***I DON’T HAVE FIFA’S PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT TO USE, TALK, THINK OR EVEN YELL AT RANDOS FROM MY BALCONY ABOUT ANY NAMES, COUNTRIES OR EVENTS MENTIONED IN MY FIFA WORLD CUP QATAR 2022 COVERAGE, SO FOR COPYRIGHT REASONS FROM HERE ON IN, THE EVENT WILL BE REFERRED TO AS QLAMQTAR 2022.***
The Qlamqtar 2022 World Cup is only about two moons away (depending on your own set of lunar circumstances) and the first ever World Cup held in the Arab world promises to be a real doozy. World Cup history is a tale resplendent with stories of triumph against the odds, childhood dreams coming true and unsung heroes becoming legends. As well as dumb idiot losers, wanker fuck ups and teams that are just total bullshit.
But how shall ye learn about these legends, losers and teams that are just total bullshit? Well look no further my wayward friend as I profile all 211 FIFA nations eligible for World Cup qualification. Today, I take a look at Montenegro, which is yet to qualify for a World Cup.
Bound by the 10 Montenegrin Commandments
Nickname: Hrabri sokoli / Храбри соколи (The Brave Falcons)
FIFA Ranking: 67 (August 2022)
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualification result: Failed to advance from group stage (UEFA) finishing below Netherlands, Turkey, Norway and above Latvia, Gibraltar
It’s not the short passage of time that has restricted the Montenegro National Team from taking that next step and reaching a World Cup Finals, it is the ten Montengrin Commandments. Despite a history of nurturing some of the best talent the entire Balkans have produced–including 1997 Ballon d’Or runner-up Predrag Mjatovic and 1991 Ballon d’Or runner-up Dejan Savicevic–its progress has been hampered by a devout adherence to the central ten tenets that every Montenegrin must live by:
1. Man is born tired and lives to get a rest.
This has been evident in all four of Montenegro’s World Cup qualifying campaigns with the team’s best finish a third in the group behind England and Ukraine in the 2014 World Cup campaign.
2. Love thy bed as you love thyself.
Montenegro made sure to follow this one when they got close to qualifying for Euro 2012 but just let Czech Republic walk all over them in the playoffs, preferring to just stay home in bed than have to spend their 2012 summer in Poland and Ukraine.
3. Rest during the day, so you can sleep at night
Yugoslavia’s Round of 16 match against the Netherlands at the 98 World Cup unfortunately was held during the night, and Predrag Mjatovic accordingly struck his penalty in Yugoslavia’s Round of 16 game like he was lashing out after being woken up mid-slumber.
4. Do not work – work kills.
The maker of this video about the national team stuck tight to this commandment during the creation of whatever this is:
5. If you see someone resting, help him out.
In a 2014 World Cup qualifier against England in Podgorica, Montenegro helped out Wayne Rooney by giving him his much wanted rest by antagonising him to take out his frustration and get red carded, in a game that Montenegro woke up after 2 early goals and managed to fight back for a 2-2 draw.
6. Work as little as you can, and convey all the work you can to another.
After scoring the ultimately decisive goal against Switzerland in a Euro 2012 qualifer, Mirko Vucinic got ready for bed straight away by stripping down to his undies:
7. In shade is salvation – nobody died from resting.
Montenegro’s national team has been resting ever since it gained independence in 2006:
8. Work earns illness – do not pass away young.
The cameraman from this famous away win in Copenhagen in a World Cup 2018 qualifier certainly stayed true to this commandment, working enough to shoot the action but not enough to zoom out enough to get what was actually going on.
9. If you have an urge to work, sit down, wait and you’ll see it will pass.
10. When you see people eat and drink, approach them. When you see them work, withdraw yourself not to trouble them.
One to watch: How many more centuries fans go bananas for the N-word and monkey sounds
There’s no doubt that shouting the N-word and monkey chants directed at Black players or Black people in general has stood the test of time, but will there ever come a day when fans of the Montenegro national team become bored of it? It’s only been 10,000 years since the first likely cases of anti-Black prejudice, but it’s not the Neolithic Age anymore, and nor is it the 19th century or even 2020 or 2021, so signs would suggest that the chant is disappearing. However, according to some Montenegrin fans (along with Italians and Hungarians, among others) the monkey chants are here to stay, perhaps for another 10,000 years if we’re lucky. Classic!
The Highpoint: The 1998 World Cup (kind of)
Although not having done it as an independent state, the Montenegrins have actually reached a World Cup in another way–as part of Yugoslavia at multiple competitions and as Serbia and Montenegro at the 2006 World Cup.
Most recently, the 1998 World Cup team, which crushed Hungary 12-1 on aggregate in the European playoffs to qualify, stormed through the group stage at France 98 by rolling USA and Iran and almost defeating Germany 2-0 (before conceding two late goals).
The Yugoslavian team had once again become one of the challengers for world football’s ultimate prize, and in the round of 16 against Netherlands, with the score level at 1-1, 1997 Ballon d’Or runner up and scorer of the winning goal in the 1998 Champions League Final Predrag Mjatovic stepped up to take a penalty that could give Yugoslavia the lead.
Like a sexually frustrated husband taking out all his anger at pub league football on the weekend, he smashed it as hard as he possibly could and it pounded off the crossbar, into the turf and out. Later, with the score still at 1-1 heading into injury time, in the 90th minute Edgar Davids directed a tame goalbound effort that deflected off a Yugoslav defender and into the net, winning the game and sending Yugoslavia home from the tournament. The team also reached the 2006 World Cup as part of Serbia and Montenegro, but the less said about that effort the better.
Learn the lingo & speak like a local!
17 Nov 2022
MONTENEGRO 🇲🇪 x 🇸🇰 SLOVAKIA
20 Nov 2022
SLOVENIA 🇸🇮 x 🇲🇪 MONTENEGRO