The Last Yugoslavian Football Team (The Netherlands/Serbia, 2000)

directed by Vuk Janić, documentary, 85 min, eng subtitles
written by Vuk Janić

Boban, Prosinečki, Savićević, Mihajlović, Šuker... born in the same county, they grew up with the same dream.
In 1989 they became the world youth champions in Chile and played together until 1990, when war broke out and Yugoslavia started to fall apart. First the Croatian players left, then the trainer Ivica Osim resigned because the Serbians bombed his home town of Sarajevo and finally the team was banned from the European championships in Sweden under pressure from the international community. This meant the end of the promising Yugoslavian eleven.

In August 1999 they shared the same soccer pitch for the first time in a direct clash during the preliminary rounds of the Euro 2000 in Belgrade: Mijatović, Savićević and Mihajlović playing for Yugoslavia; Šuker and Boban for Croatia. The tension surrounding the match was reinforced by a massive protest against President Milošević planned for the next day. Was it a coincidence that the lights went out in the 47th minute? Or was it planned in order to endanger the protests? Milošević had bought all up the tickets for his supporters, so the general public was not able to attend the game. Two months later the return game, even more tense, was played in Zagreb (Croatia).

Players who knew each other intimately, grew up together, were world champions together, but were divided by contradictory interests as a result of the war. The war forced each of them to choose a new fatherland, a new nationality, a new national anthem and a new national football team. For some the choice was easy, but others were torn by doubt and forced to make impossible decisions.

Followed by a debate