Last Word on Sport

Yugoslavia by Philip Meese - 14 Jan 2023 12:11

Prior to the Balkan War in the early 1990s, the nations we now know as Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Montenegro & Kosovo were all part of one large country called Yugoslavia. The aforementioned nations declared independence which, aside from one of the most brutal wars in history, also saw the formation of their own football leagues and national teams.

Yugoslavian football has always held massive interest for me, and that area of Europe has produced some fantastic players over the years, and Croatia's recent record in International tournaments shows that this has continued to be the case. I wrote several articles for Last Word on Sport, looking back on Yugoslavia's players and teams, what they achieved and even what they might have accomplished if the Balkan War had never taken place. The fact that three of my Forgotten Idols articles centred on players from Yugoslavia highlights the quality they produced.

Red Star Belgrade

In 1991, shortly before the start of the Balkan War, Yugoslavia’s biggest club Red Star Belgrade became its country’s first and only club to be crowned European Champions.

The Yugoslavian National Team

The national team were favourites to win the 1992 European Championship before sanctions imposed on Yugoslavia by UEFA saw them expelled from the tournament. This article considers not just what they might have achieved in that competition, but how they might have lined up at the following World Cup and other tournaments in that decade.

The Yugoslav First League

Up until the early 1990s, the Yugoslavian league was a strong division, one of the top seven or eight in Europe. This article looks back at that time, and envisages how it might look today if Yugoslavia stil existed.

Dejan Savićević 

A two-time Champions League winner with Red Star Belgrade and A.C. Milan, who, although inconsistent, on his day was one of the finest footballers in the world.

Darko Pančev

The 1991 European Golden Shoe winner was once one of the deadliest strikers in the world, until an ill-fated move to Inter Milan saw his career completely unravel.

Predrag Mijatović


The man whose goal secured the 1998 Champions League trophy for Real Madrid and, despite an impressive career, his exploits are often overlooked.