( June 3 is the
deadline to submit the final roster.)
The list that Coach Slobodan
Santrac presents is made up up of:
Goalkeepers: Ivica Kralj, 24 years of age (Partizan
Belgrade), Dragoje Lekovic 30 (Sporting Gijon,
Mirkovic, 26 (Juventus, Italy), Goran Djorovic, 26 (Celta
Vigo, Spain), Miroslav Djukic, 31 (Valencia, Spain),
Sinisa Mihajlovic, 28 (Sampdoria, Italy), Nisa Saveljic,
27 (Bordeaux, France), Slobodan Komljenovic (MSV
Duisburg), Zeljko Petrovic (Urava).
Stojkovic, 32 (Grampus Eight), Dejan Savicevic, 31 (AC
Milan, Italy), Slavisa Jokanovic, 29 (Tenerife, Spain),
Dejan Govedarica, 28 (Lecce), Vladimir Jugovic, 28
(Lazio, Italy), Branko Brnovic, 30 (Espanyol), Dejan
Stankovic (Crvena Zvezda Belgrade), Ljubinko Drulovic, 29
(Porto, Portugal), Miroslav Stevic (TSV Munich 1860,
Mijatovic, 28 (Real Madrid, Spain), Savo Milosevic, 24
(Aston Villa, England), Darko Kovacevic, 24 (Real
Sociedad, Spain), Perica Ognjenovic (Red Star
Who did not make
it:Santrac caused a surprise by dropping two regular
internationals, defender Albert Nadj, 23 and forward Anto
Drobnjak of French champions RC Lens. Zoran Rankovic was
dropped due to injury. Also D Risto Vidakovic 28, D
Bratislav Zivkovic 27, M Zeljko Petrovic 32, M Milinko
Pantic 31, M Sasa Curcic 27, M Dragan Ciric 23, F Dejan
Savicevic 31 were not selected.
He said he had taken into
consideration the generation of players kept out of the
last World Cup by war-related sanctions imposed on
Yugoslavia between 1992 and 1995, and also the future of
the game in his country.
"This is the best we can offer
at the moment - there are no other reasons for leaving
anyone off the list," said Santrac.
"We achieved our primary aim,
to reach the World Cup finals - I believe this was the
last chance to save Yugoslav soccer," he said, referring
to the declining popularity of local leagues caused by a
massive flow of players to foreign clubs.
Yugoslav coach Slobodan Santrac
relied heavily on experience but also laid foundations
for the future when he named his 22-man squad for the
World Cup finals on Monday. The team is headed by veteran
playmaker Dragan Stojkovic who is expected to retire
after the tournament.
Santrac is reported to have
fallen out with Nadj during eight days of training on
Lake Palic, northern Yugoslavia, and he said he was sorry
to drop him "but rules are rules. Nadj and I have been
working together for 12 years, but he simply could not
meet my requirements for the position I planned for him -
there were no disagreements of any kind between us,"
Santrac told a news conference.
"My program required two
players for every position in the team. I had planned
four strikers - there were six to begin with. and I had
to leave out another."
Asked why he had chosen striker
Darko Kovacevic over Drobnjak, Santrac said Kovacevic was
younger and had more internationals under his
"He has been with the team
since 1995, he is younger and he is the future of
Yugoslav soccer, and can certainly play for another five
of six years in this team."
Santrac is banking on two
outstanding talents to provide flair - Crvena Zvezda
Belgrade's teenager Dejan Stankovic, who has signed a
record deal with Lazio, and Stankovic's 21-year-old team
mate Perica Ognjenovic.
Regular keeper Ivica Kralj
sustained a nose injury during last Friday's friendly
with Nigeria and Yugoslavia will be taking Dragoslav
Jevric to Switzerland as cover in warm-up
"We might have to spare Kralj
in our matches with Japan on June 3 and Switzerland three
days later," he said.
Yugoslavia play in Group F with
Germany, Iran and the United States. The opening match is
against Iran in St Etienne on June 14.
Asked about the toughest match
in group F, Santrac said: "We treat all opponents equally
- our main objective is to pass the group stage. It makes
no difference whom we have to beat to do