Yugoslavia national under-20 football team

Last updated
Yugoslavia Under-20
Association Football Association of Yugoslavia
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
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First colours
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Second colours
FIFA U-20 World Cup
Appearances2 (first in 1979 )
Best resultWinners: 1987

The Yugoslavia national under-20 football team (Serbo-Croatian : Omladinska reprezentacija Jugoslavije) represented the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia at the FIFA World Youth Championship and various friendly youth tournaments in the period between the mid-1970s and the country's dissolution in the early 1990s. It was a feeder team to the Yugoslavia national under-21 football team (which was itself formed following the realignment of UEFA's youth competitions in 1976). However, since FIFA employs the Under-20 format for the World Youth Championship ever since its inception in 1977, the Under-20 selection was only occasionally formed to compete specifically at the tournament, in addition to a handful of other less official friendly tournaments which employ the same age format.


The team which would compete at the World Championship essentially consisted of players who had earlier participated in the UEFA Junior Tournament, which was the European Under-18 championship (held annually from 1957 to 1984 and then bi-annually from 1986 to 1992) and which doubled as the European qualifying tournament for the World Championship.


Yugoslavia Under-20 had appeared at two World Youth Championships throughout their existence. Their first appearance came at the 1979 tournament, where they were knocked out in the group stage after two defeats (0–2 against Poland and 0–1 against Argentina) and one win (5–0 against Indonesia). [1] Their second appearance in the 1987 tournament was much more successful, as they won the competition, remarkably defeating each of the three other semi-finalists and eliminating the defending champions Brazil during the course of the tournament, with Robert Prosinečki winning the Golden Ball award for Best Player of the tournament. [2] [3]

In their two appearances Yugoslavia set a FIFA World Youth Championship scoring record which still stands today, scoring an average of 3.66 goals per game, finishing with 22 goals for and 9 against. [2] The team, coached by Mirko Jozić, had included a number of players who later appeared at FIFA World Cups, such as Zvonimir Boban, Davor Šuker, Robert Jarni, Igor Štimac, Branko Brnović and Predrag Mijatović. [2]

The last European U-18 tournament (and therefore the last U-20 World Cup qualifiers) in which Yugoslavia participated before the country dissolved was the 1992 European Under-18 Championship, and the Under-18's last competitive game was played on 17 October 1991 against Czechoslovakia national under-18 football team. [4]

Following the country's dissolution in 1992, the team was succeeded by Under-20 teams of the newly formed ex-Yugoslav states' national teams:

However, only Croatia and Serbia Under-20 teams had managed to qualify for the World Youth Championship since the dissolution of Yugoslavia and are thus the only Under-20 ex-Yugoslav teams to have fielded teams for competitive matches at that age level since 1992. In addition, FIFA attributes all Yugoslav national team's records to the present-day Serbia national football team and as such the Yugoslavia Under-20 results and records are officially inherited by Serbia. [5]

Tournament records

FIFA World Youth Championship Record
Flag of Tunisia.svg 1977 Did not qualify
Flag of Japan.svg 1979 First round310253
Flag of Australia (converted).svg 1981 Did not qualify
Flag of Mexico.svg 1983 Did not qualify
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg 1985 Did not qualify
Flag of Chile.svg 1987 Champions6510176
Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg 1989 Did not qualify
Flag of Portugal.svg 1991 Did not qualify
Flag of Australia (converted).svg 1993 Did not qualify
*Denotes draws including knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.


The following players were members of Yugoslavia Under-20 squads at the FIFA U-20 World Cup as well as various national squads at FIFA World Cup tournaments.

PlayerPosition Youth
World Cup
World Cup(s) Refs
Tomislav Ivković Goalkeeper 19791990 (YUG) [6]
Ivan Pudar Goalkeeper 19791982 (YUG) [7] [8]
Zvonko Živković Forward 19791982 (YUG) [8] [9]
Ivan Gudelj Forward 19791982 (YUG) [10]
Dragoje Leković Goalkeeper 19871990 (YUG), 1998 (FRY) [11] [12]
Branko Brnović Defender 19871998 (FRY) [13]
Robert Jarni Defender 19871990 (YUG), 1998 (CRO), 2002 (CRO) [14]
Igor Štimac Defender 19871998 (CRO) [15]
Zvonimir Boban Midfielder 19871998 (CRO) [16]
Robert Prosinečki Midfielder 19871990 (YUG), 1998 (CRO), 2002 (CRO) [17]
Predrag Mijatović Forward 19871998 (FRY) [18]
Davor Šuker Forward 19871990 (YUG), 1998 (CRO), 2002 (CRO) [19]

Letters in brackets denote national teams players represented at World Cups:


The following players scored goals for the Yugoslavia Under-20 team at Youth World Cups. The team's overall top scorer was Davor Šuker, who scored 6 goals for Yugoslavia at the 1987 U-20 World Cup, [19] and went on to become top scorer at the 1998 FIFA World Cup eleven years later, where he represented Croatia and also scored 6 goals. [20]

Davor Šuker
1987 [19]
Zvonimir Boban
1987 [16]
Predrag Mijatović
1987 [18]
Nedeljko Milosavljević
1979 [21]
Haris Smajić
1979 [22]
Igor Štimac
1987 [15]
Branko Brnović
1987 [13]
Marko Mlinarić
1979 [23]
Robert Prosinečki
1987 [17]
Ranko Zirojević
1987 [24]

Full squads

See also

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