Nothing gets you ready for an international soccer match quite like the national anthems prior to kick-off. Shivers run down our spines as the crowd gets into it, belting along as flags wave throughout the stadium. At the same time, it’s always fun to play the “who doesn’t know the words to their anthem” game as the camera pans across the players’ faces.
But let’s forgive Serbia’s Under-19s for not singing along.
Serbia’s players were visibly stunned and embarrassed ahead of their European Championship semifinal against Portugal in Lithuania when the stadium began playing the old Yugoslavia anthem by mistake! Serbia, of course, was part of Yugoslavia before the Balkan conflict in the early 1990s, and has had its own, new anthem since 2006, after Yugoslavia’s successor state Serbia & Montenegro split into two new independent nations.
Fortunately, Serbia put the anthem gaffe aside and ended up winning the match on penalties, advancing to the final where they will face France.