If Yugoslavia still existed, how good would they be?

VorZakone

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Former Yugoslavian countries have produced fantastic players. If Yugoslavia would still exist, do you think they would have won at least 1 tournament?
 

VanDeBank

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Considering Croatia made it to a final, definitely.

What would a current Yugo XI look like?
 

bosnian_red

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For sure, if they could ever stop in fighting enough and all politics (even in sport) was eliminated so that the best side was actually picked rather than a coach from a specific demographic favoring his own people...

In terms of world cup, they would have had a chance in 2014 along with Germany. Euro 2016 as well. 2018 I think many were past their best (though Croatia were runners up, I still think France were a class above that no other yugo player could've bridged that gap), 2012 and before there was Spain to contend with.
 

nygaard

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They would not play wearing their hearts on their sleeves like they do for Croatia, Serbia etc and thus would be worse than the sum of their parts
 

Skills

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Not sure if they would've won anything (they didn't while they existed) but definitely would've been more consistent. Croatia finished 3rd in 1998 and then 2nd in 2018 - but had a 20 year drought in between. They might've made a semi or something in between that time with a combined XI.
 

bosnian_red

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Considering Croatia made it to a final, definitely.

What would a current Yugo XI look like?
Current wouldn't be that great IMO. A lot of guys who would've been key have declined without great backups. Oblak, Dzeko, Modrić/Rakitić/Pjanić for example. Modrić still great but he's old now.
 

Sammy McIlroys fan club

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1992 Euros that they didn't make it to they would have gone very close, Proseneci, Boban etc. Ridiculously good players to pick from.
 

DrogaPortoroz

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There would be chaos what players from what republic needs to play, what coach, etc etc. There is reason why did we fall apart.
 
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Trumpeter Whydah

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No of course not.

Either Commonwealth or Third Reich would have won whenever the Parthian Empire wasn't strong enough.
 

VorZakone

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Considering Croatia made it to a final, definitely.

What would a current Yugo XI look like?
Current XI would probably include the likes of Oblak, Modric, Brozovic, Perisic, Vlahovic, Milinkovic-Savic, Gvardiol, Kovacic.
 

lysglimt

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Current wouldn't be that great IMO. A lot of guys who would've been key have declined without great backups. Oblak, Dzeko, Modrić/Rakitić/Pjanić for example. Modrić still great but he's old now.
You must be joking :
Oblak and Sesko from Slovenia
Savid and Marusic from Montenegro
Elmas and Alioski from Macedonia

and then you add the players from Serbia and Croatia - on paper that is a top 7-8 side in Europe
 

berbatrick

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Around 2010, Dzeko, Modric and Matic were starting to get good, Ivanovic, Vidic and Olic were near their peak, and Stankovic was just past his. Very solid spine there for tournaments between 2008-12.
Unfortunately those were Spain's competitions, nobody was getting past them.
 

simonhch

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Without being much of an expert on Macedonian, Croatian, Bosnian, Slovenian, Montenegran, and Serbian football, I will say that they would've had a series of really good squads. Just thinking through it, the challenge is to find one particular squad where all the talents across the generations coincided, but going back 10-15 years there is potentially a generation that includes most of Salihamidizic, Modric, Srna, Rakitic, Mandzuckic, Jarni, Pandev, Jovetic, Vidic, Stankovic, Ivanovic, and Zahovic. Oblak, Pjanic, Dzeko and Kolarov are probably just too young for that.

But I am pretty sure someone can come up with a better answer than that.
 

bosnian_red

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You must be joking :
Oblak and Sesko from Slovenia
Savid and Marusic from Montenegro
Elmas and Alioski from Macedonia

and then you add the players from Serbia and Croatia - on paper that is a top 7-8 side in Europe
Oblak isn't anywhere close to what he was. Sesko is a young player who doesn't start all the time for Salzburg even. Savić and Marušić, elmas and alioski... These aren't anything more than average players....

Serbia has a few decent players. SMS, Tadić, Kostić, Vlahović, Mitrović. None are anywhere close to what Yugo countries had 5 or more years ago. Croatia has Gvardiol coming through, but still their best players were better 5 years ago, and they don't have a striker like Mandžukić. Bosnia still relies on Dzeko who was class, 5 years ago. Pjanic is having an early retirement in the UAE, ahmedhodzic is good but young...

It's not a squad that would be top 8 in the world. It would be basically in the same tier that Croatia is right now. The peak would've been mid 2010's, which definitely was as good as any out there. But now it's a mish mash.
 

bosnian_red

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Around 2010, Dzeko, Modric and Matic were starting to get good, Ivanovic, Vidic and Olic were near their peak, and Stankovic was just past his. Very solid spine there for tournaments between 2008-12.
Unfortunately those were Spain's competitions, nobody was getting past them.
2014-2018 was their golden era IMO. France in 2018 probably too good, Germany in 2014 probably too good, but I could've seen them be the strongest in Euro 2016.
 

berbatrick

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2014-2018 was their golden era IMO. France in 2018 probably too good, Germany in 2014 probably too good, but I could've seen them be the strongest in Euro 2016.
Ya you're right, trade out Vidic and Stankovic to add Rakitic and maybe Kovacic, and also get peak Modric and Matic.
 

gregor

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Imagine Luka and Jokić in the same team. :drool::drool:

Football team would also be in at least top 10 in the world.
 

Jotun

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2014-2018 was their golden era IMO. France in 2018 probably too good, Germany in 2014 probably too good, but I could've seen them be the strongest in Euro 2016.
I don't know about 2018. Rember Croatia was gassed by the final from 3 extra times, and their goalkeeper was pretty poor in the final. Yugoslavia would probably beat two of those in regular time and come in much fresher. Right wing and left back of Croatia were pretty poor improving just those two positions from other nations would mean so much. That's without considering how much other players like Dzeko, Matic, Milinkovic-Savic, Tadic, Kolarov, Pjanic, Oblak...

the assumption ofcourse is that there wouldn't be infighting, for which yugoslav teams were famous for.
 

BorisManUtd

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It's a question that seems to pop out before every big tournament. Thing is, while it existed, Yugoslavia got to semis of World Cup twice - 1930 and 1962, while also getting to semi-final and final of EUROS few times I believe. 1990 team was strong and almost got to semi-final (lost on penalties vs Argentina in quarterfinals) and then qualified for Euros in 1992, but by then country already fell apart and Denmark, who got to play because of that, won the tournament.

It's impossible to think how would the team do now but Croatia getting to final in Russia 4 years ago is huge achievement and would've been huge achievement for Yugoslavia as well.
 

bosnian_red

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I don't know about 2018. Rember Croatia was gassed by the final from 3 extra times, and their goalkeeper was pretty poor in the final. Yugoslavia would probably beat two of those in regular time and come in much fresher. Right wing and left back of Croatia were pretty poor improving just those two positions from other nations would mean so much. That's without considering how much other players like Dzeko, Matic, Milinkovic-Savic, Tadic, Kolarov, Pjanic, Oblak...

the assumption ofcourse is that there wouldn't be infighting, for which yugoslav teams were famous for.
Look through the RW and LB options of the yugo countries... Good luck :lol: a past it Kolarov and... Visca from the Turkish league? Yeah it would've been added depth but in 2018, most of them were past their best. Dzeko has been great as an older player but he was still past his best. 2016 for sure would have been their best chance with everyone still in their primes, or just out of them IMO.

France in 2018 was just comfortably better for me. You never know how they'd be coached at the end of the day, as that makes the biggest difference, but squad on paper (which most of the time doesn't win the tournament) they'd still be behind France that year.
 

Nero

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You can't look at current or recent players. Causality means these people wouldn't exist.
 

DickDastardly

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You're missing the biggest flaw and point....

Who the feck! would manage this fictional Jugoslavian team?!

And the balkan media would tear them apart.

No matter the talent, that team would probably implode in every tournament.
 

Dan_F

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There would be chaos what players from what republic needs to play, what coach, etc etc. There is reason why did we fall apart.
For the purpose of thread it’s best not to think about that side of it :lol:


It's a question that seems to pop out before every big tournament. Thing is, while it existed, Yugoslavia got to semis of World Cup twice - 1930 and 1962, while also getting to semi-final and final of EUROS few times I believe. 1990 team was strong and almost got to semi-final (lost on penalties vs Argentina in quarterfinals) and then qualified for Euros in 1992, but by then country already fell apart and Denmark, who got to play because of that, won the tournament.

It's impossible to think how would the team do now but Croatia getting to final in Russia 4 years ago is huge achievement and would've been huge achievement for Yugoslavia as well.
There was a huge amount of bad luck in some of the tournaments you haven’t mentioned. Bent South American refs for example. My favourite story being the player hitting his head on a steel girder in the stadium and Yugo having to start the game with 10 men against Brazil because the ref wouldn’t delay it.
 

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If they could come together as one they would have had a very decent shot in several tournaments

1992 - Yugoslavia won their qualifying group. Because of the war the team was disqualified. Thus Denmark took their place in the tournament and won the whole thing.
1998 - Croatia got bronze. Add Mijatovic, Mihajlovic, Savicevic, Jugovic, Stojkovic, Milosovic, Kovacevic, Stankovic and that team has enough to beat both Brazil and France.
2018 - Croatia got silver. Add Matic, Milinkovic-Savic, Kolarov, Tadic, Mitrovic, Ivanovic and that team at least gets closer to France.

And that's mostly Serbia and perhaps some Montenegro in there (played together for a while before splitting around 200*s).

Also imagine adding some of these guys to the team Pandev (Macedonia), Dzeko, Misimovic, Ibisevic, Salihovic, Begovic (Bosnia), Jovetic, Vucinic, Savic (Montenegro), Zahovic, Ilicic (Slovenia), Cana (Albania).
 

Jotun

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Look through the RW and LB options of the yugo countries... Good luck :lol: a past it Kolarov and... Visca from the Turkish league? Yeah it would've been added depth but in 2018, most of them were past their best. Dzeko has been great as an older player but he was still past his best. 2016 for sure would have been their best chance with everyone still in their primes, or just out of them IMO.

France in 2018 was just comfortably better for me. You never know how they'd be coached at the end of the day, as that makes the biggest difference, but squad on paper (which most of the time doesn't win the tournament) they'd still be behind France that year.
France was sh*t that year. From what I remember of that final it was tiredness of Croatia and their GK unable to stop anything that made the most difference. Besides Mbappe, I wasn't really that impressed with France.

p.s. I'm sure a past it Kolarov is still better than Strinic and Tadic would do a better job than Rebic (he and Perisic could swap places if necessary).

I'm not saying they would win, but IMHO but the chances would be better.

My opinion is that Yugo teams usually have a few brilliant players, a number of decent ones that can do a job and then two or three black holes. Basically if the overlap is in good places then they'd be serious contenders if it isn't, then they'd be in the same situation as basically a Croatia (as they had the best results in the last 30 years). Most often all the teams produce excellent midfielders, but I remember that Serbia had Vidic when Croatia had poor defense. Kolarov, when they had no left back. Matic, when Croatia had no DM. Džeko had his best years, when Nikica Jelavic was playing as striker for Croatia.
 

bosnian_red

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If they could come together as one they would have had a very decent shot in several tournaments

1992 - Yugoslavia won their qualifying group. Because of the war the team was disqualified. Thus Denmark took their place in the tournament and won the whole thing.
1998 - Croatia got bronze. Add Mijatovic, Mihajlovic, Savicevic, Jugovic, Stojkovic, Milosovic, Kovacevic, Stankovic and that team has enough to beat both Brazil and France.
2018 - Croatia got silver. Add Matic, Milinkovic-Savic, Kolarov, Tadic, Mitrovic, Ivanovic and that team at least gets closer to France.

And that's mostly Serbia and perhaps some Montenegro in there (played together for a while before splitting around 200*s).

Also imagine adding some of these guys to the team Pandev (Macedonia), Dzeko, Misimovic, Ibisevic, Salihovic, Begovic (Bosnia), Jovetic, Vucinic, Savic (Montenegro), Zahovic, Ilicic (Slovenia), Cana (Albania).
Don't forget Ibrahimovic wouldn't have gone off and played for Sweden in this scenario...
 

Red Pumpkin

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Don't forget Ibrahimovic wouldn't have gone off and played for Sweden in this scenario...
If you put it that way, yeah, probably a lot more players that I've not included. The ilks of Ivica Vastic, Arnautovic (Austria), Marko Marin (Germany), Xhaka, Shaqiri, Seferovic (Switzerland).

And then I also forgot some like Pjanic, Handanovic (Bosnia) as well as not delving into the utter world class players like Srna (Croatia) or Vidic (Serbia) never playing in a back four together.

They've had some greats with Modric and Ibrahimovic Yugoslavias top 2 of the last 20 years but what would frighten the other teams is they've had like 20 other good to great players. A lot of good players wouldn't even make the squad. Mandzukic, Olic, Kezman. How do you even pick 4 strikers for this team?
 

led_scholes

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They would have dominated European basketball with ease. Football? Maybe, 2016 or 2018.
 

justsomebloke

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Former Yugoslavian countries have produced fantastic players. If Yugoslavia would still exist, do you think they would have won at least 1 tournament?
I think they would have been less good than either Croatia or Serbia. A sense of unity matters.
 

KeanoMagicHat

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They'd be great on paper but I imagine their results wouldn't be any better than Croatia's have been. Probably more divisions in the camp too.
 

FootballHQ

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For sure, if they could ever stop in fighting enough and all politics (even in sport) was eliminated so that the best side was actually picked rather than a coach from a specific demographic favoring his own people...

In terms of world cup, they would have had a chance in 2014 along with Germany. Euro 2016 as well. 2018 I think many were past their best (though Croatia were runners up, I still think France were a class above that no other yugo player could've bridged that gap), 2012 and before there was Spain to contend with.
Dzeko would've been a good alternative to Mandzukic and Oblak would probably been starting in goal. Subasic was basically injured in final and couldn't dive properly with that Mbappe goal being key example.

Ridiculous talent Balkan countries produce. 1990 was last time it was united on the pitch at least and just lost out to Argentina on penalties so in right circumstances they were certainly a match for world's best.
 

Bondi77

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More to the point would be if Great Britain would have fielded a team through the sixties to eighties/nineties it would have been utter domination regarding international competition.
 
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