Football was a vehicle for national pride in the former Yugoslavia, enjoying support from the political elite and state policies designed to create competitive teams and world-class players.
Supporters of the Yugoslavia national football team - which represented Serbia and Montenegro from 1992-2003 - pictured in Saint-Etienne, central France before the World Cup Group F first round match between Yugoslavia and Iran on June 14, 1998. Since the break-up of the communist federation in the 1990s, there has been mixed success for Balkan nations, with only Croatia emerging as a force.
But since the break-up of the communist federation in the 1990s, there has been mixed success for Balkan nations, with only Croatia -- who took third place in the 1998 World Cup -- emerging as a force to be reckoned with internationally.
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