The former Yugoslavia entered the international futsal world in December 1987 with a two-game friendly series in Italy and although they lost their debut 4-2, the day after they won 5-1. Five years later they qualified for the 1992 FIFA Futsal World Cup, but international sanctions denied them a chance to compete. Returning to action in 1995, they made a final tournament debut at the 1999 UEFA European Futsal Championship.
Subsequent results were mixed, and for three years from January 2004 they played just once, a 5-0 loss in Spain as Serbia and Montenegro in February 2006. But the separate Serbia entered 2007 EURO qualifying under former captain Aca Kovačević and earned a finals place, performing respectably by narrowly losing 5-3 to Russia, holding Spain 1-1 and beating Ukraine 3-2, and in 2010 reached the finals again, winning their group ahead of Russia before a last-eight exit to Portugal. This time round a final-day 6-0 defeat of Finland, with a hat-trick from prospect Mladen Kocić, took them through.
Bojan Pavićević, Mladen Kocić
Coach: Aca Kovačević
Date of birth: 27 August 1955
Playing career: Mungosi (now KMF Marbo Beograd), Hellas Verona C/5
Coaching career: Serbia
Aca Kovačević was the greatest futsal player in the history of the former Yugoslavia. For 15 years he captained Belgrade side Mungosi – now KMF Marbo Beograd – and in 1994 had a season with Italian side Hellas Verona C/5. He also captained Yugoslavia from 1988 until 1996, qualifying for the 1992 FIFA Futsal World Cup before they were excluded from the finals.
Kovačević, who now runs a private futsal school in Belgrade and has also written a book on the game, was appointed Serbia coach on 1 December 2006. The team had played just once since their last UEFA European Futsal Championship qualifying campaign in January 2004, but Kovačević immediately masterminded a friendly draw with Ukraine and defeats of Poland and Moldova and in the spring they qualified for the 2007 finals, their first appearance since 1999 in the guise of Yugoslavia. In Porto they exited in the group stage despite holding Spain 1-1 and beating Ukraine, but Kovačević led them to the finals again in 2010 and they topped their group ahead of Russia before a last-eight exit to eventual runners-up Portugal.
Qualifying top scorers
Mladen Kocić 3
2007: Group stage
2005: Did not qualify
2003: Did not qualify
2001: Did not qualify
1999: Group stage
1996: Did not qualify
©UEFA.com 1998-2014. All rights reserved.