1. This is what their jersey looks like:
Leading up to the World Cup Bosnia-Herzegovina was sponsored by the Italian brand Legea, but small nation (pop. 3.8 million) will be debuting a new Adidas kit in Brazil.
2. They’re the only team making their World Cup debut in Brazil.
This is the first time since 1950 — when England was the sole team to debut in the World Cup — that we have another solo debutante.
3. Bosnia-Herzegovina has only existed as an independent country since 1992.
4. So the Dragons are not your typical underdog.
The slavic countries have a very rich football history. Before Yugoslavia fell, the nation appeared in eight World Cups — finishing as high as third in 1930. When the country split Croatia and Slovenia ended up with the most talent, but over time Bosnia and Herzegovina have developed quite the team and they’re really starting to hit their stride now.
5. Portugal denied their chance to make the 2010 World Cup by beating them in a playoff for one of the final spots in the field.
Portugal has been a frequent tormenter of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Cristiano Ronaldo-led side also defeated the Dragons in a playoff for one of the last remaining spots in the 2012 Euro Cup.
7. And this is how they celebrate…
8. Miralem Pjanic is one of the most creative — yet unheralded — young playmakers going to Brazil.
Nicknamed “Little Prince,” Pjanic is an immensely talented 24-year-old midfielder who plays his club football for AS Roma. He is orchestrator of the Dragons offense, who feed off his creativity and vision.
9. Edin Dzeko is one of the premier strikers in the world.
At 28 years old, the Manchester City star is already the leading goal scorer in Bosnian history. This past season, he finished 6th in the Premier League in goals and helped lead Manchester City to a league title. Combined with Pjanic’s creativity in the midfield, they combine to be one of the most underrated offensive duos in the World Cup field.
10. Their style of play is one of the most exciting in the World Cup field.
Bosnia and Herzegovina head coach Safet Susic has a very simple — and exciting — philosophy, “score more than your opponent, no matter how much it will cost.”
11. Success at the World Cup could go a long way in at least temporarily helping unite a country frequently torn apart by war.
Ever since the fall of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s the area has been dominated by bloodshed and extreme economic depression. However after Bosnia and Herzegovina qualified for the World Cup 50,000 supporters welcomed the team home while chanting, “you are the country’s pride.”