The official website for European football

Sušić hoping for Bosnian breakthrough

Published: Thursday 31 January 2013, 16.58CET
Having missed out on the last two major tournaments in the play-offs, Bosnia and Herzegovina are desperate to reach Brazil 2014, as coach Safet Sušić explained to UEFA.com.

Published: Thursday 31 January 2013, 16.58CET

Sušić hoping for Bosnian breakthrough

Having missed out on the last two major tournaments in the play-offs, Bosnia and Herzegovina are desperate to reach Brazil 2014, as coach Safet Sušić explained to UEFA.com.

One of the finest players of his generation, Safet Sušić is now making his mark as Bosnia and Herzegovina national team coach, having guided his side to the top of 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying Group G unbeaten. As he explained to UEFA.com, however, that feat should come as no surprise.

"Our people love football very much," said the 57-year-old, who took the reins in 2009. "You can't walk around our towns without seeing 100 boys dressed in national team jerseys, usually wearing the names of [Edin] Džeko, [Zvjezdan] Misimović or [Miralem] Pjanić. In our country, there have always been top talents – not a large choice of players, because we are a small country, but there has never been a lack of talent."

Indeed, Sušić was one of those talents, starring for FK Sarajevo and Paris Saint-Germain FC and scoring 21 times in 54 outings for Yugoslavia during an illustrious career. In 2003, he joined the likes of Alfredo Di Stéfano, Bobby Moore and Johan Cruyff in being named his country's Golden Player as part of UEFA's 2004 jubilee celebrations.

Now Sušić is tasked with inspiring and leading a new generation – a team he took to the brink of UEFA EURO 2012 qualification, only to suffer play-off defeat at the hands of Portugal. That was a carbon copy of their 2010 World Cup fate under Miroslav Blažević, an outcome Sušić believes will not be repeated on the road to Brazil 2014.

"The players in my team are extremely intelligent and ambitious," said Sušić. "They want to learn, they want to improve their quality, and from a defeat, especially a big defeat, you can learn a lot more. We are a small country, eager to achieve great results. After [the loss to Portugal], my players realised that only by taking a serious approach can we match those national teams."

Click on the video player to see the full feature.

Last updated: 02/10/14 1.31CET

Related information

Coach profiles
Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/worldcup/news/newsid=1913986.html#susic+hoping+bosnian+breakthrough

  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.