Colours : Blue and White (and Red)
EURO 2000 SQUAD :
1 Aleksandar Kocic
2 Ivan Dudic
3 Goran Djorovic
4 Slavisa Jokanovic
5 Miroslav Djukic
6 Dejan Stankovic "Not that I am Lazy"
7 Vladimir Jugovic
8 Predrag Mijatovic "It's best when you lie down"
9 Savo Milosevic
10 Dragan Stojkovic "The Pensioner"
11 Sinisa Mihajlovic
12 Zeljko Cicovic
13 Slobodan Komljenovic "WC98 Yugoslavian Topscorer"
14 Nisa Saveljic
15 Goran Bunjevcevic
16 Dejan Govedarica
17 Ljubinko Drulovic
18 Darko Kovacevic "Air-Darko"
19 Jovan Stankovic
20 Mateja Kezman "The Ferrari of Belgrade"
21 Albert Nadj
22 Ivica Kralj
Yugoslavia's entry into Euro 2000 came after they qualified first from
Group 8, kicking a Keane-led Eire and a Croatia that achieved third in
the World Cup out. Their final 2-2 draw in Zagreb in front of a massive
crowd indicated that finally Yugoslavia may have the passion to equal
their undoubted skill, but since then results have shown that the old
laziness and lack of fire may be back.
Last two friendlies :
Yugoslavia vs. China
Yugoslavia vs. South Korea
South Korea 0
Yugoslavia vs. Journalists XI*
Journalists XI 1
* Journalists XI made up from players from the Yugoslav domestic
Yugoslavia vs. China
Qualifiers for Euro 2000 :
Croatia vs. Yugoslavia
Macedonia vs. Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia vs. Macedonia
Eire vs. Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia vs. Croatia
Yugoslavia vs. Malta
Malta vs. Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia vs. Eire
YUGOSLAV STARS :
DEFENDERS : MIHAJLOVIC, Sinisa "Miha"
Mihajlovic began his career as a left winger but was soon converted to
a left back and left centre back, albeit a very offensively minded one.
He is known especially for his dead ball skills, being a superlative
freekick and corner taker, reliant on placement rather than power in
many cases. The two goals against Croatia in Zagreb both came from
'Miha' freekicks. Not only a great freekick taker, Mihajlovic is also
a exponent of long ball and is often sent forward on the left for his
crossing ability. He has defensive weaknesses against fast strikers but
is strong in the air. Currently there are doubts about his appearance
at Euro 2000 due to political reasons.
MIDFIELDERS: JUGOVIC, Vladimir
Twice an EC winner, a player that has seen half the clubs of Europe,
and still a fine player as he nears the twilight of his career. Jugovic is
one of the last survivors of the great Crvena Zvezda side of 1991 and is
currently playing for Inter Milan. He is a classical midfielder, skilled
both offensively and defensively, and has great ball skills. Balding,
his presence will be a calming one as he attempts to control a talented
but fragile Yugoslav midfield and protect a weak backline. Has both
feet and a cannon like shot.
ATTACKERS: MIJATOVIC, Predrag "Pedja"
Choosing the best attacker from Yugoslavia is a tough task, especially
with players of the calibre of Kovacevic and Kezman also in the squad.
But Pedja is someone special. Back in the mid 90s, many observers
ranked him the most skilled attacker in the world, but playing for
Valencia few people knew. His move to Real Madrid saw him more
exposed, and his EC winning goal in 97/98 was a fine piece of
instinctual scoring. Pedja will probably play in a two man attack, but
some people hope to see him playing behind the strikers as a
mezza/mediapunta where his dribbling and distribution will be more
Yugoslavia go into this competition in a sort of tactical limbo.
Their formation at WC98 was far too defensive, and they will
almost certainly play a 4-4-2 in Euro 2000.
This will be a classical 4-4-2, with Mijatovic and one classical
striker such as Milosevic or Kovacevic up front. There have been
calls for Mijatovic to play further back and allow the lethal
pairing of Kovacevic and Milosevic up front, with a more diamond
Partizan Belgrade forward Mateja Kezman, only 20 but full of promise,
looks likely to be the second half impact striker. The weakness on the
right seems likely to be filled by Dejan Stankovic, with Real Madrid
reserve Perica Ogjnenovic still out of favour (has he ever been in
The back four is a distinct liability, and Boskov has said as much.
Because of this the midfield may be forced to track back a lot,
denying the offense some decent teeth. If the backline can perform
by themselves, then Yugoslavia are capable of creating chances from
anything. Their strike force will be strong both in the air and on
What is likely to happen is that Yugoslavia will play a building,
holding style of play. It's not particularly easy to tackle any of
Yugoslavia's midfielders. Even our pensioners (Dragan Stojkovic) can
dribble like Pele J They will then look for lofted balls into the box
for the big men Milosevic and Kovacevic, or for Mijatovic to earn a foul
around the box so Miha can take the shot.
Expect a lot of dull play from Yugoslavia, especially if Savo decides
that the centre circle is a lot of fun when he should be pushing
forward. Expect lots of classy little tricks and some superb one twos,
and Pedja to turn a few defenders so many times they fall over from
dizziness. Don't expect too many goals!
this is pretty darned unlikely. The back four sure as
won't look like that. Yugoslavia lack a first rate left or right back,
so Sinisa is forced to slot into the sweeper role.
Yugoslavia - Group C Predictions
Starting 11 :
Game 1 : Yugoslavia - Slovenia, June 13
This is an important game for Yugoslavia, to rebuild some confidence lost while on their warm-up tour of Asia. A convincing victory must be achieved to set the tone for the other games and this is the weakest team they will face. Yugoslavia's fragile defence will have to tighten up to stop the trademark darting runs by Slovenia's Zahovic, who is their only potent weapon. Yugoslavia's most consistent defender Djorovic will probably get the job to mark him out of the game. On the other side the Yugoslav attackers will come out of hibernation and they have talent and proven goal scorers to back it up. Count on, Mijatovic, Milosevic or Kovacevic to put a couple into Slovenia's goal. Games are won in midfield and Yugoslavia's veterans should keep order here with Jugovic, Jokanovic and J. Stankovic, while the young D. Stankovic will be running at Slovenia's defenders.
Result: 3-1 to Yugoslavia.
(Zhivan's Opinion : Zahovic is a talent, but has not been in good form this season. His 'withdrawn attacker' role will come under threat from the often less-than-technical Yugoslav defensive midfielders. Slovenia have the 'wonder goal' Acimovic, but apart from that no really big stars. They'll be simply outskilled, no matter how hard they run, and eventually technical superiority will tell. Look for Kezman to be injected into the game around the 60 minute mark. Slovenia will be outclassed in the air, as well. Final score - Yugoslavia 3 Slovenia 0)
Game 2: Yugoslavia - Norway, June 18
To win a major tournament a team must face some adversity and the match against under appreciated Norway will be it. Historically Yugoslavia has faired poorly against Northern European sides with their physical play and long-ball tactics. This one will be no different. Norway has a potent Premiership strike force of Solskjaer, Iversen or Flo. Yugoslavia's defenders will struggle especially trying to mark multiple scoring threats. Djukic will have his hands full in his sweeper role. Djorovic, Mihajlovic and the inexperienced but exciting Dudic should be the other first choice defenders. Norway will according to custom clog the midfield and a physical battle will follow. It will be a foul filled game and Yugoslavia's best chances could come from free kick specialist, Mihajlovic. This will be at best a dull game better forgotten.
Result: 1-0 to Norway.
(Zhivan's Opinion : If Norway stick to long ball they are playing right into Yugoslavia's hands. While slow, Yugoslavia's backs are strong in the air. Also, in the box there are few finer air men than Darko Kovacevic, the 'Air Juventus' striker. Yugoslavia could perhaps beat the Norwegians at their own game in midfield, by bringing on the more physical Nadj for Jugovic and playing right back Dudic on the right hand side of midfield. With a clogged game, look for someone like Mijatovic or even Jugovic to break out the 'close quarter' dribbling skills and the famed Yugoslavia indoor style midfield play. The wings may be the only option for both teams if the centre is locked up, and Norway does have the advantage here. However, I think Yugoslavia's attackers will finish better than Norway's, and the final score will be Yugoslavia 1 Norway 0)
Game 3: Yugoslavia - Spain, June 21
Yugoslavia will bounce back strongly and face one of the tournament favourites, Spain. Many of the Yugoslav players play in Spain or have played there and will have a good knowledge of the opposition, as will the Spanish. This will result in a very tactical but exciting game. The similarity of the sides will be in full evidence, technical play with methodical build-up from back to middle to front. Spain's problems will be having consistent scoring as they have only one proven poacher, Raul, but a great one at that, maybe the hottest property in football. The Yugoslavs must exploit their superior firepower and take their chances when they get them. They must be wary of Sergi and Salgado, two defenders who often take long runs on the wings and are dangerous crossers of the ball. It will be up to the forwards to track back and help out in these situations. The Spanish midfield likes to push forward with Mendieta, Lopez and Guardiola but is vulnerable to the counter attack. Yugoslavia's midfield will play a more defensive role but will be in perfect position for counters with their ability to pinpoint passes. A classic!
Result: 3-2 to Yugoslavia (extra-time).
(Zhivan's Opinion: Yugoslavia will be outpaced and possible outclassed. Spain will run at them all day (although I'm not sure whether Lopez will be playing for Spain eh Ivan J ). Raul will be heavily marked, which will leave gaps for the other Spanish attackers, and eventually the Yugoslav defense will crumble. I can see it being similar to the second half of Yugoslavia vs Germany in WC98, with the Yugoslavs desperately defending. However, this Yugoslav team has serious goal box firepower, and only a few chances should allow them to steal a consolation goal. Final score Spain 2 Yugoslavia 1)
NB: Goalkeeping could become an issue for Yugoslavia and if fans have one wish, it is for first-choice keeper Kralj to have a solid tournament.
Assymetrical Sinisa-driven formation. :)
- set pieces
- ground defense
- keeper (Kralj is a keeper?)