Euro 2012 Dark Horse, What Could Have Been: Former Yugoslavia

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Euro 2012 Dark Horse, What Could Have Been: Former Yugoslavia
David Cannon/Getty Images
Yugoslavian national team in 1990

Euro 2012 is almost over with the semifinals all set for Wednesday and Thursday. Portugal will take on tournament favorites Spain in what promises to be an amazing game on Wednesday, while the other "co-favorites" Germany takes on Italy on Thursday.

No one in their right mind can say the these four teams are not the best four teams in Europe at this time. Please, those people wanting to claim that England should have made it through, keep those silly comments away.

England got dominated by Italy for 120 minutes and were a deserving loser on Sunday, as their style of football didn't win any fan praise across the world. With so much talent on the squad, England should have displayed a better style of football or at least a more offensive one. There is nobody out there that can convince me otherwise.

All of these players play for world-class teams and display much better football on the club level. I understand that this is the style Roy Hodgson implemented and the players were just following the orders, but in my opinion, as great of a football nation as England is, their style of play at Euro 2012 did the players and England fans everywhere a disservice. 

With the final four teams set and the tournament drawing close to its conclusion, I began to wonder if there is any other nation that could have challenged the semifinalists.

After thinking over all the European nations that didn't make the tournament I came up with one that doesn't exist any longer—Yugoslavia.

I started combining players from all the nations of the former Yugoslavia (Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Slovenia, Montenegro and Macedonia) and came up with a really good and deep team, that in my opinion (and this is only my opinion) could have challenged the semifinalists in this year's Euro 2012. 

Enough talking though and onto the squad(s) I came up with:

 

 

Serbia:                                        Croatia:                                     Bosnia:

Branislav Ivanovic - D                Stipe Pletikosa - G                     Asmir Begovic - G

Neven Subotic - D                      Darijo Srna - D/M                       Miralem Pjanic - M

Aleksandar Kolarov - D              Ivan Rakitic - M                          Edin Dzeko - F 

Nemanja Vidic - D                    Luka Modric - M                        Zvjezdan Misimovic - M  

Zoran Tosic - M                          Mario Mandzukic - F                  Sejad Salihovic - M 

Milos Krasic - M                          Nikica Jelavic - F

                                                     Eduardo - F   

 

Slovenia:                                    Macedonia:                               Montenegro:

Samir Handanovic - G                Goran Pandev - F                       Mirko Vucinic - F

Josip Ilicic - M                                                                                  Stevan Jovetic - M/F

 

Optionals (on the cusp of making the squad):

Vedran Corluka - D

 

Stevan Savic - D

Gordon Schildenfeld - D

Ivan Perisic - M

Danijel Pranjic - M 

 

So, after having all these names at my disposal I decided to go with a traditional 4-4-2 formation, although there are so many options one could go with. The squad is extremely talented at almost every position and the coach would have many tough decisions to make. 

Here is what I came up with:

 

                                       Handanovic

 

Srna/Ivanovic        Vidic                Subotic                  Kolarov                              

 

Krasic/Srna           Modric             Pjanic/Rakitic         Jovetic

 

                             Dzeko                Vucinic

 

Again, this is just something that I would throw out there if I were a coach. I'm sure there are a lot of people who would go for a different formation and I'm sure would have different players at different positions.

If one looks at the substitutions, it doesn't take long to realize how deep this squad would have been. That's why I enjoyed writing this article, it's all hypothetical and all of us can mess around with the lineups and formations. 

What do you guys think? How far do you think this team would have gone in Euro 2012? Leave your thoughts in the comments section along with your squad/formation changes if you don't like mine.

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