Montenegro national football team

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Montenegro
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Hrabri sokoli
(The Brave Falcons)
AssociationFudbalski Savez Crne Gore (FSCG)
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachBranko Brnović
Asst coachAnto Drobnjak
Radislav Dragićević
Dragoje Leković
CaptainMirko Vučinić
Most capsElsad Zverotić (51)
Top scorerMirko Vučinić (16)
Home stadiumPodgorica City Stadium
FIFA codeMNE
FIFA ranking58 Increase 6 (27 November 2014)
Highest FIFA ranking16 (June 2011)
Lowest FIFA ranking199 (June 2007)
Elo ranking65
Highest Elo ranking37 (29 March 2011)
Lowest Elo ranking66 (November 2013)
First colours
Second colours
First international
Unofficial
 Montenegro 0–0 Slovenia 
(Maribor, Slovenia; 14 August 2006)
Official
 Montenegro 2–1 Hungary 
(Podgorica, Montenegro; 24 March 2007)
Biggest win
 San Marino 0–6 Montenegro 
(Serravalle, San Marino; 11 September 2012)
Biggest defeat
 Romania 4–0 Montenegro 
(Bucharest, Romania; 31 May 2008)
 Montenegro 0–4 Ukraine 
(Podgorica, Montenegro; 7 June 2013)
 
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Montenegro
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Hrabri sokoli
(The Brave Falcons)
AssociationFudbalski Savez Crne Gore (FSCG)
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachBranko Brnović
Asst coachAnto Drobnjak
Radislav Dragićević
Dragoje Leković
CaptainMirko Vučinić
Most capsElsad Zverotić (51)
Top scorerMirko Vučinić (16)
Home stadiumPodgorica City Stadium
FIFA codeMNE
FIFA ranking58 Increase 6 (27 November 2014)
Highest FIFA ranking16 (June 2011)
Lowest FIFA ranking199 (June 2007)
Elo ranking65
Highest Elo ranking37 (29 March 2011)
Lowest Elo ranking66 (November 2013)
First colours
Second colours
First international
Unofficial
 Montenegro 0–0 Slovenia 
(Maribor, Slovenia; 14 August 2006)
Official
 Montenegro 2–1 Hungary 
(Podgorica, Montenegro; 24 March 2007)
Biggest win
 San Marino 0–6 Montenegro 
(Serravalle, San Marino; 11 September 2012)
Biggest defeat
 Romania 4–0 Montenegro 
(Bucharest, Romania; 31 May 2008)
 Montenegro 0–4 Ukraine 
(Podgorica, Montenegro; 7 June 2013)

The Montenegro national football team (Montenegrin: Fudbalska reprezentacija Crne Gore, Фудбалска репрезентација Црне Горе) represents Montenegro in association football and is controlled by the Fudbalski Savez Crne Gore (FSCG), the governing body for football in Montenegro. Montenegro's home ground is Podgorica City Stadium in Podgorica and their head coach is Branko Brnović.

Montenegro is one of the world's newest international sides, having come into existence following the 2006 FIFA World Cup. In that tournament, the newly independent states of Serbia and Montenegro competed as a united team and played their last group match on 21 June, failing to qualify for the following knockout stage.

The first official competition that the Montenegro national team competed in was the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying; they had not registered membership with FIFA in time for the qualifying draw for UEFA Euro 2008, which took place in December 2005. They competed in Group 8, along with Italy, Bulgaria, Ireland, Cyprus and Georgia. They failed to qualify for the World Cup. The team's Euro 2012 qualifying campaign began in surprising fashion, with victories over Wales, Bulgaria and Switzerland, as well as a draw with England, conceding no goals in the process. While they started the qualifying as the lowest ranked team in their group, their run saw them rise into the top 16 best national teams in the world, according to the FIFA World Rankings published in June 2011.

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

Following the independence of Montenegro from Serbia and Montenegro, Serbia took Serbia and Montenegro's place in the Euro 2008 qualifying stage, but UEFA had stated that they would be willing to include Montenegro as a late entry, as long as FIFA had ratified a separate Montenegrin Football Association before September 2006, when the qualifying began. However, as of the competition beginning, this had not occurred.[1] In October 2006, Montenegro was granted provisional membership of UEFA, with a debate on full membership due at a full UEFA Congress in January 2007.[2] Montenegro's first FIFA ranking was joint 199th place – the last place on the list. This is because they had a score of 0 when the rankings were worked out.

First matches[edit]

UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying[edit]

On 26 January 2007, the Montenegro FA was granted full membership of UEFA,[3] and played its first friendly match against Hungary on 24 March 2007 at Stadion Pod Goricom in Podgorica, resulting in a 2–1 victory. Striker Mirko Vucinic scored the country's first ever goal in the 62nd minute.[4][5] On 31 May 2007, Montenegro was admitted as FIFA's 208th member.[6]

The coach who made history by becoming Montenegro's first coach was Serbia & Montenegro-born Zoran Filipović. Hailed by both players and press, his record rather positive – 23 matches played, 8 victories, 8 draws and 7 defeats. Zoran Filipović left the Balkan newcomers in January 2010 when his contract expired in 73rd position in the FIFA rankings, having started from the last position with no points.

Montenegro played at the 2007 Kirin Cup, but finished in last place behind Japan and Colombia, losing to both teams.

On 26 March 2008, Montenegro recorded one of its best played matches with a 3–1 win over Norway. At the same time, the nation recorded its highest scoring game.

First competitive matches[edit]

On 6 September 2008, Montenegro played its first ever World Cup qualifier. It was at the Podgorica City Stadium in Podgorica. As expected, Bulgaria took an early lead in the 11th minute with a goal from Stiliyan Petrov. Mirko Vučinić scored in the 61st minute to make the game 1–1. Igor Burzanovic took a penalty and made it 2–1 in the 82nd minute. As Montenegrin fans were about to celebrate a historical first competitive win, a last-minute equalizer from Blagoy Georgiev spoiled the party. In their next match on 10 September 2008, they achieved another notable result when they held The Republic of Ireland to a 0–0 draw. Another near upset came in a narrow 2–1 loss against Italy. Despite Alberto Aquilani's early strike, Vucinic quickly equalized 11 minutes later. Aquilani then scored again 10 minutes later. However, their second match against Italy in the two-game series ended 2–0 in favor of the World champions. And another disappointment came when the team could only draw 0–0 against Georgia and went on to draw 2–2 against Cyprus, having fought back after being 2 goals down. The fixture on 5 September 2009 was a shock when, after taking an early lead against Bulgaria in Sofia with Jovetic putting them 1–0 up, Bulgaria then scored 4 goals to win 4–1. Montenegro, now eliminated, drew their next game with Cyprus 1–1, who were also eliminated. Montenegro would finally register their first competitive win against Georgia, winning 2–1. They then managed a great performance to hold The Republic of Ireland to a 0–0 draw at Croke Park. They finished 5th in the group with 9 points, just below Cyprus due to GD. Though they failed to qualify for the World Cup, Montenegro had performed better than expected in their first competitive international matches. The next month, they reached one of their highest positions in the FIFA rankings, in 73rd place.

Golden era[edit]

UEFA Euro 2012 qualification[edit]

During the UEFA Euro 2012 qualification, the team has recorded further victories. The team defeated Wales in Podgorica in a match attended by 9,000 fans. The team won 1–0 from a goal by Vucinic. A few days later, the team defeated Bulgaria in Sofia 1–0. The next month, the team defeated Switzerland 1–0 by taking the lead in the 2nd half and then recorded a 0–0 draw in London against England. On 4 June 2011, Montenegro played against Bulgaria. Switzerland tied with England 2–2, with England narrowly avoiding defeat. Although Montenegro had a bright start, the Bulgarians were able to keep it 1–1. Radomir Đalović scored for Montenegro early in the 2nd half, but Ivelin Popov scored minutes later, keeping Montenegro in second. Montenegro and England were at the time tied on points, but due to a larger goal difference, England remained ahead.

After that, Montenegro played against Wales in Cardiff. Montenegro were beaten 2-1, and appeared to have significantly damaged their chances of making the play-offs. In that match, Steve Morison and Aaron Ramsey scored for Wales, and Stevan Jovetic for Montenegro. After this match, Montenegro was still 2nd in the group G, but Switzerland has closed the gap to only three points.

On 7 October, Montenegro played its 7th match in UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying against England, in Podgorica. It was a rainy October night, but a very bright one for Montenegro. England started the match well, and led 2-0 in the 31st minute, thanks to goals by Ashley Young and Darren Bent. A deflected volley by Elsad Zverotic in the 45th minute reduced the deficit to 2-1. Montenegro were much brighter in the second half, creating a lot of chances. Their cause was greatly helped by the dismissal of Wayne Rooney on 73 minutes, for kicking out at Miodrag Dzudovic. Montenegro equalised in stoppage time when a cross from Stefan Savic was headed in at the far post by Andrija Delibasic. The Montenegrins celebrated wildly, knowing following an announcement on the public address system that Wales were beating Switzerland 2-0, and thus that a point would be sufficient to guarantee second place in the group and a place in the play-offs. The game ended 2-2, whilst Wales won 2-0, securing a play-off position for Montenegro, a historic achievement putting the team two matches away from qualifying for Euro 2012.

In their last match in Euro 2012 qualifying, Montenegro lost 2-0 to Switzerland in Basel, but this match did not matter because Montenegro had already secured their place in the play-offs. Montenegro played without 7 of their regular players in that match.

On 13 October, the draw for the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying play-offs was held in Krakow, Poland. As a result of the draw, Montenegro played against the Czech Republic, but lost 3-0 on aggregate and failed to qualify.

2014 FIFA World Cup qualification[edit]

Montenegro was in qualification Group H, along with England, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova and San Marino.

In their first match, Montenegro played against Poland in Podgorica. Jakub Blaszczykowski scored from a penalty kick for Poland in the 5th minute. Montenegro came back with goals by Nikola Drinčić in 26th minute, after an assist by Mirko Vučinić, and Vučinić himself in injury time after a corner kick. In the second half, Poland scored an equalizer in the 55th minute. The scorer was Adrian Mierzejewski. After that, the result stayed 2:2.

On 11 September, Montenegro played against San Marino in Seravalle. In a very one-sided match, Montenegro won 6:0,[7] which is the biggest win for Montenegro since their formation. Montenegro proceeded to beat Ukraine 1:0 in Kiev.[8] The goal was scored by Dejan Damjanović. In their last match in 2012, Montenegro faced San Marino in Podgorica, on 14 November, with a 3:0 win for the home team.

Montenegro played their fifth qualifiers match against Moldova in Chișinău, on 22 March 2013. Montenegro won that match 1:0, the only goalscorer was Mirko Vučinić. After that, Montenegro returned to Podgorica to play the 2nd ranked team in the group, England. The outcome was a 1:1 draw. For England, Wayne Rooney scored in 6. minute, with a header after a corner, and for Montenegro, Dejan Damjanović, also after a corner. Through six games,

Montenegro hosted Ukraine on 7 June 2013. They suffered their first defeat in the 2014 WCQ. Ukraine won 4:0.

Decline[edit]

UEFA Euro 2016 qualification[edit]

On 23 February, in Nice, Montenegro was drawn for qualification in Group G, along with Russia, Sweden, Austria, Moldova and Liechtenstein.

Team Image[edit]

Montenegrin supporters

Name[edit]

Under the official FIFA Trigramme the team’s name is abbreviated as MNE, which is also the country's code. The team's nickname is "The Brave Falcons" (Montenegrin: Hrabri Sokoli).

Training[edit]

The Montenegrin national team trains at the Football Association of Montenegro Training Camp located in the Podgorica neighborhood of Stari Aerodrom.

Kit[edit]

The team kit is currently produced by Italian company Legea. It is all-red with gold details to reflect the colours of the Montenegrin national flag. Before that briefly the kit providers were Adidas (2006-2007) and daCapo (2007-2008).

ManufacturerPeriod
Germany Adidas2006–2007
Serbia daCapo2007–2008
Italy Legea2008–present

Supporters[edit]

At competitive matches Montenegrin home ground, Podgorica City Stadium, is very often filled to capacity. The stadium is regarded as too small to meet the needs of the national team. Demand for the World Cup qualifier against Italy in 2009 was 30,000 tickets and 40,000 for the Euro 2012 qualifying match against England in 2011.

Montenegro's loudest and most loyal supporters are Ultra Crna Gora (Ultra Montenegro). They practice ultras way of support - standing up and singing for 90 minutes, no matter the result, both home and away. They occupy the north and south stands of Podgorica City Stadium. Choreography is usually performed at the beginning of the games. Ultra Crna Gora consists of many subgroups, mostly named after Podgorica's neighborhoods and Montenegrin towns in other parts of the country.

On 7 October 2011 in a match against England, at the sound of final whistle, hundreds of Montenegrin supporters ran onto the pitch to celebrate with the players.

Players[edit]

In international football, players can normally only play for one national team once they play in all or part of any match recognised as a full international by FIFA. However, an exception is made in cases where one or more newly independent states are created out of a former state. Based on current FIFA rules, a player will be eligible to play for Montenegro, even if he had previously represented Serbia and Montenegro or any other country, if at least one of the following statements applies:[9]

Due to mixed ancestries, it is likely that a high percentage of the players eligible to play for Montenegro will also remain eligible to play for Serbia, and vice versa. However, once they have played for either Serbia or Montenegro in any competitive fixture, they are no longer eligible to play for any other nation.

Current squad[edit]

The following squad was called up for the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match against Sweden on 15 November 2014.[10]
Caps and goals as of 15 November 2014 after the game against Sweden.[10]

0#0Pos.PlayerDate of birth (age)CapsGoalsClub
1GKMladen Božović(1984-08-01) 1 August 1984 (age 30)370Russia Khimik Dzerzhinsk
1GKVukašin Poleksić(1982-08-30) 30 August 1982 (age 32)310Hungary Pécs
2DFSavo Pavićević(1980-12-11) 11 December 1980 (age 33)390Serbia Red Star Belgrade
2DFMarko Baša(1982-12-29) 29 December 1982 (age 31)312France Lille
2DFStefan Savić(1991-01-08) 8 January 1991 (age 23)302Italy Fiorentina
2DFVladimir Volkov(1986-06-06) 6 June 1986 (age 28)150Serbia Partizan
2DFŽarko Tomašević(1990-02-22) 22 February 1990 (age 24)81Belgium Kortrijk
2DFSaša Balić(1990-01-29) 29 January 1990 (age 24)70Ukraine Metalurh Zaporizhya
2DFMarko Simić(1987-06-16) 16 June 1987 (age 27)70Turkey Kayserispor
3MFElsad Zverotić(1986-10-31) 31 October 1986 (age 28)515England Fulham
3MFVladimir Božović(1981-11-13) 13 November 1981 (age 33)420Russia Mordovia Saransk
3MFMladen Kašćelan(1983-02-13) 13 February 1983 (age 31)180Russia Arsenal Tula
3MFNemanja Nikolić(1988-01-01) 1 January 1988 (age 26)70Belarus Dinamo Minsk
3MFMarko Bakić(1993-11-01) 1 November 1993 (age 21)50Italy Spezia
3MFVladimir Jovović(1994-10-26) 26 October 1994 (age 20)50Montenegro Sutjeska Nikšić
3MFNikola Vukčević(1991-12-13) 13 December 1991 (age 22)50Portugal Braga
3MFBranislav Janković(1992-02-08) 8 February 1992 (age 22)30Montenegro Grbalj Radanovići
3MFVladimir Boljević(1988-01-17) 17 January 1988 (age 26)00Cyprus AEK Larnaca
4FWMirko Vučinić (Captain)(1983-10-01) 1 October 1983 (age 31)4016United Arab Emirates Al-Jazira
4FWStevan Jovetić(1989-11-02) 2 November 1989 (age 25)3513England Manchester City
4FWFatos Bećiraj(1988-05-22) 22 May 1988 (age 26)303China Changchun Yatai
4FWDejan Damjanović(1981-07-27) 27 July 1981 (age 33)277China Beijing Guoan

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following players have been called for the last 12 months.

Pos.PlayerDate of birth (age)CapsGoalsClubLatest call-up
GKIvan Janjušević(1986-11-05) 5 November 1986 (age 28)10Montenegro Sutjeska Nikšićv.  Moldova, 8 September 2014
GKDanijel Petković(1993-05-25) 25 May 1993 (age 21)00Montenegro Zeta Golubovciv.  Iran, 26 May 2014
DFMarko Vešović(1991-08-28) 28 August 1991 (age 23)50Croatia Rijekav.  Austria, 12 October 2014
DFMilan Jovanović(1983-07-21) 21 July 1983 (age 31)360Iran Padidehv.  Liechtenstein, 9 October 2014
DFBlažo Igumanović(1986-01-16) 16 January 1986 (age 28)20Montenegro Sutjeska Nikšićv.  Ghana, 5 March 2014
MFSimon Vukčević(1986-01-29) 29 January 1986 (age 28)452Greece Levadiakosv.  Austria, 12 October 2014
MFMiloš Krkotić(1987-09-29) 29 September 1987 (age 27)50Moldova Dacia Chișinăuv.  Moldova, 8 September 2014
MFNikola Drinčić(1984-09-07) 7 September 1984 (age 30)333Serbia Partizanv.  Moldova, 8 September 2014 (preliminary)
MFBranko Bošković(1980-06-21) 21 June 1980 (age 34)291Unattachedv.  Iran, 26 May 2014
MFMiroje Jovanović(1987-03-10) 10 March 1987 (age 27)31Montenegro Mladost Podgoricav.  Iran, 26 May 2014
MFDarko Zorić(1993-09-12) 12 September 1993 (age 21)10Greece AEK Athensv.  Iran, 26 May 2014
MFMarko Ćetković(1986-07-10) 10 July 1986 (age 28)61Albania Laçiv.  Ghana, 5 March 2014
MFAleksandar Boljević(1995-12-12) 12 December 1995 (age 18)10Netherlands PSVv.  Luxembourg, 17 November 2013
MFIvan Ivanović(1989-09-14) 14 September 1989 (age 25)10Montenegro Rudar Pljevljav.  Luxembourg, 17 November 2013
MFPetar Grbić(1988-08-07) 7 August 1988 (age 26)40Serbia Partizanv.  Austria, 12 October 2014
FWFilip Kasalica(1988-12-17) 17 December 1988 (age 25)111South Korea Ulsan Hyundaiv.  Moldova, 8 September 2014
FWLuka Đorđević(1994-07-09) 9 July 1994 (age 20)41Italy Sampdoriav.  Iran, 26 May 2014
FWDarko Nikač(1990-11-15) 15 November 1990 (age 24)30Montenegro Grbalj Radanovićiv.  Iran, 26 May 2014

Managers[edit]

ManagerCareerPlayedWonDrawLostGFGAWin %
Montenegro Filipović, ZoranZoran Filipović2006–200923887283134.78%
Croatia Kranjčar, ZlatkoZlatko Kranjčar2010–201113625141146.15%
Montenegro Brnović, BrankoBranko Brnović2011–20866271940.00%

Coaching staff[edit]

PositionName
Head CoachMontenegro Branko Brnović
Assistant CoachMontenegro Radislav Dragićević
Assistant CoachMontenegro Anto Drobnjak
Assistant CoachMontenegro Dragoje Leković
Goalkeeping CoachMontenegro Darko Božović

Player records[edit]

Player/coach records are accurate as of 15 November 2014.

  Active players are highlighted

Most capped Montenegro players[edit]

#NameCareerCapsGoals
1Elsad Zverotić2008–515
2Simon Vukčević2006–452
3Vladimir Božović2006–420
4Mirko Vučinić2006–4016
5Savo Pavićević2006–390
6Mladen Božović2006–370
Milan Jovanović2006–360
8Stevan Jovetić2006–3513
9Milorad Peković2006–2013340
10Nikola Drinčić2006–333

Top Montenegro goalscorers[edit]

#PlayerCareerGoalsCapsGoals/Cap
1Mirko Vučinić2006–16400.4
2Stevan Jovetić2006–13350.37
3Radomir Đalović2006–20127260.27
3Dejan Damjanović2006–7270.26
5Andrija Delibašić2009–20136210.29
6Elsad Zverotić2008–5510.1
7
Fatos Bećiraj2009–3300.1
Nikola Drinčić2006–3330.09
9Igor Burzanović2006–2009280.25
Stefan Savić2010–2290.07
Simon Vukčević2006–2450.04
Marko Baša2009–2300.06

Montenegro captains[edit]

#PlayerMontenegro careerCaptain (Total Caps)
1Mirko Vučinić (present captain)2006–22 (29)

Competition History[edit]

Montenegro have participated in two qualification rounds for big tournaments so far. On both occasions, Montenegro failed to qualify. Firstly, Montenegro tried to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, but they finished 5th in their group. Montenegro had more success in UEFA Euro 2012 qualifications, when they finished 2nd in their group, and qualified for the play-offs. They failed to qualify for the main event, because they lost their two leg match against Czech Republic.

FIFA World Cup[edit]

YearRoundPositionMPWDLGFGA
1930 to 2006Was part of Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro
South Africa 2010Did Not Qualify
Brazil 2014
Russia 2018TBD
Qatar 2022
Total0/20000000

UEFA European Football Championship[edit]

YearRoundPositionMPWDLGFGA
1960 to 2004Was part of Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro
Austria Switzerland 2008Did Not Enter
PolandUkraine 2012Did Not Qualify
France 2016TBD
Total0/14000000

Recent results and fixtures[edit]

FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifying[edit]


Team
PldWDLGFGAGDPts
 England10640314+2722
 Ukraine10631284+2421
 Montenegro104331817+115
 Poland103431812+613
 Moldova103251217−511
 San Marino100010154−530
 EnglandMoldovaMontenegroPolandSan MarinoUkraine
England 4–04–12–05–01–1
Moldova 0–50–11–13–00–0
Montenegro 1–12–52–23–00–4
Poland 1–12–01–15–01–3
San Marino 0–80–20–61–50–8
Ukraine 0–02–10–11–09–0


Top Goalscorers during Qualification[edit]

4 goals
2 goals
1 goal

UEFA Euro 2016 qualification[edit]

PosTeam PldWDLGFGAGDPtsQualificationAustriaSwedenRussiaMontenegroLiechtensteinMoldova
1 Austria431052+310Advance to final tournament1–11–01–012 Oct '155 Sep '15
2 Sweden413053+268 Sep '151–114 Jun '152–012 Oct '15
3 Russia412163+35Final tournament or play-offs14 Jun '155 Sep '1512 Oct '154–01–1
4 Montenegro412132+159 Oct '151–127 Mar '155 Sep '152–0
5 Liechtenstein411216−5427 Mar '159 Oct '158 Sep '150–014 Jun '15
6 Moldova401326−411–227 Mar '159 Oct '158 Sep '150–1
Updated to match(es) played on 15 November 2014. Source: UEFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Serbia to take spot in Euro 2008". BBC Sport. 23 May 2006. Retrieved 11 April 2007. 
  2. ^ Mark Chaplin (2006). "No decision yet on Gibraltar". UEFA.com. Archived from the original on 28 November 2006. Retrieved 11 April 2007. 
  3. ^ Simon Hart (2007). "UEFA to consider 24-team EURO". UEFA.com. Archived from the original on 19 February 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2007. 
  4. ^ "Soccer-Montenegro beat Hungary 2–1 in international debut". Reuters.co.uk. 24 March 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2007. 
  5. ^ "Montenegro take a bow with victory". UEFA.com. 2007. Archived from the original on 4 June 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2007. 
  6. ^ "Blatter's third term confirmed". FIFA.com. 2007. Retrieved 17 October 2007. 
  7. ^ September 2012|publisher=Vijesti| date=11 September 2012
  8. ^ October 2012|publisher=FIFA| date=16 October 2012
  9. ^ http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/affederation/administration/status%5ftransfer%5fen%5f25.pdf
  10. ^ a b Football Association of Montenegro (1 October 2014). "Kvalifikacija za EURO 2016: Brnović pozvao 23 igrača" (in Serbian). 

External links[edit]