When Vedad Ibišević fired that strike against Lithuania in the last game of the qualifying campaign, Bosnian fans could kick off their celebration. For the first time in nations short history, Bosnia and Herzegovina qualified for a major tournament and did that in a truly marvelous fashion. In a group against Greece, Bosnia and Herzegovina managed to finish top on goal difference, plus a better head to head stats against the 2004 EURO champions.
Nearly 20 years ago, this whole nation was in ashes, as the Bosnian war was just over. In 1995, Bosnia and Herzegovina opened a new chapter of their history and looked forward to a much better time. For example, their best player Edin Džeko, had to migrate and spent several days in the cellar, hoping for the bombing to stop. After the war ended, many Bosnians sought comfort and faith in the game of football, trying to focus on some other things instead of just pain and suffering.
After being eliminated by Portugal in two previous attempts to qualify for a major tournament, they made it this time, under Safet Sušić. Formally declared the best foreign player in the history of Paris SG, Sušić guided this generation to a place in the World cup finals. In Brazil, Bosnia will face Argentina, Nigeria and Iran, in group F. The group looks highly passable, considering the fact that Bosnia survives the initial panic and plays the football they played during the qualifications.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is the only debutant on this years World cup. Bosnia has good chances of going pass the group stages, as their impressive record one friendly games before and some tactical changes persuaded the football media, that Bosnia can indeed conclude the tournament after the group stages.
While Argentina seems unbeatable, at least for the Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nigeria game can be crucial for a potential place in the last 16. Bosnia has a good recent record against African teams and have even defeated the Ivory Coast in a friendly game. A win against Iran can’t possibly come into question, if any calculations are being made. Asian team simply should not present a real threat and everything but a win will be seen as an shock. If they make it pass the group stages, Bosnia can play, probably, either France or Switzerland. These two teams are both better than the “Dragons”, but Sušić’s man can cope with them.
Although Bosnia has a really impressive starting line-up, the whole rooster of 23 players is very average. First eleven consist of very influential players, like Stoke City’s Asmir Begović on goal, Emir Spahić, Senad Lulić from Leverkusen and Lazio respectively. However, the highlight of the team is upfront, where Manchester City striker Edin Džeko expects great passes from Miralem Pjanić (As Roma) and Misimović, former Wolfsburg Bundesliga-winner. Bosnia is mentally a difficult squad and can sometimes enter into an euphoria and upset when that is less needed than ever. Injuries have avoided their team, which is a great plus, because many positions in the team rely purely on one player. Bosnian national team will present themselves in a great light and the world will be surprised.