Bosnia and Herzegovina national football team

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Bosnia and Herzegovina
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Zmajevi (The Dragons)
Zlatni ljiljani (The Golden Lilies)
Association Football Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (N/FSBiH)
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Mehmed Baždarević
Asst coach TBA
Captain Edin Džeko
Most caps Zvjezdan Misimović (83)[1][2]
Top scorer Edin Džeko (38)[3]
Home stadium Bilino Polje
FIFA code BIH
FIFA ranking 29 Decrease 3 (27 November 2014)
Highest FIFA ranking 13 (August 2013)
Lowest FIFA ranking 173 (September 1996)
Elo ranking 24 (9 July 2014)
Highest Elo ranking 21 (7 June 2013)
Lowest Elo ranking 87 (5 October 1999)
First colours
Second colours
First international
non-FIFA international
 Iran 1–3 Bosnia-Herzegovina 
(Tehran, Iran; 6 June 1993)[4]
FIFA international
 Albania 2–0 Bosnia-Herzegovina 
(Tirana, Albania; 30 November 1995)[5]
Biggest win
 Bosnia-Herzegovina 7–0 Estonia 
(Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina; 10 September 2008)
 Liechtenstein 1–8 Bosnia-Herzegovina 
(Vaduz, Liechtenstein; 7 September 2012)
Biggest defeat
 Argentina 5–0 Bosnia-Herzegovina 
(Córdoba, Argentina; 14 May 1998)
World Cup
Appearances 1 (First in 2014)
Best result Group Stage, 2014
European Championship
Appearances 0

The Bosnia and Herzegovina national football team (Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian: Nogometna/Fudbalska reprezentacija Bosne i Hercegovine; Cyrillic script: Ногометна/Фудбалска репрезентација Боснe и Херцеговинe) represents Bosnia and Herzegovina in international association football. The team is governed by the Football Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (N/FSBiH). Until 1992, Bosnian-Herzegovinian players were part of the SFR Yugoslavia national football team.

The team have only qualified for a major international tournament once in their history as an independent nation, when Bosnia and Herzegovina qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[6][7] The team is yet to qualify for a European Championship, coming closest by losing to Portugal in the play-offs for UEFA Euro 2012.[8][9][10][11]

Bosnia and Herzegovina's home ground is Bilino Polje Stadium in the city of Zenica. The team's highest FIFA World Ranking was 13th in August 2013.[12][13]

History[edit]

Pre-independence (1903–1992)[edit]

The game reached Bosnia and Herzegovina at the start of the 20th century, with Sarajevo (in 1903)[14] and Mostar (in 1905)[15] being the first cities to embrace it. Banja Luka, Tuzla, Zenica and Bihać were next along with numerous smaller towns as the sport spread. The country was under Austro-Hungarian rule when official competition began in 1908, though these activities were on a small scale within each territory.[16] At the outbreak of World War I, there were four clubs in Sarajevo; SAŠK, Slavija, Đerzelez (also known as Sarajevski),[17] and Makabi Sarajevo (also known as Barkohba)[18] and approximately 20 outside the capital. The creation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia post 1918 brought an increase in the number of leagues, and soon a domestic national championship was organised featuring two teams from Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 1920, the direct predecessor of the football federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina was founded as the Sarajevo football subassociation. The unified championship ran until 1939/40.

The Football Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina was founded after the Second World War, being affiliated to the Yugoslav Football Association.

Bosnia and Herzegovina's best sides at the time were Sarajevo, Željezničar (Sarajevo) and Velež (Mostar) which played in the Yugoslavian first league, second league and cup competitions with moderate success, while its best players with the likes of Vahid Halilhodžić, Safet Sušić, Josip Katalinski, Faruk Hadžibegić, Ivica Osim, Asim Ferhatović, Blaž Slišković, Mehmed Baždarević, Dušan Bajević and many others were chosen to represent SFR Yugoslavia national football team.[19] After completion of UEFA Euro 1968 two players from SR Bosnia in Mirsad Fazlagić and Ivica Osim were chosen in the UEFA Team of the Tournament whilst representing the SFR Yugoslav team that reached the final of the tournament.

The birth of the national team and early years[edit]

Shortly after Bosnia and Herzegovina's independence from Yugoslavia, at the outbreak of Bosnian War, a selection of Bosnia and Herzegovina players under the name "Bosnia-Herzegovina Humanitarian Stars" took part in humanitarian friendly matches away from home versus K.R.C. Genk and 1. FC Kaiserslautern during March 1993.[20] Blaž Slišković was the captain of this Bosnia and Herzegovina national side.[21][22] A few months later, Bosnia and Herzegovina football team (players assembled mainly from then FK Sarajevo) under manager Fuad Muzurović played their first match against another national team, and it took place in Tehran against Iran. Bosnia and Herzegovina won 3–1.[5][23] However the result was never registered as Bosnia and Herzegovina was not yet a member of FIFA. After the game team met with President of Iran Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani who said "Congratulations on your victory. This is your way of fighting. This is the best way to present your young state to the world."[5]

During the same period, on 22 July 1995, Bosnia and Herzegovina national team played another humanitarian match against Fortuna Düsseldorf, largely thanks to Aleksandar Ristić (Düsseldorf coach at the time) and Enver Marić (Düsseldorf goalkeeper coach) who were the most responsible for bringing the team to Germany at the time.[24] Haris Škoro scored a brace for Bosnia and Herzegovina at the game which finished 2–2.[25]

Hasan Salihamidžić scored Bosnia-Herzegovina's first ever goal in a 2–1 friendly win over Italy in November 1996, four months after country's FIFA affiliation.[15][26]

The team's first FIFA recognized friendly match, coming just nine days after the Dayton Peace Agreement brought an end to the Bosnian War, was played in Tirana against Albania on 30 November 1995. Then still a Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (as Dayton Agreement was formally signed on 14 December 1995 starting modern-day state of Bosnia and Herzegovina), the team was granted provisional FIFA membership to play this football game which Bosnia and Herzegovina lost 2–0. The team played in the shirts bought in neighbouring country's sports shops hours before the flight.[5][27] The starting eleven playing under head coach Fuad Muzurović at that friendly contest were: Ismir Pintol, Vedin Musić, Ibrahim Duro, Muhamed Konjić, Senad Begić, Nedžad Fazlagić, Esmir Džafić, Enes Demirović, Husref Musemić, Asim Hrnjić, and Almir Turković.

Bosnia and Herzegovina national football team was not eligible to take part in FIFA World Cup 1994 qualifiers as the country only became a member of FIFA in July 1996.[15] UEFA affiliation came in 1998 in Dublin and again the country missed out on taking part in UEFA Euro 1996 qualifiers.[15] In doing so Bosnia and Herzegovina became the only nation in the world in the modern times to first become a member of the World football organisation FIFA followed by becoming member of its continental organisation, UEFA.[28] The national team's first international victory as a FIFA member came against 1994 FIFA World Cup runners-up Italy on 6 November 1996.[29][30][31] The former Yugoslav country was ranked 170, while Italy were fifth at the time (a gap of 165 spots). [32]

Bosnia and Herzegovina's first qualifying attempt for any major tournament saw them grouped with Greece, Denmark, and two former Yugoslav republics Croatia and Slovenia during qualifiers for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. On 1 September 1996, captained by Mehmed Baždarević, Bosnia and Herzegovina made their UEFA debut going down 3–0 versus Greece in their first ever official major tournament qualifying match.[33] Bosnia and Herzegovina finished the group in fourth position, having beaten Slovenia both home and away as well as beating Denmark 3–0 at home. The Bosnia and Herzegovina home game against Croatia was played at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara in Bologna due to the renovation of the Asim Ferhatović Hase Stadium.[34] Fuad Muzurović led the team at its first qualifying campaign. In the eventual tournament both Denmark and Croatia did well by reaching Quarter-finals and Third place respectively.

Mišo Smajlović’s Bosnia and Herzegovina side only managed to win 3 games from 10 played in the UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying campaign. The results were two losses against the Czech Republic, two losses against Scotland, a win and a draw against the Faroe Islands and Estonia respectively and a win and a loss against Lithuania. The team finished in third place level on points with Lithuania and Estonia but with a better head-to-head record.

On 25 April 2000, Bosnia and Herzegovina played a humanitarian game for the Bosnia and Herzegovinan orphans against FIFA's World Stars XI in front of 25,000 people at the Koševo Stadium in Sarajevo.[35] The game finished 0–1 in favour of the Stars through a Roberto Baggio penalty. Dunga and Ali Daei also made appearances for the World XI.

In the World Cup 2002 qualifying round, the Bosnia and Herzegovinans continued the bad form and finished in fourth place, behind Spain, Austria and Israel having only beaten Liechtenstein both home and away. After this campaign Blaž Slišković was named to replace coach Mišo Smajlović.

Sergej Barbarez took Bosnia-Herzegovina to brink of qualification for both Euro 2004 and 2006 World Cup as captain.

In the qualifying campaign for Euro 2004, only one goal in the last home game against Denmark separated the Bosnia and Herzegovina national football team from qualifying directly to the finals in Portugal.[36] The team ended the qualifiers in fourth position, one point behind the second place playoff round spot, and two points away from first position, and with the equal amount of won games as the top three teams. Denmark won the group, although Bosnia and Herzegovina took 4 points from them in two head to head matches.

The qualifying campaign for Euro 2004 did not start brightly as Blaž Slišković’s men lost a home game against Romania who scored all three goals of the game in the first thirty minutes, which followed with a loss to Norway in Oslo to mark the end of qualifiers in 2002 for Bosnia and Herzegovina. In March the following year team beat Luxembourg and came out with a 2–0 win versus Denmark in Copenhagen. Romania however proved too strong once again for the Bosnia and Herzegovinans scoring once in each half to prevail in Craiova.

In September 2003 Bosnia and Herzegovina, thanks to Zlatan Bajramović's 87th minute strike, beat Norwegians in Zenica. This followed with a reverse victory in Luxembourg with Sergej Barbarez scoring the only goal of the game in first half. Bosnia and Herzegovina climbed to third on the table with 12 points, two points short of both Romania and Denmark. At this point Romania completed their qualifying campaign and awaited results from the final round of matches. Norwegians were placed fourth, but had a home game against Luxembourg in the last round.

This meant that Bosnia and Herzegovina with a victory over Denmark in the last round in Sarajevo could top the group and qualify directly for Euro 2004 in Portugal. Any other result meant finishing fourth as Norway were favourites against Luxembourg. Denmark on the other side needed a draw to come through as group winners.

In the final match, the Bosnia and Herzegovinan team fell behind to a Martin Jørgensen's 12th minute goal. In reply, Emir Spahić’s long pass was met by Hasan Salihamidžić who crossed the ball into the penalty area from the right side, with Elvir Bolić promptly heading in the equaliser in the 39th minute ensuring it was all to play for in the second half. However, both teams could not score again as it finished a heartbreaking 1–1 home draw for the Bosnia and Herzegovinans, who although played the game to win the group, had to settle for a fourth place finish instead. Denmark themselves finished with 10 men after Thomas Gravesen was sent off for his second bookable offence seconds before the end of match.[36]

Zvjezdan Misimović is the most capped player in the history of Bosnia-Herz. national team.[1]

In the World Cup 2006 qualifying round, the Bosnia and Herzegovinans played Spain, drawing twice, Belgium (one win, one loss), and Serbia and Montenegro (one draw, one loss), but spilled crucial points at home against Lithuania playing only 1–1 (having won away). Also in the group were San Marino who lost all ten of their games (with a goal difference of −38). Against Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina drew at home but lost the second leg in Belgrade with a score 1–0. Bosnia and Herzegovina was hoping to finish in at least second position with an away win over their neighbours and hoping Spain to lose. Against Spain, Bosnia and Herzegovina led 1–0 for most of the match thanks to Zvjezdan Misimović's goal in the 39th minute but the game ended in draw when Carlos Marchena of Spain scored to level the game in the 96th minute at the Estadio Mestalla in Valencia, and after Bosnia had two players sent off. The match finished 1–1.[37] Bosnia and Herzegovina finished third, and undefeated at home, in their World Cup 2006 qualifying group four points behind second placed Spain and four points in front of fourth placed Belgium.

Drawn in a relatively easy group, Bosnia and Herzegovina's 2008 UEFA European Football Championship qualifying campaign began with a 5–2 victory over Malta away. However, losses to Hungary and Greece at home, and a draw with Moldova in Chisinau led to Fuad Muzurović appointed as interim coach following the departure of Blaž Slišković. In addition to this change, 13 first team players refused to play for the national team calling for four key Bosnia and Herzegovinan Football Association officials at the time – Milan Jelić, Iljo Dominković, Sulejman Čolaković, and Ahmet Pašalić – to resign.[38]

The successful era[edit]

Reform[edit]

New young players like Senijad Ibričić, Boris Pandža, Edin Džeko, Vedad Ibišević and Sejad Salihović, who played in the 2007 UEFA European Under-21 play-offs vs Czech Republic, commenced their senior careers at this point as a result of the recent changes within the squad.

Soon after Bosnia and Herzegovina beat Norway 2–1 in Oslo. In August 2007, the national team played a friendly match in Sarajevo against Croatia. Losing 3–5, with Zlatan Muslimović scoring a hat trick for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

After the game against Norway, Bosnia and Herzegovina continued with two further wins at home, a 3–2 victory against Turkey and a marginal victory against Malta. Edin Džeko and Elvir Rahimić made debut appearances for the Bosnia and Herzegovina against Turkey in Sarajevo. After these two games, two defeats at home to Hungary and Moldova followed. Bosnia and Herzegovina then suffered further defeats against Greece, Norway and Turkey, finishing their qualifiers in the fourth position. Following yet another failed campaign Meho Kodro was named as a replacement coach for Fuad Muzurović, however Meho Kodro was quickly dismissed after only a few months in charge.[39]

Reaching consecutive qualification play-offs[edit]

Bosnia and Herzegovina football federation announced Miroslav Blažević as the new manager for the World Cup 2010 qualifiers. In October 2009, the team qualified for the UEFA Second round in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification finishing second with a game to spare in a group won by then European champions Spain.[8] Edin Džeko was the top scorer of the group, and achieved equal second place overall in the Europe section with 9 goals. Bosnia and Herzegovina played Portugal losing both games by single goal. Along the standard qualification process the team beat Belgium, Estonia and Armenia at both home and away, and drew one game with Turkey.

14 November 2009
20:30 UTC±0
Portugal  1–0  Bosnia-Herzegovina
Bruno Alves Goal 31' Report
Estádio da Luz, Lisbon
Attendance: 60,588
Referee: Martin Atkinson (England)
18 November 2009
20:45 UTC+1
Bosnia-Herzegovina  0–1  Portugal
Report Raul Meireles Goal 56'
Bilino Polje, Zenica
Attendance: 15,000
Referee: Roberto Rosetti (Italy)

Portugal won 2–0 on aggregate and qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The national team coached by Safet Sušić reached their second consecutive play-off berth during qualification for the UEFA Euro 2012 as they were unable to beat France national football team in Paris to qualify directly. The Bosnia and Herzegovinans had to win the game to top Group D and qualify for the tournament. Edin Džeko scored and they led 0–1 until the 77th minute when Scottish referee Craig Thomson awarded a penalty to France. The French leveled the game which meant that Bosnia and Herzegovina finished second, one point behind France.

Bosnia and Herzegovina was drawn to play Portugal, who were the 8th ranked team in the world at the time, for the second play-off in a row.[9][40] After a scoreless first leg, qualification would be decided in Portugal. Cristiano Ronaldo (two goals) and Nani both scored as Portugal went on to record a 6–2 win. Bosnia and Herzegovina went 2–0 down after 25 minutes. Zvjezdan Misimović scored in the 41st minute to reduce the score to 2–1 from a penalty kick before Cristiano Ronaldo again restored a two goal advantage after the interval. At this point, Bosnia and Herzegovina were reduced to ten men as Senad Lulić received two yellow cards in less than a minute; In the 65th minute, Bosnia and Herzegovinan captain Emir Spahić, reduced the deficit to one goal once again knowing that a score draw was all that was required for Bosnia and Herzegovina to qualify for UEFA Euro 2012. However, Bosnia and Herzegovina lost 6–2 on the day, and on aggregate.[41][42]

11 November 2011
20:00 UTC+1
Bosnia-Herzegovina  0–0  Portugal
Report
Bilino Polje, Zenica
Attendance: 12,352
Referee: Howard Webb (England)
15 November 2011
21:00 UTC±0
Portugal  6–2  Bosnia-Herzegovina
Ronaldo Goal 8'53'
Nani Goal 24'
Postiga Goal 72'82'
Veloso Goal 80'
Report Misimović Goal 41' (pen.)
Spahić Goal 65'
Estádio da Luz, Lisbon
Attendance: 47,728
Referee: Wolfgang Stark (Germany)

Portugal won 6–2 on aggregate and qualified for UEFA Euro 2012.

First major tournament (2014 FIFA World Cup)[edit]

Bosnia players ahead of FIFA World Cup match vs Argentina on 15 June 2014 at Maracanã.
Team
Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Bosnia-Herzegovina 10 8 1 1 30 6 +24 25
 Greece 10 8 1 1 12 4 +8 25
 Slovakia 10 3 4 3 11 10 +1 13
 Lithuania 10 3 2 5 9 11 −2 11
 Latvia 10 2 2 6 10 20 −10 8
 Liechtenstein 10 0 2 8 4 25 −21 2

During the qualifying stage, Bosnia and Herzegovina managed by Safet Sušić, were drawn to face Greece, Slovakia (both of whom took part in 2010 FIFA World Cup), Lithuania, Latvia and Liechtenstein in Group G. The national side started the qualifiers with a 1–8 away victory over minnows Liechtenstein, recording the side's equal largest victory to date. The team continued the high goalscoring run, beating Latvia 4–1 and Lithuania 3–0, both at home. as well as holding out Greece to a 0–0 draw in Piraeus.[43] Due to an injury, Miralem Pjanić missed out on a crucial qualifier reverse leg against Greece on 22 March 2013 which Bosnians won 3–1 with Edin Džeko scoring twice.[44] This followed with a 5–0 win against Latvia in Riga.

Vedad Ibišević scored Bosnia's first ever FIFA World Cup goal in a 2–1 loss to Argentina.[45]

A 0–1 loss to Slovakia on 6 September 2013 at home in Zenica allowed Greece to come level on points, however Bosnia and Herzegovina maintained its advantage (goal difference) with a hard-fought 2–1 win over Slovakia in Žilina four days later. Izet Hajrović, in his only second cap, scored a stunning 25m-strike with his very first contact with the ball (after coming on as a sub) to win it for the Bosnians.[46] Bosnia and Herzegovina qualified for the World Cup for the first time in their history following a home 4–1 victory over Liechtenstein and a 1–0 away victory against Lithuania in Kaunas on 15 October 2013 with the lone strike coming courtesy of Vedad Ibišević.[47][48] The national team finished level on 25 points with Greece, but their superior goal difference earned the top spot and an automatic place in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.[49] Edin Džeko with ten goals and Vedad Ibišević with eight goals scored, made for one of the most lethal partnerships in front of opposition goal during the European qualification phase.

Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
 Argentina 3 3 0 0 6 3 +3 9
 Nigeria 3 1 1 1 3 3 0 4
 Bosnia-Herzegovina 3 1 0 2 4 4 0 3
 Iran 3 0 1 2 1 4 −3 1
15 June 2014
19:00 UTC−3
Argentina  2–1  Bosnia-Herzegovina
Kolašinac Goal 3' (o.g.)
Messi Goal 65'
Report Ibišević Goal 85'

21 June 2014
18:00 UTC−4
Nigeria  1–0  Bosnia-Herzegovina
Odemwingie Goal 29' Report
Arena Pantanal, Cuiabá
Attendance: 40,499
Referee: Peter O'Leary (New Zealand)

25 June 2014
13:00 UTC−3
Bosnia-Herzegovina  3–1  Iran
Džeko Goal 23'
Pjanić Goal 59'
Vršajević Goal 83'
Report Ghoochannejhad Goal 82'
Bosnia defending a corner during 2014 FIFA World Cup match vs Nigeria at Arena Pantanal.[51]

Drawn to face two time World Cup champions Argentina on 15 June 2014 at the famous Estádio do Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro for their first ever World Cup game, team also faced 2013 Africa Cup of Nations champions Nigeria, and Iran in Group F. Bosnia headed into the finals tournament with confidence boosting friendly wins over both Mexico and Ivory Coast[52] where they played with the lone centre forward in Edin Džeko and defensive midfielder in Muhamed Bešić, a 4-2-3-1 formation that Bosnia would take into World Cup due to concerns over the strength of opposition.[53]

Bosnia and Herzegovina conceded three minutes into their World Cup debut against Argentina with a Sead Kolašinac own goal. In the 65th minute, Messi increased the Argentine lead scoring from the edge of the penalty area before Vedad Ibišević scored Bosnia's first ever World Cup goal for a final result of 1–2.[54] On 21 June, at the Arena Pantanal in Cuiabá, Bosnia and Herzegovina played against Nigeria. Peter Odemwingie scored the only goal of the game, however during the first half Edin Džeko had a goal incorrectly disallowed for being offside by the assistant referee.[55][56] The call was wrong by more than two meters which sparked controversy outcries from the Bosnian fans, especially after the circulation of a photo catching the match referee Peter O'Leary celebrating with the Nigerian goalkeeper for the match Vincent Enyeama.[57][58] During the second half stoppage time Džeko was also unfortunate to have had his shot deflected onto the post by Nigerian goalkeeper.[59] On 9 November 2014, Peter O’Leary, the game referee speaking to New Zealand Herald newspaper admitted Džeko's goal was disallowed in error.[60]

On 25 June, Bosnia-Herzegovina recorded its first World Cup victory, beating Iran 3–1, with the goals scored by Edin Džeko, Miralem Pjanić and Avdija Vršajević. Due to Bosnia's early elimination from the tournament, coach Safet Sušić experimented with the starting XI for this game, returning to a two-man front line that featured throughout qualifiers, and giving young players (who took no part in qualifiers) World Cup game time with the likes of Anel Hadžić (3rd cap), Tino-Sven Sušić (4th cap), Sead Kolašinac (6th cap) and Muhamed Bešić (12th cap).

Bosnia finished the tournament in Group stage placed third, with three points from three matches played. Former Real Madrid and current[61] Iran national football team manager Carlos Queiroz hailed Bosnia as the best team of Group F.[62]

The decline post World Cup[edit]

Edin Džeko is the top goalscorer and current captain.[3][63]

Drawn from qualifying pot 1, only the third time one of former Yugoslav republics was seeded inside Pot 1 in the history of UEFA European Championship qualifying competition, after FR Yugoslavia (UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying) and Croatia (UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying), Bosnia will play against Belgium, Israel, Wales, Cyprus and Andorra.

Having lost key defender Sead Kolašinac long term to injury,[64] and both former captain Emir Spahić and Zvjezdan Misimović due to their international retirements,[65] Bosnia started the qualifiers significantly weakened with a shock 1–2 home loss to lowly Cyprus (ranked 121 places behind Bosnia in FIFA Ranking at the time).[nb 1] This followed with two draws, 0–0 with Wales in Cardiff, and 1–1 in Zenica vs Belgium. However further stricken by injuries to Edin Džeko and Vedad Ibišević,[67] and managers failure to call adequate replacements, Bosnia lost 0–3 to Israel in Haifa having played an international game without natural strikers, albeit with Emir Spahić who made his return from international retirement for this game. Bosnia played most of the second half with 10 men after Toni Šunjić was sent off in the 48th minute for bringing down Omer Damari.

On 17 November 2014, Safet Sušić was sacked as manager of Bosnia due to a run of poor results in UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying. [68][69][70]

On 13 December 2014,[71] Mehmed Baždarević was named coach of the Bosnia and Herzegovina national football team.[72][73][74] Among the shortlist candidates were Vahid Halilhodžić,[75][76][77] Igor Štimac,[78] Milovan Rajevac,[79] and Felix Magath.[80]


Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification Israel Wales Cyprus Belgium Bosnia and Herzegovina Andorra
1  Israel 3 3 0 0 9 2 +7 9 Advance to final tournament 28 Mar '15 10 Oct '15 31 Mar '15 3–0 3 Sep '15
2  Wales 4 2 2 0 4 2 +2 8 6 Sep '15 2–1 12 Jun '15 0–0 13 Oct '15
3  Cyprus 4 2 0 2 9 5 +4 6 Final tournament or play-offs 1–2 3 Sep '15 6 Sep '15 13 Oct '15 5–0
4  Belgium 3 1 2 0 7 1 +6 5 13 Oct '15 0–0 28 Mar '15 3 Sep '15 6–0
5  Bosnia-Herzegovina 4 0 2 2 2 6 −4 2 12 Jun '15 10 Oct '15 1–2 1–1 6 Sep '15
6  Andorra 4 0 0 4 2 17 −15 0 1–4 1–2 12 Jun '15 10 Oct '15 28 Mar '15
Updated to match(es) played on 16 November 2014. Source: UEFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers
9 September 2014
Bosnia-Herzegovina  1–2  Cyprus
Ibišević Goal 6' Report Christofi Goal 45'73'
Bilino Polje, Zenica
Attendance: 12,100
Referee: Yevhen Aranovskiy (Ukraine)

10 October 2014
Wales  0–0  Bosnia-Herzegovina
Report

13 October 2014
Bosnia-Herzegovina  1–1  Belgium
Džeko Goal 28' Report Nainggolan Goal 51'
Bilino Polje, Zenica
Attendance: 12,000
Referee: Luca Banti (Italy)

16 November 2014
Israel  3–0  Bosnia-Herzegovina
Vermouth Goal 36'
Damari Goal 45'
Zahavi Goal 70'
Report
Sammy Ofer Stadium, Haifa
Attendance: 32,000
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (Spain)

22 March 2015
Andorra  v  Bosnia-Herzegovina

12 June 2015
Bosnia-Herzegovina  v  Israel

3 September 2015
Belgium  v  Bosnia-Herzegovina

6 September 2015
Bosnia-Herzegovina  v  Andorra

10 October 2015
Bosnia-Herzegovina  v  Wales

13 October 2015
Cyprus  v  Bosnia-Herzegovina

Competitive record[edit]

FIFA World Cup[edit]

After Bosnia and Herzegovina gained independence from Yugoslavia on 1 March 1992, the national football team was soon formed but could not enter qualifying for 1994 World Cup as the national association was not yet a member of FIFA. During qualifiers for 1998 World Cup, Bosnia's first home match against Croatia was played at Bologna.[81] The match was held at the neutral venue due to the renovation of the Asim Ferhatović Hase Stadium.

The team finished in third place during 2006 World Cup qualifying, recording two draws with Spain along the way. During qualifiers for 2010 World Cup Bosnia reached its first ever playoffs for a major tournament, though eventually losing to Portugal 2–0 on aggregate.

The 2014 World Cup is the first time Bosnia has appeared at a major tournament as an independent nation, having qualified as winners of UEFA Group G.

FIFA World Cup record FIFA World Cup Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad Pld W D L GF GA Position
19301994 Part of  Yugoslavia
France 1998 Did not qualify 8 3 0 5 9 14 4/5
South KoreaJapan 2002 8 2 2 4 12 12 4/5
Germany 2006 10 4 4 2 12 9 3/6
South Africa 2010 12 6 1 5 25 15 2/6 Lost Playoff
Brazil 2014 Group stage 20th 3 1 0 2 4 4 Squad 10 8 1 1 30 6 1/6
Russia 2018 To be determined
Qatar 2022
Total Group stage 1/20 3 1 0 2 4 4 - 48 23 8 17 88 56 -

European Championship[edit]

UEFA European Championship record UEFA Euro Championship Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA Position
1960 to 1992 Part of  Yugoslavia
England 1996 Did not enter - - - - - - -
Belgium Netherlands 2000 Did not qualify 10 3 2 5 14 17 3/6
Portugal 2004 8 4 1 3 7 8 4/5
Austria Switzerland 2008 12 4 1 7 16 22 4/7
Poland Ukraine 2012 12 6 3 3 19 14 2/6 Lost Playoff
France 2016 To be determined 4 0 2 2 2 6
Total 0/14 46 17 9 20 58 67 -

Euro 1996 – Could Not Enter as the national team was not yet a member of UEFA.

Minor tournaments[edit]

Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA
Malaysia 1997 Dunhill Cup Malaysia Runners-up 2 5 3 1 1 9 5
India 2001 Millennium Soccer Cup Runners-up 2 5 3 1 1 7 5
Malaysia 2001 Merdeka Tournament Runners-up 2 5 3 1 1 7 4
Iran 2001 LG Cup Runners-up 2 2 1 0 1 4 6
United States 2011 Green Soccer Bowl The event was cancelled
United States 2014 Road to Brazil Won 1/1 N/A 1 1 0 0 2 1
Total - 0 Titles 18 11 3 4 29 21

Husnija Arapović was the caretaker manager of the B team (reserve players) taking part in some of the above minor tournaments.[82]

Recent results and forthcoming fixtures[edit]

2014[edit]

Date Competition Venue Home Team Result Away Team Scorers
5 March 2014
Friendly
Tivoli-Neu, Innsbruck
 Bosnia-Herzegovina
0 – 2
 Egypt
22 May 2014
Humanitarian [nb 2]
Friendly
Banja Ilidža, Gradačac
 Bosnia-Herzegovina
5 – 0
Bosnia-Herz. U21
Salihović Goal 32',
Ibišević Goal 43', Goal 67'
Višća Goal 53', Goal 86'
30 May 2014
2014 Road to Brazil
Friendly
Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis
 Bosnia-Herzegovina
2 – 1
 Ivory Coast
Džeko Goal 17',Goal 53'
3 June 2014
Friendly
Soldier Field, Chicago
 Mexico
0 – 1
 Bosnia-Herzegovina
Hajrović Goal 42'
9 June 2014
Friendly
Antônio Fernandes, Guarujá
Santos U21
1 – 5
 Bosnia-Herzegovina
Hajrović Goal 34',
Ibišević Goal 41', Goal 45'
Lulić Goal 62', Višća Goal 78'
15 June 2014
2014 FIFA World Cup
Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro
 Argentina
2 – 1
 Bosnia-Herzegovina
Ibišević Goal 84'
21 June 2014
2014 FIFA World Cup
Arena Pantanal, Cuiabá,
 Nigeria
1 – 0
 Bosnia-Herzegovina
25 June 2014
2014 FIFA World Cup
Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador
 Bosnia-Herzegovina
3 – 1
 Iran
Džeko Goal 23', Pjanić Goal 59', Vršajević Goal 83',
4 September 2014
Friendly
Stadion Tušanj, Tuzla
 Bosnia-Herzegovina
3 – 0
 Liechtenstein
Ibišević Goal 1'14'
Džeko Goal 24'
9 September 2014
UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
Bilino Polje, Zenica
 Bosnia-Herzegovina
1 – 2
 Cyprus
Ibišević Goal 6'
10 October 2014
UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
 Wales
0 – 0
 Bosnia-Herzegovina
13 October 2014
UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
Bilino Polje, Zenica
 Bosnia-Herzegovina
1 – 1
 Belgium
Džeko Goal 28'
16 November 2014
UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
Sammy Ofer Stadium, Haifa
 Israel
3 – 0
 Bosnia-Herzegovina

2015[edit]

Date Competition Venue Home Team Result Away Team Scorers
28 March 2015
UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
Estadi Nacional, Andorra la Vella
 Andorra  Bosnia-Herzegovina
31 March 2015
Friendly
N/A, Vienna
 Austria  Bosnia-Herzegovina
12 June 2015
UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
Bilino Polje, Zenica
 Bosnia-Herzegovina  Israel
3 September 2015
UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels
 Belgium  Bosnia-Herzegovina
6 September 2015
UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
Bilino Polje, Zenica
 Bosnia-Herzegovina  Andorra
10 October 2015
UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
Bilino Polje, Zenica
 Bosnia-Herzegovina  Wales
13 October 2015
UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
GSP Stadium, Nicosia
 Cyprus  Bosnia-Herzegovina

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following players were called for the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifiers against Israel on 14 November 2014.
Caps and goals correct as of 16 November 2014 after the game against Israel.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Asmir Begović (vice-captain) (1987-06-20) 20 June 1987 (age 27) 38 0 England Stoke City
12 1GK Jasmin Fejzić (1986-05-15) 15 May 1986 (age 28) 1 0 Germany Aalen
22 1GK Ratko Dujković (1983-03-16) 16 March 1983 (age 31) 0 0 Bosnia and Herzegovina Zrinjski
3 2DF Ermin Bičakčić (1990-01-24) 24 January 1990 (age 24) 10 1 Germany 1899 Hoffenheim
4 2DF Emir Spahić (1980-09-18) 18 September 1980 (age 34) 78 3 Germany Bayer Leverkusen
6 2DF Ognjen Vranješ (1989-10-24) 24 October 1989 (age 25) 15 0 Unattached
13 2DF Mensur Mujdža (1984-03-28) 28 March 1984 (age 30) 30 0 Germany Freiburg
15 2DF Toni Šunjić (1988-12-15) 15 December 1988 (age 26) 14 0 Russia Kuban Krasnodar
5 3MF Zoran Kvržić (1988-08-07) 7 August 1988 (age 26) 3 0 Croatia Rijeka
7 3MF Muhamed Bešić (1992-09-10) 10 September 1992 (age 22) 17 0 England Everton
8 3MF Haris Medunjanin (1985-03-08) 8 March 1985 (age 29) 42 5 Spain Deportivo La Coruña
10 3MF Miralem Pjanić (1990-04-02) 2 April 1990 (age 24) 56 9 Italy Roma
16 3MF Senad Lulić (1986-01-18) 18 January 1986 (age 28) 39 1 Italy Lazio
17 3MF Gojko Cimirot (1992-12-19) 19 December 1992 (age 22) 2 0 Bosnia and Herzegovina Sarajevo
18 3MF Sanjin Prcić (1993-11-20) 20 November 1993 (age 21) 3 0 France Rennes
19 3MF Edin Višća (1990-02-17) 17 February 1990 (age 24) 15 0 Turkey İstanbul Başakşehir
20 3MF Izet Hajrović (1991-08-04) 4 August 1991 (age 23) 13 2 Germany Werder Bremen
21 3MF Anel Hadžić (1989-08-16) 16 August 1989 (age 25) 6 0 Austria Sturm Graz
23 3MF Goran Zakarić (1992-11-07) 7 November 1992 (age 22) 1 0 Bosnia and Herzegovina Široki Brijeg

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following players have been called up for the team within the last twelve months:

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Asmir Avdukić (1981-05-13) 13 May 1981 (age 33) 3 0 Bosnia and Herzegovina Borac Banja Luka 2014 FIFA World Cup
GK Dejan Bandović (1983-06-11) 11 June 1983 (age 31) 0 0 Bosnia and Herzegovina Sarajevo 2014 FIFA World Cup provisional squad
DF Avdija Vršajević (1986-03-06) 6 March 1986 (age 28) 15 1 Croatia Hajduk Split v.  Israel, 14 November 2014 WD
DF Josip Kvesić Injured (1990-09-21) 21 September 1990 (age 24) 0 0 Bosnia and Herzegovina Željezničar v.  Belgium, 13 October 2014
DF Sead Kolašinac Injured (1993-06-20) 20 June 1993 (age 21) 6 0 Germany Schalke 04 v.  Cyprus, 9 September 2014 WD
DF Ervin Zukanović (1987-02-11) 11 February 1987 (age 27) 6 0 Italy Chievo 2014 FIFA World Cup provisional squad
MF Tino-Sven Sušić (1992-02-13) 13 February 1992 (age 22) 7 0 Croatia Hajduk Split v.  Israel, 14 November 2014 WD
MF Sejad Salihović (1984-10-08) 8 October 1984 (age 30) 45 4 Germany 1899 Hoffenheim v.  Belgium, 13 October 2014 WD
MF Adnan Zahirović (1990-03-23) 23 March 1990 (age 24) 20 0 Germany Bochum 2014 FIFA World Cup provisional squad
MF Miroslav Stevanović (1990-07-29) 29 July 1990 (age 24) 10 1 Unattached 2014 FIFA World Cup provisional squad
MF Srđan Stanić (1989-07-06) 6 July 1989 (age 25) 0 0 Bosnia and Herzegovina Željezničar 2014 FIFA World Cup provisional squad
FW Edin Džeko Injured (captain) (1986-03-17) 17 March 1986 (age 28) 69 38 England Manchester City v.  Israel, 14 November 2014 WD
FW Vedad Ibišević Injured (1984-08-06) 6 August 1984 (age 30) 62 24 Germany Stuttgart v.  Belgium, 13 October 2014
FW Ermin Zec (1988-02-18) 18 February 1988 (age 26) 9 1 Unattached 2014 FIFA World Cup provisional squad
  • Injured Injured or recovering from surgery

Previous squads[edit]

Statistics[edit]

The below table does not include any minor tournaments data.
Table correct as of 14 November 2014.

Captains[edit]

Emir Spahić captained Bosnia at their first ever FIFA World Cup tournament.[85]

This is a list of Bosnia-Herzegovina captains for five or more official and friendly matches.

Note: Some of the other players to have captained the team include: Mehmed Baždarević (2) 1996, Vlatko Glavaš (1) 1997, Suvad Katana (2) 1998, Bruno Akrapović (4) 1999 to 2003, Hasan Salihamidžić (1) 2004, Zlatan Bajramović (1) 2006, Džemal Berberović (1) 2007, Asmir Begović (1) 2014.

Player Period Games as captain (Total caps) Major tournaments as captain (Games)
Muhamed Konjić 1995–2002 20 (38)
Meho Kodro 1997–1998 5 (13)
Elvir Bolić 1999–2000 6 (51)
Mirsad Hibić 2001–2003 14 (35)
Sergej Barbarez 2004–2006 20 (48)
Zvjezdan Misimović 2007–2012 16 (83)
Emir Spahić 2009–2014 55 (77) 2014 FIFA World Cup (3)
Edin Džeko 2014– 6 (69)

Coaching staff[edit]

Mehmed Baždarević is the current manager of Bosnia & Herzegovina
Position Name
Manager Bosnia and Herzegovina Mehmed Baždarević
Assistant Manager Bosnia and Herzegovina TBD
Goalkeeper Coach Bosnia and Herzegovina TBD
Doctor Bosnia and Herzegovina Reuf Karabeg
Kinesiotherapy Bosnia and Herzegovina Ismar Hadžibajrić
Kinesiotherapy Bosnia and Herzegovina Radomir Ćosović
Managing Director Bosnia and Herzegovina Fuad Kečo
Managing Director Bosnia and Herzegovina Adem Đipa
Secretary Bosnia and Herzegovina Elmir Pilav

Former managers[edit]

Name First game Last game Played Won Drawn Lost GF GA GD Win % Achievements
Bosnia and Herzegovina Muzurović, FuadFuad Muzurović 30 November 1995 5 November 1997 18 7 2 9 21 25 -4 38.88%
Bosnia and Herzegovina Mušović, DžemaludinDžemaludin Mušović 14 May 1998 27 January 1999 7 1 2 4 7 16 -9 14.28%
Bosnia and Herzegovina Hadžibegić, FarukFaruk Hadžibegić 10 March 1999 9 October 1999 7 2 2 3 10 10 0 28.57%
Bosnia and Herzegovina Kalajdžić, AvdoAvdo Kalajdžić (caretaker) 18 August 1999 18 August 1999 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 00.00%
Bosnia and Herzegovina Smajlović, MišoMišo Smajlović 24 January 2000 7 October 2001 14 5 4 5 20 17 +3 35.71%
Bosnia and Herzegovina Slišković, BlažBlaž Slišković 27 March 2002 11 October 2006 37 11 11 15 44 56 -12 29.73%
Bosnia and Herzegovina Muzurović, FuadFuad Muzurović 24 March 2007 21 November 2007 9 3 0 6 11 16 -5 33.33%
Bosnia and Herzegovina Kodro, MehoMeho Kodro 30 January 2008 26 March 2008 2 0 1 1 2 5 -3 00.00%
Bosnia and Herzegovina Pirić, DenijalDenijal Pirić (caretaker) 1 June 2008 1 June 2008 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100.0%
Croatia Blažević, MiroslavMiroslav Blažević 20 August 2008 18 November 2009 17 8 2 7 34 24 +10 47.05%
Bosnia and Herzegovina Sušić, SafetSafet Sušić 3 March 2010 16 November 2014 50 23 9 18 83 60 +23 46.00% 2014 FIFA World Cup Group stage
Bosnia and Herzegovina Baždarević, MehmedMehmed Baždarević 28 March 2015
Totals 163 61 34 68 233 229 +4

Table does not include results of minor tournaments (reserve players) managed by Husnija Arapović.

Home stadiums[edit]

Bilino Polje is the home football stadium of NK Čelik from the city of Zenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina and one of two main stadiums of the national football team of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The stadium was built and opened in 1972. It was used in Bosnia and Herzegovina's first match, a friendly played against Albania in 1995 with the final result being a 0–0 draw. The stadium is considered a "curse" for foreign national teams, because the Bosnian national team usually wins or rarely loses their home games at Bilino Polje stadium. In a period stretching from 1995 to October 2006, Bosnia went undefeated at home in around 15 games played in Zenica. The city of Zenica had to wait another five years (1995–2000) before the next match of the national team was played at the stadium. This match was also a friendly, this time against Macedonia, with the final result being a victory for the home side 1–0. The Bosnian national team never lost on this field until the Euro 2008 qualifier against Hungary. During 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Bosnia and Herzegovina national team played all their First round home matches at this stadium, losing only once, to current European and soon to be World Champion; Spain.

On 10 August 2012, the Bosnian Federation and the local government of City of Zenica financed the replacement of the old grass surface at the Bilino Polje Stadium after numerous complaints from visiting teams about its quality.[86][87][88][89][90][91]

Asim Ferhatović Hase Stadium is a stadium owned by the city of Sarajevo. It is also known as Koševo Stadium and formerly Olympic Stadium. The capacity is 34,630. Koševo Stadium is located in the Koševo neighborhood of Sarajevo and it is used mostly by FK Sarajevo. The stadium was opened in 1947. In 1984, it was reconstructed for the 1984 Winter Olympics, and is therefore often called Olympic Stadium. Now, it is officially called "Asim Ferhatović – Hase" since July 2004, after Asim Ferhatović, the FK Sarajevo player who retired in 1967. Attendance for concerts at the stadium can be 80,000 places, such as for U2's PopMart Tour in 1997 and Dino Merlin's Burek tour in 2004. It is the secondary home stadium of the national football side of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Team image[edit]

Nickname[edit]

A popular nickname of all Bosnian sport players is the Zmajevi or Dragons in English alluding to the famous Bosnian general Husein Gradaščević who fought for Bosnian independence and who was known as the "Dragon of Bosnia".[92] In foreign media, they are sometimes referred to as the Golden Lilies, in reference to the Fleur-de-lis featured on the coat of arms of the influential Bosnian medieval Kotromanić dynasty.[93]

Historical kits[edit]

The team kit is currently produced German sports apparel company Adidas. Also sponsoring the team are BH Telecom and Elektroprivreda Bosne i Hercegovine, companies from Sarajevo.[94][95]

(1996–1999)
Home Away
Patrick
(2005–2010)
Home Away
Legea
(2010–2012)
Home Away
Legea


(2012–2013)
Home Away
Legea
(2013–2014)
Home Away
Legea
(2014–present)
Home Away
Adidas


The table below shows the history of kit manufacturers for the national football team of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Period Kit Provider
1996–1999 Belgium Patrick[96]
1999–2000 Germany Adidas[96]
2000–2005 Germany Reusch[96]
2005–2014 Italy Legea[96]
2014–present Germany Adidas[97]

Supporters[edit]

Bosnian fans supporting the national team.[98]

Large number of national team's supporters come from Northern and Western Europe, North America, and some as far away as Australia.[99] Most of these fans are members of BHFanaticos, Belaj Boys, BHLegion, Armija Zmajeva (Dragons Army) and Ljuti Krajišnici groups.[100][101][102]

In the game Norway v Bosnia and Herzegovina, at the Ullevål Stadium in Oslo on 24 March 2007, Bosnian fans caused an hour long delay due to an unprecedented amount of flares that had been thrown onto the pitch in protest against corruption in the (now former) Football Federation of Bosnia.[103] On 1 June 2008, former Bosnia and Herzegovina players Meho Kodro and Elvir Bolić organised a friendly humanitarian game in Sarajevo called "Kodro, Bola and Friends" between former Bosnian football legends, in order to gain support, to say its time for changes in the Bosnian Football Association.[104] The game was organised to commence at the same time as Bosnia and Herzegovina national side faced Azerbaijan in a friendly in Zenica. The attendance in Sarajevo was 15,000 while in Zenica only about 50.[105] The game in Sarajevo was organised by the Federal TV who broadcast the humanitarian game live. A significant number of Bosnian International players were involved in the game,[106] which ended 11–9 in favour of Team Kodro.[107]

Before every game, during the playing of theBosnian national anthem, BH Fanaticos sing lyrics from the old national anthem Jedna si jedina as the current national anthem does not have lyrics in all international sports Bosnia is part of (mainly football, basketball and handball). They are supported since most of the Bosnian population still recognize this anthem as the genuine one.[108][109]

Head-to-Head records against other countries[edit]

Tables correct as of 17 November 2014.

The table lists opponents played, sorted by members of FIFA affiliated confederations.

Bosnia-Herzegovina's all-time record sorted by FIFA Confederations, 1995–present

Opponent Games Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Differential First games Last games
UEFA 133 52 30 51 197 176 +21 30.11.1995 16.11.2014
AFC 24 9 6 9 32 36 −4 22.02.1997 25.06.2014
CAF 8 4 1 3 12 11 +1 05.11.1997 21.06.2014
CONMEBOL 7 2 0 5 6 14 -8 14.05.1998 15.06.2014
CONCACAF 4 1 0 3 5 8 −3 09.02.2011 03.06.2014
OFC 0 0 0 0 0 0 =0 x x
68 Countries 176 69 37 70 252 243 +9 30.11.1995 16.11.2014

World XI result not counted in this table.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ August 2014 FIFA World Rankings.[66]
  2. ^ Money raised from the match will go to help the victims of 2014 Bosnia and Herzegovina floods.[83][84]

References[edit]

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