Serbia national football team

This article is about the men's team. For the women's team, see Serbia women's national football team.
Nickname(s) Орлови / Оrlovi
(The Eagles)
Association Fudbalski savez Srbije (FSS)
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Slavoljub Muslin
Captain Branislav Ivanović
Most caps Dejan Stanković (103)
Top scorer Stjepan Bobek (38)
Home stadium Rajko Mitić Stadium, Belgrade
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 44 Decrease 1 (24 November 2016)
Highest 6 (December 1998)
Lowest 101 (December 1994)
Elo ranking
Current 34 Steady (15 November 2016)
Highest 4 (June 1998)
Lowest 47 (October 2012)
First international
 Czechoslovakia 7–0 Kingdom SCS Kingdom of Yugoslavia
(Antwerp, Belgium; 28 August 1920)
as Serbia
 Czech Republic 1–3 Serbia 
(Uherské Hradiště, Czech Republic; 18 August 2006)
Biggest win
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia SFR Yugoslavia 10–0 Venezuela 
(Curitiba, Brazil; 14 June 1972)
Biggest defeat
 Czechoslovakia 7–0 Kingdom SCS Kingdom of Yugoslavia
(Antwerp, Belgium; 28 August 1920)
 Uruguay 7–0 Kingdom SCS Kingdom of Yugoslavia
(Paris, France; 26 May 1924)
 Czechoslovakia 7–0 Kingdom SCS Kingdom of Yugoslavia
(Prague, Czechoslovakia; 28 October 1925)
World Cup
Appearances 11
Best result Fourth place, 1930 and 1962
European Championship
Appearances 5 (first in 1960)
Best result Runners-up, 1960 and 1968

The Serbia national football team (Serbian: Фудбалска репрезентација Србије / Fudbalska reprezentacija Srbije) represents Serbia in association football and is controlled by the Football Association of Serbia, the governing body for football in Serbia.

With the national team nicknamed the Orlovi (Орлови, the Eagles), football has a long history in both Serbia and neighbouring countries. Serbia competed under the various forms of Yugoslav national teams, where it achieved considerable success, finish 4th at the 1930 and 1962 World Cups, respectively. Considered by FIFA and UEFA to be the successor of both the Yugoslav and Serbia and Montenegro football teams, the achievements of the promising team of 1990s which featured players such as Dragan Stojković, Dejan Savićević, Predrag Mijatović, Vladimir Jugović and Siniša Mihajlović, was somewhat curbed due to international sanctions imposed against Yugoslavia at the time due to the Yugoslav Wars.

Following the dissolution of Serbia and Montenegro, Serbia has played as an independent nation since 2006. The team's greatest success could be described as the 1–0 win over Germany at the 2010 World Cup, a campaign which eventually led to the team's elimination in the group stage.

The home ground of the national team is the Rajko Mitić Stadium of Red Star Belgrade, located in Belgrade.


A Yugoslavia line-up in the 1930 FIFA World Cup.

Kingdom of Yugoslavia

The first national team was in the kingdom that existed between the two world wars. The Football Federation of what was then the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was founded in Zagreb in 1919 under the name Jugoslovenski nogometni savez (and admitted into FIFA), and the national team played its first international game at the Summer Olympics in Antwerp in 1920. The opponent was Czechoslovakia, and the historic starting eleven that represented Kingdom of SCS on its debut were: Dragutin Vrđuka, Vjekoslav Župančić, Jaroslav Šifer, Stanko Tavčar, Slavin Cindrić, Rudolf Rupec, Dragutin Vrag and Jovan Ružić. They lost by a huge margin 0–7, but nonetheless got their names in the history books.

1930 World Cup

In 1929, the country was renamed to Yugoslavia and the football association became Fudbalski Savez Jugoslavije and moved its headquarters to Belgrade. The national team participated at the 1930 FIFA World Cup, finishing in fourth place. In its first ever World Cup match in Montevideo's Parque Central, Yugoslavia managed a famous 2–1 win versus mighty Brazil, with the following starting eleven representing the country: Milovan Jakšić, Branislav Sekulić, Aleksandar Tirnanić, Milutin Ivković, Ivica Bek, Momčilo Đokić, Blagoje Marjanović, Milorad Arsenijević, Đorđe Vujadinović, Dragoslav Mihajlović, and Ljubiša Stefanović. The national team consisted of players based in Serbian football clubs, while the Zagreb Subassociation forbid players from Croatian clubs to play in the World Cup due to the relocation of football association's headquarters from Zagreb to Belgrade.[1]

Socialist Yugoslavia

The federation and football overall was disrupted by World War II. After the war, a socialist federation was formed and the football federation reconstituted.

Silver Medal at 1948 and 1952 Olympics

Yugoslavia begin their football campaign by defeating Luxembourg 6–1, with five different players scoring the goals. In the quarter-finals and the semi-finals, they would take out Turkey and Great Britain by the same score of 3–1. In the final though, they would lose to Sweden.

Having a team with many players from the 1948 generation, Yugoslavia was a formidable side at the 1952 Summer Olympics and finished as runners-up behind the legendary Hungary national football team. Against the USSR, Yugoslavia was 5–1 up with 15 minutes of their first round match to go. The Yugoslavs, understandably, put their feet up. Arthur Ellis, the match referee, recorded what happened next in his book, The Final Whistle (London, 1963): "The USSR forced the most honourable draw ever recorded! [Vsevolod] Bobrov, their captain, scored a magnificent hat-trick. After the USSR had reduced the lead to 5–2, he, almost single-handed, took the score to 5–5, scoring his third in the last minute. For once, use of the word sensational was justified." Although Bobrov's early goal in their replay presaged a miraculous recovery, Yugoslavia recovered sufficiently to put out their opponents easily in the second half.

1960s through 1980s

Yugoslavia organized the 1976 European Championship played in Belgrade and Zagreb. The national team participated in eight World Cups, four Euros, and won the Olympic football tournament in 1960 at the Summer Games (they also finished second three times and third once).

Dissolution of Yugoslavia and UN sanctions

With the end of the Cold War, democratic principles were introduced to the country which brought about the end of Titoist rule. In the subsequent atmosphere, national tensions were heightened. At the Yugoslavia-Netherlands friendly in preparation for the 1990 World Cup, the Croatian crowd in Zagreb jeered the Yugoslav team and anthem and waved Dutch flags (owing to its resemblance to the Croatian tricolour). With the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the team split up and the remaining team of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) was banned from competing at Euro 92. The decision was made on 31 May 1992, just 10 days before the competition commenced.[2]

They had finished top of their qualifying group, but were unable to play in the competition due to United Nations Security Council Resolution 757. Their place was taken by Denmark, who went on to win the competition. Yugoslavia had also been drawn as the top seed in Group 5 of the European Zone in the qualifying tournament for the 1994 World Cup. FRY was barred from competing, rendering the group unusually weak.

Serbia and Montenegro

1998 World Cup

Although the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was formed on 28 April 1992, its teams were banned from all international sporting events, including the national football team. Consequently, the national team did not play its first game as a new country before 23 December 1994, a friendly match played in Porto Alegre and in which Brazil won by the mark of 2–0. This was the first ever team composed of Serbian and Montenegrin players exclusively, while Slobodan Santrač, a former Yugoslavia national team player, was named the team's first ever manager. The next game was played only three days later, this time in Buenos Aires, resulting in 1–0 loss to Argentina. Despite two losses in two games, the team was honoured to play its first two games ever against such football powerhouses.

Also due to the United Nations international sanctions, the team could not take part in the 1994 FIFA World Cup qualification, nor the UEFA Euro 1996 qualifying process.

On 31 March 1995, the team recorded its first official win in history, a 1–0 friendly against Uruguay, simultaneously marking the team's first ever home game, played at Stadion Crvena Zvezda in Belgrade, and the first ever goal scored, courtesy of Savo Milošević. Slightly more than one year later, the team recorded its first ever win in a FIFA World Cup qualifying tournament in its first game in such a tournament, a 3–1 win over the Faroe Islands. Shortly after, the team also recorded its biggest win in history, once again against the Faroe Islands, 8–1. Yugoslavia finished second in Group 6, just behind Spain, meaning it had to go through the play-off system in order to qualify. Yugoslavia was paired up with Hungary, and what was believed would be a tough matchup turned out to be an easy win for Yugoslavia, 7–1 in Budapest and 5–0 in Belgrade, for an aggregate score of 12–1. This was enough to secure Yugoslavia its first ever FIFA World Cup appearance as a new country.

The 1998 FIFA World Cup seeding had Yugoslavia ranked in 21st position, but the Yugoslav national football team went to France as one of the shadow favorites for the World Cup. The New York Times stated that Yugoslavia could easily be a semi-finalist in that year's World Cup.[3] The justification for such an estimation was partially found in the names of the Yugoslav players, members of great European teams and proven footballers. The draw put the team in Group F alongside Germany, the United States, and Iran. Yugoslavia won its first game 1–0 against Iran thanks to a goal from defender Siniša Mihajlović. The next game was a draw for Yugoslavia. After leading Germany 2–0, last game's hero, Mihajlovic, scored an unlucky own goal following a German freekick, and Oliver Bierhoff equalised at 2–2 with only about ten minutes to the match. Nonetheless, Yugoslavia responded in the next game against the United States and won 1–0 due to an early goal in Nantes. Yugoslavia made easy work of Group 6, but despite an excellent record, the game against Germany would prove costly as Germany won the group thanks to a better goal difference.

Due to their second position, Yugoslavia saw itself face the Netherlands in the Round of 16. Yugoslavia entered in the match with a sole attacker, but its defensive tactics proved unsuccessful as Dennis Bergkamp put the Netherlands in front in the 38th minute. Immediately following the start of the second half, Yugoslavia pressured the Dutch, who inevitably conceded a header from Slobodan Komljenović. However, the turning point of this match was a penalty awarded to Yugoslavia after Vladimir Jugović was fouled in the penalty area. Predrag Mijatović's shot dazzled Edwin van der Sar, but not the crossbar, and the scoreline remained the same at 1–1. Such an event demoralized the Yugoslavs, as the Dutch took the initiative. In the late seconds of the game, as everybody was preparing for extra time, Edgar Davids shot towards the Yugoslav net from a distance of 20 meters and beat goalkeeper Ivica Kralj, to the pure disbelief of the Yugoslav players and fans. This marked the end of Yugoslavia's run in the 1998 FIFA World Cup, since there was not much time left to do anything.

Unlucky events forced Yugoslavia out of the tournament, but the team definitely demonstrated its great ability and proved it had a spot among the world's best teams. This was also reflected in the FIFA World Rankings following the 1998 FIFA World Cup, in which Yugoslavia was constantly ranked in the Top 10 for a long period of time.

Euro 2000

The draw for the Euro 2000 qualifiers saw many eyebrows raised as first-seeded Yugoslavia was drawn in a group with Croatia, thus marking the first games between the two teams after the breakup of Yugoslavia. The other teams in the group were the Republic of Ireland, Macedonia, and Malta. When the qualifiers began, the coach was Milan Živadinović, but in July 1999 he resigned and was replaced by Vujadin Boškov.

The team started with a 1–0 win over Ireland in Belgrade, before beating Malta 3–0 in Ta' Qali. The home fixture against the Maltese followed, but was moved to Thessaloniki, Greece due to the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. The team nonetheless won 4–1. The first, highly anticipated match against Croatia took place in Belgrade shortly after the bombing ended, and was interrupted due to a power outage at the beginning of the second half, resuming after 43 minutes[4] and eventually finishing 0–0. A 2–1 defeat against Ireland in Dublin was followed by victories home and away against Macedonia (3–1 and 4–2 respectively), meaning that Yugoslavia needed to win its final qualifier against Croatia in Zagreb, or to draw with Ireland failing to beat Macedonia in Skopje, in order to qualify automatically for Euro 2000. In the event, Ireland conceded an injury-time equaliser, meaning that Yugoslavia's 2–2 draw with the Croatians was good enough.

The draw for the Finals placed Yugoslavia in group C along with Spain, Norway and another former Yugoslav republic, Slovenia. The Slovenians took a surprise 3–0 lead in the first game at the Stade du Pays de Charleroi, but three goals in six second-half minutes enabled Yugoslavia to secure a 3–3 draw. The team then beat Norway 1–0 in Liège, thanks to an early Savo Milošević backheel strike. The final group game, against Spain in Bruges, saw the Yugoslavs take the lead three times, before a Gaizka Mendieta penalty and an Alfonso Pérez strike in injury-time secured a dramatic 4–3 win for the Spaniards and top spot in the group. Yugoslavia nonetheless finished second, level on points with Norway but ranked ahead due to its victory in Liège. In each of the three games, the team had one player sent off (Siniša Mihajlović, Mateja Kežman, and Slaviša Jokanović, respectively).

In the quarter-finals, Yugoslavia was once again paired with the Netherlands. Unlike the last time, the co-hosts made easy work of Yugoslavia, winning 6–1 in Rotterdam with Patrick Kluivert scoring a hat trick.

One of the few bright spots of Yugoslav team in the whole tournament was Savo Milošević, who was crowned the joint top scorer of the tournament, alongside Patrick Kluivert. Both players scored five goals, although Miloševic played one game fewer.[5]

2002 World Cup campaign

The 2002 qualifiers marked the first time that Yugoslavia failed to reach a major tournament ever since its return to the big stage after the UN sanctions. The problems started with the major political turmoil in the country as well in the Yugoslav FA, which prompted the new coach Ilija Petković to resign only after one game (2–0 away victory against Luxembourg).

Milovan Đorić took over the team, but under his leadership, the team managed only two draws (1–1 at home vs. Switzerland and also 1–1 away in Slovenia, in both games the opponents managed to equalise in late stages of the game) and a 0–1 home loss to Russia (which marked the team's first home defeat in official matches). After Ðoric's resignation, a three-man commission, consisting of Dejan Savićević, Vujadin Boškov, and Ivan Curković, took over the coaching duties, until Savicevic ultimately took over on his own. The team managed to bounce back with a draw in Russia and a win in Switzerland, but failed to defeat Slovenia in the penultimate game, thus ended the qualifiers in third position.

2006 World Cup

Serbia and Montenegro and Cote d'Ivoire playing in the Allianz Arena at the 2006 FIFA World Cup

After Savicevic's disastrous spell as coach of Yugoslavia, the country went under a political transformation, and Ilija Petković became the newly named Serbia and Montenegro's new coach. Initially, the team under his lead experienced dragging failure in the Euro 2004 qualifiers while competing for the first time as Serbia and Montenegro. Despite drawing both games against group favorites and eventual group winners Italy and winning both games against runners-up Wales, Serbia and Montenegro failed to qualify, mostly due to embarrassing 2–2 home draw and 2–1 away loss to Azerbaijan.

However, qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup was a different story. Serbia and Montenegro began their 2006 World Cup campaign by finishing first with an undefeated record in their qualification group ahead of favourites Spain. The Serbia and Montenegro team also allowed only one goal in the 10 matches, the best defensive record out all 51 teams participating in qualification.

For the 2006 qualifiers, Serbia and Montenegro was drawn in a group with Spain, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lithuania and San Marino. Led once again by Ilija Petković as coach, Serbia and Montenegro played some impressive defensive football—the "Famous Four" defense, consisting of Nemanja Vidić, Mladen Krstajić, Goran Gavrančić, and Ivica Dragutinović, with Dragoslav Jevrić as goalkeeper, conceded only one goal in ten games, finishing first with a 6–4–0 record, ahead of Spain.

On 3 June 2006, following a referendum, Montenegro declared its independence from Serbia. As the World Cup was about to start, it was decided that the Serbia and Montenegro team that had qualified for the tournament would compete, with the split into separate teams representing the new countries of Montenegro and Serbia to take place once the team was no longer in the tournament.

In the 2006 FIFA World Cup group stage, Serbia and Montenegro lost their opening game to joint group favourite, the Netherlands. The final score was 1–0 after Arjen Robben scored the only goal of the game. They also lost their second game to Argentina 6–0, Serbia and Montenegro's worst ever international result. With the team's two losses and with Netherlands and Argentina winning both their games, Serbia and Montenegro could no longer qualify for the knockout matches, and was playing for pride alone in their final group game against Côte d'Ivoire. Despite having a 2–0 lead for much of the first half, the Elephants managed to come back and win 3–2, leaving Serbia and Montenegro with a disappointing 0–0–3 World Cup run.


After Montenegro declared independence, Serbia marked independence with a 3–1 win over the Czech Republic. The Euro 2008 qualification process began not long after in 2007 and ended in disappointment for Serbia. A strong start in qualification was overshadowed by the final hurdle of matches where inconsistency took over the side dropping points against the likes of Finland, Belgium, Armenia and Kazakhstan. They eventually finished third, three points behind runners-up Portugal and Group A winners Poland. Serbia's first ever foreign coach Javier Clemente was sacked after the failure.

Serbia replaced Clemente with Miroslav Đukić, who then left the position on 19 August of the following year without having played any official games, due to various disagreements with the Football Association of Serbia.

2010 World Cup

Atmosphere at the start of match vs. France, 9 September 2009
Serbia's starting XI in their famous 1–0 win over Germany at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[6]

Subsequent to Ðukic's rapid departure, Radomir Antić was appointed coach and success followed. Serbia's World Cup qualification campaign began in 2008. Their qualification group featured former World Cup winners and 2006 FIFA World Cup runners-up France, traditionally powerful Romania, as well as Austria, Lithuania and the Faroe Islands. Serbia played consistently during the qualifiers and this led to the team automatically qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. They confirmed qualification with a commanding 5–0 win at home against Romania.

Like in 2006, Serbia went into the 2010 FIFA World Cup as the dark horses of the tournament. Key points justifying their potential surprise-team status included a star-studded defense that was composed by Nemanja Vidić, Neven Subotić, Aleksandar Kolarov and Branislav Ivanović. The captain of Serbia's 2010 World Cup campaign was stalwart Dejan Stanković, who became the only player to feature in a World Cup having played under three different national names (although he never changed nationality; this was a result of geopolitical events involving the identity of Yugoslavia).[7] In their first tournament as an independent nation, they were to face Ghana, Germany and Australia.

Their opening group game was against Ghana and chances came to both sides but a red card to Aleksandar Luković and a handball by substitute Zdravko Kuzmanović in the second half gave Ghana a penalty to take all three points at the death. Asamoah Gyan converted eight minutes from full-time and Serbia were defeated 1–0.

In Serbia's second group match, they sensationally defeated Germany by a score of 1–0 with an acrobatic goal by Milan Jovanović late in the first half. FIFA's official YouTube channel called the win "the most famous day in Serbian football."[8]

Serbia only needed a single point to reach the knockout stages but were defeated by Australia 2–1 in an entertaining match where Serbia's dominance in the first half and in periods of the second half would have made it look like a Serbia victory. Australia scored 2 goals in the second half through Tim Cahill and Brett Holman. A late Marko Pantelić goal served only as a consolation. They finished last in the group.

Radomir Antić was sacked two games into the Euro 2012 qualification process, a 1–1 draw at home to Slovenia spelling the end to his two-year stint. The sacking meant the bringing in of Vladimir Petrović to the job.

Euro 2012 campaign

Nemanja Vidić, famous Serbian defender

Serbia once again failed to qualify for the European Championships, making it 12 years since the country last took part in the tournament. Serbia was drawn in Qualification Group C featuring Italy, Slovenia, Estonia, Northern Ireland and the Faroe Islands. The qualifying stage began with Radomir Antić as coach and finished with Vladimir Petrović. Serbia and Antic started the first two games positively with a 3–0 win away to Faroe Islands and a 1–1 draw at home to Slovenia but this result brought the end of Antic's reign as the country's coach. New coach Petrović faced set backs immediately with an embarrassing 3–1 loss at home to Estonia and an abandoned match resulting in a 3–0 loss to Italy due to crowd trouble from the Serbian away supporters in Genoa.

Serbia returned to form with a 2–1 win at home over Northern Ireland but could only manage a 1–1 draw away to Estonia.

Afterwards, Serbia won back to back games with a 1–0 win away to Northern Ireland and a crucial 3–1 win at home against Faroe Islands. These results put Serbia in pole position to confirm a play-off spot behind Italy.

Serbia needed a win at home against Italy to confirm a play-off spot but their efforts only resulted in a 1–1 draw. The team, however, still had one more chance to confirm a play-off place when they faced Slovenia away. This game was a must win even though Serbia had a superior goal difference over Estonia, a draw was not good enough for progression. Serbia played positively and created a number of chances during the game but a long-range goal put Slovenia up 1–0 at half time. The Serbians then failed to convert numerous chances that they had in the second half, notably Nemanja Vidić's penalty miss midway through the second half. Serbia left empty handed after a 1–0 loss and exited the tournament for the third time in a row during the qualifying group stages, missing out by one point behind Estonia.

Vladimir Petrović was sacked after the team's failure to qualify.

2014 World Cup campaign

Dejan Stanković and Nemanja Vidić announced that they are retiring from international football. This meant that Serbia had lost two key players and that a new era had started. Branislav Ivanović became the new captain. Siniša Mihajlović, a former member of the national team, was appointed as the coach on 24 April 2012. Serbia was drawn in Group A in qualification for 2014 FIFA World Cup, together with Croatia, Belgium, Scotland, Macedonia, and Wales. The team began the qualification campaign with a goalless draw with Scotland and a 6:1 win over Wales. In the next two games, Serbia suffered two defeats, from Macedonia and Belgium.

In 2013, On 22 March, Serbia played in Zagreb against Croatia. The game was highely anticipated in both countries due their rivalry both on and off the pitch. Croatia won 2–0 and sent Serbia down on the table. Serbia then defeated Scotland 2–0 at home in a crucial qualifier, though their World Cup hopes were taken away after a 2–1 defeat to Belgium. Serbia drew with Croatia 1–1 in the corresponding fixture at home in a spiteful affair, where 18-year-old Aleksandar Mitrović scored an equalizer in the second-half after Mario Mandžukić opened the scoring. They then defeated Wales 0–3 in Cardiff. Dejan Stanković farewell game was completed in a friendly against Japan, which Serbia won 2–0. He finished his career with 103 appearances for the national team, a record previously held by Savo Milošević, with 102 appearances. Serbia finished qualifying with a 5–1 home win against Macedonia, putting them in third in the group, three points from a playoff spot behind Croatia and group winners Belgium.

Euro 2016 campaign

Serbian team in March 2015

Serbia once again failed to qualify for the European Championships, making it 16 years since the country last took part in the tournament. Dick Advocaat was appointed as the coach in 2014. Serbia was drawn in Group I in qualification for UEFA Euro 2016, together with Portugal, Denmark, Albania and Armenia. Advocaat started with a draw friendly game against France with 1–1. The team began qualification with a 1–1 draw against Armenia. In the next abandoned game against Albania in Belgrade, Serbia was originally awarded with 3–0 victory, but was later deducted three points. On 14 November 2014, Serbia played against Denmark in Belgrade and lost, 1–3. After this game, Advocaat left, whereupon Radovan Ćurčić was announced as a new coach on 18 November.

In 2015, Serbia's first match was a qualifying match against Portugal in Lisbon, during which Serbia lost 2–1, cutting their chances for qualification to Euro 2016. On 13 June 2015, Serbia played a qualifying match against Denmark in Copenhagen, losing 2–0. On 10 July, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced that it had awarded a 0–3 victory to Albania in the abandoned match held on 14 October 2014, upholding Serbia's three-point penalization. As a result, Serbia became mathematically eliminated from Euro 2016 qualification. In the table of Group I, Serbia finished second to last place with four points in a five team group.



Serbia has a fierce rival with Croatia. This rivalry stems from political roots, and is listed as one of the ten greatest international rivalries by[9] and as the most politically-charged football rivalry by Bleacher Report.[10] Both have a historic and politically turbulent history which started this rivalry amongst the two. Both were also part of Yugoslavia, which dissolved after war broke out between the republics namely Serbia and Croatia. The two nations have played 4 times, with Croatia winning one and drawing the other 3 games [11]


Kit providers

On July 2014, it was announced the partnership between the Football Association of Serbia and English manufacturer Umbro which is Serbia's current official supplier with their home and away kits debuting 7 September 2014 in the friendly match against France. On 7 September 2014, Serbia unveiled their latest kits also worn at the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifiers campaign.[12]

Manufacturer Period
Germany Adidas 1974–2001
Italy Lotto 2001–2006
United States Nike 2006–2014
England Umbro 2014–present

Kit history


1930 WC[13][14]
1974 WC
1982 WC
1984 Euro
1990 WC

FR Yugoslavia/Serbia and Montenegro

1998 WC
2000 Euro
2006 WC



Record in major tournaments

The Serbian Football Association is deemed the direct successor to both SFR Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro by FIFA, and therefore the inheritor to all the records of the defunct nations.

FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA
as  Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1930–1938)
Uruguay 1930Semi-Finals*4th320177
Italy 1934 Did Not Qualify
France 1938
as  SFR Yugoslavia (1950–1990, until 1962 as FPR Yugoslavia)
Brazil 1950Group Stage5th320173
Switzerland 1954Quarter-Final7th311123
Sweden 1958Quarter-Final5th412177
Chile 1962Fourth Place4th6303107
England 1966 Did Not Qualify
Mexico 1970
West Germany 1974Round 27th6123127
Argentina 1978 Did Not Qualify
Spain 1982Group Stage16th311122
Mexico 1986 Did Not Qualify
Italy 1990Quarter-Final5th531186
as  FR Yugoslavia (1994–2002)
United States 1994Banned
France 1998Round of 1610th421154
South KoreaJapan 2002 Did Not Qualify
as  Serbia and Montenegro (2006)
Germany 2006Group Stage32nd3003210
as  Serbia
South Africa 2010Group Stage23rd310223
Brazil 2014 Did Not Qualify
Russia 2018 To be determined
Qatar 2022
Total 11/20 0 Titles 43 17 8 18 64 59
* Draw for 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifiers was made on 8 December 1991, however due to break-up of SFR Yugoslavia and consequent military conflict, which broke in early 1991, FSJ ceased to exist as football organization of the SFR Yugoslavia. Organization that remained based in Belgrade, Serbia, was excluded from taking part as FSJ or its successor due to UN sanctions.[15]

UEFA European Championship

UEFA European Championship record
Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA
as  SFR Yugoslavia (1960–1992, 1960 as FPR Yugoslavia)
France 1960Runners-up2nd210166
Spain 1964 Did not qualify
Italy 1968Runners-up2nd311123
Belgium 1972 Did not qualify
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1976Fourth Place4th200247
Italy 1980 Did not qualify
France 1984Group Stage8th3003210
West Germany 1988 Did not qualify
Sweden 1992 Qualified/Suspended
as  FR Yugoslavia
England 1996 Suspended
BelgiumNetherlands 2000Quarter-final8th4112813
as  Serbia and Montenegro
Portugal 2004 Did not qualify
as  Serbia
AustriaSwitzerland 2008 Did not qualify
PolandUkraine 2012
France 2016
European Union 2020 To be determined
Total Runners-up5/15143292439

Recent results and forthcoming fixtures



Head to head records (2006 onward)

  1. The Serbia v Albania match was abandoned with the score at 0–0 shortly before halftime after "various incidents", which resulted in the Albania players refusing to return to the field. UEFA ruled that Albania had forfeited the match and awarded a 3–0 win to Serbia, but also deducted three points from Serbia for their involvement in the events. Serbia must also play their next two home qualifying games behind closed doors, and both the Serbian and Albanian FAs were fined €100,000.[16] Both the Serbian and Albanian football associations were looking to have the decision revisited,[17][18] but the decision was upheld by UEFA.[19] Both associations then filed further appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport,[20] and on 10 July 2015 the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected the appeal filed by the Serbian FA, and upholds in part the appeal filed by the Albanian FA, meaning the match is deemed to have been forfeited by Serbia with 0–3 and they are still deducted three points.[21] Serbian FA announced appeal at the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland.[22]
  2. The Italy v Serbia match was abandoned after six minutes due to rioting by Serbian fans.[23] The UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body awarded the match as a 3–0 forfeit win to Italy.[24]

Head coaches

As of 15 October 2016
Manager Period Record Major competitions
MatchesWonDrawnLostWin %Draw %Loss %
Serbia Slavoljub Muslin2016– 843150,0037,5012,50&
Serbia Radovan Ćurčić2014–2016 1150645,450,0055,55 Euro 2016 – Failed to qualify
Netherlands Dick Advocaat2014 40220,0050,0050,00&
Serbia Ljubinko Drulović2014421150,0025,0025,00&
Serbia Siniša Mihajlović2012–20131974836,8421,0542,10 2014 World Cup – Failed to qualify
Serbia Radovan Ćurčić2011–2012521240,0020,0040,00&
Serbia Vladimir Petrović2010–20111353538,4623,0838,46 Euro 2012 – Failed to qualify
Serbia Radomir Antić2008–201028173860,7110,7128,57 2010 World Cup – Group stage
Serbia Miroslav Đukić2007–200850230,0040,0060,00&
Spain Javier Clemente2006–20071677243,7543,7512,50 Euro 2008 – Failed to qualify
Serbia and Montenegro Ilija Petković2003–2006301110936,6633,3330,00 2006 World Cup – Group stage
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Dejan Savićević2001–200317431023,5317,6558,82 Euro 2004 – Failed to qualify
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Boškov-Ćurković-Savićević2001842250,0025,0025,00 2002 World Cup – Failed to qualify
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Milovan Đorić200130210,0066,6633,33&
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Ilija Petković2000–2001421150,0025,0025,00&
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Vujadin Boškov1999–20001565440,0033,3326,66 Euro 2000 – Quarter-final
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Milan Živadinović1998–1999632150,0033,3316,66&
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Santrač1994–1998432610760,4623,2516,28 1998 World Cup – Round of 16
TOTAL239105617343,9325,5230,544 out of 10

For the period before 1992 see: Yugoslavia national football team#Head coaches

Current coaching staff

As of 9 October 2016
Serbian coaching staff


Current squad

Squad called up for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Wales on 12 November 2016 and friendly match against Ukraine on 15 November 2016.[25] Caps and goals updated as of 15 November 2016 after the game against Ukraine.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Vladimir Stojković (1983-07-28) 28 July 1983 71 0 England Nottingham Forest
1GK Predrag Rajković (1995-10-31) 31 October 1995 5 0 Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv
1GK Aleksandar Jovanović (1992-12-06) 6 December 1992 1 0 Denmark AGF

2DF Branislav Ivanović (Captain) (1984-02-22) 22 February 1984 92 12 England Chelsea
2DF Aleksandar Kolarov (1985-11-10) 10 November 1985 66 8 England Manchester City
2DF Antonio Rukavina (1984-01-26) 26 January 1984 37 0 Spain Villarreal
2DF Ivan Obradović (1988-07-25) 25 July 1988 23 1 Belgium Anderlecht
2DF Matija Nastasić (1993-03-28) 28 March 1993 23 0 Germany Schalke 04
2DF Duško Tošić (1985-01-19) 19 January 1985 19 1 Turkey Beşiktaş
2DF Nikola Maksimović (1991-11-25) 25 November 1991 15 0 Italy Napoli
2DF Filip Mladenović (1991-08-15) 15 August 1991 6 0 Germany Köln
2DF Nemanja Pejčinović (1987-11-04) 4 November 1987 3 0 Russia Lokomotiv Moscow

3MF Zoran Tošić (Vice-captain) (1987-04-28) 28 April 1987 76 11 Russia CSKA Moscow
3MF Dušan Tadić (1988-11-20) 20 November 1988 42 11 England Southampton
3MF Nemanja Matić (1988-08-01) 1 August 1988 30 1 England Chelsea
3MF Lazar Marković (1994-03-02) 2 March 1994 22 3 Portugal Sporting CP
3MF Luka Milivojević (1991-04-07) 7 April 1991 19 0 Greece Olympiacos
3MF Nemanja Gudelj (1991-11-16) 16 November 1991 16 1 Netherlands Ajax
3MF Filip Kostić (1992-11-01) 1 November 1992 13 2 Germany Hamburger SV
3MF Aleksandar Ignjovski (1991-01-27) 27 January 1991 12 0 Germany Freiburg
3MF Aleksandar Katai (1991-02-06) 6 February 1991 6 0 Spain Alavés
3MF Nemanja Radoja (1993-02-06) 6 February 1993 1 0 Spain Celta

4FW Aleksandar Mitrović (1994-09-16) 16 September 1994 26 7 England Newcastle United
4FW Andrija Pavlović (1993-11-16) 16 November 1993 5 0 Denmark Copenhagen
4FW Aleksandar Pešić (1992-02-21) 21 February 1992 1 0 Italy Atalanta

Recent call-ups

The following players have been called up for the team in the last twelve months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Damir Kahriman (1984-11-19) 19 November 1984 8 0 Serbia Red Star Belgrade v.  Cyprus, 25 May 2016

DF Jagoš VukovićINJ (1988-06-10) 10 June 1988 4 0 Turkey Konyaspor v.  Austria, 9 October 2016
DF Slobodan Rajković (1989-02-03) 3 February 1989 19 0 Italy Palermo v.  Russia, 5 June 2016
DF Nemanja Milunović (1989-05-31) 31 May 1989 3 1 Belarus BATE Borisov v.  Russia, 5 June 2016
DF Uroš Spajić (1993-02-13) 13 February 1993 5 0 Belgium Anderlecht v.  Israel, 31 May 2016
DF Aleksandar Sedlar (1991-12-13) 13 December 1991 2 0 Poland Piast Gliwice v.  Israel, 31 May 2016

MF Ljubomir FejsaINJ (1988-08-14) 14 August 1988 23 0 Portugal Benfica v.  Austria, 9 October 2016
MF Andrija Živković (1996-07-11) 11 July 1996 5 0 Portugal Benfica v.  Russia, 5 June 2016
MF Saša Zdjelar (1995-03-20) 20 March 1995 2 0 Greece Olympiacos v.  Russia, 5 June 2016
MF Adem Ljajić (1991-09-29) 29 September 1991 20 3 Italy Torino v.  Cyprus, 25 May 2016
MF Marko Grujić (1996-04-13) 13 April 1996 3 0 England Liverpool v.  Cyprus, 25 May 2016
MF Nemanja Maksimović (1995-01-26) 26 January 1995 3 0 Kazakhstan Astana v.  Cyprus, 25 May 2016
MF Filip Đuričić (1992-01-30) 30 January 1992 24 4 Italy Sampdoria v.  Estonia, 29 March 2016
MF Miralem Sulejmani (1988-12-05) 5 December 1988 20 1 Switzerland Young Boys v.  Estonia, 29 March 2016
MF Darko Brašanac (1992-02-12) 12 February 1992 3 0 Spain Betis v.  Estonia, 29 March 2016

FW Nikola Stojiljković (1992-09-17) 17 September 1992 4 0 Portugal Braga v.  Russia, 5 June 2016

Previous squads

Player statistics

Dejan Stanković is the most capped player in the history of Serbia with 103 caps.
Most appearances
As of 15 November 2016
# Name National team career Caps Goals
1 Dejan Stanković 1998–2013 103 15
2 Savo Milošević 1994–2008 102 37
3 Branislav Ivanović 2005– 92 12
4 Dragan Džajić 1964–1979 85 23
5 Dragan Stojković 1983–2001 84 15
6 Zoran Tošić 2007– 76 11
7 Predrag Mijatović 1989–2003 73 26
8 Vladimir Stojković 2006– 71 0
9 Zlatko Vujović 1979–1990 70 25
10 Aleksandar Kolarov 2008– 66 8
Most goals
As of 11 October 2016
# Name National team career Goals Caps Average
1 Stjepan Bobek 1946–1956 38 63 0.60
2 Milan Galić 1959–1965 37 51 0.72
Savo Milošević 1994–2008 37 102 0.36
4 Blagoje Marjanović 1926–1938 36 57 0.63
5 Rajko Mitić 1946–1957 32 59 0.54
6 Dušan Bajević 1970–1977 29 37 0.78
7 Todor Veselinović 1953–1961 28 37 0.76
8 Borivoje Kostić 1956–1964 26 33 0.79
Predrag Mijatović 1989–2003 26 73 0.38
10 Zlatko Vujović 1979–1990 25 70 0.36

Captains (after 1994)

Name Period Major Tournaments
Dragan Stojković1994–20011998 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2000
Savo Milošević2001–20062006 FIFA World Cup
Dejan Stanković2006–20112010 FIFA World Cup
Nikola Žigić2011None
Branislav Ivanović2012–None

Team image


Serbian team before a friendly match versus Ireland in Dublin in May 2008.


Ever since the first game played by FR Yugoslavia on 23 December 1994, the team had the nickname of Plavi (Плави), literally the Blues. This was notably due to the fact the team wore blue jerseys, which they inherited from the former Yugoslavian national team. The trend continued even when the team switched names to Serbia and Montenegro, as flags, anthem and kits remained virtually the same. However, as Montenegro declared independence in 2006, the newly formed Serbian national team needed a new nickname, as red replaced blue as the team's primary colour.


As of 16 August 2006, when Serbia played its first international match as a resurrected national team (against the Czech Republic), the team is called the Орлови (Eagles).[26] The name is referring to the white double-headed eagle found on the coat of arms of Serbia, a national symbol of Serbia and Serbs.


See also


  1. History at Football Association of Serbia official website, retrieved 17-5-2913 (Serbian)
  2. Vecsey, George (26 June 1998). "Sports of The Times; Scrapbooks Of History For the U.S". The New York Times.
  4. "Leading goalscorers". Union of European Football Associations. 2 July 2000. Archived from the original on 11 July 2000. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  5. [ – ESPN Soccernet: Germany 0–1 Serbia] 18 June 2010
  6. Bleacher Report: FIFA World Cup 2010: Dejan Stankovic's Strange Record 15 June 2010. By Jon Sainz
  7. YouTube – FIFATV: 'Most famous day in Serbia's footballing history' Published 20 May 2012
  11. Serbia set to sign new kit deal with Umbro? (English) 6 March 2014
  14. "History of the FIFA World Cup Preliminary Competition (by year)" (PDF). Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  15. "Serbia and Albania disciplinary decision". UEFA. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  16. AFP (25 October 2014). "Albania to appeal UEFA punishment over Serbia fracas". Business Insider. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  17. "Serbia to appeal Uefa decision". 24 October 2014.
  18. "Decisions upheld for Serbia-Albania match". 2 December 2014.
  19. "The football associations of Albania and Serbia file appeals at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)" (PDF). Court of Arbitration for Sport. Retrieved 8 January 2015. External link in |website= (help)
  20. "FOOTBALL: The CAS rejects the appeal filed by the Serbian FA, upholds in part the appeal filed by the Albanian FA: the match Serbia-Albania is deemed to have been forfeited by Serbia (0–3)". Tribunal Arbitral du Sport / Court of Arbitration for Sport. 10 July 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  21. "Fudbalski savez Srbije – zvanična web prezentacija".
  22. Italy-Serbia match abandoned due to crowd trouble
  23. UEFA statement on Italy-Serbia case
  24. Muslin objavio spisak: Bez Ljajića na Vels! Vratili se Tošić i Ignjovski, iznenađenje je Aleksandar Pešić at, 28-10-2016 (Serbian)
  25. Dnevni sportski list "Sport", #17.485–17.486, Belgrade, 17–18 August 2006: "Srbija je ostvarila rezultat kakav verovatno niko nije mogao da sanja. Bila je to divna fudbalska noc, prvi let i pobeda naših "orlova".
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