Aleksandar Tirnanić

Biographical information

Full nameAleksandar•Tirnanić
Used nameAleksandar•Tirnanić
Nick/petnamesTirke, Тирке
Original nameАлександар•Тирнанић
Born15 July 1910 in Krnjevo, Podunavlje (SRB)
Died13 December 1992 in Beograd (Belgrade), Beograd (SRB)
NOC Yugoslavia
Nationality Serbia


Aleksandar Tirnanić was a Yugoslav midfielder and football manager. Born in the small village of Krnjevo in central Yugoslavia, he and his family moved to Beograd (Belgrade) when he was very young. He lost his father in 1914 in World War I, and his mother died during the bombing of Belgrade in 1944.

From an early age, Tirnanić played football, receiving his first opportunity to join a team at the age of 13. He made his début with the youth team of SK Yugoslavija, then moved to BSK Belgrade before advancing to the first team at the age of 17. He made over 500 appearances for his club and won the Yugoslav championship five times. Tirnanić joined the national team in 1929, and was in the squad for the first World Cup in Uruguay in 1930. When he scored against Brazil he became the youngest World Cup goalscorer, a record that stood for just five days until broken by Mexico’s Manuel Rosas. Tirnanić won 50 Yugoslavia caps and scored 12 goals.

Tirnanić was handed the captaincy of the national team against Czechoslovakia in 1946, in what was Yugoslavia’s first international after World War II. He was part of the national coaching team until 1966 and was head coach in two World Cups, Switzerland 1954 and Sweden 1958. In 1960, alongside two other coaches, Dragomir Nikolic and Ljubomir Lovric, Tirnanić was runner-up at the first European Football Championships. Then, with him solely in charge, Yugoslavia won the Olympic gold at Roma in 1960, after three consecutive silver medals.

Coaching results

Games Sport (Discipline) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal Nationality As
1960 Summer Olympics Football (Football) YUG SRB Aleksandar Tirnanić
Football, Men (Olympic) Yugoslavia 1 Gold