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The Macedonia national football team is the national football team of the Republic of Macedoniamarker and is controlled by the Football Federation of Macedonia. In most international competitions, it enters under its country's provisional appellation as "FYR Macedonia". It plays its home games at Philip II Arenamarker.

World Cup record

The Macedonian team has yet to qualify for a World Cup Finals tournament. In their attempt at qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, they finished fifth in Group 1 with nine points and only two wins from 12 games. Their campaign ended on a positive note with a surprise 0-0 draw in Amsterdammarker against the Netherlands on 12 October 2005.

European Championship record

As with their World Cup campaigns, Macedonia are yet to qualify for a European Championship after three qualifying campaigns. They beat Estonia 1-0 on 16 August 2006 in the first game of the qualification campaign for UEFA Euro 2008. They drew 0-0 with England on 7 October 2006, marking one of their best results to date. Another surprising game was a 2-0 win over a strong Croatian side on 17 November 2007.

Coaching history



History

The beginning

In 1994, Macedonia became a member of FIFAmarker and UEFA after the break-up of SFR Yugoslaviamarker.

The team began its football life with a 4-1 win against Slovenia in a friendly on 13 October 1993, under coach Andon Dončevski. They went on to win their next two friendlies against Slovenia and Estonia before suffering its first ever loss, a 2-0 loss at home to Turkey on 31 August 1994 (before this they lost to Club Atlético Peñarol 0-4 in Montevideomarker in February 1994). The inaugural Macedonian side featured Darko Pancev, who won the European Champions League for Red Star Belgrade in 1991 and also played for Internazionale in Italymarker.

Euro 1996 qualifiers

The Euro 96 Qualifiers was the first qualifying tournament that Macedonia took part in, where they were grouped with Spain, Denmark, Belgium, Cyprus, and Armenia. In their opening game, which was also their first ever official match, Macedonia was drawn against the reigning European Champions Denmark. The game was played in Skopjemarker on 7 September 1994 and finished 1-1 with Macedonia leading for most of the game after scoring in the fourth minute. In this qualifying stage, Macedonia suffered one of its worst defeats, a 5-0 loss to Belgium at home on 7 June 1995. They failed to qualify for UEFA Euro 1996, finishing fourth in the group with seven points.

1998 World Cup qualifiers

Macedonia first qualifying attempt for the World Cup saw them grouped with Romania, Ireland, Lithuania, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. The tournament began on 24 April 1996 with a 3-0 win at home to Liechtenstein. On 9 November 1996, Macedonia recorded their biggest ever win, an 11-1 thrashing of Liechtenstein. Half of all the goals Macedonia scored in the whole campaign were scored in this match alone. Macedonia failed to qualify for the 1998 FIFA World Cup in Francemarker, finishing fourth in the group on 13 points.

Euro 2000 qualifiers

Macedonia campaign to qualify for the UEFA Euro 2000 tournament in the Netherlandsmarker and Belgiummarker saw them grouped with SR Yugoslavia, Ireland, Croatia, and Malta. They once again opened their qualifying campaign with a win after beating Malta 4-0 at home on 6 September 1998. However, they failed to qualify again, finishing fourth in the group with eight points.

2002 World Cup qualifiers

Macedonia's 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign saw them grouped with Sweden, Turkey, Slovakia, Moldova, and Azerbaijan. They were unsuccessful in their opening match, going down to Slovakia 2-0 in Slovakiamarker on 3 September 2000. The Macedonians once again failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup, which was held in Japanmarker and South Koreamarker, once again finishing fourth in the group with seven points.

Euro 2004 qualifiers

The Euro 2004 Qualifiers saw Macedonia grouped alongside England, Turkey, Slovakia, and Liechtenstein. Despite Macedonia failing to win its first four games of the campaign, they managed to record one of its most memorable results of its short history. On 16 October 2002, Macedonia played former world champions England in Southamptonmarker, which was England's first home game in Southampton in almost 100 years. Macedonia grabbed the lead early in the first half after Artim Sakiri scored directly from a corner kick, leaving English goalkeeper David Seaman stunned. England soon leveled the game, but not before Macedonia managed to get in the lead once again. However, the game ended 2-2 after England managed to score a second equaliser in the second half. Macedonia lost to England 2-1 at home in the return leg, which took place in September 2003. Macedonia's only win of the campaign came on 7 June 2003, when they beat Liechtenstein 3-1 at home. Macedonia did not qualify for the UEFA Euro 2004 tournament, which was held in Portugalmarker, finishing fourth on six points, their worst final points tally to date.

2006 World Cup qualifiers

Macedonia was drawn in Group 1 and was grouped with the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Romania, Finland, Armenia, and Andorra. They managed to open their campaign with a 3-0 win at home to Armenia on 18 August 2004. Macedonia would not win another home game for more than three years. On 9 October 2004, Macedonia managed to hold the Netherlands to a surprise 2-2 draw in Skopjemarker in front of a crowd of 17,000 at the Skopje City Stadium, but in their next game, just four days later, they suffered one of its most embarrassing defeats, a 1-0 loss away to Andorra, one of the world's weakest teams. Also in this tournaments, Macedonia set a new team record for most goals conceded in a game when they lost 6-1 away to Czech Republic on 8 June 2005. Macedonia went on to concede a further eight goals in the next two qualifiers, both against Finland. On 23 August 2005, coach Slobodan Santrac resigned as coach of Macedonia after just five months into the job due to personal problems, with former player Boban Babunski temporarily taking over as coach. The resignation came just days after they were beaten 3-0 by Finland in Skopje. Despite their poor performance during the 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign, Macedonia managed to end the campaign on a high, with a 0-0 draw against the Netherlands in Amsterdammarker. This result meant that Macedonia, with the two draws against the Netherlands, was the only team in the group not to have been defeated by group winners the Netherlands. The Netherlands won 10 of their 12 games in the 2006 World Cup campaign. Macedonia failed to qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germanymarker, finishing fifth in the group with nine points.

Following the completion of the 2006 World Cup qualifying tournament, in November 2005, Macedonia took part in a friendly tournament in Iranmarker consisting of four teams, each team from a different continent. The teams were Macedonia, Iran, Paraguay, and Togo. In their opening match, they won 2-1 against host nation Iran, booking a spot in the final against Paraguay. They lost the final match against Paraguay 1-0. Macedonia was the only nation in this friendly tournament not to have qualified for the 2006 World Cup.

Euro 2008 qualifiers

On 27 January 2006 in Switzerlandmarker, Macedonia was placed in Group E for the UEFA Euro 2008 qualifiers, alongside England, Croatia, Russia, Israel, Estonia, and Andorra.

On 17 February 2006, former Slovenian national coach Srečko Katanec was appointed as the head coach under a two-year contract.

In the lead up to the beginning of the qualifiers for Euro 2008, Macedonia managed two impressive results against quality sides in friendly matches. They beat Ecuador 2-1 in Madridmarker, their first ever win against a South American side, and a week later, followed that up with a 1-0 win against Turkey.

On 16 August 2006, Macedonia opened their Euro 2008 qualifying campaign with a 1-0 win away against Estonia. Goce Sedloski scored for Macedonia in the 73rd minute. Sedloski's milestone goal meant that the Macedonia was the first team to score a goal in the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign.

On 6 September 2006, Macedonia hosted England in their second game of the qualifiers. England went on to win 1-0 after Peter Crouch scored for the away side in the 46th minute. This was the first time they failed to score against England. A month later, on 7 October, the two teams met once again in Manchestermarker. They surprisingly held England to a 0-0 draw in front of 72,062 people.

On 17 October 2007, Macedonia beat Andorra 3-0 in Skopje, giving them their first win on home soil since August 2004.

On 17 November 2007, Macedonia caused the biggest upset of Group A: a 2-0 win in Skopjemarker over eventual group winners Croatia, who suffered their first loss since the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The win was also Croatia's only loss of their campaign, as well as Macedonian first ever win over a side ranked in the Top 10 in the FIFA Rankings.

Macedonia failed to qualify to the Euro 2008 Finals after finishing 5th on 14 points, despite their highest points accumulation for a qualifiers tournament.

2010 World Cup qualifiers

On 25 November 2007, just days after Macedonia completed its qualifying campaign for Euro 2008, the groups for European qualifiers for the 2010 FIFA World Cup were allocated in Durbanmarker, South Africa. Macedonia was seeded in Pot 4 and was grouped along with the Netherlands, Scotland, Norway, and Iceland.

On 21 December 2007, coach Srečko Katanec agreed to a two-year contract extension, which would see him coach Macedonia through the 2010 World Cup qualifiers.

In the lead up to the campaign, Macedonia played three friendlies against Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Poland throughout 2008, all of which ended in draws.

On 6 September 2008, Macedonia opened its campaign with a 1-0 win against Scotland at home. Ilčo Naumoski scored for the Macedonians in the fifth minute off a Goce Sedloski free-kick.

Following these impressive results, Macedonia moved up 10 places to #46 on the FIFA World Rankings list for October 2008, their highest ever position on the rankings list.

Srečko Katanec left the team following the 4-0 loss to the Netherlands in Amsterdammarker in April 2009, reportedly due to a spat with star player Goran Pandev.

Soon afterwards, the maganer of the under-21 squad, Mirsad Jonuz, became the new coach of the Macedonian national football team and was signed only until the end of the World Cup qualifying campaign.

Macedonia drew 0-0 at home to Norway on 6 June 2009.

On 10 June, Macedonia won 2-0 against Iceland.

On 12 August, Macedonia played a friendly match at the expanded Philip II Arena in Skopjemarker against the current European champions Spain, as part of the 100-years anniversary of football in Macedonia.The match ended with Spain coming back from two goals down to win 3-2 in front of a record crowd of 30,000.

On 5 September, Macedonia lost 2-0 away to Scotland. Four days later, they lost 2-1 away to Norway and were thus officially eliminated from World Cup qualification.

Current squad

Squad named for the friendlies against Canada on 14 November 2009 and Iran on 18 November 2009.

Caps and goals as of 18 November 2009.

Number Name DOB Club Caps Goals Debut
Goalkeepers
1 Tome Pacovski Germinal Beerschot 15 0 v ; 04 June 2006
12 Kristijan Naumovski Rabotnički 1 0 v ; 14 November 2009
Defenders
4 Goce Sedloski Mattersburg 98 8 v ; 27 March 1996
14 Vlade Lazarevski Karpaty Lviv 37 0 v ; 04 June 2005
5 Igor Mitreski Energie Cottbus 60 1 v ; 28 April 2001
18 Daniel Mojsov Makedonija Gjorce Petrov 6 0 v ; 19 November 2008
2 Nikolce Noveski Mainz 34 2 v ; 17 November 2004
3 Goran Popov Heerenveen 28 2 v ; 11 June 2004
15 Robert Popov Auxerre 15 0 v
Midfielders
8 Veliče Šumulikoski Preston North End 63 1 v ; 27 March 2003
6 Slavco Georgievski Ulsan Hyundai 13 0 v ; 10 September 2003
20 Gligor Gligorov Sileks 1 0 v ; 18 November 2009
13 Filip Despotovski Vorskla Poltava 7 0 v ; 05 June 2009
16 Armend Alimi Istra 4 0 v ; 09 September 2009
Strikers
10 Goran Pandev Lazio 52 22 v ; 28 February 2001
11 Ilco Naumoski Mattersburg 34 6 v ; 09 February 2003
17 Aco Stojkov Aarau 39 5 v ; 21 August 2002
23 Filip Ivanovski Polonia Warszawa 5 1 v ; 10 June 2009
9 Besart Ibraimi Renova 5 0 v ; 05 September 2009
7 Dusan Savić Rabotnički 4 0 v ; 22 August 2007


Other notable players

Players Selected in the present WCQ campaign by former coach Srecko Katanec.

Statistics

Most appearances

# Name NT Career Caps
1 Goce Sedloski 1996 – 98
2 Artim Sakiri 1996 – 2009 75
3 Velice Sumulikoski 2002 – 63
4 Igor Mitreski 2001 – 60
5 Petar Milosevski 1998 – 59
6 Goran Pandev 2001 – 52
7 Vlatko Grozdanoski 2001 – 48
7 Gjorgji Hristov 1995 – 2003 47
9 Goran Maznov 2001 – 44
10 Toni Micevski 1993 – 2001 42


Top goalscorers

# Name NT Career Goals
1 Goran Pandev 2001 – 22
2 Gjorgji Hristov 1995 – 2003 17
3 Artim Sakiri 1996 – 2007 15
4 Goran Maznov 2001 – 10
5 Saša Ćirić 1996 – 2003 8
6 Goce Sedloski 1996 – 8
7 Ilco Naumoski 2003 – 6
8 Zoran Boskovski 1993 – 1998 5
8 Mitko Stojkovski 1994 – 2002 5
9 Aco Stojkov 2002 – 5


Notes

  1. [http://www.mia.com.mk/default.aspx?vId=66682811&lId=2 MIA Macedonian Information Agency


External links




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