Wednesday, June 21, 2017

FK Partizan Greatest All-Time Team

European Cup Finalist 1966

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for the club.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.


Partizan was founded by young high officers of the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) in 1945 in Belgrade, as part of the Yugoslav Sports Association Partizan.  Their best period was from 1958 to 1966.  That generation of players was known as "Partizan Babies".  In 1966, the club became the first Eastern European club to reach the Final of the European Cup.


2016-2017 League Champion
Team
GK:  Milutin Soskic  (Yugoslavia)
Milutin Soskic was a legend with FK Partzan where he played from 1955 to 1966.  He played against Real Madrid in the 1966 European Cup Final. He later played for Koln in Germany from 1966 to 1971.  He was capped by Yugoslavia for 50 times between 1959 and 1966. He went to the 1960 European Championship, where Yugoslavia finished second. He also went to Chile for the Wold Cup finals in 1962.
Milutin Soskic 
GK: Ivan Ćurković (Yugoslavia)
Curkovic played for Velež Mostar, Partizan and Saint-Étienne. Ćurković was instrumental in the successful runs of Saint-Étienne's football club to the top of the French League and to the finals of the European Cup in the 1975–76 season. He played alongside French legend Michel Platini from 1978 to 1981.  He was capped 19 times for Yugoslavia.

GK: Fahrudin Omerović (Yugoslavia/Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Omerović begin his career in FK Sloboda Tuzla.  In summer of 1984, he was transferred to FK Partizan where he will become the main goalkeeper for the following 8 seasons. With Partizan he won two Yugoslav championships, two Yugoslav Cups, and one Supercup. After the dissolution of SFR Yugoslavia, he played for Kocaelispor for 4 years and İstanbulspor. Capped by beth Yugoslavia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

RB/LB: Fahrudin Jusufi (Yugoslavia)
Fahrudin Jusufi was the greatest fullback in Yugoslavian football history.  He played at the 1962 World Cup and at the 1960 Summer Olympics, where his team won the gold medal.   During his career, he played for FK Partizan, Eintracht Frankfurt, Germania Wiesbaden and FC Dornbirn, retiring in 1972. He was part of the Partizan squad when they became vice-champions of Europe after losing the 1966 European Cup Final against Real Madrid.
 Fahrudin Jusufi
RB: Ivan Golac (Yugoslavia)
Ivan Golac played for Partizan in Yugoslavia before he was allowed to play overseas at the age of 28.  He became a star with Southampton and became the first foreigner to appear in a Final played in Wembley Stadium in 1979 when Southhampton reached the League Cup Final.  He also played for AFC Bournemouth, Manchester City and Portsmouth.  Capped once.

CB: Branko Rašović (Yugoslavia)
Rašović played five years in Partizan, from 1964 until 1969.  The peak of his career was the 1966 European Cup Final in Brussels, when Partizan played in the final agains Real Madrid. In 1969, he moved to Borussia Dortmund, where he played from 1969 to 1974.  Capped 10 times, helping the team to qualify for the 1968 European Championship.

CB: Velibor Vasovic (Yugoslavia)
Velibor Vasovic was a legend at FK Partizan.  He lost the European Cup to Real Madrid in 1966.  A year later, he later joined Ajax and established himself as one of the best defenders in Europe.  In 1971, he captained Ajax as they won their first European Cup, playing alongside Johan Cruyff.  He is considered one of the greatest Ajax defenders in history. He played 32 times for Yugoslavia.
Velibor Vasovic 
DF: Blagoje Paunović (Yugoslavia)
He started his youth career in FK Partizan.  He spent most of his career with Partizan. As a player or coach, he was part of Partizan for almost half a century.  At 28, in 1975, Paunović joined FC Utrecht in the Netherlands. He played for OFK Kikinda, Oakland Stompers of the NASL and FK Sinđelić; whilst in North America, he played under the name Paki Paunovich. He played 39 matches for Yugoslavia, and went to the Euro 1968.

CB: Bruno Belin (Yugoslavia)
Bruno Belin started his career at Zagreb based NK Metalac and in 1950 he joined Belgrade-based giants FK Partizan where he won one national championship and 3 cup titles. He made a total of 25 appearances for the Yugoslav national team between 1952 and 1959.

CB: Nenad Stojković (Yugoslavia) 
During his 18-year professional career, Stojković played for Partizan, Monaco, Montpellier, Mulhouse, Nancy and Amiens, making over 500 league appearances. At international level, Stojković represented Yugoslavia at the 1982 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 1984. He was the 1978 Player of the Year in Yugoslavia.

LB: Milan Damjanović (Yugoslavia)
Milan Damjanović played for Partizan in Yugoslavia from 1962 to 1971.  In 1971, he moved abroad.  He played for Angers and La Mans in France.  On the national level he played 7 times for Yugoslavia national team, and was a participant at European Championship in 1968, where Yugoslavia finished second behind host Italy.

LW/LB/CB: Branco Zebec (Yugoslavia)
Zebec was one of the greatest players ever from Yugoslavia. In his heyday the player from FK Partizan and Red Star Belgrade fascinated the world with his performances at the World Cups in 1954 and 1958. With Partizan he won 3 Yugoslav Cups (1952, 1954, 1957). With Red Star Belgrade he won the national championship in 1960. He led Yugoslavia to second-place at Euro 1960. 

DM/CM: Jovan Miladinović (Yugoslavia)
During his club career, Jovan Miladinović played for FK Partizan between 1956 and 1966 and 1. FC Nuremberg between 1966 and 1967. He earned 17 caps for the Yugoslavia national football team, and participated in the 1960 European Nations' Cup. He also participated at the 1964 Summer Olympics.

CB/DM: Miodrag Jovanović (Yugoslavia)
Miodrag Jovanović played for UDS-OS, Red Stars Belgrade and OFK Beograd before joining FK Partizan in 1946.  He was capped 25 times between 1947 and 1950.  He participated in the 1948 Olympic Games in London, where he won a silver medal. He also went to the World Cup in Brazil in 1950.

CM: Radoslav Bečejac (Yugoslavia)
During his playing days and even now, Radoslav Bečejac was affectionately known as Zaza. Best known for being member of the FK Partizan team that played the 1966 European Cup Final vs Real Madrid. Bečejac is also known for the record transfer in the summer 1967 when Olimpija bought him from Partizan for YUD65 million. Capped 13 times.

CM: Zlatko Čajkovski (Yugoslavia)
Zlatko Čajkovski was considered one of the best Yugoslavian players ever.  He played for FK Partizan before playing for Koln in Germany. Internationally, he played between 1942 and 1943 twice for the Independent State of Croatia, and between 1946 and 1955 he played 55 times for Yugoslavia. scoring seven goals. He won the silver medal at the Olympic Games in 1948 and 1952  both occasions.  He also went to the World Cups of 1950 and 1954. 

CM: Zvezdan Čebinac (Yugoslavia)
Čebinac began his football career in 1954 in the youth team of Partizan, making his senior debut 4 years later.  He also played for  Red Star Belgrade, and in the Netherlands, with  PSV Eindhoven (1966-67), and in West Germany with Nurnberg and Hanover 96. From 1959 to 1964, he played 20 times for Yugoslavia.

LW/FW: Josip Pirmajer (Yugoslavia)
Josip Pirmajer played for Elan Srbobran and RFK Novi Sad.  During the winter-break of the 1963–64 season, he was brought by FK Partizan, reaching the 1966 European Cup Final. During his spell in Partizan he got the record of having played 252 consecutive competitive matches. He also played with FK Vojvodina and abroad, in France, with Nîmes Olympique. Capped 4 times.

AM: Momčilo Vukotić (Yugoslavia)
Momčilo Vukotić  began his professional career with FK Partizan in 1968. He also played for the Yugoslav national team and participated in the European Championship in 1976, which was hosted in his country, where Yugoslavia finished fourth. In 1978, he transferred to the French side FC Bordeaux.  The following year, he returned to Partizan.

FW: Stjepan Bobek (Yugoslavia)
Stjepan Bobek played for Partizan between 1945 and 1959 helping them win two Yugoslav First League titles and four Yugoslav Cups, and was named the club's greatest player in history in 1995. He is the all-time top scorer for Yugoslavia, scoring 38 goals in 63 appearances between 1946 and 1956, and was member of Yugoslav squads which won Olympic silver medals in 1948 and 1952) and played in two World Cups in 1950 and 1954.
Stjepan Bobek
ST: Vladica Kovačević (Yugoslavia)
Kovačević had a successful playing career with FK Partizan, and in France with FC Nantes and Angers SCO. With Partizan, he was the European Cup Top Goal Scorer during the 1963–64 season with 7 goals, alongside Sandro Mazzola of Inter, and Ferenc Puskás of Real Madrid, and he reached the 1966 European Cup Final with the club. At International level, he played at theWorld Cup 1962 for Yugoslavia, finishing the tournament in fourth place. 

ST/SS:  Miloš Milutinović (Yugoslavia)
Miloš Milutinović  was one of the Milutinović brothers who were famous players and coaches in Yugoslavia.  He earned 33 caps in total and represented the country in the 1954 and 1958 World Cups.  During his club career he played for FK Bor, FK Partizan, OFK Beograd, FC Bayern Munich, RCF Paris, and Stade Français Paris.

ST/SS: Milan Galic (Yugoslavia)
Milan Galic scored 37 international goals in 51 matches for the Yugoslavia. He participated in the 1960 Summer Olympics, winning the gold medal, the 1960 UEFA European Football Championship, where Yugoslavia finished second and the 1962 FIFA World Cup, where Yugoslavia finished fourth. On the club level, he played for FK Partizan between 1958 and 1966, and Standard Liège between 1966 and 1970.  He also played for Reims.
Milan Galic 
ST: Mustafa Hasanagić (Yugoslavia) 
Born in Priboj, Hasanagić started playing football at FAP, before moving to Partizan in 1961. He was a member of the team that played in the 1966 European Cup Final against Real Madrid. In later years, Hasanagić played with Servette and La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland. Hasanagić also made five appearances for the Yugoslav national team between 1965 and 1967.

ST: Predrag Mijatović (Yugoslavia/Montenegro)
At club level, Predrag Mijatović played for six different clubs: Budućnost Podgorica, Partizan, Valencia, Real Madrid, Fiorentina and Levante. He is best remembered for scoring the winning goal against Juventus as Real Madrid won the 1998 Champions' league, their first title since 1966.  He played 73 times for Yugoslavia.  He played in the 1998 World Cup Finals. In 1997, Mijatović was runner-up for the Ballon d'Or, behind Ronaldo and ahead of Zinedine Zidane.
Predrag Mijatović

Honorable Mention
Franjo Glaser, Tomislav Kaloperović, Marko Valok, Nenad Bjeković, Dragan Holcer, Miroslav Pavlović, Zoran Mirković, Mateja Kežman, Zlatko Zahovič, Momčilo Vukotić

Squad Explanation
-- FK Partizan reached the Final of the 1966 European Cup, where they lost to the "Ye-Ye" team of Real Madrid.  The following players from that team made my all-time team: Fahrudin Jusufi, Milutin Soskic, Branko Rašović,  Mustafa Hasanagić, Milan Galić, Vladica Kovačević, Josip Pirmajer, Radoslav Bečejac, Jovan Miladinović and Milan Damjanović. 
-- The three Milutinović brothers played for FK Partizan.  They were Bora, Miloš and Milorad. Miloš Milutinović is the only one who made my all-time team.
-- In 1995, Stjepan Bobek was named the greatest ever player from FK Partizan.
-- The communist government of Yugoslavia did not allow players to play abroad until after they turn 28 years.  Most of the players did not have long careers after moving to the West. Ivan Ćurković is an exception.
-- Predrag Mijatović is the only player selected who played football after 1990's. Some of the more famous footballers from the post-Yugoslavia era included Zoran Mirković, Mateja Kežman and Zlatko Zahovič and Saša Ilić.  I only listed them on the honourable mention.
-- Saša Ilić is their all-time appearance record holder, but I selected older players.
-- In 1995, the club's fan magazine "Partizanov vesnik" ran a poll to vote for FK Partizan's greatest ever best XI, called Magnificent Eleven.. The result: Milutin Šoškić, Bruno Belin, Velibor Vasović, Branko Zebec, Fahrudin Jusufi, Zlatko Čajkovski, Predrag Mijatović, Miloš Milutinović,  Momčilo Vukotić Stjepan Bobek and Milan Galić. All of the players are selected onto my team.  Basically, my research was almost the same without using the poll.

Formation



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