Monday, December 1, 2014

The former Yugoslavia without Croatia and Serbia All-team 23 member team

Slovenia Euro 2000

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
I have create an all-time Yugoslavian team that featured players from all the former republics.  This team is the all-time Yugoslavian team, excluding players from Croatia and Serbia

What if Yugoslavia went to USA 1994
Yugoslavia World Cup 2018

Historically, Yugoslavia is 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.  While Croatian and Serbian players were key players for Yugoslavia, a large number of stars players were from the other regions.  After independence, Slovenia had the best results after Serbia and Croatia.  They qualified for Euro 2000.   Against Yugoslavia(Serbia and Montenegro), they came back from going down 3-0 to draw 3-3.  They also went to the WC Finals in 2002 and 2006.  Meanwhile, Bosnia and Herzegovina qualified for the WC Finals in 2014. Montenegro did not play as a separated entity until 2007, but. Predrag Mijatović starred for Yugoslavia(Serbia and Montenegro) during the World Cup Finals in 1998.
Bosnia and Herzegovina World Cup 2014

GK: Ivan Ćurković (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Curkovic played as a goalkeeper for Velež Mostar, Partizan and Saint-Étienne. Ćurković was a goalie of outstanding quality who played for AS Saint-Étienne during the 1970s and early1980s and was instrumental in the successful runs of Saint-Étienne's football club to the top of the French League and to the finals of the European Cup in the 1975–76 season. He played alongside French legend Michel Platini from 1978 to 1981.  Capped 19 times for Yugoslavia.

GK: Samir Handanović (Slovenia)
From 2004, Samir Handanović  was capped over 70 times for Slovenia.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 2010.  For club football, he was best remembered as a top keeper in Serie A.  He was voted the best keeper for 2013 in Italy.   He is one of only three non-Italian keepers to be named Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year, winning the honor twice. He is nicknamed Batman due to his acrobatic saves.

GK: Jan Oblak  (Slovenia)
Oblak made his debut for Olimpija Ljubljana in the 2009–10 season aged 16 before joining Benfica in 2010.  Starting in 2014, he plays for Atletico Madrid. At the time of writing, he has won La Liga Zamora Trophy three times.  At the international level, he became the first-choice goalkeeper of the national team after the international retirement of Samir Handanović at the end of 2015.

RB: Branko Stanković (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Branko Stanković  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) 
Josip Katalinski was capped 41 times for Yugoslavia.  He went to European Championship in 1976.  He scored the winning goal for the game against Spain that helped Yugoslavia to qualify for the World Cup Finals 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. In 1975, he joined Nice in France. 
Josip Katalinski
CB: Vujadin Stanojkovic (North Macedonia)
The defender was capped 21 times and scored 1 goal for Yugoslavia between 1988 and 1992, including two matches at the 1990 World Cup Finals in Italy. Between 1994 and 1995 he got 7 caps for the newly established Macedonian national team.  His main club was FK Partizan. Born in what is now Marcedonia, he is an ethnic Serb.
CB: Faruk Hadžibegić (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Faruk Hadžibegić was capped 61 times for Yugoslavia from 1982 to 1992.  He went to the WC Finals in 1990.  He is the second most capped Bosian player for Yugoslavian national team and and fifth overall most capped player for the Yugoslavia national football team (61 caps  During his career he played for FK Sarajevo, Real Betis, FC Sochaux and Toulouse FC.

CB: Dragan Holcer (Slovenia)
Dragan Holcer was born in captivity in a Nazi prison camp to a Slovenian mother imprisoned there. His father was killed during the war as partisan fighter. He played 52 times for Yugoslavia and went to play in European Championship of 1968. He is one of Hajduk Split's greatest player.  He also played for Stuttgart and Schalke 04 in Germany.

RB/LB: Fahrudin Jusufi (Gorani born in Kosovo)
Fahrudin Jusufi 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.

LB:  Mirsad Fazlagić (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Mirsad Fazlagić played 450 matches for FK Sarajevo in the Yugoslavian First League.   He made 19 appearances for Yugoslavia. He is especially known internationally for being the captain of Yugoslavia during the 1968 European Football Championship, where they came second by barely losing to the home side Italy after a two-legged final in Rome. 

RW/RB: Hasan Salihamidžić (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Hasan Salihamidžić is best remembered for playing 9 seasons with Bayern Munich.  With Bayern, he won the 2001 Champions' League final, scoring one of the penalties in the shootout win in the Final. He also played for Juventus and Wolfsburg. At the international level, he earned 43 caps and scored six goals for the Bosnia and Herzegovina national team. He is regarded by many as one of the most successful Bosnian football players in recent times.
Hasan Salihamidžić 
DM:  Srečko Katanec (Slovenia)
In 1988 he joined VfB Stuttgart. This team reached UEFA Cup finals in 1989 and lost against Diego Maradona's Napoli. He stayed in Germany only one season. In 1989 he signed for Italian Sampdoria and already at his first season there he won European Cup Winners' Cup. In 1991, his Sampdoria won a "Scudetto", next year it reached Champions League finals and lost against FC Barcelona.  He played for both Yugoslavia and Slovenia national teams.

CM: Branko Oblak (Slovenia)
At home, he was known for his career with Olimpija.   In 1975 he signed a two-year contract with Schalke 04 of the German Bundesliga for what was a world record fee for that season. He moved to Bayern Muinch two seasons later. He played in the 1974 World Cup where he was selected into the team of the tournament. He also played in Euro 1976 hosted at home.

CM: Mehmed Baždarević (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Mehmed Baždarević collected 54 caps and scored 4 goals for Yugoslavia between 1983 and 1992, and another 2 caps for Bosina and Herzegovina after the breakup of Yugoslavia.  However, the team was not recognised by FIFA until 1995 in part due to the Bosnian War.  He went the Euro 1984 held in France.  He played for FK Željezničar Sarajevo and went to the UEFA semifinal in 1985.

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, beating Barcelona 4-0 in the Final. He represented Yugoslavia at the 1990 and 1998 FIFA World Cups.  However, his international career was limited by the FIFA ban on Yugoslavia during the prime of his career. He did not appear in the European Championship of 1992 as a result.
Dejan Savicevic

AM: Ivica Osim (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Ivica Osim was born in Bosnia of a mixed family in 1941. He played with FK Željezničar Sarajevo before moving aboard in 1970.  Apart from three months in Holland, he played mostly in France. In France, he played for Valenciennes, Sedan and again at Strasbourg. He was capped 16 times for Yugoslavia.  He reached the Final at Euro 1968.

RW: Danilo Popivoda (Slovenia)
Danilo Popivoda was capped 20 times for Yugoslavia in the 1970's. He went to the World Cup Finals in 1974 and the European Championship in 1976, where he scored a goal in a match against West Germany.  For his club career, he played for Olimpija Ljubljana at home and Eintracht Braunschweig in Germany,

AM: Zlatko Zahovič (Slovenia)
Zahovic had 80 caps between 1992 and 2004. He is the all-time goal scorer for Slovenia. He was a key player for Slovenia when they qualified for Euro 2000 and the World Cup Finals in 2002.  The best part of his club career was spent in Portugal where he played for both Porto and Benfica. He also played for Valencia, but not so successful.  Nevertheless, he played in the Final of 2001 Champions League against Bayern Munich.
Zlatko Zahovič 
AM: Safet Sušić (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Safet Sušić was one of the greatest Yugoslavian players.  He played for FK Sarajevo, Paris Saint-Germain and Red Star Saint-Ouen and internationally for Yugoslavia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was voted Paris Saint-Germain's best player of all time and the best foreign player of Ligue 1 of all time by France Football.  He represented Yugoslavia at the 1982 and 1990 World Cups, and at the European Championship 1984. In 1993, he played twice for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Safet Sušić
FW: Vahid Halilhodžić (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Regarded as one of the best Yugoslav players in the 1970s and 1980s, Halilhodžić had successful playing spells with Velež Mostar, and French clubs Nantes and Paris Saint-Germain before retiring in the mid-1980s. He also appeared for the Yugoslav national team and was part of the squads which won the 1978 European Under-21 Championship before earning 15 full international caps for Yugoslavia. 

FW/LW: Goran Pandev (North Macedonia)
Pandev began his football career with FK Belasica.  He played for Lazio from 2004 to 2009.  He also played for Inter Milan, where he won the 2010 Champions' League Final, starting in the Final match on the left side.  He also played for Napoli, Galatasaray and Genoa.  With Napoli, he won Coppa Italia: 2011–12, 2013–14. He was capped over 100 times for Macedonia. 

ST:  Darko Pancev (North Macedonia)
Darko Pancev was the European Golden Boot winner in 1991 when he scored 34 goals.  With Red Star Belgrade, he scored 84 goals from 91 league appearances, and winning the European Cup and the Intercontinental Cup in 1991.  In 1992, he made a move to Inter Milan, but his career never took off after the European Cup. He was capped 27 times for Yugoslavia and 6 times for Macedonia.

ST: Edin Džeko (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Edin Dzeko is probably the most famous player for Bosnia and Herzegovina not from the era under Yugoslavia. He has played over 80 times for his country and scored 52 goals since 2007, becoming the highest Bosnia and Herzegovina goalscorer of all time. He led Bosnia and Herzegovina to qualify for the World Cup in 2014.  He had a great career with Wolfsburg and moved to Manchester City in 2011.  At the time of writing, he plays for Roma, helping the club to reach the semifinal of the Champions' League in 2018.

Edin Džeko

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. He played in the 1998 World Cup Finals.
Predrag Mijatović

Honorable Mention 
Asmir Begović (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Asim "Hase" Ferhatović (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Enver Marić (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Miralem Pjanić ((Bosnia and Herzegovina), Elvir Bolić ((Bosnia and Herzegovina), Dusan Bajevic (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Meho Kodro (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Mirko Vucinic (Montenegro), Ivan Toplak (Slovenia), Milivoje Novaković (Slovenia), Danilo Popivoda (Slovenia), Marko Elsner (Slovenia), Kiril Dojčinovski, Oka Nikolov (North Macedonia), Nikica Klinčarski (North Macedonia).

Squad Explanation
-- Predrag Mijatović, Fahrudin Jusufi,  Dejan Savicevic and Branko Stankovic are on my Yugoslavia All-Time Team
-- The ethnic issue is very sensitive in the region.
-- Branko Stankovic is listed as a Bosnian Serb.  He was born in Sarajevo. Again, ethnicity is a serious issue in the region. He is both of my all time team: Serbia and this "Former Yugoslavia Without Serbia and Croatia" team.
-- Fahrudin Jusufi sometimes listed on many Serbia All-Time list.  He is definitely considered to be an all-timer in all Yugoslavia.  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 is considered to be Serbian or he should be considered Kosovan. So I put him in this time.
-- As compared to the other all-time teams (all-time Yugoslavian team, Croatia and Serbia), this blog team is relatively young. Eleven players have represented the successor national teams. No one played before the War.
-- Samir Handanović was Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year for 2010-2011 season.
-- Hasan Salihamidžić was known for his career with Bayern Munich.
-- Vujadin Stanojkovic is a ethnic Serb, but he chose to play for Macedonia, the place of his birth.  
-- I went for a pair of younger keepers over Enver Marić. Both Handanović and Oblak have played at the highest club level in Europe. 
--Asmir Begović (Bosnia and Herzegovina) was my third keeper.  In August, 2019, I replaced him with Jan Oblak. Since 2014, Oblak has been a steady keeper for Atletico Madrid.
-- Miroslav Brozović was a Bosnian Croat.  His eligibility was put into question because he had played for Independent State of Croatia from 1941 to 1944.
-- Hasan Salihamidžić and Edin Džeko are the two most famous Bosnian player after the fall of Yugoslavia.
-- 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. Instead, he helped AC Milan to win an European Cup in 1994.
-- Safet Sušić is actually one of the best players from the Yugoslavia.  He could not get into my all-time Yugoslavian Team because I have Luka Modric, Dragan Stojkovic and Dejan Savicevic ahead him.  Yugoslavia simply has talented players. 
-- Zlatko Zahovič's club career with Valencia was marked with controversy.  However, he led Slovenia to their first major tournament.
-- Darko Pancev was among the best striker in Europe for a short time when he played Red Star Belgrade. His career after Red Star Belgrade fell apart. However, that short span was good enough to make this team.  Meho Kodro's peak was never as high as Pancev.  I also took Darko Pancev over him.  
-- Goran Pandev had a long successful career playing in Italy. He edged out Dušan Bajević  who played his best football in Greece.
-- Predrag Mijatović's career with Real Madrid speaks for itself.  Not many player from this area has done more than he did.
-- I really like Miralem Pjanić, but I do not believe many football historians put him on an all-time list for former Yugoslavia or similar team.  Unlike the old-timers, he did not receive the international flame by playing for the former Yugoslavia.  He also did not receive the same credit as the goal scorers such as Edin Džeko.  I gave him an honourable mention.
-- Edin Džeko benefitted for playing in England and Italy.  And he also led Bosnia and Herzegovina to a WC Finals.
-- Miralem Pjanić ((Bosnia and Herzegovina) probably would one day make the team.

Starting lineup
Formation: 4-3-3
Apart from the starting keeper, all of the starters are obvious choices.  Safet Sušić and Saviceviuc would be the twin-playmakers.

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