The third ex-FIFA shirt to hit the blog after CIS and Serbia & Montenegro is Yugoslavia. The Yugoslav team competed from 1918 up until 2003 when it was succeeded by the Serbia & Montenegro side.
From 1918-1943, the Yugoslavia national team represented the Kingdom of Yugoslavia which was called the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes before switching to Yugoslavia. After the second world war ended up until 1991, the Yugoslav team represented the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. This state included the modern day countries of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Slovenia so they had plenty of players to choose from!
During the Yugoslav wars of 1992, the football team was suspended due to UN sanctions and when they were lifted in 1994, it was succeeded by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia team which only represented Serbia and Montenegro. The team was known as Yugoslavia until 2003 and was then renamed Serbia & Montenegro. Got a headache yet?!
On the pitch, Yugoslavia were seen as the ‘nearly men’. They reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in the first ever tournament in 1930 and also 1962. They also got to the final of the European Championships twice but lost both times. In 1960 they lost to the Soviet Union and eight years later they were beaten by Italy. The Yugoslav team did, however, pick up a gold medal at the 1960 Olympics so it’s fair to say the 60s were the golden era of Yugoslav football.
This shirt is the last ever worn by a Yugoslav team before it changed name to Serbia & Montenegro. It was worn at the start of their Euro 2004 qualifying campaign and is a pretty basic design from Lotto. I like the retro feel to the collar though and it’s a welcome addition.
It’s a shame that Yugoslavia will probably be always most remembered for a tournament they didn’t even compete in. They qualified for Euro 92 but were then withdrawn due to the UN sanctions surrounding the Yugoslav war. Denmark took their place and the rest, as they say, is history…