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 Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina (N/FSBiH)
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Mehmed Baždarević
Captain Edin Džeko
Most caps Emir Spahić (87)
Top scorer Edin Džeko (45)
Home stadium Bilino Polje
FIFA code BIH
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 21 Increase 1 (4 February 2016)
Highest 13 (August 2013)
Lowest 173 (September 1996)
First international

Non-FIFA international
 Iran 1–3 Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina
(Tehran, Iran; 12 September 1993)[1][2][3]

FIFA international
 Albania 2–0 Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina
(Tirana, Albania; 30 November 1995)[4]
World Cup
Appearances 1 (First in 2014)
Best result Group Stage, 2014

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

Bosnia and Herzegovina achieved their best result when they reached the 2014 FIFA World Cup as winners of their qualifying group.[5][6] They were eliminated after group stage narrow losses to Argentina and Nigeria and a win over Iran; finishing twentieth overall. The team has appeared in numerous other qualification play-offs, in 2010 FIFA World Cup play-offs loss to Portugal, as well as qualifying play-offs for UEFA Euro 2012 and UEFA Euro 2016, losing to Portugal and Republic of Ireland respectively, preventing the team to reach their first UEFA European Championship.[7][8][9][10]

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.[11][12]

History[edit]

Pre-independence (1903–1992)[edit]

Sarajevan Josip Katalinski celebrates a Yugoslav goal scored by teammate Branko Oblak against Zaire at the 1974 FIFA World Cup.[13]

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 began to 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] with approximately 20 more outside the capital.

Yugoslavia squad at the UEFA Euro 1968 with players from SR Bosnia-Herzegovina; Mirsad Fazlagić (first standing), Vahidin Musemić (second) and Ivica Osim (fifth).[19]

The creation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia after 1918 brought an increase in the number of leagues, with a national championship being played since 1923. Until 1940 it featured three teams from Bosnia and Herzegovina: Sarajevo clubs SAŠK and Slavija and Krajišnik from Banja Luka. In 1920, the direct predecessor of the football organization of Bosnia-Herzegovina was founded as the Sarajevo football subassociation. The unified championship ran until the 1939–40 season, followed by the start of the Second World War.

The Football Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina was founded after the Second World War, being affiliated to the Yugoslav Football Association, then part of the newly founded SFR Yugoslavia.

Bosnia and Herzegovina's best sides at the time were Sarajevo, Željezničar (Sarajevo) and Velež (Mostar) which regularly played in the Yugoslav First League, second league and cup competitions with moderate success, while its best players with the likes of Safet Sušić, Vahid Halilhodžić, Faruk Hadžibegić, Ivica Osim, Blaž Slišković, Mehmed Baždarević, Dušan Bajević; who notably scored a hat-trick at 1974 FIFA World Cup, Josip Katalinski, Asim Ferhatović, and others were chosen to represent the Yugoslavia national football team.[20]

After the completion of UEFA Euro 1968, two players from SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mirsad Fazlagić and Ivica Osim, were chosen in the UEFA Team of the Tournament whilst representing the Yugoslav national team that ended up reaching the final of the tournament.

Origins and post-war years (1992–2002)[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.[21] Blaž Slišković was the captain of this Bosnia and Herzegovina national side.[22][23] 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.[4][24] However the result was never registered as Bosnia and Herzegovina was not yet a member of FIFA.

"Congratulations on your victory. This is your way of fighting. This is the best way to present your young state to the world."

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, President of Iran on Bosnia and Herzegovina 3–1 friendly win over Iran on June 06, 1993.[4]

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.[25] Haris Škoro scored a brace for Bosnia and Herzegovina at the game which finished 2–2.[26]

In October 1996, Hasan Salihamidžić scored Bosnia-Herzegovina's first ever goal.[27]

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.[4][28] 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.[29] The national team's first international victory as a FIFA member came against 1994 FIFA World Cup runners-up Italy on 6 November 1996.[30][31][32] The former Yugoslav country was ranked 170, while Italy were fifth at the time (a gap of 165 spots).[33]

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.[34] Bosnia and Herzegovina finished the group in fourth position, having beaten Slovenia twice, and beating Denmark 3–0 at home. Fuad Muzurović led the team at its first qualifying campaign.[35]

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 Bosnian and Herzegovinian orphans against FIFA's World Stars XI in front of 25,000 people at the Koševo Stadium in Sarajevo.[36] 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 Bosnians and Herzegovinians 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.

Qualification near misses[edit]

Bosnia-Herzegovina squad in March 2002 under manager Blaž Slišković.

Despite poor start, Bosnia had a chance to top their Euro 2004 qualifying group with a victory on the last match-day. Blaž Slišković’s men started the qualifying campaign with two losses, home to Romania and away to Norway in Oslo. 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 Bosnians and Herzegovinians, 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 victory over Luxembourg. Bosnia and Herzegovina climbed to third on the table with 12 points, and had a chance to top the group with a win over Denmark in Sarajevo. However, the game finished in a heartbreaking 1–1 home draw for the home side who had to settle for a fourth-place finish instead.[37]

In the World Cup 2006 qualifying round, the Bosnians and Herzegovinians played Spain, drawing twice, Belgium (one win, one loss), Serbia and Montenegro (one draw, one loss), San Marino (two wins), but spilled crucial points at home against Lithuania playing only 1–1 (having won away). 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.[38] 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.

Fraud allegations and reorganisation[edit]

Emir Spahić is Bosnia's most capped player. He captained his nation at 2014 FIFA World Cup.[39]

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 Herzegovina Football Association officials at the time – Milan Jelić, Iljo Dominković, Sulejman Čolaković, and Ahmet Pašalić – to resign.[40]

Edin Džeko, Vedad Ibišević, Sejad Salihović, Senijad Ibričić and Boris Pandža 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.[41]

2010 FIFA World Cup – play-offs[edit]

Bosnia and Herzegovina football association 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.[7] 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. Haris Medunjanin, Miralem Pjanić and Asmir Begović made their first appearances for the national side during these qualifiers.

14 November 2009
Portugal  1–0  Bosnia and Herzegovina

18 November 2009
Bosnia and Herzegovina  0–1  Portugal

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

Safet Sušić period (2010–2014)[edit]

Suspension[edit]

Due to fraud allegations, FIFA and UEFA reacted in suspending Bosnia-Hercegovina from international and European football on April 1, 2011 after the country's federation failed to adopt statutes that would lead to a single-member presidency. The ban was lifted two months later and qualifiers resumed without point penalty.

UEFA Euro 2012 – play-offs[edit]

Edin Džeko is the top goalscorer and current captain.[42][43]

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 Bosnians and Herzegovinians 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 eighth-ranked team in the world at the time, for the second play-off in a row.[8][44] 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 Herzegovina 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.[45][46]

11 November 2011
Bosnia and Herzegovina  0–0  Portugal

15 November 2011
Portugal  6–2  Bosnia and Herzegovina

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

2014 FIFA World Cup – first major tournament[edit]

Vedad Ibišević scored Bosnia's first ever FIFA World Cup goal in a 2–1 loss to Argentina.[47]

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.[48] 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.[49] This followed with a 5–0 win against Latvia in Riga.

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 only his 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.[50] 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.[51][52] 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.[53] 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.

Bosnia headed into the finals tournament with confidence boosting friendly wins over both Mexico and Ivory Coast[54] 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.[55]

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.

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 and Herzegovina 3 1 0 2 4 4 0 3
 Iran 3 0 1 2 1 4 −3 1
Bosnia players ahead of FIFA World Cup match vs Argentina on 15 June 2014 at Maracanã.

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.[56] 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.[57][58] 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.[59][60] During the second half stoppage time Džeko was also unfortunate to have had his close range shot deflected onto the post by Nigerian goalkeeper.[61] On 9 November 2014, Peter O’Leary, the game referee speaking to New Zealand Herald newspaper admitted Džeko's goal was disallowed in error.[62]

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.[63]

Sušić departs[edit]

Bosnia were drawn to face Belgium, Israel, Wales, Cyprus and Andorra in UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying Group B.

Bosnia started the qualifiers 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. With both Edin Džeko and Vedad Ibišević out of their next game due to injuries, Bosnia were defeated by Israel in Haifa 0–3.[65]

On 17 November 2014, Safet Sušić was sacked as manager of Bosnia due to a run of poor results, collecting just two points from four matches, in UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying.[66][67][68] Bosnia was 7 points behind first placed Israel, who also played one game less.

Revival under Baždarević (2015– )[edit]

UEFA Euro 2016 – play-offs[edit]

BiH squad in March 2015 vs Austria. Manager: Mehmed Baždarević
Top left to right: Zukanović, Bičakčić, Hadžić, Spahić, Džeko, Begović.
Bottom left to right: Medunjanin, Pjanić, Vršajević, Hajrović, Mujdža.

On 13 December 2014,[69] Mehmed Baždarević was named the new manager of the Bosnia and Herzegovina national football team,[70][71][72] and on 28 March 2015, debuted with a 3–0 victory over Andorra.[73] Bosnia then continued its' revival under Bazdarevic and beat Israel 3–1 in Zenica, with Edin Višća scoring his first goals for the national team.[74] Bosnia lost their next game 3–1 to Belgium.[75] This was followed by a routine 3–0 victory over Andorra, placing the Bosnians back within reach of the 3rd place playoff spot.[76] Bosnia's next match in Zenica was against Wales, who were sitting atop the qualifying group. Bosnia was without key players Džeko, Bešić, and Kolašinac for the final two group stage matches. Bosnia and Herzegovina secured a playoff spot with victories over both Wales, 2–0 in Zenica, and Cyprus, 3–2 in Nicosia where Milan Đurić scored the decisive winner.[77][78]

Bosnia were the highest seeded team coming into play-offs and drew to face Republic of Ireland, who finished behind Germany and Poland and ahead of Scotland in their qualifying group. Ireland's Walters and O'Shea were suspended for the first leg, as was Bešić for Bosnia, with Given and Long also ruled out injured for the Irish while Bosnia was near full strength. The Bosnians could not make the home advantage count as the fog-affected[79] first leg finished in 1–1 draw. Regular starters Šunjić and Mujdža could not take part in second leg for Bosnia-Herzegovina due to injuries sustained in the first leg. Jonathan Walters back for Ireland for the return leg, struck twice from set play in a packed Aviva Stadium, taking his side to UEFA Euro 2016 with a 3–1 aggregate win. Ibišević failed to reduce the deficit in injury time as his volley shot hit the crossbar.[80][81] Bosnia and Herzegovina along the Netherlands and Greece were the only nations from Pot 1 not to qualify for the finals. All three took part at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

13 November 2015 (2015-11-13)
Bosnia and Herzegovina  1–1  Republic of Ireland

16 November 2015 (2015-11-16)
Republic of Ireland  2–0  Bosnia and Herzegovina

Republic of Ireland won 3–1 on aggregate and qualified for UEFA Euro 2016.

2018 FIFA World Cup – qualification[edit]

On 9 November 2015, Bosnian FA extended the contract with Baždarević till after 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier campaign.[82] Bosnia-Herzegovina was drawn to face Belgium, Greece, Estonia and Cyprus during the qualifying stage and will also play two friendly matches against the host nation Russia.[83] These friendlies do not count in the qualifying group standings.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Belgium 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Qualification to 2018 FIFA World Cup 7 Oct '16 25 Mar '17 13 Nov '16 10 Oct '17
1  Bosnia and Herzegovina 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Possible second round[a] 7 Oct '17 9 Jun '17 6 Sep '16 10 Oct '16
1  Greece 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 Sep '17 13 Nov '16 31 Aug '17 7 Oct '16
1  Estonia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 Jun '17 10 Oct '17 10 Oct '16 3 Sep '17
1  Cyprus 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 Sep '16 31 Aug '17 7 Oct '17 25 Mar '17
First match(es) will be played on 6 September 2016. Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers
Notes:
  1. ^ The eight best runners-up across all groups will advance to the second round (play-offs). The ninth-ranked runners-up will be eliminated.

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following players were called up for the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying play-offs matches against Republic of Ireland on 13 and 16 November 2015.
Caps and goals correct as of 16 November 2015 after the game against Republic of Ireland.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Asmir Begović (vice-captain) (1987-06-20) 20 June 1987 (age 28) 47 0 England Chelsea
12 1GK Ibrahim Šehić (1988-09-02) 2 September 1988 (age 27) 3 0 Azerbaijan Qarabağ
22 1GK Jasmin Burić (1987-02-18) 18 February 1987 (age 28) 1 0 Poland Lech Poznań
2 2DF Edin Cocalić (1987-12-05) 5 December 1987 (age 28) 4 0 Belgium Mechelen
3 2DF Ermin Bičakčić (1990-01-24) 24 January 1990 (age 26) 14 2 Germany Hoffenheim
4 2DF Emir Spahić (1980-08-18) 18 August 1980 (age 35) 87 3 Germany HSV
5 2DF Sead Kolašinac (1993-06-20) 20 June 1993 (age 22) 10 0 Germany Schalke 04
6 2DF Ognjen Vranješ (1989-10-24) 24 October 1989 (age 26) 21 0 Spain Sporting Gijón
15 2DF Toni Šunjić (1988-12-15) 15 December 1988 (age 27) 20 0 Germany Stuttgart
17 2DF Ervin Zukanović (1987-02-11) 11 February 1987 (age 28) 12 0 Italy Roma
7 3MF Muhamed Bešić (1992-09-10) 10 September 1992 (age 23) 23 0 England Everton
8 3MF Haris Medunjanin (1985-03-08) 8 March 1985 (age 30) 48 7 Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv
10 3MF Miralem Pjanić (1990-04-02) 2 April 1990 (age 25) 65 9 Italy Roma
14 3MF Tino-Sven Sušić (1992-02-13) 13 February 1992 (age 23) 8 0 Croatia Hajduk Split
16 3MF Senad Lulić (1986-01-18) 18 January 1986 (age 30) 47 2 Italy Lazio
19 3MF Edin Višća (1990-02-17) 17 February 1990 (age 25) 22 2 Turkey İstanbul Başakşehir
20 3MF Izet Hajrović (1991-08-04) 4 August 1991 (age 24) 17 3 Spain Eibar
21 3MF Anel Hadžić (1989-08-16) 16 August 1989 (age 26) 10 0 Turkey Eskişehirspor
23 3MF Sejad Salihović (1984-10-08) 8 October 1984 (age 31) 47 4 China Beijing Renhe
9 4FW Vedad Ibišević (1984-08-06) 6 August 1984 (age 31) 71 25 Germany Hertha BSC
11 4FW Edin Džeko (captain) (1986-03-17) 17 March 1986 (age 29) 76 45 Italy Roma
13 4FW Armin Hodžić (1994-11-17) 17 November 1994 (age 21) 0 0 Croatia Dinamo Zagreb
18 4FW Milan Đurić (1990-05-22) 22 May 1990 (age 25) 6 2 Italy Cesena

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 Ratko Dujković (1983-03-16) 16 March 1983 (age 32) 0 0 Iran Saipa v.  Israel, 12 June 2015
DF Mensur Mujdža (1984-03-28) 28 March 1984 (age 31) 37 0 Germany Freiburg v.  Republic of Ireland, 16 November 2015 INJ
DF Marin Aničić (1989-08-17) 17 August 1989 (age 26) 0 0 Kazakhstan Astana v.  Republic of Ireland, 13 November 2015 INJ
DF Josip Kvesić (1990-09-21) 21 September 1990 (age 25) 0 0 Turkey Karşıyaka v.  Andorra, 6 September 2015 PRE
DF Avdija Vršajević (1986-03-06) 6 March 1986 (age 29) 16 1 Turkey Osmanlıspor v.  Israel, 12 June 2015
MF Srđan Grahovac (1992-09-19) 19 September 1992 (age 23) 0 0 Austria Rapid Wien v.  Republic of Ireland, 16 November 2015 PRE
MF Rade Krunić (1993-10-07) 7 October 1993 (age 22) 0 0 Italy Empoli v.  Republic of Ireland, 13 November 2015 PRE
MF Semir Štilić (1987-10-08) 8 October 1987 (age 28) 7 0 Cyprus APOEL v.  Cyprus, 13 October 2015
MF Stojan Vranješ (1986-10-11) 11 October 1986 (age 29) 3 0 Poland Legia Warsaw v.  Cyprus, 13 October 2015
MF Mario Vrančić (1989-05-23) 23 May 1989 (age 26) 1 0 Germany Darmstadt v.  Andorra, 6 September 2015
MF Gojko Cimirot (1992-12-19) 19 December 1992 (age 23) 2 0 Greece PAOK v.  Belgium, 3 September 2015 INJ
MF Sanjin Prcić (1993-11-20) 20 November 1993 (age 22) 4 0 Italy Perugia v.  Austria, 31 March 2015
FW Ermin Zec (1988-02-18) 18 February 1988 (age 27) 10 1 Azerbaijan Gabala v.  Republic of Ireland, 13 November 2015 INJ
FW Riad Bajić (1994-05-06) 6 May 1994 (age 21) 0 0 Turkey Konyaspor v.  Wales, 10 October 2015 PRE
  • INJ Withdrawn due to injury.
  • PRE Preliminary squad.
  • WD Withdrew.

Previous squads[edit]

Recent results and forthcoming fixtures[edit]

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.[84] 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 Competed as Bosnia and Herzegovina Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Did not qualify
8 3 0 5 9 14 4/5
South KoreaJapan 2002 Did not qualify 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 12 5 3 4 18 15 3/6 Lost Playoff
Total 0/6 54 22 10 22 74 76 -

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
Japan 2008 Kirin Challenge Cup N/A N/A 1 0 0 1 0 3
United States 2011 Green Soccer Bowl The event was cancelled
United States 2014 Road to Brazil N/A N/A 1 1 0 0 2 1
Japan 2016 Kirin Cup Soccer
Total - 0 Titles 19 11 3 5 29 24

Husnija Arapović was the caretaker manager of the B team (reserve players) taking part in some of the above minor tournaments.[85]

Statistics[edit]

The below table does not include any minor tournaments data.
Table correct as of 16 November 2015.

Captains[edit]

Emir Spahić captained Bosnia at their first ever FIFA World Cup tournament. 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 caps) 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 (3) 2014 to 2015.

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 (84)
Emir Spahić 2009–2014 55 (87) 2014 FIFA World Cup (3)
Edin Džeko 2014– 13 (76)

Coaching staff[edit]

Position Name
Manager Bosnia and Herzegovina Mehmed Baždarević
Assistant Manager France Stéphane Gilli
Coach Bosnia and Herzegovina Dragan Perić
Coach Bosnia and Herzegovina Igor Janković
Goalkeeper Coach Bosnia and Herzegovina Enver Lugušić
Doctor Bosnia and Herzegovina Reuf Karabeg
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 0%
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 0%
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 9 5 2 2 17 10 +7 55.55%
Totals 172 66 36 70 250 239 +11

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

FIFA ranking history[edit]

FIFA-ranking yearly averages for Bosnia and Herzegovina[86]

1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
152 99 96 75 78 69 87 59 79 65 59 51 61 51 44 20 27 19 29 22

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 Association 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.[87][88][89][90][91][92]

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".[93] 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.[94]

Historical kits[edit]

The team kit is currently produced by German sports apparel company Adidas. Also sponsoring the team are BH Telecom and Elektroprivreda Bosne i Hercegovine, companies from Sarajevo.[95][96]

(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
(2014–2015)
Home Away
Adidas
(2015–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[97]
1999–2000 Germany Adidas[97]
2000–2005 Germany Reusch[97]
2005–2014 Italy Legea[97]
2014–present Germany Adidas[98]

Supporters[edit]

Main article: BHFanaticos
Bosnian fans supporting the national team.[99]

Large number of national team's supporters come from Northern and Western Europe, North America, and some as far away as Australia.[100] Most of these fans are members of BHFanaticos, Belaj Boys, BHLegion, Armija Zmajeva (Dragons Army) and Ljuti Krajišnici groups.[101][102][103]

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 organization of Bosnia.[104] 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.[105] 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.[106] 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,[107] which ended 11–9 in favour of Team Kodro.[108]

Before every game, during the playing of the Bosnian 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).[109][110]

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

Tables correct as of 16 November 2015.

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

Bosnia and 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 143 58 32 53 215 186 +29 30.11.1995 16.11.2015
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
69 Countries 186 74 39 73 270 255 +15 30.11.1995 16.11.2015

World XI result not counted in this table.

Memorable victories[edit]

Source: Results

  • Unofficial games not included.
Date Tournament Place Opponents Score Additional Notes
6 November 1996 Friendly Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Italy 2 – 1 Victory over top 10 ranked team at the time (5th)[111]
10 November 1996 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification Ljubljana, Slovenia  Slovenia 2 – 1 Historic first ever victory in qualifiers
20 August 1997 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Denmark 3 – 0 Victory over top 10 ranked team at the time (3rd)[112]
2 April 2003 UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying Copenhagen, Denmark  Denmark 2 – 0
24 March 2007 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying Oslo, Norway  Norway 2 – 1
2 June 2007 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Turkey 3 – 2
10 September 2008 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Estonia 7 – 0 Largest ever victory (without conceding)
28 March 2009 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification Genk, Belgium  Belgium 4 – 2
10 October 2009 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification Tallinn, Estonia  Estonia 2 – 0 Qualified to 2010 FIFA World Cup play-offs
3 March 2010 Friendly Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Ghana 2 – 1 Victory over 2010 Africa Cup of Nations runners-up
and 2010 FIFA World Cup participant
7 September 2012 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification Vaduz, Lichtenstein  Liechtenstein 8 – 1 Largest ever victory
22 March 2013 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Greece 3 – 1
10 September 2013 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification Žilina, Slovakia  Slovakia 2 – 1
15 October 2013 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification Kaunas, Lithuania  Lithuania 1 – 0 Qualified to 2014 FIFA World Cup
30 May 2014 Friendly St. Louis, United States  Ivory Coast 2 – 1 Away victory over 2014 FIFA World Cup participant
3 June 2014 Friendly Chicago, United States  Mexico 1 – 0 Away victory over 2014 FIFA World Cup participant
25 June 2014 2014 FIFA World Cup Group Stage Salvador, Brazil  Iran 3 – 1 Historic first ever victory in FIFA World Cup
10 October 2015 UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Wales 2 – 0 Victory over top 10 ranked team at the time (8th)[113]
13 October 2015 UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying Nicosia, Cyprus  Cyprus 3 – 2 Qualified to UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying play-offs

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ August 2014 FIFA World Rankings.[64]

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