FIFA World Cup 2022 Serbia National Team|History

Serbia national team – Serbia is one of the teams from the European region to take part in the Winter World Cup 2022. Serbia booked their seat for the Qatar World Cup being the first in the World Cup Qualifying campaign of Group A from UEFA Confederation.

Previously, it was a part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and represented the 1930 FIFA World Cup. It has a long history in football. let’s explore more about Serbian football history, World Cup history, and the best players in Serbian history.

Serbia’s Brief Football History

Pre-World War I

Serbian people knew about football in the mid-1980s when it was the Kingdom of Serbia. A Jewish student brought football from Germany. He brought football after returning from his education in Berlin. He then asked his local friends to join him to play football. Later in 1898, Sport Club Szabad was formed in Subotica city.

Then, many Serbian clubs formed until 1910. In 1914, Serbia organized the single-round system club football match. Serbia aimed to organize this tournament annually. Unfortunately, the same year the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared war against Serbia and the first World War started.

Post-World War I – 1930 World Cup

After the end of the First World War, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes formed. In 1919, the SCS formed its governing body of football. They lost their first international match against Czechoslovakia at the 1920 Olympic Games.

Serbia national team in 1928
Serbia was part of the Yugoslavian national team in 1928. Source: Wikiwand

Then, it played several friendly matches until 1929. And in 1929, the SCS renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Slovenia and Croatia and other European nations did boycott the 1930 inaugural World Cup. And all players from the state of Serbia played in the tournament as a team of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The team finished fourth after losing the semifinals against tournament winner Uruguay.

1930 – 2006

After the Second World War outbreak, Serbia became an independent state for a couple of years. And in 1945, Serbia again became a part of the Second Yugoslavia (Socialist Federal Republic) or SFR Yugoslavia. It was then represented in major football tournaments as a part of Yugoslavia until the early 1990s.

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The SFR dissolved in 1992 when Slovenia and Croatia became independent nations and Macedonia left the federation. Then, Serbia and Montenegro renamed their union the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Later, it was renamed Serbia and Montenegro. Then, it participated in several international matches until 2006.

Modern Serbia (2006- Present)

In 2006, Montenegro separated from Serbia and became an independent country. Following that, Serbia has made two World Cup appearances out of 4 and zero appearances in four Euro championships.

Serbia FIFA World Cup History

Yugoslavia was one of the strongest teams in World football for a couple of decades and Serbia was a part of the kingdom. After becoming fourth in the inaugural World Cup, Serbia participated in four consecutive from 1950 to 1962. In the 1962 FIFA World Cup, it reached the semifinals and ended as the fourth of the tournament.

Serbia national team at 1930 FIFA World Cup
Serbia was part of the Yugoslavian national team at the 1930 FIFA World Cup. Source: Futbolgrad

Then, Yugoslavia appeared three times in the World Cup tournament until 1990. After their breakup, Serbia faced suspension from FIFA in the 1994 World Cup. Furthermore, the FR Yugoslavia advanced to the 1998 World Cup’s second round. But, it could not progress further.

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Likewise, in the 2006 edition of the tournament, it was out of the group matches. Finally, in 2010, Serbia participated as an independent nation but could not surpass the group stage.

Serbia national team at 2006 world cup
Serbia and Montenegro 2006 World Cup squad. Source: The Equaliser

But, Serbia missed the Brazil World Cup. Serbia’s latest appearance was in Russia World Cup. But their performances did not improve and ended the World Cup journey from the group stage.

Top 5 Best Players from Serbia

Many Serbs Players play professional football from top clubs in the World. As a part of the former Kingdom of Yugoslavia, many notable players led the Kingdom in major tournaments.

Aleksandar Mitrović is one of the greatest players of Serbia as an independent nation. He is a forward of the national team and EPL club Fulham. Mitrović is also the highest scorer in the nation and has scored 46 goals in 74 caps since 2013.

Likewise, former defender Branislav Ivanović is the most capped player in the nation. He played 105 caps in his fifteen-year-long journey. Ivanović was a part of EPL giant Chelsea FC from 2008-2017. He served as the captain of the Serbian team before FIFA World Cup 2018.

Current captain Dušan Tadić is also one of the best players in Serbia. He has played 88 caps and scored 18 goals for the nation. Dušan Tadić plays for Dutch club Ajax and previously played at EPL clubs: Tottenham and Southampton.

Dejan Stankovic Serb player lifting UEFA Champions League trophy
Dejan Stankovic lifted the UEFA Champions League trophy in 2010. Source: These Football Times

Dejan Stankovic is another name in Serbian soccer history who became team captain at the young age of 19. He is the second-highest cap player from Serbia and played 103 caps from 1998-2013. As an attacking midfielder, Dejan became the first Serbian player to appear in the front of the major tournament.

He spent almost one decade in Inter Milan and was a part of the UEFA Champions League Finals winning team in 2010. He is the only person to represent three nations; Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro, and Serbia in the FIFA World Cup tournament.

Dragan Dzajic is a former player of Serbia who was a part of the Yugoslavian national team from 1964-1979. He is often considered the Golden Player of Serbia.

Qatar World Cup 2022 Serbia Squad

Serbia is the winner of the World Cup Qualifying campaign of Group A of the European region. Hence, it automatically selected for the Qatar World Cup. Serbia will be in Group G, and it will face Brazil, Switzerland, and Cameroon in the group stage.

Serbian national team at the FIFA World Cup qualification
Serbian team celebrating after winning Portugal and making their selection for the 2022 Qatar World cup finals. Source: Managing Madrid

The first match of Serbia will take place against Brazil on 24 November 2022 at Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail. The Qatar World Cup’s kick-off match will be between Qatar and Ecuador on 20 November 2022 at Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor. Since 2017, Serbian manager Dragan Stojković has been leading the team.

Under his tenure, Serbia won the 2022 World Cup qualifier match against Portugal and made a spot for the tournament. Serbia’s national team will announce its World Cup squad in October 2022.