Having joined FIFA in 2007, shortly after seceding from Serbia, Montenegro quickly got the hang of life in FIFA World Cup qualifying™. They registered a creditable haul of one win and six draws in ten games en route to finishing second bottom of their group ahead of South Africa 2010, while they did even better on the road to Brazil 2014, coming in third behind only England and Ukraine.
True to Balkan footballing tradition, the Montenegrins combine tactical discipline and physical prowess. Former Serie A stalwart Mirko Vucinic leads the side from the front as captain and had the honour of getting the team off the mark by scoring in their first fixture after independence, against Hungary. The majority of the squad ply their trade in Europe's top leagues, including Stevan Jovetic and Marko Bakic.
After a fine playing career, Branko Brnovic was a member of the coaching staff from the team's inception. In 2011 he picked up the mantle from previous head coach Zlatko Kranjcar, providing a platform of continuity that has enabled him to further cultivate the style of play and practices implanted in the fledgling set-up.
25 - Montenegro's highest placement in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, remarkably achieved just three years after becoming a FIFA member.
The former stars
Branko Brnovic, Predrag Mijatovic, Ljubomir Radanovic, Branko Radovic, Dejan Savicevic