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Balkan Affairs
VeljaSrbin (FK Partizan Beograd) 4 years ago
Hey there Balkan boys! It's been long time since we met at this thread.

The biggest news in a Serbian football is that FC Partizan sacked Aleksandar Stanojevic, the youngest and one of the most successful coaches in club's recent history, and appointed Avram Grant, former Chelsea, Portsmouth and West Ham coach.

Stanojevic's disagreements with president Djuric escalated after first half of the season, and result is that him and Mladen Krstajic (football director) were fired, because as we know in Balkans, you cannot go against regime, no matter who you are!
Markodon (NK Dinamo Zagreb) 4 years ago
Hey Velja, been a while. Heard about Partizan appointing Grant as their new manager, seems quite unexpected and random. I'm not too familiar with Stanojevic but I know Partizan has been no. 1 in Serbia for some time, and also one of the strongest teams in this part of Europe. This story kind of reminds me of what happened at Dinamo last year, when Vaha Halilhodzic (in my opinion the best coach Dinamo had in the last 10 years, or even more) got sacked after a successful season because he had a problem with Mamic entering the changing room whenever he felt like it and interrupting him, swearing at players and whatever else this primate does.

Zivio Balkan!

Off-topic - congratulations on the European Silver in handball and the 1st place in waterpolo.... And Djokovic offcourse. A pretty good day for Serbian sport!
VeljaSrbin (FK Partizan Beograd) 4 years ago
Markodon, thanks! It was a hot Sunday here in Serbia! Having Djokovic beating Nadal, water polo team beating Montenegro for European gold, and handball team playing finals of European championship, all in one day, does not happen often!

You guys had a good tournament in handball as well, winning bronze! If our goalie Darko "The Ministry of Defense" Stanic did not have a brilliant night on Friday, you would play that finals instead of us!
Macedonian (Napoli) 5 years ago
Dinamo Zagreb was the last club representative from ex yu leagues gone from champions league has allegation of match fixing.
Can’t believe they conceded 7 goals in half hour second half.
This is the reason we need this regional league clubs from this region with current national leagues they can’t keep and by talent so what they made to group stage like Partisan last year.
The problem is they will not repeat this for many seasons.
But if you have regional league involving biggest clubs in the region
Clubs will have bigger budgets and more stable so that will respond with better representation in Europe’s leagues.
Markodon (NK Dinamo Zagreb) 5 years ago
As a Dinamo supporter from 1994 (when I started watching football), this was by far the most painful and embaressing experience for me.

The truth is, before we can even start talking about regional leagues, every country needs to "clean up in the backyard". Basically, there needs to be a large scale investigation into corruption, match fixing, conflicts of interest, etc. Only when we have a mafia-free environment can we start talking about integration of Balkan football. My club is currently controlled by the worst kind of parasite, Zdravko Mamic. I would go so far as to call the last 10 years the Dark Ages of Dinamo. This Champions League group campaign has symbolized what kind of a circus this team has become. It doesn't matter whether the match was fixed or not, that kind of behaviour on the pitch makes me want stop supporting this club
Macedonian (Napoli) 5 years ago
Totally agree with you on this Markodon.
But that will be hard process you get one out next one will be the same
That is our Balkan society match fixing will never go away to make even tings worst highly promoted sports betting should be banned from advertising any kind sponsorship to clubs all football association this sort of problems happening in all federation
We hand even match fixing in ex YU leagues.
Italia Spain Greece Turkey Russia Poland France and many more they all had problems in past with match fixing.
Even we had in past world cup matches under suspicion of match fixing.
Only way to lift competition in our Countries and bring the football back to old glory is overcome the egos in all of us and stop living in the we must look for better future treat everybody equally with respect and all we have to make compromises for mutual benefit.
Just read Croatian FA official got arrested for excepting bribery.
VeljaSrbin (FK Partizan Beograd) 5 years ago
About Croatian FA officials being arrested, I am certain that if there would be an investigation like that in Serbia, a lot of our officials would be arrested as well!

As far as Dinamo's adventure in champions league which ended up sad as Partizan's last season, it only proves that football in former Yugoslavian countries is on a low European scale, which is embarrassing considering how much talent we have for beautiful game in our region. This only proves that first of all harsh fight against corruption is necessary in Yugo countries, and then establishing regional league would make every possible sense
VeljaSrbin (FK Partizan Beograd) 5 years ago
Hey there Balkan boys, it's been a wile since someone wrote in our thread. I personally was busy with work and traveling as well.

In a mid time Croatia made it to the EURO (congrats to Markodon)! I was amazed with their performance against Turkey in Istanbul! If Croatia shows same game next summer, everything is possible. Unfortunately B&H and Montenegro were not able to overcome last obstacle on the way to the final tournament, which will leave us to cheer for Croatia and Greece, from this part of the Europe.

Also, president of the FK Red Star Vladan Lukic attended meeting with presidents from some Bulgarian, Turkish and Greek clubs, with the subject of establishing Balkan Cup, where teams from these countries would compete in a similar system to UEFA's competitions. Apparently there has been general agreement to start competition like that. FK Partizan's president was invited as well, but he rejected to attend that meeting, saying that this type of competition makes no sense, when there is a possibility of reviving Yugo league or cup. There is a big debate between these two presidents over the media at the moment. I figure it all has to be connected to the fact that next weekend is veciti derbi! Can't wait for that one to start!
Markodon (NK Dinamo Zagreb) 5 years ago
Thanks, Velja. I have to admit I'm delighted with the performances in Instanbul, although it was totally unexpected. We'll try not to embaress the Balkans next summer as the only representatives along with Greece.

I've heard about the recent developments on the Balkan Cup, but it doesn't really makes sense to me (kind of like Partizan's pres), I don't get why would Turks want to play this cups, they already have a strong league. Also, didn't I hear something about Russian clubs as well?

Anyways, good luck in the derby. It's gonna' be interesting, Zuti needs a win over Partizan if he wants his career as a Red Star coach to continue for much longer (2 defeats so far?).
VeljaSrbin (FK Partizan Beograd) 5 years ago
Well idea with Balkan cup is that on a fall clubs that qualified for champions league or Europa League will not enter Balkan Cup. This cup would have champions league format, group stages on fall, knockout phase on spring. Clubs that did enter UEFA competitions, but did not go through group stages will join knockout phase of Balkan Cup.

But I also do not get this competition, since I believe that from every aspect competition with ex-Yugo clubs would be far more successful
Macedonian (Napoli) 5 years ago
Hi to all going back 4 mounts posted in this forum sample of ex yu competitoion in my opinion this the ultimete solution for football in all ex yu states.
This is based on 2010/11 seson.
This draw format from 1 to 8 placed in their national league.
Divided on prequalifying rounds Group Stages & Finals
6 Ex YU Football Federation 8 teams total of 48 teams. Used last year 2010/11 season as example from each Ex YU States.
I think this the best possible option for all big or small clubs and every Nation has representative in group stage also better leagues can have 3 or 4 representatives.
Also it can be squeeze in without disturbing national Leagues and Euro Leagues.

Pos Monte Negro RANK
1 Mogren (see) 2. 275
2 Budućnost Podgorica 2. 03
3 Rudar 1. 78
4 Zeta 1. 03
5 Mladost Podgorica
6 Dečić
7 Grbalj
8 Lovćen

Pos Chroatia RANK
1 Dinamo Zagreb (see) 20. 22
2 Hajduk Split 6. 224
3 rnk Split
4 Cibalia 3. 724
5 Inter Zaprešić
6 Karlovac
7 Slaven Belupo
8 Osijek

Pos Bosnia RANK
1. Borac Banja Luka (see) 2. 324
2. Sarajevo 3. 32
3. Željezničar 2. 82
4. Široki Brijeg 2. 82
5. Olimpik
6. Sloboda
7. Zrinjski 3. 82
8. Zvijezda

Pos Serbia RANK
1Partizan (see) 15. 85
2Red Star 9. 35
3Vojvodina 3. 85
5Spartak Zlatibor Voda 3. 85
6ofk Beograd 3. 85
7Sloboda Point Sevojno
8Javor Ivanjica

Pos Slovinia RANK
1 Maribor (see) 4. 224
2 Domžale
3 Koper 2. 224
4 Olimpija 1. 474
5 Gorica 2. 224
6 Rudar
7 Triglav
8 Celje

Pos Macedonia RANK
1 Škendija (see) 1. 041
2 Metalurg 1. 29
3 Renova 2. 29
4 Rabotnički 4. 04
5 Sileks
6 Turnovo
7 Teteks 2. 04
8 Bregalnica Štip

Teams entering in this round Teams advancing from previous round
First qualifying round (24 teams)
(A)5 placed teams Against 8 placed teams
(be) 6 placed team against 7 placed teams

Match round one
1 Mladost Podgorica VS Osijek
2 Lovćen VS Inter Zaprešić
3 Dečić VS Slaven Belupo
4 Grbalj VS Karlovac
5 Olimpik VS Javor Ivanjica
6 Zvijezda VS Spartak Zlatibor Voda
7 Sloboda VS Sloboda Point Sevojno
8 Zrinjski vs ofk Beograd
9 Gorica VS Bregalnica Štip
10 Celje VS Sileks
11 Rudar VS Teteks
12 Triglav VS Turnovo

Second qualifying round (24 teams)
(A) Winners Against 3 and 4 teams from national league
12 winners from the first qualifying round

Match round two
1 winner VS Renova
2 winner VS Rabotnički
3 winner VS Olimpija
4 winner VS Koper
5 winner VS Zeta
6 winner VS Rudar
7 winner vs rnk Split
8 winner VS Cibalia
9 winner VS Željezničar
10 winner VS Široki Brijeg
11 winner VS Rad
12 winner VS Vojvodina

Third qualifying round (12 teams)
Winners second qualifying round
12 winners from the second qualifying round

Round 3 match match
Match 1 round TWO winner 1 vs 4 round TWO winner
Match 2 round TWO winner 2 vs 5 round TWO winner
Match 3 round TWO winner 3 vs 6 round TWO winner
Match 4 round TWO winner 7 vs 8 round TWO winner
Match 5 round TWO winner 9 VS 10 round TWO winner
Match 6 round TWO winner 11 vs 12 round TWO winner

Round 4
Forth qualifying round (6 teams)
Winners third qualifying round
6 winners from the second third round
Match 1 winner VS match 2 winner
Match 3 winner VS match 4 winner
Match 5 winner VS match 6 winner

Group stage(16 teams) 4 Groups* 4 teams
6 champions from associations
6 runners-up from associations
3 winners from round 4 qualifying round
1 round 4 loser WITH THE BEST GOAL diference
Used Euro club ranking to place them in Barrel rank High to low

Pos barell 1 rank
1 Dinamo Zagreb (see)20. 22
1 Partizan (see)15. 85
2 Red Star9. 35
2 Hajduk Split6. 224

Pos barell 2 rank
1 Maribor (see)4. 224
2 Sarajevo 3. 32
1 Borac Banja Luka (see)2. 324
1 Mogren (see)2. 275

Pos barrel 3 rank
2 Budućnost Podgorica 2. 03
2 Metalurg 1. 29
1 Škendija (see)1. 041
2 Domžale

Barrel 4
Round 4 winners
Round 4 winners
Round 4 winners
Round 4 loser WITH THE BEST GOAL diference

This example how will look like if played this season 2011/12

Group 1
1 Dinamo Zagreb (see)20. 22
2 Maribor (see)4. 224
3 Budućnost Podgorica 2. 025
4 round 4 winners

Group 2
1 Partizan (see)15. 85
2 Sarajevo3. 32
3 Metalurg1. 29
4 round 4 winners

Group 3
1 Red Star9. 35
2 Borac Banja Luka (see)2. 324
3 Škendija (see)1. 041
4 round 4 winners

1 Hajduk Split 6. 224
2 Mogren (see)2. 275
3 Domžale
4 round 4 loser with the BEST GOAL diference

Knockout phase (8 teams)
4 group winners from the group stage
4 group runners-up from the group stage

Match 1 A Group Winner - be Group Runner-up
Match 2 be Group Winner - A Group Runner-up
Match 3 see Group Winner - D Group Runner-up
Match 4 D Group Winner – see Group Runner-up

Semi Final
S Final 1 Q final 1 - Q final 2
S final 2 Q final 3 - Q final 4

Finals s final 1 - S final 2

First qualifying round
23–24 June 2010
2–3 July 2010
Second qualifying round
7–8 July 2010
14–15 July 2010
Third qualifying round
21-22 July 2010
23–24 July 2010
Fourth qualifying round
11–12 August 2010
18–19 August 2010

Group stage
Match day 1 17–18 September 2010
Match day 2 12–13 October 2010
Match day 3 27–28 October 2010
Match day 4 17–18November 2010
Match day 5 9–10 February 2011
Match day 6 16–17 February 2011

30–31 March 2011 6–7 April 2011

20–21 April 2011 27–28 April 2011

14 May 2011 at Marakana Stadium, Belgrade

VeljaSrbin (FK Partizan Beograd) 5 years ago
This is great cup format for ex-Yugo league, Macedonian. In my opinion, for competition like this to prosper, all national leagues should be cut down to 12 clubs, in order to open up schedules as much as possible, especially for the clubs that qualify for UEFA competitions.

Also ranking should be established based on domestic and international success in past five years. Strength of the national league should be counted as well (use UEFA's standards for this one)
Macedonian (Napoli) 5 years ago
Velja whichever way you do rankings clubs are poor in all ex yu leagues only way to help them is with better position which will bring more spectators means more sponsors better leagues longer in Euro competition.
But this long way of the horizon due has a lot of Balkan egos in all federation.
Peteko 5 years ago
By the way, Josip Kuzhe, the now former Croatian manager of Albania seems to have had a gambling addiction from his days in Dinamo Zagreb. At least this is what the Albanian media has been writing in the last two days.

He says that he has been cured from that bad habit and never gambled during his gig with Albania, but some people in Tirana are claiming now that he took debts from them and is now refusing/unable to pay.

Kuzhe has denied these rumors as false.

I don't want to discriminate against anyone, but if I were the head of the FA I would be wary about hiring a former addictive gambler for the national team. There is a lot of competition from well respected professionals out there who have no similar distractions.

Of course, I understand that everyone deserves a second chance, but managing a national team is not the right step to take. A second chance should probably mean starting with a smaller club and make your way up again.

But hey, considering the corruption in our football institutions, I wonder now if a former gambler has a better chance of being hired for our national team
VeljaSrbin (FK Partizan Beograd) 5 years ago
Interesting story Peteko, although in my opinion I do not think gambling should be a criteria for someone not to hire a coach. I mean, everyone would prefer "saint" at any coaching position, someone who is not distracted by out of the field affairs, but you have numerous examples of successful people in sports who had a vice in their lives (alcoholism, gambling, etc.)
Peteko 5 years ago
Albania has sacked its Croatian manager, Kuzhe. I think Kuzhe was a good manager, but the expectations were suddenly too high for this Euro 2012, and the Croatian's influence was heavily sabotaged when he suffered a stroke, in mid campaign.

For the first time after 8 years we may have an Albanian manager. Besnik Hasi, an Albanian from Kosovo, is currently Assistant Manager with the Belgian side, Anderlecht.

Hasi has probably a great future in front of him as a manager, but this assignment comes a bit too early for him. He has not received a formal call yet. Nor has he confirmed that he will take the job. Nevertheless, if accompanied with the right compensation, I don't see how he will resist the call
VeljaSrbin (FK Partizan Beograd) 5 years ago
I do not know how smart is it to put young coaches in hot spots of a manager of the national team. It proved with Serbian team in the past that whenever some young and promising, but inexperienced, coach was appointed, results were far from good. Leading national team is much harder than coaching clubs, because you spend much less time with players. In my opinion, any national team coach should be a person with established name in football, someone who players are familiar with and respect. Someone who will be authority even before he steps in the locker room
Peteko 5 years ago
I am with you on this. With some of these players coming from various clubs in Europe, dress room discipline is not an easy task. Nor is building a true team spirit.
I doubt that Hasi will be up for the task. Nevertheless, I read that he quit his job with Anderlecht and will have some other position in the club, until he is confirmed with Albania. He may regret it leaving the great Belgian side for Albania, but it may as well be a good step for him. Even with bad results having a national team manager on your resume is not bad when applying for a club manager position. (I assume he does not want to remain "assistant" anymore.)
VeljaSrbin (FK Partizan Beograd) 5 years ago
This was a question earlier in thread, and confirmation just came in, Vidic is retiring from Serbian national team, and as a main reason he stated bad atmosphere around the team!
Peteko 5 years ago
Vidic is a first rate player. I think Serbia will continue to need him. If so many talents can't make a good team, the answer is often in the spirit of the team (or the lack of it) affected by other factors. I'd rather listen to what Vidic has to say on this issue than the array of Serbian coaches, FA presidents, moronic fan associations etc
VeljaSrbin (FK Partizan Beograd) 5 years ago
It is simple really. Radomir Antic established great atmosphere with the same group of players during WC qualifies, and results came along. With results whole public stood up behind this team and we ended up on the first place in our group ahead of France and Romania. Team played well and everybody had great expectations going into WC.

Couple of months before WC it was obvious that relations between Serbian FA president and coach Antic were cooling off. Later it will prove it was because of the new contract and FA president not willing to pay salary Antic was asking, but he had to because public would crucify him if he did not renew contract with the coach who superbly took us to the WC. Then WC came and fear of success kicked in (it is my personal opinion that our football players traditionally cannot cope with the pressure and expectations of big competitions). We played poorly against Ghana and lost. Then with a lot of heart and luck we beat Germany. We needed a win or a draw against Australia to go through, and we played best 45 minutes since Antic was coach, but did not manage to convert numerous chances we created. In the second half Australia scored two goals of two shots, and we just managed to score consolation goal and lose 2-1 at the end.

It all came crashing down after that match. FA president Karadzic first waited for few days for whole team with coaches to take a flight home, and than came in front of press and blamed it all on players and especially coach Antic. He just waited for first wrong step (1-1 in Belgrade against Slovenia) to sack Antic. Most of the fans were disagreeing with that decision, and ever since atmosphere was damaged. Fans were coming to stadium mainly to chant against FA president (who off course has no intention of stepping down) and new coach Petrovic was simply not the strong personality capable to overcome ugly environment like this. If we did not have strong team individually like we do, we would probably end up on the bottom of the table in these qualifies. There was no game plan, and our national team played like kids in the park, unorganized.

I hope this give a bit of an inside Peteko
Peteko 5 years ago
Thank you for this explanation Velja,

It is much clearer now.

These FA presidents act like little dictators. In Albania the current FA seemed to be deep in corruption, but efforts to remove him and investigate were blocked by Sep's FIFA, which suspended Albania from all the international tournaments until the actions stopped. It was a short-term big price to pay, so the state withdrew from the fight (not that changing heads would necessarily stop corruption, but at least these Presidents would get a message that no one is above the law and eternal.)
He is basically untouchable now.

Comparing the two experiences, between Serbia and Albania, I am more inclined to believe that from now on, FA presidents will tend to hire coaches that are not strong characters and would let the presidents run the show. Similar, but of course, not exactly like Abramovich with Chelsea
VeljaSrbin (FK Partizan Beograd) 5 years ago
There were always rumors that powerful managers play big part in national coaches' decisions who to call up for their squad, because FA officials get percentages from money made in transfers (more national team call ups, the higher value of player). Also the fact that for example Petrovic called over 50 different players during one year he spent on the national bench, does not help in denying these rumors.

Another interesting fact is that Antic, who eventually became #1 enemy of Serbian FA, even when he was still coaching national team, called up less than 30 different players in two years, which automatically means that he gathered closed group of players, with several options to substitute someone who gets injured.

So for two years under Antic same group of players was called up, with changes only when necessary, and under Petrovic over 50 players played for Serbian national team in about a year. If you look at this fact through the prospective of rumors about managers being involved in national squad selection, no wonder Karadzic was so eager to sack Antic!

At the end to be honest, I do not have anything against Abramovich and such, because those people invest their own money (and lots of it) in clubs, so automatically they are looking to have their clubs perform as better as possible, some with more and some with less success, but their mind is in the right place. What I cannot stand are corrupted FA officials, because they invest nothing of their own and play with reputation of national football, just for a personal profit!
Peteko 5 years ago
Oh definitively, on the comparison with Abramovich. That's why I said similar but not exactly like it.
National football should belong to the people of that country not to corrupted bureaucrats. Simple.

(Very interesting the point about the politics of calling up players just to increase their market value.)
VeljaSrbin (FK Partizan Beograd) 5 years ago
Zdravko Mamic hits again! NK Dinamo's owner is known for his media exposure, which always left me laughing, and here is his newest interview after his team lost against Zadar in Croatian league! Although often Mamic does not even make sense, this time I totally agree with him about players in modern football being spoiled!

Macedonian (Napoli) 5 years ago
Hey Markodon what is this about some more insides about this story please
Markodon (NK Dinamo Zagreb) 5 years ago
Well, Velja pretty much summed it up. Dinamo lost to Zadar and played really bad, so the 'supreme sherrif of Maksimir' went crazy in front of the camera again. And while I agree that players are spoiled in modern football (Dinamo's bunch included), I don't buy Mamic's populist comments he throws in every once in a while (he is the victim bla bla). Yes, Dinamo players are overpaid and unmotivated, but Mamic is pretty much responsible for the current state of affairs, not just in DInamo but in the whole league. He created a 'monster', the players of Dinamo are paid almost as much as the whole Croatian first division. Of course, he will say that it's necessary in order to keep the players at the club, but he also just admitted that they will get sold soon enough (Mamic is literary a genius when it comes to selling players).

All in all, nobody can deny him his love for the club, but that doesn't mean that he should get away with being a complete nutcase. Macedonian, in case you're not familiar with Mamic and his actions, it would take me a book to fully explain this guy.... But youtube helps...
VeljaSrbin (FK Partizan Beograd) 5 years ago
Totally agree with you Markodon, Mamic is very entertaining guy but you cannot take his word as serious, not even for a second! I cannot believe that he has to pay players 4 000 000 euros for first three months of the season, that is just way too much money for ex-Yugo countries (regardless of qualifying for champions league)!

Also the fact that Badelj refuses to sign contract for 600 000 euros per season (if what Mamic is saying is true?) is just insane, having in mind that the highest salary in Partizan for example is 250 000 euros (club put the bar on that sum from this season, because of the economic crises)
VeljaSrbin (FK Partizan Beograd) 5 years ago
Situation in our football has been far from good for a long time, so result in Slovenia was outcome that does not surprise me! Atmosphere around and in the team is far from good! I mentioned earlier that I was disappointed with attitude our national showed in the match against Italians, even though someone would say 1-1 against them is a great result!

We can just hope our FA establishment will change at the elections in a couple of months, but I am not optimistic when it comes to that as well. There is a lot of corruption surrounding this beautiful game in Serbia!
Markodon (NK Dinamo Zagreb) 5 years ago
The same problems plague Croatia, the national team is more like a tool for certain characters in Croatian football to push forward their interests than anything else. I think the main problem with sports in general in countries like Serbia and Croatia is somehow no one is really concerned what goes on inside these institutions. The public only worries about the results and the performances and the legal state doesn't seem to be too interested in cracking down on corruption, nepotism, conflicts of interest, etc. No matter who is in change, these kinds of circumstances are paradise for corruption.

Ultimately, in order to have a "healthy" atmosphere around the team, you can't have corruption going on around the corner. It's needless to say, which option these people opt for
Macedonian (Napoli) 5 years ago
HI to all been flat chat at work no time left for chit chat.
I have some news from Macedonia Vardar Skopje club officials are trying to organize some sort of tournaments involving Balkan clubs I think Partisan Aek Paok some other in spring in weeks which are free in Ueafa calendar.
Valja I can’t understand mentality of Serbian players you have good team on paper but not success draw against Italy lost against Slovenia and Vidic quitting hi is not old.

VeljaSrbin (FK Partizan Beograd) 5 years ago
Macedonian, I am guessing Greek-Macedonian-Serbian cup, judging by teams you mentioned in your post?! That sounds like interesting competition to fill out football calendar in spring, when clubs from these countries are usually out of UEFA competitions. I would still prefer Yugo cup though...
Peteko 5 years ago
How Serbia missed this train is still difficult to understand. One week ago, I was sure they would go through.
I think they were denied a penalty in the first half against Slovenia. The ref was wrong. It seemed to me far more convincing that the penalty that he eventually gave in the second half.
And Vidic, what the hell was he thinking?! (I don't buy his retirement. He will be back.)

A group of stars, but not a team. This is what Serbia were in these qualifiers. And the same goes for Croatia. I could not believe the game against the Greeks. Are you kidding me?

But being unable to shine for your country is not limited to the Balkans. We see it in many places. Sometimes, I wonder if countries have better deal, by playing with a be National Team, made of players of a lower level, but with more time to spend with their national teams and hungrier to make a name for themselves.

Getting together a bunch of millionaires and make them a functional team will never be easy. Even less in the temperamental Balkans
Markodon (NK Dinamo Zagreb) 5 years ago
Ok, the playoff draws are done. No Balkan meetings, except for Turkey - Croatia, which is the closest thing that qualifies for that. Montenegro got the best deal in my opinion, as the Czechs are pretty unimpressive these days. Bosnia got their old "friends", this time they have to get past them. Croatia - Turkey, I don't even know what to say, lots of emotions going through my head. I kinda wanted them, so we can get payback, but at this stage I think something like this is too dramatic. Plus we haven't beaten a serious team in like 3 years now
VeljaSrbin (FK Partizan Beograd) 5 years ago
I know Markodon, you must have serious traumas from that insane quarterfinal match against Turks three years ago!

Pretty much tight draw for ex-Yugo teams. I would say Croatia and Montenegro have 50-50 chances, with advantage of playing rematches at home. Bosnia and Herzegovina in my opinion are on 40-60 against Portugal, but it would not surprise me if they come out victorious.

Good luck to all three countries, hope to watch them in final tournament!
Peteko 5 years ago
If the Croats play like they did with the Greeks, forget about Euro 2012. They have to step up their game. I think they were dealt the worst draw. Turkey were the team to avoid in the play-offs. I am not saying Croatia have no chance. They have the second leg at home and should take advantage of it.

Honestly, the smaller Yugo countries, Bosnia and Montenegro have shown more heart in this campaign and I am glad they are getting close to the finals. Will see if they have it in them to complete the last step.

Markodon (NK Dinamo Zagreb) 5 years ago
Peteko, completely agree, I've got nothing to add
VeljaSrbin (FK Partizan Beograd) 5 years ago
Apparently, FK Crvena Zvezda (Red Star) president Vladan Lukic was involved in talks about forming Balkan regional league, while visiting Bulgaria where Red Star played friendly match against Lokomotiva Sofia. The most interesting thing about it is that talks were about forming the league with Serbian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Greek and Turkish clubs.

For anyone following this thread this may come as a surprise, but not for those who are familiar with the current state in Serbian most successful football club. For years Red Star fans are boycotting Adriatic Basketball league because of the "nationalistic interests", even though when this league was forming Red Star fans were among toughest supporters of this competition (ok Partizan was against it, because we believed that we have strong domestic competition and that there was no need for such a league in this sport, and it took a big pressure from other Serbian clubs to have Partizan join in as well). During years Red Star fans shifted from supporting idea from competing with former Yugoslavian clubs, into stating that it is against national interest for Serbian clubs to play these competitions(?!). It first started with hardcore Red Star fans from north stand, but since football club is not having results they were hoping for since Lukic was appointed, president of the club is now taking the same course solely in order to keep Delije's support! It started few months ago when Partizan was sending signals to Dinamo and Hajduk about creating old Yugoslavian league (something even presidents of Serbia and Croatia spoke about in one of their meetings), and when Lukic stated that Red Star will not play same competition with these clubs. I would just like to say that most of the Red Star fans dislike Lukic and do not support him, but those hardcore fans (who are present in club's board of directors as well) are standing behind him because Lukic is willing to abide them just to keep his position in the club.

For those who can understand Yugoslavian, here is a link to the article Link:
Markodon (NK Dinamo Zagreb) 5 years ago
Some interesting developments here. To some extent, a parallel can be drawn with certain attempts of Croatian officials trying to make plans for a "central European league" (inculding Czech, Slovakia, Austria, etc.), thus moving away from the Balkans and avoiding the political issues. I have to admit that I'm not a fan of these kinds of ideas at all. For me, I'm specifically interested in seeing the old ex-Yugo league being restored. My enthusiasm for the re-creation of the Yugo league comes from the its strong and rich history (e. G. The rivalries), but also from the fact that these countries share similar language and mentality - so for me, it's the only logical sense. Anything else, while it might prove successful, would be a disappointment for me
VeljaSrbin (FK Partizan Beograd) 5 years ago
Partizan's president stated today that they will not support the league above mentioned, because it makes no sense (one of the rare things I agree with him on). Simply, playing against Romanians, Bulgarians, Greek and Turks is financially not logical. Expenses of that type of the league would be enormous. That was the only point he made, since mister Djuric does only care about money, but in this case makes perfect sense.

Other important point, you made Markodon. Yugo clubs have a long tradition, which will guarantee to attract a lot of people onto stadiums.

Now, Red Star hardcore fans are stating that there is no point for their club to enter any Yugo-nostalgic competitions, because they will boycott it, but they do not see that this would even attract more regular Red Star fans (the ones with more brain and less aggressiveness) to come out and watch matches peacefully. The only problem is president Lukic, who is so afraid of loosing his position since club did not win national title in four years now, so he is running his club the way hooligans say. Srpska posla!
Peteko 5 years ago
A league that would include the Romanians, the Greeks and the Turks would be in some ways superior to the New Yugo league, considering the involvement of powerhouses from those countries. But it is quite a stretch. Never say never though.

I think the Red Stars refusal to join a revived Yugo league is BS. Boycotting the league will only make them weaker than they already are
VeljaSrbin (FK Partizan Beograd) 5 years ago
Red Star management is serious as much as I am after bottle of rakija! Ideology they are leaded by in these days is idiotic, to say at least! Nothing else to add...
VeljaSrbin (FK Partizan Beograd) 5 years ago
So it is a last week of group stage qualifies for EURO 2012. From ex-Yugoslavian teams we have Serbia and Slovenia competing for a second spot in group see, Bosnia and Herzegovina practically secured second spot and point behind France in group D, Croatia on top of the group F with point ahead of Greece, and Montenegro fighting for a second spot in group G with three points ahead of the Switzerland. Unfortunately Macedonia's dream of qualifying is over. I want to hear your thoughts, who is progressing and who is staying home?!

My prediction (might be subjective):

Group see - Serbia to win play off spot, although Estonia is still alive as well as Slovenia. Honestly, if we cannot snatch necessary points in our last two matches against Italy at home, and away at Slovenia, we do not deserve to go through. Cannot wait for a Friday match, already got my tickets!

Group D - France is lucky since rematch against BIH is played in Paris, if it was other way around, I would give our Balkan friends a big deal of chances to snatch a top spot in the group. Although I will be supporting Dzeko & friends in their battle with France, I think second spot is reality for them.

Group F - It all comes down to match on Friday. I personally never liked the style of football Greek national team is playing, but you cannot deny they know how to get a result. I do believe that Croatia has strength to come out of the Athens undefeated (even win), and eventually top the group.

Group G - Loss against Wales spoiled whole campaign for Montenegro. Now they are in danger of not even winning second spot. I still believe they can stay undefeated in their last two matches, but what concerns me is their form in past couple of months. Big thing is Jovetic's comeback, and djetici will finally have their striking force complete (Vucinic - Jovetic).

Ideal scenario: Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina winning their groups, and Montenegro and Serbia going to play off.

I believe it is possible to have four ex-Yugo teams qualify for final tournament in Poland and Ukraine, since teams that are fighting for play off spots are not any stronger. This is off course if Balkan crew first make it to play off and then avoid each other during the draw
Markodon (NK Dinamo Zagreb) 5 years ago
Good predictions Velja. Unfortunately, I'm not as optimistic as you (hope I'm wrong) and I think it will be very hard for all the Balkan neighbours.

At first sight, Croatia is in a great position to either finished as 1st or the best 2nd placed. However, I just read that our coach, Slaven "no balls" Bilic said that a loss vs. Greece wouldn't be such a tragedy (he always looks for an alibi), which honestly scares me. Despite this, I do believe that Croatia has a better squad than Greece and we should come away with at least a point. Make no mistake Bilic, anything less than that would indeed be a tragedy!

As for Serbia, I think that they can get the points to take them to the play-offs. It would be a shame to see a team with so many good players miss out the Euro. But also, you never know with the crazy Serbs! Needless to say, if they give their best performances, they can book a flight to Ukraine.

Now, this is where my optimism starts to drop. I would love for BiH to finally qualify to a major compatition, but they always seem to fail on that last step. I give them 10% chance of finishing first and 30% to qualify for the Euro. Sorry for the pessimistic comments, I hope I'll eventually eat my words.

As for Montenegro, I really enjoyed their great run and they performed above expectations. Now they're back to earth and Savicevic decided to sack Kranjcar, which I think was a fatal mistake. Not because I like Kranjcar, but because I think after where he took them, he deserved to at least finished the qualifiers. If they kept him, I would've said they have 50/50 chances of finishing 2nd. Now those chances are minimal, mark my words. No matter what happens, I think the Black Mountain folk can still be proud of their team and expect more in the future.

All in all, good luck to all, it would be a blast to see 4 ex-YU teams at the Euro
VeljaSrbin (FK Partizan Beograd) 5 years ago
You have a good points Markodon!

I agree with you that Croatia has to win at least the point in Athens, because you are without a doubt better team and Greeks play boring football overall (with a lot of heart though).

As far as crazy Serbs, if we did not go "Serbian style" in our two matches against Estonia (loss at home, draw away) we would be playing Italy for a top spot now. Therefore, nothing is certain when it comes to our football team, but I agree that we have too many good players not to make it to the play off at least.

I partially agree with you on BIH position. You are right about their chances to win a group, but I give them much higher odds in play off. If you take a look at the teams from other groups that are competing for second spots, I truly believe Bosnians have a realistic chance to go through (cannot blame them for loosing against Portugal in WC play off, they fought bravely but opponent was simply too strong).

I am with you on decision to sack Kranjcar was, to say at least, dubious. Results against Bulgaria and especially Wales are slip ups, but you do not fire a coach that had successful campaign overall one month before deciding matches in the group. We'll see how Montenegro squad cope with this.

It would be great for football in region to have four teams at EURO, especially since for the first time we had two "Yugoslavian" teams qualifying for champions league in consecutive seasons (Partizan last, and Dinamo this year)
Markodon (NK Dinamo Zagreb) 5 years ago
Serbia - Italy turned out pretty much how I expected, Serbs were confident at home and the Italians played their usual conservative style. 1-1 is a result I would have bet on prior to the match.

In the case of Montenegro, quite a big surprise I must admit, they are back in the game. Didn't expect them to get anything out of this match due to the recent turbulent period, although to be fair Rooney helped them quite a bit.

As for Croatia, all I gotta' say is a local phrase: "Da nije tuzno, bilo bi smijesno". I don't really feel like getting too deep into this one, but I think it's enough to say that the Greece match was probably the worst that Croatia has ever looked on the pitch. And this is something that's been going on for over 2 years now.... Dark times
VeljaSrbin (FK Partizan Beograd) 5 years ago
I was on Marakana for Italy-Serbia match. I must say that our national looked content with 1-1 draw as well, even though win would surely take us to the play offs, and I was disappointed with their attitude. Tonight we are playing in Slovenia for second spot, since Estonia managed to win in and. Ireland.

Montenegro was brave and I am glad they secured their spot in play off for EURO. Ex Partizan goalscorer Delibasic scored last minute goal, kissed the post (literally) and took highlanders step away from a dreamland!

Bosnians did as I expected, secured play off as well and tonight will try to make a first class sensation and beat France in Paris!

Croatia was disappointment for me as well! Greeks traditionally scored some cheesy goals, and are already knocking on EURO 2012 doors. In my opinion, only huge Greek slip up can take Croatia directly to EURO.

It seems it would be a miracle not having Yugo derby in play off! Hopefully we will win tonight and raise those chances even higher!
VeljaSrbin (FK Partizan Beograd) 5 years ago
So it all went down as I expected.

Croatians ended up on a second place. Greeks were loosing for a while, but managed to turn it all around against Georgia.

Bosnians were so close to winning in France, and if they repeat form like that in play off, they will be playing EURO. Hopefully they will avoid Portugal and Croatia.

Montenegrins were probably still hangover from celebration after draw against England, and lost easily in Switzerland.

At the end, Serbs were Serbs and lost in a match that could have taken them to the play offs. Attitude that our players showed during game in Slovenia was shameful. It seemed like Slovenia was playing for play off, and not the other way around.

So, three ex-Yugo teams are still in play for EURO. Knowing FIFA, Portugal will probably play Estonia, and we can only hope that Croatia does not draw BiH or Montenegro, which will maximize chances to have all three teams qualify for final tournament. Good luck to neighborhood countries!
Markodon (NK Dinamo Zagreb) 5 years ago
I heard about the Slovenia-Serbia match, and that Serbs didn't really show any fighting spirit. Seems like some major reconstruction is needed. I also heard rumours that some veterans like Stankovic and Vidic are contemplating international retirement, can you confirm on that?

As for Croatia, at the moment the team looks really amateurish, key players are not performing and it just doesn't look like a serious team. If we get Estonia, we got a good chance. BiH, Montenegro and Turkey, those would all be very tough, especially Bosnia. I think they can handle just about any of the potential teams, including Portugal
VeljaSrbin (FK Partizan Beograd) 5 years ago
Stankovic is definitely retiring, he stated that at the beginning of qualifies (he was hoping for more memorable retirement though). Vidic told journalists that he will retire out of rage because they asked him several times same question, but in the bus he said he was just mad. We will see what happens though. Nothing surprises me when it comes to our national team, we have extremely unhealthy atmosphere around and in the team!
VeljaSrbin (FK Partizan Beograd) 5 years ago
EURO 2012 play off draw outcome:

Turkey - Croatia
Estonia - Republic of Ireland
Czech Republic - Montenegro
Bosnia and Herzegovina - Portugal

Pretty much tight draw for ex-Yugo teams. I would say Croatia and Montenegro have 50-50 chances, with advantage of playing rematches at home. Bosnia and Herzegovina in my opinion are on 40-60 against Portugal, but it would not surprise me if they come out victorious.

Good luck to all three countries, hope to watch them in final tournament!
VeljaSrbin (FK Partizan Beograd) 5 years ago
Vice president of Serbian FA got arrested for tax fraud! Fraud was related to his private business, and has nothing to do with football, but I guess this shows you a moral of people that are running football in our country!
Macedonian (Napoli) 5 years ago
Even Macedonian FFM is the same want be long before some thing will pop up
VeljaSrbin (FK Partizan Beograd) 5 years ago
And if you have in mind that previous president of our FA was arrested for laundering money through transfers of players, I guess we have nice tradition of football officials being arrested and prosecuted for criminal acts! So it has been popping over here for a while, but it seems that same type of people replace those that end up in jail! Is not that the principle on which mafia works as well?!
VeljaSrbin (FK Partizan Beograd) 5 years ago
Croatia on top of their group, while Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro hold play off spots in their groups before final two rounds of qualifies.

I believe all teams are in good positions to keep their current spots, and then we'll have three teams from ex-Yu playing play off round. If you look at the potential rivals in play off, there is a realistic chance all these teams make it to the final tournament, unless they meet each other in play off
Markodon (NK Dinamo Zagreb) 5 years ago
Yes, Croatia unexpectedly moved up to the first place, after Greece drew with Latvia last night. We need a draw in Athens and a win vs Latvia at home in order to stay 1st. Serbia have two tough matches, but should be able to get 3 points vs Slovenia and a point at home vs Italy. Bosnia in a great situation, all they need is a win vs Luxemburg. Montenegro made their lives much more difficult by that defeat at Wales, now they need to get something out of the Switzerland match.
All in all, we could have 4 ex-Yu teams in the Euro, or we could have none. Realistically, Croatia and Serbia are the most likely suspects, but I'm of course hoping for at least 1 more team
VeljaSrbin (FK Partizan Beograd) 5 years ago
Markodon, I saw Modric's goal against Israel, great strike! We'll see in October what are final standings. I am hoping you will make it directly to EURO, because if all four teams end up in play off, it is almost certain that there will be one Balkan derby...
Markodon (NK Dinamo Zagreb) 5 years ago
Haha you're right. We already have a Balkan derby in the WC qualifiers, so let's leave it at that for now
Macedonian (Napoli) 5 years ago
Hi my footytube friends glad the topic is still going. My focus this days was the basketball Macedonian team had excellent Euro tournament they blow my expectations this was unbelievable we almost stop the Spanish NBA giants.
Dinamo lost from by small margin by total favourite Real but Markodon this was expected longest Dinamo wins rest of the games at home and gets one draw away will be watching Dinamo play in spring.
About those Balkan derbies I can’t believe always almost in all competition like Europe is scared from all of as ex YU republic so we have to nock our self’s out in all competitions so they have less further to worry about.
Macedonian (Napoli) 5 years ago
Hi my footytube friends glad the topic is still going. My focus this days was the basketball Macedonian team had excellent Euro tournament they blow my expectations this was unbelievable we almost stop the Spanish NBA giants.
Dinamo lost from by small margin by total favourite Real but Markodon this was expected longest Dinamo wins rest of the games at home and gets one draw away will be watching Dinamo play in spring.
About those Balkan derbies I can’t believe always almost in all competition like Europe is scared from all of as ex YU republic so we have to nock our self’s out in all competitions so they have less further to worry about.
Markodon (NK Dinamo Zagreb) 5 years ago
Great achievement for Macedonia my friend. I stopped following eurobasket closely after the shocking performances by Croatia, but I did read about Macedonia's phenomenal progress.

As for Dinamo - Real, I'm surprised how well Dinamo players reacted and performed admirably. If it wasn't for our brilliant keeper Kelava, Real would have scored a few more, but the important thing is that they didn't dominate. I'm still not sure what to expect from the other matches, but I believe we have the strength to get the 3rd place!
VeljaSrbin (FK Partizan Beograd) 5 years ago
Hi guys, I was away for a while, got caught up with the work after I came back from vacation.

First of all, congrats to Macedonian on great success in basketball EURO, Macedonia played excellent. I was rooting for them like it was Serbia playing (since we had disappointing tournament).

Dinamo played pretty well, I was surprised as well! Kelava did have his night, and Real did create more chances, but Dinamo did good overall. Hopefully they can continue to play like that throughout the rest of the group matches. If they do, anything is possible

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