World Cup Team Profile - Bosnia
Coach: Safet Susic
Captain: Emir Spahic (Bayer Leverkusen)
Full Bosnia and Herzegovina Roster
The Road to Rio: Bosnia and Herzegovina scored early and often in qualifying, which went a long way in getting them to Brazil without having to go through the playoff round.
They pummeled Liechtenstein in their qualifying opener thanks to hat tricks from both Edin Dzeko and Vedad Ibisevic (to say nothing of a Zvjezdan Misimovic brace) and then dropped another four on Latvia in their second game.
When the dust settled, Bosnia-Herzegovina stood with just one loss and one draw through 10 games. The record was identical to that of Greece. Unlike the Greeks, however, their goal output was plentiful on top of a stingy defence and they earned automatic qualification for Brazil with a plus-24 differential. That number was eclipsed in Europe by only perennial titans Germany, Netherlands and England.
Last World Cup appearance: Not applicable
First World Cup appearance: Brazil 2014
Previous World Cup appearances: 0
Best World Cup finish: Not applicable
Bosnia and Herzegovina will be making their first trip to the World Cup and, though they don’t enter the competition with tournament experience, they have a few big game players in their squad that they will rely on to try to find their way in Group F.
The key man up front will be Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko, who was as important a player down the stretch as anyone else for the English champions. He scored vital goals for his club team and will be counted on to carry the offence for his national squad as well. They will also have Vedad Ibisevic, Senad Lulic and Miralem Pjanic behind the striker and will be counted on to create scoring chances, especially Pjanic who makes their entire offensive engine work.
Stoke City keeper Asmir Begovic showed a lot of growth this season in the Premier League and will be important to their defensive core, as in front of him will be an unsettled defence where three of the four players have rotated through qualifying. Captain Emir Spahic will have to marshal that backline as he is the only mainstay on a defence that will be constantly run at by teams that are strong in attack.
Argentina might be in a different class than Bosnia and Herzegovina, but they will head into games with both Iran and Nigeria confident of positive results. If they can feed Dzeko on offence and avoid leaking too many goals they should be good enough to book their place in the Round of 16.