Former Fulham boss and Yugoslavia star Slavisa Jokanovic has confessed that the team that Yugoslavia sent for the ‘92 Euros were much better than eventual winners Denmark. Yugoslavia were banned from the Euros and their replacements, Denmark, would go onto beat the Dutch and Germans to the trophy.
While the Euro 2020 has been pushed by a year, it has still left many footballers across continents in limbo with them denied a chance at representing their country. However, while the 2020 tournament has only been pushed by a year, for Yugoslavia that wasn’t the same case. Instead, because of a war in the Balkans and their neighbours, they were kicked out of the 1992 Euros and sent home early with Denmark, runners-up in their qualifying group, replacing them.
History now remembers the Danes rather lovingly with them going onto win the tournament as they shockingly beat both the Netherlands and Germany in the semi-final and final respectively. However, in an interview, former Fulham boss and part of that Yugoslavia side Slavisa Jokanovic has admitted that his team were a much better than Denmark despite losing a few players. Jokanovic also admitted that it was also “a very ugly time” for them with teams “not wanting to play tournament friendlies against” Yugoslavia.
“The current generation of players won’t play this summer but they’ll get the chance next year; we had the Euros taken away from us and never got it back. We had a much better side than Denmark. In the qualifiers we started with the complete old Yugoslavia but when we got to the finals we were already missing important players,” Jokanovic told the Guardian.
“We lost a certain Darko Pancev (European Golden Shoe in 1991) to Croatia if you remember him. He had scored 10 goals in the qualifiers. We could have done something big with the players we still had but a month earlier that team had been even stronger. It was a very ugly time. Teams didn’t want to play pre-tournament friendlies against us. A fortnight in, they banned us. The disappointment was enormous. We badly wanted to show what we could do but for political reasons we were heading back, feeling awful.”