What would a Yugoslavian XI look like today?
Hint: Pretty good.
For those unaware, Yugoslavia was a country formed in 1918 at the end of World War I.
However, the ‘Yugoslav Wars’ from 1991-99 brought about its demise, with its six constituents breaking free and declaring independence.
The six republics that composed Yugoslavia were Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro.
So if we were to take the best players from those six countries, a modern-day Yugoslavia would be a pretty tough nation to beat.
GK | Jan Oblak (Slovenia)
Atletico Madrid shot-stopper Jan Oblak might just be the best goalkeeper in the world.
He has been named La Liga’s Best Goalkeeper in four straight seasons.
CB | Stefan Savic (Montenegro)
Another Atletico Madrid player is included in the team: Stefan Savic.
The centre-back has fulfilled his potential in Spain, learning under the guidance of manager Diego Simeone and former teammate Diego Godin.
CB | Duje Caleta-Car (Croatia)
Marseille centre-back Caleta-Car was part of the Croatia squad that reached the final of the 2018 World Cup.
He’s only 23 years old and looks set to enjoy a fine career.
CB | Nikola Milenkovic (Serbia)
Nikola Milenkovic, 22, completes the back-three.
The Fiorentina defender has earned rave reviews for his performances in Italy, with Manchester United even reportedly making a bid.
DM | Marcelo Brozovic (Croatia)
Marcelo Brozovic shone for Croatia at the 2018 World Cup and is one of the first names on Luciano Spalletti’s teamsheet at Inter Milan.
Full of running and possessing great awareness, most teams would love a player like Brozovic.
CM | Miralem Pjanic (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Juventus midfielder Miralem Panic is closing in on 100 caps for his country.
He’s been a star over the past four seasons for Juventus, too, where he’s won the Serie A title three times.
CM | Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Serbia)
Intelligent, physical and tactically astute, Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has developed into a fine midfielder at Lazio.
CAM | Luka Modric (Croatia)
It was just two years ago that Luka Modric was helping Croatia to the World Cup final, a year that ended with him winning the Ballon d’Or.
His performances have declined since then but he remains an important player for Real Madrid.
CAM | Dusan Tadic (Serbia)
Dusan Tadic has played at an extraordinarily high level for Ajax.
He scored 38 goals and provided 24 assists in all competitions for the club last season, and has continued to contribute this season as well.
ST | Edin Dzeko (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Roma striker Edin Dzeko isn’t getting any younger but he still knows where the back of the net is, scoring 12 goals for the Italian outfit in Serie A this season.
His record for his country is decent, too. Dzeko has 58 goals in 107 appearances for Bosnia.
ST | Luka Jovic (Serbia)
Joining Dzeko in attack is Real Madrid forward Luka Jovic
Things haven’t worked out well so far for Jovic at the Bernabeu but he’s only 22.
He was prolific in front of goal for Eintracht Frankfurt and will look to return to that level.
What a team.
There’s no question that a modern-day Yugoslavia XI could compete for international trophies.
There’s even more talent on the bench. Sime Vrsaljko, Ivan Perisic, Ivan Rakitic and Ante Rebic would also make the squad.
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