In the last three seasons, the Red Star football club has recorded results worthy of respect in Serbia, but also in Europe, and thanks to the games in that period, the club has stabilized and re-entered the European map in golden letters.
Two participations in the Champions League, one in the Europa League, returned the Red Star, where it belongs, to the cream of European football. As the club has entered stable waters, mostly thanks to the agile management headed by Zvezdan Terzić, the general director of the club and Mitrom mrkelom, sports director, on the one hand, and on the other the sports sector that he led in that period Vladan Milojevic and now Dejan Stankovic the appetites of the public grew. In this whole story, we should praise Crvena zvezda, which did its homework and decided not to spend money before earning it, the team from ‘Ljutica Bogdan’ first tried to secure a European place, and only then to bring sound and expensive reinforcements, when the money was ‘in the pocket’ of the red and whites. There is no doubt that bringing in foreigners earlier would have been a much smarter move, but in that scenario there would still be a possibility of failure, and in the absence of a European autumn, the financial consequences would significantly burden the club. The Red Star showed the right model that Serbian clubs should follow.
In the 2017/18 season, the red and whites brought some of the players who still form the backbone of the club and are an important screw in the red and white machinery. They were brought Milan Rodić, Branko Jovicic, El Fardu Ben, Richmond Boacci, Milan Borjan, Srdjan Babic… They arrived then and Aleksandar Pesic, as well as Nemanja Radonjic from whose sales the club profited well. The work was planned in that period, the reinforcements brought immediately gave results, so Floriana, Irtysh from Pavlodar, Sparta from Prague, and then Krasnodar were defeated in the qualifications for the Europa League. In the group stage, Zvezda had a difficult job. Arsenal, Bate Borisov and Cologne, were rivals of the Serbian team, but they were chosen Vladan Milojevic placed in the long-awaited European spring. There, CSKA from Moscow was waiting for them, which was better in the duel (0: 0) (0: 1).
The appetites of the fans increased next season. And it was up to the club’s management to respond to the challenges. The team was filled first with home players, Nemanja Milunovic, Dusan Jovancic, Veljko Simic, Milos Vulic, Zoran Popovic Nikola Stojiljkovic, Dejan Meleg, Mirko Ivanic… He returned from Nis on loan Milan Pavkov… The international Lorenzo Ebisilio also arrived. The Serbian champion started the qualifications from the first round. Spartaks were defeated, then Suduva and Spartak Trnava, and in the playoffs, the Red Bull from Salzburg intended the draw for Zvezda. When the red and whites entered the playoffs and it was clear that millions from UEFA funds would merge into Ljutice Bogdana, the sports sector and management decided to activate the ‘x-factor’ at the end of the transition period, literally at ‘five to 12’. are Jonathan Kafu, (then the loudest of all reinforcements ever in Serbian football) Marko Marin. With their arrival, Ebisilio, who also scored a goal against Suduva, fell into the background. As much luck as Zvezda had in the qualifications, so much fortune turned its back on the red and whites in the group stage. Liverpool, which was the champion that year, Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain arrived in Belgrade, Zvezda did not have many chances on the road, but they were more than good at ‘Marakana’. Liverpool was defeated in Belgrade, and he scored goals Milan Pavkov. Napoli was also without a shot (0: 0).
What should not be changed, and they were aware of that system in the Red Star, reinforcements arrived before the 2019/20 season. This time, the star went one step further. He is back Degenek, arrived Njegos Petrovic, Nikola Vasiljevic, great Radovan Pankov… The old connoisseur of the Star of Suduva this time was the first obstacle, which routinely passed further, then came Helsinki, and the third round was for a heart attack and will be remembered in the minds of all star players. Copenhagen were sent off on penalties after two draws. Already seen, when it became certain that the European check would arrive, Zvezda once again ‘burst out’ and brought resounding European names. Mateo Garcia arrived as a sound reinforcement, then from the Huddersfield Premier League came Raziv van La Para, Tomane, Žander, Kanjas… After the away goal (1: 1) (2: 2) against the Young Boys, Crvena zvezda made history, entered the Champions League for the second time, and only luck prevented Zvezda from securing the European Championship for the second time in three years. spring, He needed the elect Vladan Milojevic point against Olympiacos, but the red and whites from Piraeus celebrated in the second match with 1: 0, although they lost the first.
A lot was expected from foreigners, but some did not have enough time to get used to the pressure that playing in Zvezda and Europe brings. All in all, Zvezda has a tried and tested European recipe, Vladan Milojević left the pelcer to Dejan Stanković, and it is up to ‘Mister’ to try to continue Zvezda’s odyssey in an identical way, what gives results should not be changed.
PHOTO: FC Red Star