Red Star Belgrade (Фудбалски клуб Црвена звезда Београд, Fudbalski klub Crvena zvezda Beograd) is a football club from Belgrade, Serbia. The club is sometimes known worldwide by translations of its Serbian name, FK Crvena zvezda. They are the only Serbian club to have won a UEFA competition, having been victorious in the 1991 European Cup final.
According to recent polls, Red Star is the most popular football club in Serbia, with nearly 50% of the population supporting the club. Their main rivals are fellow Belgrade side, FK Partizan.
On 12 October 1946 Red Star Youth Physical Culture Society merged with a similar society called Student (in fact Student was absorbed into Red Star), and the number of sports sections in the Red Star sport society increased. In 1948 sports sections within Red Star were transformed into clubs, and Youth Physical Culture Society Red Star became Sport Society Red Star. From 1949 all of the clubs were functioning more-less as separate entities (decentralized).
During the 1950s Red Star made several tours of South America; they represented Yugoslavia at the Rio Cup in 1951, but lost all three matches against Juventus, Nice and Palmeiras in São Paulo. Following the cup, they played Santos. In 1955 they returned to the continent, playing 11 matches in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. They returned again in the winter of 1961-62, playing another 10 matches in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Uruguay.
Red Star played a peripheral role in a tragedy of football history. In 1958, Manchester United played at Red Star in a European Cup fixture. The plane that carried the team back to England crashed in Munich, shortly after refuelling. Eight united players were among the dead. Manager Matt Busby and several other players were injured. The incident would forever be known as the Munich air disaster.
Red Star is the only Serbian club that has won a UEFA competition, winning the 1991 European Cup in Bari, Italy. The same year in Tokyo, Japan the club won the Intercontinental Cup. Red Star lost the European Super Cup finals that year to the Cup Winners' Cup champion, Manchester United. The club also made the final of the UEFA Cup in 1979, losing to Borussia Mönchengladbach. Red Star also has won a record 25 national league titles.
In 2008 the club announced the reconstruction of the pitch in the stadium. Under-soil grass heaters will be installed and new modern turf will replace the current playing surface. The training pitch will also be renovated by laying down synthetic turf and installing new lighting equipment.
Red Star's main rivals are fellow Belgrade club, FK Partizan. Matches between the two are known as the "Eternal Derby" (вечити дерби, Večiti derbi). The record attendance for a Red Star-Partizan match is around 108,000, the lowest 8,000 for a Yugoslav Cup semi-final in 2005. In league matches, the derby has been played 133 times; Red Star winning on 57 occasions and Partizan 34 times. In cup games, Red Star have won 17 of the 31 fixtures, Partizan 10.
|Red Star Belgrade||Seasons||P||W||D||L||F||A||Match %W||Ties P||Ties W||Ties L||Ties %W|
|Representing FR Yugoslavia||12||72||28||20||24||112||85||38.89||34||19||15||55.88|
|Representing SFR Yugoslavia||33||177||88||30||59||344||234||49.72||85||54||31||63.53|
Though it may sound strange, none of the players that have won the only European Champion title for the club is titled Star of Red Star. In fact, no new "stars" have been added to the list since Dragan Stojković was given the title in 1990. In his recent statement, Stojković, then the club's president, said that the tradition of naming the club's stars was going to be continued, probably by naming Dejan Savićević the sixth "star", although there were opinions that the entire 1991 generation should be named the sixth star. Ironically, Stojković himself missed the opportunity to be part of the historical 1991 cup since he moved to Olympique de Marseille, the same team that was beaten by Red Star at the 1991 final.