Montenegro national football team

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Montenegro
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Hrabri sokoli
(The Brave Falcons)
AssociationFootball Association of Montenegro
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachBranko Brnović
Asst coachAnto Drobnjak
Radislav Dragićević
Dragoje Leković
CaptainMirko Vučinić
Most capsSimon Vukčević (42)
Top scorerMirko Vučinić (15)
Home stadiumStadion Pod Goricom
FIFA codeMNE
FIFA ranking54 Decrease -27
Highest FIFA ranking16 (June 2011)
Lowest FIFA ranking199 (June 2007)
Elo ranking64
Highest Elo ranking38 (29 March 2011)
Lowest Elo ranking65 (15 October 2013)
First colours
Second colours
First international
Montenegro Montenegro 2–1 Hungary 
(Podgorica, Montenegro; 24 March 2007)
Biggest win
 San Marino 0–6 Montenegro Montenegro
(Serravalle, San Marino; 11 September 2012)
Biggest defeat
 Romania 4–0 Montenegro Montenegro
(Bucharest, Romania; 31 May 2008)
Montenegro 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)
AssociationFootball Association of Montenegro
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachBranko Brnović
Asst coachAnto Drobnjak
Radislav Dragićević
Dragoje Leković
CaptainMirko Vučinić
Most capsSimon Vukčević (42)
Top scorerMirko Vučinić (15)
Home stadiumStadion Pod Goricom
FIFA codeMNE
FIFA ranking54 Decrease -27
Highest FIFA ranking16 (June 2011)
Lowest FIFA ranking199 (June 2007)
Elo ranking64
Highest Elo ranking38 (29 March 2011)
Lowest Elo ranking65 (15 October 2013)
First colours
Second colours
First international
Montenegro Montenegro 2–1 Hungary 
(Podgorica, Montenegro; 24 March 2007)
Biggest win
 San Marino 0–6 Montenegro Montenegro
(Serravalle, San Marino; 11 September 2012)
Biggest defeat
 Romania 4–0 Montenegro Montenegro
(Bucharest, Romania; 31 May 2008)
Montenegro 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 Football Association of Montenegro, 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]

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. Stevan Jovetić 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.

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 June 4, 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.

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 (2006-2008) and daCapo (2008-2009).

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 October 7, 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 friendly match against Luxembourg on 17 November 2013.
Caps and goals as of 17 November 2013.

0#0Pos.PlayerDate of birth (age)CapsGoalsClub
1GKVukašin Poleksić(1982-08-30) 30 August 1982 (age 31)270Hungary Debrecen
1GKIvan Janjušević(1986-11-05) 5 November 1986 (age 27)10Montenegro Sutjeska Nikšić
2DFVladimir Božović(1981-11-13) 13 November 1981 (age 32)360Russia Mordovia Saransk
2DFSavo Pavićević(1980-12-11) 11 December 1980 (age 33)370Cyprus Anorthosis Famagusta
2DFMilan Jovanović(1983-07-21) 21 July 1983 (age 30)350Bulgaria Lokomotiv Sofia
2DFMarko Baša(1982-12-29) 29 December 1982 (age 31)292France Lille
2DFStefan Savić(1991-01-08) 8 January 1991 (age 23)252Italy Fiorentina
2DFVladimir Volkov(1986-06-06) 6 June 1986 (age 27)100Serbia Partizan
2DFMarko Simić(1987-06-16) 16 June 1987 (age 26)20Turkey Kayserispor
2DFMarko Vešović(1991-08-28) 28 August 1991 (age 22)20Serbia Red Star Belgrade
3MFElsad Zverotić(1986-10-31) 31 October 1986 (age 27)435England Fulham
3MFNikola Drinčić(1984-09-07) 7 September 1984 (age 29)323Serbia Partizan
3MFBranko Bošković(1980-06-21) 21 June 1980 (age 33)271Austria Rapid Wien
3MFMarko Ćetković(1986-07-10) 10 July 1986 (age 27)61Montenegro Budućnost Podgorica
3MFMiloš Krkotić(1987-09-29) 29 September 1987 (age 26)50Moldova Dacia Chișinău
3MFNemanja Nikolić(1988-01-01) 1 January 1988 (age 26)30Belarus Dinamo Minsk
3MFMiroje Jovanović(1987-03-10) 10 March 1987 (age 26)11Montenegro Rudar Pljevlja
3MFIvan Ivanović(1989-09-14) 14 September 1989 (age 24)10Montenegro Čelik Nikšić
3MFVladimir Jovović(1994-10-26) 26 October 1994 (age 19)10Montenegro Sutjeska Nikšić
4FWFatos Bećiraj(1988-05-22) 22 May 1988 (age 25)253Croatia Dinamo Zagreb
4FWDejan Damjanović(1981-07-27) 27 July 1981 (age 32)216China Jiangsu Sainty
4FWFilip Kasalica(1988-12-17) 17 December 1988 (age 25)101Serbia Red Star Belgrade
4FWAleksandar Boljević(1995-12-12) 12 December 1995 (age 18)10Netherlands PSV
4FWDarko Nikač(1990-11-15) 15 November 1990 (age 23)10Montenegro Budućnost Podgorica

Recent callups[edit]

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

Pos.PlayerDate of birth (age)CapsGoalsClubLatest call-up
GKSrđan Blažić(1982-11-26) 26 November 1982 (age 31)70Cyprus Nea Salamis Famagustav.  Moldova, 15 October 2013
GKMladen Božović(1984-08-01) 1 August 1984 (age 29)330Russia Tom Tomskv.  Poland, 6 September 2013
DFIvan Kecojević(1988-04-10) 10 April 1988 (age 25)50Turkey Gaziantepsporv.  Moldova, 15 October 2013
DFBlažo Igumanović(1986-01-16) 16 January 1986 (age 28)10Kazakhstan Astanav.  Moldova, 15 October 2013
DFMiodrag Džudović(1979-09-06) 6 September 1979 (age 34)261Russia Spartak Nalchikv.  Poland, 6 September 2013
MFSimon Vukčević(1986-01-29) 29 January 1986 (age 27)432Serbia Vojvodinav.  Moldova, 15 October 2013
MFMitar Novaković(1981-09-27) 27 September 1981 (age 32)220Russia Amkar Permv.  Moldova, 15 October 2013
MFMarko Bakić(1993-11-01) 1 November 1993 (age 20)10Italy Fiorentinav.  Poland, 6 September 2013
MFMilorad Peković(1977-08-05) 5 August 1977 (age 36)340Germany Hansa Rostockv.  Belarus, 14 August 2013
FWStevan Jovetić(1989-11-02) 2 November 1989 (age 24)3012England Manchester Cityv.  Moldova, 15 October 2013
FWAndrija Delibašić(1981-04-24) 24 April 1981 (age 32)216Spain Rayo Vallecanov.  Moldova, 15 October 2013
FWStefan Mugoša(1992-02-26) 26 February 1992 (age 21)10Montenegro Mladost Podgoricav.  Moldova, 15 October 2013
FWMirko Vučinić(1983-10-01) 1 October 1983 (age 30)3715Italy Juventusv.  Poland, 6 September 2013
FWLuka Đorđević(1994-07-09) 9 July 1994 (age 19)21Netherlands Twentev.  Poland, 6 September 2013

Current coaching staff[edit]

Managers[edit]

ManagerCareerPlayedWonDrawLostGFGAWin %
Serbia Filipović, ZoranZoran Filipović2007–200923887283134.78%
Croatia Kranjčar, ZlatkoZlatko Kranjčar2010–201113625141146.15%
Montenegro Brnović, BrankoBranko Brnović2011–16754271943.75%

Coaching staff[edit]

PositionName
Head CoachMontenegro Branko Brnović
Assistant CoachMontenegro Radislav Dragićević
Assistant CoachMontenegro Anto Drobnjak
Goalkeeping CoachMontenegro Darko Bozovic

Player records[edit]

Player/coach records are accurate as of 15 October 2013.

Most capped Montenegro players[edit]

#NameCareerCapsGoals
1Simon Vukčević[10]2007–present432
2Elsad Zverotić[10]2008–present425
3Mirko Vučinić[10]2007–present3915
4Vladimir Božović[10]2007–present360
Savo Pavićević[10]2007–present360
6Milan Jovanović[10]2007–present350
7Milorad Peković[10]2007–present340
8Mladen Božović[10]2007–present330
9Nikola Drinčić[10]2007–present323
10Stevan Jovetić[10]2007–present3012

Top Montenegro goalscorers[edit]

#PlayerCareerGoalsCapsGoals/Cap
1Mirko Vučinić[10]2007–present15370.41
2Stevan Jovetić[10]2007–present12280.4
3Radomir Đalović[10]2007–20127260.27
4Andrija Delibašić[10]2009–present6210.29
4Dejan Damjanović[10]2007–present6210.29
6Elsad Zverotić[10]2008–present4400.1
7Fatos Bećiraj[10]2009–present3240.13
Nikola Drinčić[10]2007–present3320.1
9Igor Burzanović2007–2009280.25
Stefan Savić[10]2010–present2240.08
Simon Vukčević[10]2007–present2430.05

Montenegro captains[edit]

#PlayerMontenegro careerCaptain (Total Caps)
1Mirko Vučinić (present captain)2007–present22 (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
South Africa 2010Did Not Qualify
Brazil 2014
Russia 2018TBD
Qatar 2022
Total0/2-000000

UEFA European Football Championship[edit]

YearRoundPositionMPWDLGFGA
PolandUkraine 2012Did Not Qualify
France 2016TBD
Total0/1-000000

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

Montenegro versus other countries[edit]

Updated till 15. October 2013

OpponentWinsDrawsLossesGoals ForGoals AgainstGoal differenceTotal
 Albania00224-22
 Azerbaijan10020+21
 Belgium0102201
 Belarus10010+11
 Bulgaria12157-24
 Colombia00101-11
 Cyprus0203302
 Czech Republic00203-32
 England03147-34
 Estonia10010+11
 Georgia11021+12
 Hungary11054+12
 Iceland10021+11
 Republic of Ireland0200002
 Italy00214-32
 Japan00102-21
 Kazakhstan10030+31
 Latvia10020+21
 Macedonia1013302
 Moldova10135-22
 Northern Ireland10020+21
 Norway10143+12
 Poland0102201
 Romania00104-41
 San Marino20090+92
 Slovenia0101101
 Sweden00112-11
  Switzerland10112-12
 Ukraine10114-32
 Uzbekistan10010+11
 Wales20143+13
31 Countries2014186466-252

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 c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Still available for selection

External links[edit]