part of Yugoslavia's Golden Generation in the 1990's.  He later played for Croatia, where he is the all-time leading scorer.  He is best remembered for finishing the top scorer at the WC in 1998, where Croatia reached the semifinal.  He also won a Champions' League in 1998 with Real Madrid.  He also played with Sevilla, Arsenal, West Ham and 1860 Munich
Davor Suker
Honorable Mention
Safet Susic(Bosnia and Herzegovina), Zvonimir Boban(Croatia), Robert Prosinecki (Croatia), Darijo Srna(Croatia), Bernard Vukas (Croatia), Ivan Ćurković (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Hasan Salihamidžić (Bosnia and Herzegovina),  Dejan Stankovic (Serbia), Vladimir Jugovic(Serbia), Blagoje Marjanović (Serbia), Aleksandar Tirnanić (Serbia)

Squad Explanation
-- I am including players who did not play form Yugoslavia and were not active during the existence of the country.
-- Asmir Begović gained name recognition because he played in the modern era and in the Premiership.
-- I selected two modern players.  Luka Modric and Nemanja Vidic proved themselves that they could be playing in the best club sides in the world.  Modric is one of the main reason why Real Madrid won four Champions league in 5 years.  No other player form the former Yugoslavia could claim that.  He helped Croatia to reach the Final of the 2018 World Cup Finals.
--- The former republics of Yugoslavia have too many great attack midfielders. I could not find space for Safet Susic, Zvonimir Boban and Robert Prosinecki.   
-- Robert Prosinecki's peak was too short.  He never lived up his expectation.
-- Dejan Savicevic is probably one of the most underrated players in history.  In the early 1990's, he was among the best player in the world, but he could not play in a World Cup Finals because of the ban on international football for Yugoslavia.  In 1992, Denmark won the European Championship, replacing Yugoslavia in Sweden.  That could have been his crowning moment.
-- Blagoje Marjanović supposed to be great. And I admitted not knowing why he is not on this team. I brought Predrag Mijatović and Davor Suker to team, largely because they had good name recognition.  Both were established players with Real Madrid.

Starting Lineup
Formation: 4-2-3-1
For tactical reasons, I started Luka Modric ahead of other more famous players because he coukd operate as a deepy lying playmaker.  Cajkovski would anchor the midfield. The wingbacks supported the attacks.



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