Red star

Red Star Belgrade

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.

History

Red Star was formed on 4 March 1945. In the beginning it was a Youth Physical Culture Society with seven sports sections - athletics, rowing, basketball, volleyball, football, chess and swimming. On that day the very first football match was played. Red Star played against a team of the First Battalion of the Second Brigade of KNOJ Red Star won 3:2 (2:0). Two goals were scored by Tomašević and one by Pečenčić. Seven days later Red Star played a Team of British Army Mission representatives and won 12:0 (5:0). During 1945 Red Star football club played no less than 36 matches. They won 30, drew 5, and lost only one match (against Romania in Timişoara on 23 September 1945 - 1:2 (0:2)).

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 January 2008 Red Star took part in the First Channel Cup in Israel, finishing bottom of their group.

Stadium

Red Star's home ground is the Stadion Crvena Zvezda. It has a capacity of 55,000 and is the largest stadium in Serbia. Due to the former capacity of over 100,000 the stadium is commonly referred to as Marakana after the famous Brazilian stadium. It was opened in 1963 after construction which had started three years earlier.

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.

Club culture

Supporters of the various Red Star sports teams are known as Delije (Делије). A rough English translation might be "courageous and brave young men" or simply "The Heroes". They are generally concentrated in the North Stand of the Stadion Crvena Zvezda. The Srbija do Tokija (lit. Serbia to Tokyo) chant originated with Red Star supporters following their victory in the 1991 Intercontinental Cup in Tokyo. It was later adopted by Serbian paramilitaries during the various Yugoslavian wars of the 1990s. The Delije were involved in the notorious Dinamo Zagreb-Red Star Belgrade riot in 1990, which highlighted the ethnic tensions in Yugoslavia at the time.

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.

In addition to their rivalries, Red Star have two friendship clubs, Olympiacos of Greece and Spartak Moscow of Russia. The fans of the three teams have been dubbed "Orthodox Brothers".

Honours

Season-by-season record

European Competitions

Red Star is the most successful team from Serbia (and Yugoslavia); it competed in Europe 46 times, once becoming European Champions (90/91). Other notable results include UEFA cup final (78/79), two European Champions Cup semifinals (56/57, 70/71), one Cup Winners’ Cup semifinal (74/75), and one UEFA cup semifinal (61/62).

European Results Analysis

1 class="wikitable" |
Red Star Belgrade Seasons P W D L F A Match %W Ties P Ties W Ties L Ties %W
Representing Serbia 2 8 3 3 2 9 8 37.50 4 2 2 50.00
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
Total 46 255 119 51 85 460 322 46.67 122 75 47 61.48

Current squad

As of August 24, 2008

Notable players

The Stars of Red Star

Red Star has almost a 50 year long tradition of giving the title of the Star of Red Star (Zvezdina zvezda) to the players that have had a major impact on the club's history and that have made the name of the club famous around the globe. So far, only five players in the club's history were officially given the title. They are:

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.

The 1991 European Champions Generation

Goalkeepers:

  Defenders:

  Midfielders:

  Strikers:

Coach: Ljupko Petrović

Other notable players

SFR Yugoslavia (1945-1992) FR Yugoslavia/Serbia and Montenegro (1992-2006) Serbia (2006-present)

Coaching history

For details see List of Red Star Belgrade football coaches

Former Chairmen

Notes and references

External links

Official

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