Saturday, November 29, 2014

Serbia Greatest All-time 23 member team

This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

His Facebook and Instagram

World Cup 2010

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

I have create an all-time Yugoslavian team that featured played from all the former republics.  This one is the all-time 23 member team for Serbia.   I am including Serbian players who were playing for Yugoslavia.  

Yugoslavia after the breakup
What if Yugoslavia World Cup 2018
SloveniaMontenegroNorthern Macedonia
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Serbia boasts a rich football history, with their national team dubbed the Orlovi (Serbian Cyrillic: Орлови, meaning "The Eagles"). The team maintains a strong connection to the former Yugoslav national teams, having achieved remarkable success in the past. They reached the finals of the European Championships in 1960 and 1968 and secured an impressive fourth-place finish in the World Cups of 1930 and 1962. Recognized by FIFA and UEFA as the official successor to both the Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro national teams, Serbia holds a significant position.

During the 1990s, Serbia possessed a promising squad composed of exceptional players such as Dragan Stojković, Savo Milošević, Predrag Mijatović, Vladimir Jugović, and Siniša Mihajlović. However, their progress was impeded by international sanctions imposed on Yugoslavia as a consequence of the Yugoslav Wars.

Since the dissolution of Serbia and Montenegro in 2006, Serbia has competed as an independent nation. They successfully qualified for the World Cups in both 2010 and 2018, although they were eliminated in the group stage on both occasions. Nonetheless, their most memorable achievement materialized during the 2010 World Cup when they triumphed over their fierce rivals, Germany, with a remarkable 1-0 victory, courtesy of Milan Jovanović's winning goal.

Historically, Yugoslavia was loaded with football talents, but they did not perform as well as they should have. Dragan Stojkovic and 
Dragan Dzajic were some of the greatest Serbian players playing under Yugoslavia.  Serbia is also the home of Red Star Belgrade, the 1991 European Cup champion.

World Cup 2018
GK: Vladimir Beara  
Vladimir Beara played on three World Cups; 1950, 1954 and 1958.  He was considered one of the greatest keepers from the Warsaw Pact.  With Hajduk Split , he won the Yugoslav league title in 1950, 1952 and 1955. In 1955, he moved to Belgrade's Red Star, where he won even more Yugoslav league titles, in 1956, 1957, 1959, 1960, and won the Yugoslav Cup in 1958 and 1959. He ended his career in German clubs Alemannia Aachen and Viktoria Köln.
Vladimir Beara  
GK:  Milutin Soskic 
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.  He helped Yugoslavia to 4th place in the 1962 World Cup. He also won an Olympic Gold in 1960.

Ater playing for BAK Bela Crkva and Radnički Sombor, Pantelić spent 9 seasons at Vojvodina between 1961 and 1969. In 1969, he joined Paris-Neuilly, before switching to Marseille. He also played for Bastia (1971–1974) and Paris Saint-Germain (1974–1977), amassing over 200 appearances in the top flight of French football.  He was capped 18 times for Yugoslavia from 1964 to 1968. He represented the country at Euro 1968, as Yugoslavia lost to Italy in the final.

RB: Branko Stanković
He is a Bosnian Serb. 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 defensive players of his time. Because of his playing style, he earned his nickname Ambassador. 

RB: Milutin Ivković 
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.

CB: Nemanja Vidic
Nemanja Vidic 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.
Nemnja Vidic
CB: Velibor Vasovic
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.

CB: Miroslav Djukic
Miroslav Djukic spent 14 years of his professional career in Spain, notably at the service of Deportivo de La Coruña and Valencia, amassing La Liga totals of 368 games and 11 goals, and winning six major titles for the two clubs combined. In 1994, Đukić missed a penalty kick in the game's last minute (eventual 0–0 draw) for Deportivo. As a result FC Barcelona were crowned champions instead. He had 48 caps and  played at Euro 2000 for Yugoslavia.

Sinisa Mihajlovic was capped 63 times between 1991 and 2003 for Yugoslavia.  He won the European Cup with Red Star Belgrade. In 1992, he moved to Italy and became was one of the best defender in Serie, notably played for Roma, Sampdoria, Lazio and Inter Milan.  With Lazio, he won UEFA Cup Winners Cup: 1998–99. He was part of the golden generation of Yugoslav players who won the 1987 FIFA World Youth Championship in Chile.
Sinisa Mihajlovic
LB: Aleksandar Kolarov 
Aleksandar Kolarov began his career at Red Star Belgrade, but he moved onto Čukarički in 2004. Two years later, he joined OFK Beograd before signing for Lazio in Serie A. In 2010, he joined Manchester City, with which he won two Premier League titles, the FA Cup and the League Cup. He now plays for AS Roma in Italy. He has over 70 caps for Serbia. Kolarov was a member of Serbia's squads for the 2010 and 2018 World Cup Finals. He was named Serbian Player of the Year in 2011.

DM: Milorad Arsenijević
He earned 52 caps for the Yugoslavia, and played in the 1930 FIFA World Cup, where they reached the semifinal and served as the highest finishes for an European team.  He was born in Smederevo. However, he grew-up in Šabac where he started playing for the local team FK Mačva Šabac when he was 14.  In 1925, He joined BK Belgrade and retired there in 1938.

CM: Vladimir Jugovic
Jugovic was a member of Red Star Belgrade that won the European Cup in 1990.  He won another European Cup with Juventus in 1996. He also played for Sampdoria, Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid, Lazio, LR Ahlen, AS Monaco FC and VfB Admira Wacker Mödling. At the international level, he was limited to 41 caps because of the ban placed on Yugoslavia during the prime of his career. He played at Euro 2000 and the World Cup 1998 for Yugoslavia.  
Vladimir Jugovic
DM: Nemanja Matić  (Serbia)
Nemanja Matić began his career at Kolubara, before joining Slovak side Košice in 2007. He moved to Chelsea in 2009. With Benfica, he won the Primeira Liga Player of the Year award.  He returned to Chelsea in 2014. He was named in the PFA Team of the Year for the 2014–15 season. In 2017, he joined Manchester United. With Serbia, he has over 48 caps since 2008. He went to 2018 World Cup. He was the Serbian Player of the year twice.

CM/DM/RM: Dejan Stankovic
Dejan Stankovic played for Red Stars Belgrade and Lazio, but he is best remembered for his stint with Inter Milan where he won 5 league titles and one Champions League title.  He earned 103 international caps. He played in three World Cup Finals for three different national teams: Yugoslavia(1998), Serbia and Montenegro (2006) and Serbia (2010).  He captained the Serbia national team until 2011, when he announced his retirement from international football. 
Dejan Stankovic
RW:  Vujadin Boškov
Vujadin Boškov played with FK Vojvodina for most of his career (1946–1960). In 1961 he moved to Italy to play for Sampdoria for one season and then, joined Young Boys in Switzerland as a player/coach.  He also played for the Yugoslavia national team, and was part of the team that won the silver medal at the 1952 Olympic. Also he played at the 1954 and 1958 FIFA World Cups

RW: Aleksandar Tirnanić
Aleksandar Tirnanić 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 .
Dragan 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 between 1964 and 1978.  He was voted the best player at European Championship in 1968, where Yugoslavia finished second behind Italy.
Dragan Dzajic
LW: Bora Kostić
Bora Kostić is the all-time leading scorer Red Star Belgrade,  During his club career, he played for Red Star Belgrade until 1961.  Then, he played for Lanerossi Vicenza in Italy and then, St. Louis Stars in the United States. Internationally, he earned 33 caps and 26 goals for the Yugoslavia, and participated in the 1960 European Nations' Cup. He won an Olympic Gold Medal in 1960.

AM: Dragan Stojkovic
Dragan Stojkovic 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.  He played in Japan at the end of his career.
Dragan Stojkovic
ST/SS/LW: Milan Galic
He scored 37 international goals in 51 matches for Yugoslavia. He participated in the 1960 Summer Olympics, winning the gold medal, the 1960 UEFA European Football Championship, where Yugoslavia finished second and the 1962 FIFA World Cup, where Yugoslavia finished fourth. On the club level, he played for FK Partizan and Standard Liège.

ST/SS:  Rajko Mitic
Mitic started his career with BSK Belgrade. After the World War II, he was the captain of Red Star Belgrade when it was found in 1945.  He played 14 seasons there and was known for his leadership. He was considered one of the club's greatest players.  He won 59 caps (in which he was captain 34 times) for Yugoslavia, and scored 32 goals.

ST:  Blagojie Marjanovic 
Blagojie Marjanovic  played 57 times for the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.  He was one of the first superstars in Yugoslavia.  He played in the WC Finals of 1930, where Yugoslavia reached the semifinal before losing to host and eventual winner Uruguay.  He spent most of his career with BSK Belgrade. He was captured as a POW during the War.  He returned to football after the war.

ST/SS:  Miloš Milutinović
Miloš Milutinović was one of the Milutinović brothers who were famous players and coaches in Yugoslavia.  His was the brother of famous coach Bora Milutinović. At the international level, he earned 33 caps in total and represented the country in the 1954 and 1958 World Cups.  During his club career he played for FK Bor, FK Partizan, OFK Beograd, FC Bayern Munich, RCF Paris, and Stade Français Paris. 
Miloš Milutinović

Honorable Mention
Srđan Mrkušić, Ognjen Petrović, Dragan Pantelić, Petar Radenković
Vladimir Stojković, Vladimir Durković, Dejan Petkovic, Blagoje Paunović, Nenad Stojković, Goran Đorović, Vladimir Petrovic, Jovan Acimovic, Milinko Pantić, Milos Sestic, Jovan Acimovic, Savo Milosevic, Nemanja Matic, Branislav Ivanović,  Dejan Petkovic,  Ilija Petković, Milos Sestic, Đorđe Vujadinović, Dušan Tadić, Ivica Dragutinović, Mladen Krstajić, Darko Kovačević, Mateja Kežman, Savo Milošević.

Squad Explanation 
-- This edition of this team was reviewed on March, 2022.
-- All the players from Yugoslavia era were selected through ethnicity and birth place. The players after the collapse of Yugoslavia were based upon the national team they chose. All players who had represented the Serbian national team were eligible for this team. 
-- Vladimir Beara, Nemanja Vidic, Velibor Vasovic, Dragan Stojkovic and Dragan Dzajic were automatic selections.  They were Serbia's greatest ever players.
-- Nine players are on my Yugoslavia All-Time Team.  They are Branko Stankovic, Vladimir Beara, Milutin Soskic, Nemanja Vidic, Velibor Vasovic, Milutin Ivković, Dragan Stojkovic, Aleksandar Tirnanić and Dragan Dzajic.  They became the foundation of this team.
-- Sinisa Mihajlovic, and Vladimir Jugovic also helped Red Star Belgrade to win the 1991 European Cup.  Dejan Savićević was from Montenegro while Robert Prosinečki was from Croatia.  Darko Pančev came from Northern Macedonia.  Dragan Stojkovic was playing for Olympique de Marseille in the 1991 Final.  Stojković, a penalty kick specialist, entered the game late during the extra-time as a substitute, but as the match eventually went to a penalty shootout, he informed head coach Goethals that he did not want to take a penalty shot against his former team. Red Star won the European Cup in the shootout.
-- Serbia and Montenegro was still known as FR Yugoslavia at the 1998 World Cup Finals. Dejan Savićević and Predrag Mijatović are from Montenegro.  I put them on the all-time team for Montenegro.
-- Nemanja Vidic, Aleksandar Kolarov and Dejan Stankovic were the only players who had represented Serbia.  
-- Sinisa Mihajlovic, Vladimir Jugovic, Dragan Stojkovic and Miroslav Djukic were from the Golden Generation of the 1990's.  Dejan Stanković was still a youth player in 1992.  
-- The IFFHS created this All-Time Dream team for Serbia.  The players included were: Milutin Šoškić, Branko Stanković, Nemanja Vidić, Siniša Mihajlović, Fahrudin Jusufi, Vujadin Boškov, Dragan Stojković, Dragoslav Šekularac, Rajko Mitić and Milan Galić and Dragan Džajić. I decided not to choose Jusufi on this team due to the complexity of ethnic issue in this region.
-- Vladimir Beara was born in modern day Croatia, but he was of Serbian ethnicity.  The ethnic issue was very sensitive in the region.  He is chosen for both all time teams for Serbia and Croatia.  He was widely considered the greatest goalkeeper for Yugoslavia.  Then, I took Milutin Soskic.  Šoškić helped Yugoslavia to 4th place in the 1962 World Cup, and he also played for Partizan in the European Cup final against Real Madrid. Both names appeared almost everywhere in my research. The third goalkeeper went to Ilija Pantelić. He helped Yugoslavia to a second place finish at Euro 1968.  Srđan Mrkušić would have been my fourth choice because of his historical role in the region.
-- During his time at FK Vojvodina, Pantelić managed to score a hat-trick in a league game against Trešnjevka, as well as a goal against Atlético Madrid in the first leg of the 1966–67 European Cup second round. 
-- Ivan Ćurković was born in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina.  From 1989 until 2006, Ćurković was president of FK Partizan. He was the president of the Serbian Olympic Committee until February 2009.  In 2009, he became the vice-president of the Serbian Football Association.  He was a Croat, but probably absorbed into the Serbian society.  Because ethnicity is a sensitive issue in the region, I decided to stick with birthplace and ethnicity for eligibility.  I have difficulties determining the nationality of players from the former Yugoslavia.  He probably would play for Serbia if he was born in the post-Yugoslavia era.  I ruled him ineligible.  
-- Ilija Pantelić was also born in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  However, he was a Serb, which made him eligible.  Curkovic is ahead of Pantelic on my Yugoslavia All-Time team.  
-- Ognjen Petrović, Dragan Pantelić and Petar Radenković were on honorable mentions.  Stevan Stojanović was never capped by Yugoslavia.  He was the hero of Red Star Belgrade's victory at the European Cup.
-- Nemanja Vidic. Velibor Vasovic and Sinisa Mihajlovic were easy choices for central defenders.  Velibor Vasovic's career was defined by being a pioneer for Total Football when he played with Ajax.  He was credited for changing the way the sweeper position was played.  He is also one of the greatest European players in his position. Nemanja Vidic was the best Serbian player to emerge after the end of Yugoslavia.  In his prime, he was one of the best in Europe.
-- Siniša Mihajlović was born in Croatia, but his father was a Serb.  He also chose to represent FR Yugoslavia, which was considered to be the national team of Serbia and Montenegro.  He spent a long playing as a top defender in Serie A when the league was the best in the world.
-- The last central defender went to Miroslav Đukić who was considered one of Deportivo La Coruna's greatest central defenders. 
-- Branko Zebec mainly operated on the left flank.  He later played in the center of the midfield.  He was the top scorer at the 1952 Olympics, where Yugoslavia won the Silver.  The Mighty Magyars of Hungary won the Gold medal and became a legendary team in the history of the game.  He could also play as a central defender.
-- RB/CB: Branislav Ivanović was Serbia's all-time leading cap holders.  He deserved a place, but I picked Branko Stanković and Milutin Ivković.  They were considered Yugoslavia's greatest fullbacks.
-- Branko Stankovic is listed as a Bosnian Serb.  He was born in Sarajevo. Again, ethnicity is a serious issue in the region. He is on both of my all time team Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
-- Fahrudin Jusufi is sometimes listed on many Serbia All-Time list. He is definitely considered to be an all-timer.  However, due to the complexity and sensitivity of the ethnic issue in the region, I decided to leave him out.  He was born in Dragas, Kosovo.  His ethnicity is listed as Gorani.  I do not know if he was considered to be Serbian. Now, I listed him as a player from Kosovo.
-- Because of Mihajovic who could operate as a leftback, I only selected a single leftback Aleksandar Kolarov.  He was not on the original team.  In 2020,  I did a review of the team.  I decided to put leftback Aleksandar Kolarov on the team.  He had a lengthy career in the Preimership and Serie A.  Instead, I dropped Dejan Petkovic.  
Aleksandar Kolarov
-- Dragan Dzajic and Dragan Stojkovic took two of the spots in this section.  Džajić is considered one of the greatest left wing in history of the game. He is probably the greatest player from Yugoslavia before the breakup. And Dragan Stojkovic was probably the most famous player from the Golden Generation of the 1990's.  
-- Dragoslav Sekularac was often listed as a Serbian footballer. He made the Team of the Tournament in Euro 1960, where Yugoslavia finished second, and Yugoslavia also reached semifinal of the 1962 World Cup.  He was born in modern day Northern Macedonia to Montenegrin father and Macedonian mother.  He grew up in Belgrade, but I used ethnicity and birthplace for eligibility.  So he does not belong to this team.   In March, 2022, I discovered that Dragoslav Sekularac was a Serbian player by ethnicity.  I replaced him with Nemanja Matic. 
-- Vladimir Petrovic was well-known in England because he played for Arsenal at a time a few foreigners played in England.  He was a star in Yugoslavia, but his career in England was a flop.  Instead of taking him, I took Nemanja Matic.
-- On the original team, I did not select Nemanja Matic.  He proved himself in the Preimership, but I took Vladimir Jugovic who was a star in Italy during his prime.  I also took Dejan Stanković and Milorad Arsenijević.  
-- On my Yugoslavia after breakup team, I selected Nemanja Matic over Dejan Stanković and Vladimir Jugovic.  I considered both  Stanković and Jugovic to be a box-to-box midfielder.  On that team, I had too many offensive-minded midfielders.  Matic was badly needed over there. This team also needed him, but I had Milorad Arsenijević.  In the end, I discovered my mistake on Dragoslav Sekularac, and i found a spot of Matic.
-- Dejan Stanković is a member of Inter Milan Hall of Fame.  He contributed to Inter Milan winning the Champions' League in 2010.
-- Dušan Tadić is one of the most underrated playmaker in Europe, but he was also not going to get ahead of Dragoslav Sekularac and Dragan Stojkovic.
-- Dejan Petkovic was relatively unknown in Europe, but he accomplished something few footballers were able to achieve. He found stardom playing league football in Brazil.  When I started this blog team, I selected him for his cult status.  In 2020, I dropped him for Kolarov. Petkovic did not do as much for Serbia. He only played 8 times for Yugoslavia.
-- Although I already had Dragan Džajić, I still took Bora Kostić.  He is the all-time leading scorer for Red Star Belgrade.  On the right, I also took Vujadin Boškov who was one of the first Yugoslavian player to play in the West.
Bora Kostić
-- Rajko Mitić is considered one of the most important players in the history of Red Star Belgrade as he is the first out of only five players to have been awarded the Zvezdina zvezda.  The principal stadium in Serbia was officially renamed after Rajko Mitic in 2014. He was a legend for Red Star Belgrade.
-- Milinko Pantić was a hero at Atletico de Madrid, mainly for winning the Double in the 1995-1996 season, but he had only a handful of caps.  I only put him on honorable mention.
-- ST/SS/LW: Milan Galic was the hero European Championship in 1960.  In total, he scored 37 goals for Yugoslavia in only 51 international matches, the most for a Serbian player, alongside Savo Milosevic. Milan Galić was one goal behind Stjepan Bobek.
-- Savo Milosevic is probably among the most famous Serbian attacker after the end of Yugoslavia, but it is hard for him to displace the older players.  So he only made honorable mention.
-- Đorđe Vujadinović was seriously considered. He helped Yugoslavia to  finish 4th place at the 1930 World Cup Finals.  Todor Veselinović scored 28 international goals with 37 caps.  He might be the best player not selected. Dragan Jovanović from the 1930's supposed to be very good as well.  I also looked into Milos Sestic.  In the end, I went with Miloš Milutinović and Blagojie Marjanovic.  They were frequently mentioned.
-- Blagoje Marjanović was one of the first player from Yugoslavia to turn professional.  Yugoslavia reached the semifinal of the 1930 World Cup Finals with him as a star player.   I also studied the case of Miloš Milutinović, but Marjanovic was a pioneer in this country. 
-- Miloš Milutinović was one of the Milutinović brothers. His brothers Bora and Milorad were also footballers.  Bora of course was the famous coach who led Costa Rica, Mexico, the United States, Nigeria and China at the World Cup Finals.

Starting lineup 
Formation I: 4-3-3

Formtion II: 4-2-3-1
This is a more defensive approach. I added Stankovic who is better defensively.


  1. scraps and leftovers:
    ivanovic stojkovic mitrovic jusufi
    vilmos-sipos beck matic sekulic
    santrac hasanagic