TheFA.com gives you the lowdown on one of Europe's youngest countries - Macedoni
TheFA.com gives you the lowdown on one of Europe's youngest countries - Macedonia...
FYR Macedonia - The Stat Pack
Full country name: The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Full local name: Republika Makedonija
Area: 25,333 sq km
Land Boundaries: 766 km
Border countries: Albania 151 km, Bulgaria 148 km, Greece 246 km, Serbia and Montenegro 221 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Population: 2,063,122 (July 2002 est.)
People: Macedonian 66.6%, Albanian 22.7%, Turkish 4%, Roma 2.2%, Serb 2.1%, other 2.4% (1994 figures)
Languages: Macedonian 70%, Albanian 21%, Turkish 3%, Serbo-Croatian 3%, other 3%
Religion: Roman Catholic 60.3%, atheist 9.7%, Protestant 8.4%, Orthodox 4.1%, other 17.5%
President: Boris Trajkovski
Prime Minister: Branko Crvenkovski
GDP: $10 billion
GDP per head: $5,000
Annual growth: 0.3%
Major industries: coal, metallic chromium, lead, zinc, ferronickel, textiles, wood products, tobacco, food processing, buses
Landlocked by Serbia & Montenegro, Bulgaria, Greece and Albania and being the smallest of the breakaway Yugoslav republics, the independent state of Macedonia came into being in September 1991. The Football Union of Macedonia was founded the following year.
The last nation to join UEFA, they became eligible for the 1996 European Championships and in their opening Group 2 match came within three minutes of defeating reigning champions Denmark.
An impressive draw in Brussels against Belgium was followed by a victory over Cyprus and draws with Armenia and Cyprus, all of which cemented a satisfactory fourth place in a tough group.
Macedonia notched up a remarkable four victories in European Qualifying Group 8 for the 1998 World Cup, two of which were particularly noteworthy - an 11-1 away victory in Liechtenstein and a shock 3-2 win over Mick McCarthy's Republic of Ireland.
For the 2002 World Cup qualifying, Macedonia were placed in a group with Euro 2004 rivals Turkey and Slovakia and grabbed a wonderful 3-3 draw away in Bursa against the Turks.
Having drawn with England at Southampton in October 2002, Macedonian football has come a long way in just 11 years.