Montenegro national football team
(The Brave Falcons)
|Association||Fudbalski Savez Crne Gore (FSCG)|
|Head coach||Branko Brnović|
|Most caps||Elsad Zverotić (53)|
|Top scorer||Mirko Vučinić (16)|
|Home stadium||Podgorica City Stadium|
|Current||72 5 (1 October 2015)|
|Highest||16 (June 2011)|
|Lowest||199 (June 2007)|
|Current||60 (9 September 2015)|
|Highest||37 (29 March 2011)|
|Lowest||66 (November 2013)|
Montenegro 2–1 Hungary
(Podgorica, Montenegro; 24 March 2007)
| San Marino 0–6 Montenegro
(Serravalle, San Marino; 11 September 2012)
| Romania 4–0 Montenegro
(Bucharest, Romania; 31 May 2008)
Montenegro 0–4 Ukraine
(Podgorica, Montenegro; 7 June 2013)
The Montenegro national football team (Montenegrin: Fudbalska reprezentacija Crne Gore, Фудбалска репрезентација Црне Горе) represents Montenegro in association football and is controlled by the Fudbalski Savez Crne Gore (FSCG), the governing body for football in Montenegro. Montenegro's home ground is Podgorica City Stadium in Podgorica and their head coach is Branko Brnović.
Montenegro is one of the world's newest international sides, having come into existence following the 2006 FIFA World Cup. In that tournament, the newly independent states of Serbia and Montenegro competed as a united team and played their last group match on 21 June, failing to qualify for the following knockout stage.
The first official competition that the Montenegro national team competed in was the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying; they had not registered membership with FIFA in time for the qualifying draw for UEFA Euro 2008, which took place in December 2005. They competed in Group 8, along with Italy, Bulgaria, Ireland, Cyprus and Georgia. They failed to qualify for the World Cup. The team's Euro 2012 qualifying campaign began in surprising fashion, with victories over Wales, Bulgaria and Switzerland, as well as a draw with England, conceding no goals in the process. While they started the qualifying as the lowest ranked team in their group, their run saw them rise into the top 16 best national teams in the world, according to the FIFA World Rankings published in June 2011.
- 1 History
- 2 Team image
- 3 Players
- 4 Managers
- 5 Player records
- 6 Competition History
- 7 Recent results and fixtures
- 8 FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifying
- 9 UEFA Euro 2016 qualification
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
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. 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. 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.
UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
On 26 January 2007, the Montenegro FA was granted full membership of UEFA, 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. On 31 May 2007, Montenegro was admitted as FIFA's 208th member.
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.
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
On 6 September 2008, Montenegro played its first ever World Cup qualifier. It was at the Podgorica City Stadium in Podgorica. As expected, Bulgaria took an early lead in the 11th minute with a goal from Stiliyan Petrov. Mirko Vučinić scored in the 61st minute to make the game 1–1. Igor Burzanovic took a penalty and made it 2–1 in the 82nd minute. As Montenegrin fans were about to celebrate a historical first competitive win, a last-minute equalizer from Blagoy Georgiev spoiled the party. In their next match on 10 September 2008, they achieved another notable result when they held The Republic of Ireland to a 0–0 draw. Another near upset came in a narrow 2–1 loss against Italy. Despite Alberto Aquilani's early strike, Vucinic quickly equalized 11 minutes later. Aquilani then scored again 10 minutes later. However, their second match against Italy in the two-game series ended 2–0 in favor of the World champions. And another disappointment came when the team could only draw 0–0 against Georgia and went on to draw 2–2 against Cyprus, having fought back after being 2 goals down. The fixture on 5 September 2009 was a shock when, after taking an early lead against Bulgaria in Sofia with Jovetic putting them 1–0 up, Bulgaria then scored 4 goals to win 4–1. Montenegro, now eliminated, drew their next game with Cyprus 1–1, who were also eliminated. Montenegro would finally register their first competitive win against Georgia, winning 2–1. They then managed a great performance to hold The Republic of Ireland to a 0–0 draw at Croke Park. They finished 5th in the group with 9 points, just below Cyprus due to GD. Though they failed to qualify for the World Cup, Montenegro had performed better than expected in their first competitive international matches. The next month, they reached one of their highest positions in the FIFA rankings, in 73rd place.
UEFA Euro 2012 qualification
During the UEFA Euro 2012 qualification, the team has recorded further victories. The team defeated Wales in Podgorica in a match attended by 9,000 fans. The team won 1–0 from a goal by Vucinic. A few days later, the team defeated Bulgaria in Sofia 1–0. The next month, the team defeated Switzerland 1–0 by taking the lead in the 2nd half and then recorded a 0–0 draw in London against England. On 4 June 2011, Montenegro played against Bulgaria. Switzerland tied with England 2–2, with England narrowly avoiding defeat. Although Montenegro had a bright start, the Bulgarians were able to keep it 1–1. Radomir Đalović scored for Montenegro early in the 2nd half, but Ivelin Popov scored minutes later, keeping Montenegro in second. Montenegro and England were at the time tied on points, but due to a larger goal difference, England remained ahead.
After that, Montenegro played against Wales in Cardiff. Montenegro were beaten 2-1, and appeared to have significantly damaged their chances of making the play-offs. In that match, Steve Morison and Aaron Ramsey scored for Wales, and Stevan Jovetic for Montenegro. After this match, Montenegro was still 2nd in the group G, but Switzerland has closed the gap to only three points.
On 7 October, Montenegro played its 7th match in UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying against England, in Podgorica. It was a rainy October night, but a very bright one for Montenegro. England started the match well, and led 2-0 in the 31st minute, thanks to goals by Ashley Young and Darren Bent. A deflected volley by Elsad Zverotic in the 45th minute reduced the deficit to 2-1. Montenegro were much brighter in the second half, creating a lot of chances. Their cause was greatly helped by the dismissal of Wayne Rooney on 73 minutes, for kicking out at Miodrag Dzudovic. Montenegro equalised in stoppage time when a cross from Stefan Savic was headed in at the far post by Andrija Delibasic. The Montenegrins celebrated wildly, knowing following an announcement on the public address system that Wales were beating Switzerland 2-0, and thus that a point would be sufficient to guarantee second place in the group and a place in the play-offs. The game ended 2-2, whilst Wales won 2-0, securing a play-off position for Montenegro, a historic achievement putting the team two matches away from qualifying for Euro 2012.
In their last match in Euro 2012 qualifying, Montenegro lost 2-0 to Switzerland in Basel, but this match did not matter because Montenegro had already secured their place in the play-offs. Montenegro played without 7 of their regular players in that match.
On 13 October, the draw for the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying play-offs was held in Krakow, Poland. As a result of the draw, Montenegro played against the Czech Republic, but lost 3-0 on aggregate and failed to qualify.
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
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, which is the biggest win for Montenegro since their formation. Montenegro proceeded to beat Ukraine 1-0 in Kiev. 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 qualifier 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 the 6th minute, with a header after a corner, and for Montenegro, Dejan Damjanović, also after a corner.
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
At the top of their World Cup qualifying group, Montenegro hosted Ukraine on 7 June 2013. They suffered their first defeat, losing 4-0. The match also saw Montenegro finish the match with nine men after Vladimir Volkov and Savo Pavićević were sent off. Their last four matches yielded just a single point - a 1-1 draw in Poland. Their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign finished with a 5-2 home defeat to Moldova, and a third-placed finish behind England and Ukraine.
UEFA Euro 2016 qualification
The team kit is currently produced by Italian company Legea. It is all-red with gold details to reflect the colours of the Montenegrin national flag. Before that briefly the kit providers were Adidas (2006-2007) and daCapo (2007-2008).
At competitive matches Montenegrin home ground, Podgorica City Stadium, is very often filled to capacity. The stadium is regarded as too small to meet the needs of the national team. Demand for the World Cup qualifier against Italy in 2009 was 30,000 tickets and 40,000 for the Euro 2012 qualifying match against England in 2011.
Montenegro's loudest and most loyal supporters are Ultra Crna Gora (Ultra Montenegro). They practice ultras way of support - standing up and singing for 90 minutes, no matter the result, both home and away. They occupy the north and south stands of Podgorica City Stadium. Choreography is usually performed at the beginning of the games. Ultra Crna Gora consists of many subgroups, mostly named after Podgorica's neighborhoods and Montenegrin towns in other parts of the country.
On 7 October 2011 in a match against England, at the sound of final whistle, hundreds of Montenegrin supporters ran onto the pitch to celebrate with the players.
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:
- He was born in Montenegro.
- At least one of his parents and/or at least one of his grandparents was born in Montenegro.
- He has lived in Montenegro continuously for any two-year period.
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.
The following squad was called up for the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying matches against Austria on 9 October and Russia on 12 Octoberber 2015. 
Caps and goals as of 8 September 2015 after the game against Moldova.
The following players have been called on the last 12 months.
- INJ Withdrew due to an injury.
- PRE Preliminary squad.
- RET Retired from international football.
|Filipović, ZoranZoran Filipović||2006–2009||23||8||8||7||28||31||34.78%|
|Kranjčar, ZlatkoZlatko Kranjčar||2010–2011||13||6||2||5||14||11||46.15%|
|Brnović, BrankoBranko Brnović||2011–||20||8||6||6||27||19||40.00%|
|Head Coach||Branko Brnović|
|Assistant Coach||Radislav Dragićević|
|Assistant Coach||Anto Drobnjak|
|Assistant Coach||Dragoje Leković|
|Goalkeeping Coach||Darko Božović|
Player/coach records are accurate as of 8 September 2015.
Most capped players
|#||Player||Montenegro career||Captain (Total Caps)|
|1||Mirko Vučinić (present captain)||2006–||22 (29)|
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.
|1930 to 2006||Part of Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro|
|2010||Did Not Qualify|
|1960 to 2004||Part of Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro|
|2008||Did Not Enter|
|2012||Did Not Qualify|
Recent results and fixtures
FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifying
Top Goalscorers during Qualification
- 4 goals
- 2 goals
- 1 goal
UEFA Euro 2016 qualification
|1||Austria (Q)||8||7||1||0||16||3||+13||22||Advance to final tournament||—||1–0||1–1||1–0||12 Oct||1–0|
|3||Sweden||8||3||3||2||11||9||+2||12||Final tournament or play-offs||1–4||1–1||—||3–1||2–0||12 Oct|
|5||Liechtenstein (E)||8||1||2||5||2||21||−19||5||0–5||0–7||9 Oct||0–0||—||1–1|
|6||Moldova (E)||8||0||2||6||3||12||−9||2||1–2||9 Oct||0–2||0–2||0–1||—|
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers
(E) Eliminated; (Q) Qualified to the phase indicated.
- Montenegro home match against Russia was awarded as a 3–0 win to Russia after match was abandoned after 67 minutes due to crowd violence and scuffle between players (caused by Dmitri Kombarov being hit by an object thrown from the Montenegrin sector). The original score was 0–0 and Russia missed a penalty moments before the match was abandoned. This was the second delay of the match as in the first minute, Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was hit by a flare, causing a 33-minute delay. Both teams were then charged by UEFA.
- Sport in Montenegro
- Football in Montenegro
- List of Montenegro international footballers
- Montenegro national football team record
- "Serbia to take spot in Euro 2008". BBC Sport. 23 May 2006. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
- Mark Chaplin (2006). "No decision yet on Gibraltar". UEFA.com. Archived from the original on 28 November 2006. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
- Simon Hart (2007). "UEFA to consider 24-team EURO". UEFA.com. Archived from the original on 19 February 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
- "Soccer-Montenegro beat Hungary 2–1 in international debut". Reuters.co.uk. 24 March 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
- "Montenegro take a bow with victory". UEFA.com. 2007. Archived from the original on 4 June 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
- "Blatter's third term confirmed". FIFA.com. 2007. Retrieved 17 October 2007.
- September 2012|publisher=Vijesti| date=11 September 2012
- October 2012|publisher=FIFA| date=16 October 2012
- FSCG (1 October 2015). "Kvali� kacije za UEFA Evropsko prvenstvo - Francuska 2016 CRNA GORA - AUSTRIJA RUSIJA - CRNA GORA" (PDF) (in Serbian).
- Football Association of Montenegro (1 October 2014). "Kvalifikacija za EURO 2016: Brnović pozvao 23 igrača" (PDF) (in Serbian).
- "Russia given 3-0 win over Montenegro after suspended game". 8 April 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- "Montenegro v Russia abandoned (Telegraph)". 28 March 2015. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
- "Montenegro v Russia abandoned (Daily Mail)". 27 March 2015. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
- "MNE and RUS charged by UEFA". 30 March 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Montenegro national football team.|
- Football Association of Montenegro (Montenegrin)
- FIFA.com (Montenegro) (English)
- UEFA.com (Montenegro) (English)
- List of players (English)
- Montenegro national team match reports (English)