Friday, October 18, 2019

What if Yugoslavia World Cup 2018

This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied this blog team.  His entry was written in November 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2019.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.  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

Ovaj bloger Artur Yanturin iz Rusije kopirao je ovaj blog tim. Njegov unos je napisan u studenom 2020., ali moj je učitan 2019. On je također kopirao mnoge mnoge moje unose na blogu. Njegov unos za momčad Spartak Moskva za sva vremena objavljen je u listopadu 2020., ali moj je učitan 2017. Njegov unos o nizozemsko-njemačkom rivalstvu između Real Madrida i Barcelone napisan je 2020., ali moj je postavljen 2014. On je također kopirao mnogo mnogo mojih unosa na blogu.

Овај блогер Артур Јантурин из Русије копирао је овај блог тим. Његов унос је написан у новембру 2020., али мој је постављен 2019. Он је такође копирао многе моје уносе на блогу. Његов унос за Спартак Москва за сва времена за тим је објављен у октобру 2020, али мој је постављен 2017. Његов унос о холандско-немачком ривалству између Реал Мадрида и Барселоне написан је 2020, али је мој постављен 2014. Он је такође копирао много много мојих уноса на блогу.

Этот блоггер Artur Yanturin of Russia copied этот blog team. Его введение было написано в Ноябрь 2020, но меньше было добавлено в 2019. Он также получил много людей из моих blog entries. Его Спартак Москвы все время команда была запущена в октябре 2020 года, но она была запущена в 2017. много людей из моего blog entries.

Croatia World Cup 2018
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

Hungary World Cup 1950
Sweden World Cup1950
Austria-Hungary 1954
Argentina World Cup 1958
Scotland World Cup 1970
United Kingdom World Cup 1970
England World Cup 1974
United Kingdom World Cup1982
Spain without Catalan players World Cup 2010
USA World Cup 2010
If Ronaldo and Messi played for Australia in 2006
Brazil 1982 with Careca,etc
Ireland/Northern Ireland Combined Team 1986 World Cup

Croatia made history in the 2018 World Cup Finals by reaching the Final before losing to France.  Serbia also qualified for the Finals.  It was not the first time ever that more than one former republics of Yugoslavia to have qualify for the World Cup Finals.  In fact, all World Cup Finals after the breakup of Yugoslavia has seen the 
participation of more than one team from the region. 

Considering the talent pool from the former Yugoslavia, it is reasonable to speculate that the combined team would have been stronger in 1998 when two former republics performed well, or in 1994 when key players from the successful 1990s generation were in their prime (I did a blog team for Yugoslavia in the 1994 World Cup Finals). However, they came closest ever of winning a World Cup in 2018.  If Croatia were to be reinforced with additional players from the former Yugoslavia, it would certainly be intriguing to envision the team's enhanced capabilities. The fusion of talent from various republics could potentially create a formidable force capable of achieving even greater success on the international stage.

Yugoslavia always had the talents in football.  They actually underachieved. It only had two semifinal appearances in the World Cup Finals and two second place finishes in the European Championship. They managed to win a Gold Medal at the 1960 Olympics. Yugoslavia probably would have done something in the 1990's with its talent team (Yugoslavia at USA 1994).  I really do not understand the politics and ethnic issue of the region before the breakup.  So I am not going to say anything further.

Serbia World Cup 2018
GK: Jan Oblak (Slovenia/Atletico Madrid)
Jan Oblak made his debut for Olimpija Ljubljana at hime in the 2009–10 season aged 16 before joining Benfica in 2010.  Starting in 2014, he plays for Atletico Madrid in Spain. At the time of writing, he has won La Liga's Zamora Trophy three times for their best goalkeeper.  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.
Jan Oblak 
GK: Danijel Subašić (Croatia/Monaco) 
Danijel Subašić made his name with Hajduk Split. In 2012, he joined Monaco in France, winning Ligue 1 Goalkeeper of the Year: 2016–17.  Since 2010, he earned 44 caps.  He was the starting keeper at Euro 2016.  He was a hero of the 2018 World Cup team, where he saved 4 penalties in two penalty shootouts in the knockout stage as Croatia reached the Final.

GK: Asmir Begovic (Bosnia and Herzegovina/Bournemouth)
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: Šime Vrsaljko (Croatia/Atletico Madrid)
Šime Vrsaljko played with Dinamo Zagre between 2009 and 2013.  he then played for Genoa and Sassuolo.  In 2016, he joined Atletico Madrid. At the time of writing, he is on loan with Inter Milan.  He earned over 40 caps.  He played UEFA Euro 2012 and the 2014 and 2018 World Cups.

RB: Branislav Ivanović (Serbia/Zenit Saint Petersburg)
Ivanović began his career with FK Srem. He later played with OFK Beograd and Lokomotiv Moscow. In January 2008, he joined Chelsea.  He won nine major honours with Chelsea, including the Champions League and the Europa League. He is only five foreign players to appear in over 300 matches for the club. He has the most appearances for the Serbian national team in its history, having played 105 matches. He went to 2010 and 2018 World Cup.

CB: Stefan Savić (Montenegro/Atletico Madrid)
Stefan Savić started his career at Brskovo, before moving to BSK Borča, and then to FK Partizan. He won the double with Partizan, and then joined Manchester City in 2011, winning the Premier League title in his only season there. In 2012, he was transferred to Fiorentina, before signing with Atlético Madrid in 2015, where he won the Europa League in 2018. Since 2010, he has played over 50 times for Montenegro.
Stefan Savić 
CB: Dejan Lovren (Croatia/Liverpool)
Dejan Lovren began his career at Dinamo Zagreb before moving to Olympique Lyonnais in 2010.  He signed for Southampton in 2013. After one season with Southampton, he joined Liverpool, being part of the squad that won the UEFA Champions League in 2019. At the time of writing, he has over 50 caps for Croatia.

CB: Domagoj Vida (Croatia/Dynamo Kyiv)
In 2010, Vida joined Bayer Leverkusen. A season later, he joined Dinamo Zagreb, where he played until 2014.  From 2013 to 2018, he played Dynamo Kyiv.  In 2018, he joined Beşiktaş.  Since 2010, he had over 70 caps. He went to 2014 and 2018 World Cup Finals as well as Euro 2016.

CB: Nikola Milenković (Serbia/Fiorentina)
Nikola Milenković played for FK Partizan at home from 2015 to 2017.  Then, he joined Fiorentina in Italy with a loan spell with FK Teleoptik. He made his international debut for the Serbia in a friendly 3–0 loss to Qatar on 29 September 2016. Since then, he has earned over 16 caps.  He played in the 2018 World Cup Finals.

LB: Aleksandar Kolarov (Serbia/Roma) 
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.
Aleksandar Kolarov 
LB/CB: Sead Kolasinac (Bosnia and Herzegovina/Arsenal)
Born in Germany of Bosniak parents, Sead Kolasinac made his professional debut with Schalke 04 in 2012.  In 2017, he joined Arsenal.  He represented Germany at the youth level.  However, in 2013, he made his senior debut with Bosnia and Herzegovina in a game against Argentina. He went to the 2014 World Cup Finals.

CM: Ivan Rakitic (Croatia/Barcelona)
Born in Switzerland of Croatian background, Rakitic started his career with FC Basel. He played with Schalke 04 from 2007 and 2011.  Then, he moved to Sevilla in 2011.  At Sevilla, he won the Europa Cup in 2014.  He moved to Barcelona.  For Croatia, he earned 100 caps at the time of writing. He played in the midfield with Luka Modric as Croatia reached the Final of the 2018 World Cup Finals.

CM: Miralem Pjanić (Bosnia and Herzegovina/Juventus)
Pjanić started his career at Metz.  He signed for Lyon in 2008 before signing for Roma in 2011. In 2016. Pjanić joined Juventus. , He was named Serie A Team of the Year for 2015–16, 2016–17 and 2017–18 seasons.  Pjanić made his senior international debut for Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2008, earning 90 caps and scoring 15 goals since. He went to the 2014 World Cup.

DM: Nemanja Matić (Serbia/Manchester United)  
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.
Nemanja Matić
CM: Marcelo Brozović (Croatia/Inter Milan)
Marcelo Brozović played for Hrvatski Dragovoljac at home. After the 2010-2011 season, he joined Lokomotiva. From 2012 to 2015, he played for Dinamo Zagreb.  In 2015, he moved overseas joining Inter Milan, where he became a key player.  Since 2014, he has over 50 caps for Croatia.  He went to the 2014 and 2018 World Cup Finals and the European Championship in 2016.

CM: Granit Xhaka (Kosovars with Switzerland/Arsenal)
Xhaka began his career at Basel. He then moved to Bundesliga team Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2012. He was made captain of Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2015 at the age of 22. He moved to Arsenal in 2016.  He has considered to play for Albania due to his Kosovan Albanian.  He has represented Switzerland since 2011. He played in Euro 2016, the World Cup 2018 and Euro 2020.

CM: Sergej Milinković-Savić (Serbia/Lazio), 
Born in Spain when his father Nikola played football there,  commonly known mononymously as Sergej,  Milinković-Savić started with Vojvodina at home in 2013.  Later, he played a season with Genk in Belgium before joining Lazio in 2015. Since 2017, he started to represent Serbian national team.  He played in all three matches at the 2018 World Cup.

AM/CM: Luka Modric (Croatia/Real Madrid)
Luka 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, 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 seasons.  He also played with Dinamo Zagreb and Tottenham Hotspurs.  He played in the World Cup Finals of 2006 and 2014, as well as the European Championship of 2008, 2012 and 2016. He was voted the best player of the World Cup Finals in 2018 as Croatia finished second.
Luka Modric
AM: Josip Iličić  (Slovenia/Atalanta)
Josip Iličić played for SC Bonifika and Interblock before joining Maribor.  From 2010 to 2013, he played for Palermo and from 2013 to 2017, with Fiorentina. Then, he joined Atalanta in 2017.  He was on the Serie A Team of the Year: 2018–19.  Since 2010, he played for the Slovenian national team.  At the time of writing, he had over 65 caps.

RW/AM: Xherdan Shaqiri (Kosovars with Switzerland/Stoke City)
Shaqiri was born in Yugoslavia, to Kosovar Albanian parents, but moved to Switzerland.  He started with Basel. He then played for Bayern Munich between 2012 and 2015.  He then played for Inter Milan and Stoke City before moving to Liverpool in 2018.  Since 2010, he has played fro Switzerland.  He went to 2014 and 2018 World Cup Finals as well as Euro 2016.  he helped Switzerland to reach the semifinal of UEFA Nations League in 2019.

FW/RW/LW: Ivan Perišić (Croatia/Inter Milan)
Ivan Perisic is a product of the Hajduk Split and Sochaux youth academies, he played for Club Brugge, where was named Belgian Footballer of the Year for 2011. He later played for Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg before joining Inter Milan in 2015.  For Croatia, he had over 70 caps.  He was a part of the team that finished second in the 2018 World Cups.  He also played in Euro 2012 and 2016, and the World Cup Finals of 2014.
Ivan Perišić 
ST: Mario Mandžukić (Croatia/Juventus)
In Croatia, Mandžukić played with Marsonia, NK Zagreb and Dinamo Zagreb.  Then, he played with Wolfsburg, Bayern Munich and Artletico Madrid.  With Juventus, his  bicycle kick goal against Real Madrid in the Champions League Final went on to win the 2016–17 UEFA Goal of the Season award.  From 2007 to 2018, he played 89 times for Croatia. He was a hero at the 2018 World Cup, scoring the winning goal in the semifinal.

STEdin Džeko (Bosnia and Herzegovina/AS Roma)
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 
Honorable Mention
Vladimir Stojković (Serbia), Aleksandar Mitrović (Serbia), Matija Nastasić (Serbia), Vedran Ćorluka (Croatia), Andrej Kramarić (Croatia), Ante Rebic (Croatia), Ivan Strinić (Croatia), Bojan Jokić (Slovenia), Goran Pandev (North Macedonia), Dušan Tadić (Serbia), Mateo Kovačić (Croatia), Stevan Jovetić (Montenegro), Adnan Januzaj (Belgium of Kovoso background), Haris Seferović (Switzerland of Bosnian background).

Squad Explanation
-- Because of the Yugoslav War of the 1990's, ethnic issue is a problem in the region. Can the players get along? This is only an imaginary team and it is a beautiful game where people find joy.  it's best to avoid delving into those sensitive matters. It's worth noting that some players on this team are also teammates at the club level, which could contribute to a sense of harmony within the squad. Therefore, the team's cohesion might not be as compromised as initially anticipated.
-- I do not believe the additional of better players would have changed much.  It takes more than just better players to win a World Cup.  So this is just a fun blog.
-- I tried my best to use the prospectives of the team before the World Cup Finals for my team selection.  
Jan Oblak, Luka Modric, and Edin Džeko were unquestionable picks for the team, their inclusion requiring no further explanation. Similarly, Aleksandar Kolarov, Nemanja Matić, Miralem Pjanić, Mario Mandžukić, and Ivan Rakitić were likely regarded as obvious choices for the squad.
-- The backbone of the team is still the Croatian national team at the 2018 World Cup Finals.  I selected nine players from Croatia.  They are Luka ModricMario Mandžukić, Šime Vrsaljko, Danijel Subašić, Dejan Lovren, Ivan Perišić, Ivan Rakitic, Marcelo Brozović and Domagoj Vida.
Ivan Rakitic and Dejan Lovren
-- I have five from Serbia, four from Bosnia and Herzegovina, two from Montenegro and one from Slovenia. I do not have players from North Macedonia and Kosovo, but I selected two Kosovars playing for Switzerland. Four players were born outside of the former Yugoslavia.
--I have not chosen any players from the national team of Kosovo, but I have selected Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka from Switzerland instead. Xherdan Shaqiri was born in the former Yugoslavia, while Granit Xhaka's family sought refuge in Switzerland during the war, where he was born. Had the war not occurred, it is likely that they would be residing in Yugoslavia, much like Luka Modric or Edin Dzeko. Ivan Rakitic, who was born in Switzerland, decided to play for Croatia. If Kosovo had gained independent football status earlier, they might have represented Kosovo, similar to Rakitic representing Croatia. The players I have chosen share similar backgrounds.
-- Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka scored against Serbia while playing for Switzerland at the 2018 World Cup.  They made controversial gestures after their goals, but I overlooked that. 
-- Zlatan Ibrahimović's parents left the former Yugoslavia in the 1970's. Their departure had nothing to the breakup of Yugoslavia.  If Yugoslavia remained intact in 2018, Ibrahimović would still be playing for Sweden.  Besides, he has retired from playing internationally.  
-- Jan Oblak (Slovenia) won the Zamora Trophy in Spain in the 2017-2018 season. He is one of the best keepers in the world. 
--Danijel Subašić showcased his exceptional goalkeeping abilities during the 2016-2017 season, earning him the prestigious title of Ligue 1's Goalkeeper of the Year. His outstanding performances played a crucial role in AS Monaco's triumphant campaign, as they clinched the Ligue 1 title.  Furthermore, in Russia, he played a crucial part in Croatia's journey, aiding them in securing victory in two penalty shootouts.  triumphant campaign, as they clinched the Ligue 1 title. 
-- Samir Handanovic (Slovenia) has retired from the national team so he was not considered. He was a starting goalkeepr in Italy for Inter Milan that season.
-- Vladimir Stojković (Serbia) was Serbia's starting goalkeeper in Russia, but I went with Asmir Begovic as the third goalkeeper who was a much more famous keeper.
-- Šime Vrsaljko was not a key player for Atletico Madrid that season, but he started in the 2018 Europa League final for them. Branislav Ivanović was 34 at the time of the World Cup Finals, but "Yugoslavia" would probably take him since he was their most experienced fullback.  In real life, he went to the World Cup Finals with Serbia.  
-- But I did not do the same for Vedran Ćorluka.  Croatia took him to the actual World Cup Finals. He was one of Croatia's most experienced defender.  As the captain of FC Lokomotiv Moscow as they won the league before the World Cup Finals, he would be playing at "home", but I still could not find space for him.  He was injured throughout the Fall of 2017.  He had returned to the lineup with his club by Spring, 2018, but he did not play regularly.  
-- Instead, I opted for younger and healthy defenders.  Stefan Savić and Dejan Lovren were at their primeoin 2018.  Savić showcased his skills in numerous matches for Atletico Madrid, a renowned team recognized for its defensive prowess, as they secured a second-place finish in the league. Meanwhile, Lovren played a pivotal role in Liverpool's journey to the Champions League Final. Nikola Milenković was an emerging star from the region.  He made 26 appearances for Fiorentina that season.
-- I always noticed Domagoj Vida because of his ponytail.  He stood out in Euro 2016 as well as the World Cup Finals.  He made some controversial comments during the actual World Cup, but I overlooked that. 
-- Matija Nastasić was excluded in Serbia's real World Cup team in Russia. So I did not consider him.
-- Aleksandar Kolarov (Serbia/Roma) captained Serbia at the World Cup Finals.  For the backup leftback, I preferred Sead Kolasinac over Bojan Jokić (Slovenia).  Kolasinac is more famous due to playing for Arsenal.
-- Miralem Pjanić's exceptional performances earned him a well-deserved spot in the Serie A Team of the Year for the 2017-2018 season. He has been a star with Juventus for a few seasons. Marcelo Brozovic proved to be a crucial asset to Inter Milan during his time in Italy, making significant contributions to the team. Nemanja Matić joined Manchester United in the summer of 2017.  He was a big name player that year.  The last or not least was Ivan Rakitić who was playing in Barcelona at the time.  Overall, Granit Xhaka's career in Arsenal was mixed, but he started most of Arsenal's games in the 2017-2018 season.
Granit Xhaka
-- Meanwhile, Mateo Kovačić (Croatia) was mainly used as a sub in Real Madrid. So I went for the other higher more profile players. 
-- Luka Modric won the Champions' League in 2018.  It was Real Madrid's fourth titles in 5 season. After Russia 2018, he is probably considered to be the greatest ever player from the former Yugoslavia.  He won Ballon d'Or in 2018, the first player from there to have won it--- Both Josip Iličić and Dušan Tadić were their club's top player in the 2017-2018 season.  While Dušan Tadić's Southampton struggled in the Premiership and the FA Cup, Josip Iličić's Atalanta finished 7th and reached the semifinal of Coppa Italia.  I read a review of Tadic's season from a Southampton fan site.  It did not have a positive review. Atalanta also played in Europa Cup.  Josip Iličić scored 15 goals that season.  So I took him over Tadic.  Coincidently, both players broke out the season after the World Cup Finals.
-- Stevan Jovetić moved to AS Monaco in the summer of 2017.  I do not watch many games of him since his days with Fiorentina. At one point, he was considered a future star in Europe.  He scored 7 goals for Montenegro during the actual World Cup qualifiers.  He edged out Andrej Kramarić who contributed to Croatia's World Cup run in 2018. I based my selection on performance and/or reputation before the tournament.  In August, 2020, I did a review and decided to include Kosovar players in exile.  I took Xherdan Shaqiri over Jovetić.
-- Xherdan Shaqiri gained fame through his stints with Bayern Munich and Inter Milan.  However, by 2018, he was playing for Stoke, but he secure a move to Liverpool in the summer of 2018. Ivan Perišić had established himself in Inter Milan. He was still underrated before the World Cup Finals.  He was one of Croatia's best players at the actual tournament.  Adnan Januzaj represented Belgium in Russia.  He scored a goal against England.  He made honorable mention.
-- Edin Džeko scored 24 goals for AS Roma in the 2017-2018 season.  He is probably the greatest player for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
-- I considered taking striker Goran Pandev as a representative from North Macedonia, but he only scored 5 goals that season. 
-- By 2018, Mario Mandžukić had played some of the biggest clubs in Europe. That season, he only had 10 goals for Juventus.
-- Aleksandar Mitrović (Serbia) was playing fine in the second half of the 2017-2018 season, but he was playing in the lower division with Fulham.  With Newcastle United in the first half of the season, he was not doing well.  I did not take him to Russia.
-- Haris Seferovic was born in Switzerland.  Liked Zlatan Ibrahimović, his parents were not refugees from the war.  So his eligibility for this team came into question. He transferred to Benfica in the summer of 2017.  He only scored 6 goals his first season.  His career in Portugal took off after the World Cup Finals.  I decided not to take him.
--  I mentioned above that Zlatan Ibrahimović' ineligible due to the fact that his parents left Yugoslavia long time ago.  Besides, in April 2018, Ibrahimović made a move from Manchester United to LA Galaxy. It's worth mentioning that he had previously suffered an ACL injury in 2017. Although he made a swift recovery, he ultimately decided to part ways with Manchester United and seek new opportunities elsewhere.  Furthermore, he retired from international football by 2018.
Croatia World Cup 2018

4-3-3 Diamond
The team is still dominated by Croatian players, but I am able to add 6 players to the starting lineup.  Two of my defenders Stefan Savić (Montenegro) and Šime Vrsaljko (Croatia) played with goalkeeper Jan Oblak (Slovenia) at Atletico Madrid. Pjanic (Bosnia and Herzegovina) has played with Mario Mandžukić (Croatia) at the Juventus. Aleksandar Kolarov (Serbia) and Edin Džeko (Bosnia and Herzegovina) played with AS Roma.



  1. great work.. could you make something about a contemporary USSR as well?

  2. disgrace.shaqiri and xhaka here.tadic not included?probably the best player here after modric