Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Red Star Belgrade Greatest All-Time Team

1991 European Cup
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.

Red Star Belgrade are the only Serbian and ex-Yugoslav club to have won the European Cup, having done so in 1991, and the only team from Eastern Europe to have won the Intercontinental Cup, also in 1991. Red Star was the most successful club in former Yugoslavia and finished as first in the Yugoslav First League all-time table, and is the most successful club in Serbia.

Please see also Red Star Belgrade vs AC Milan in 1988.

2016 Superliga
Team
GK: Vladimir Beara  (Yugoslavia) 
Beara played on three World Cups; 1950, 1954 and 1958.  He was considered one of the greatest keepers from the Warsaw Pact.  With Hajduk Split (1946–55), he won the Yugoslav league title in 1950, 1952 and 1955. In 1955, he moved to Belgrade's Red Star (1955–60), where he won even more Yugoslav league titles, in 1956, 1957, 1959, 1960, and won the Yugoslav Cup in 1958 and 1959. Beara ended his career in Germany. 

GK: Srđan Mrkušić  (Yugoslavia) 
Srđan Mrkušić was capped by both the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and  Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia between 1941 and 1950.  He was  one of only seven footballers who represented both the pre and post World War II Yugoslavia. He went to the World Cup Finals in 1950.  He also went down in history as one of the founders of Red Star Belgrade football club in early March 1945.

GK: Stevan Stojanović (Yugoslavia)
He came through Red Star's youth ranks. He quickly became a fans' favourite and was nicknamed Mali Dika ("Dika Jr.") after Red Star's goalkeeper from late seventies and early eighties, Aleksandar Stojanović (no family relationship to Dika Sr.).  He was the team captain and led his team mates to Red Star's first and only European Cup title in 1990–91. He missed only one game and bailed out his team mates on many occasions during the campaign.  Later he played for Belgium's Royal Antwerp. 
Stevan Stojanović
RB:  Vladimir Durković  (Yugoslavia) 
Vladimir Durković ws capped 50 times.  He went to Euro 1960, where Yugoslavia finished second.  Then, he won the Olymouc Gold in the same summer in Rome.  In 1962, he went to the WC Finals and reached the semifinal.  He played with Red Star Belgrade until he was 28 and moved to Saint Etienne.

RB: Branko Stanković (Yugoslavia) 
Branko Stanković was best remembered for his career with Red Star Belgrade, where he won 4 league titles and established himself as one of the best defender in Yugoslavian football history.  He participated at two World Cups(1950 and 1954) and twice at Olympic Games. Stanković is one of the most elegant defense players of his time. Because of his playing style, he earned his nickname Ambassador. 

SW/CB: Miodrag Belodedici (Romania)
Miodrag Belodedici helped Steaua become the first Eastern European club to win the European Cup in 1986.  In 1988, he deflected to Yugoslavia.  He joined Red Star Belgrade and helped them winning the 1990-1991 European Cup, the second time an Eastern European side to win the European Cup. Between 1984 and 2000, he played 55 times for Romania, missing three years of action because of the ban imposed after his deflection. He played in USA 1994, Euro 1996 and 2000.

CB/LB: Ilija Najdoski (Yugoslavia/Macedonia)
He played for Red Star Belgrade and was part of their European Cup victory in 1991. He also played in Spain for Real Valladolid in Spain's La Liga and Denizlispor in Turkey's Super Lig.  He represented both Yugoslavia and Republic of Macedonia in international matches. He played in the first ever official match of Macedonia, played on 13 October 1993, against Slovenia.

CB: Nemanja Vidic (Serbia)
He spent 9 seasons as the starting center-back at Manchester United from 2006 and 2014, where he won every major trophy and established himself as one of the best center-backs of his generation.  He also played for Red Star Belgrade and Spartak Moscow.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 2006 and 2010. He was part of the "Famous Four" Serbian national team defense that conceded just one goal during the 2006 World Cup qualification campaign.
Nemanja Vidic

CB/LB: Sinisa Mihajlovic (Yugoslavia)
Sinisa Mihajlovic was capped 63 times between 1991 and 2003 for Yugoslavia.  He won the European Cup with Red Star Belgrade. In 1992, he moved to Italy and became was one of the best defender in Serie, notably played for Roma, Sampdoria, Lazio and Inter Milan.  With Lazio, he won UEFA Cup Winners Cup: 1998–99. He was part of the golden generation of Yugoslav players who won the 1987 FIFA World Youth Championship in Chile.

LB: Slobodan Marović  (Yugoslavia) 
Slobodan Marović  was born in Bar, SR Montenegro. During his playing career he played for NK Osijek, IFK Norrköping, and Silkeborg IF. With Red Star Belgrade, he was part of their European Cup victory in 1991. He earned four caps for the Yugoslavia national football team between 1987 and 1989.

CM/DM: Miroslav Pavlović (Yugoslavia)
He played domestically for FK Sloga Užička Požega, FK Sloboda Titovo Užice and Red Star Belgrade, in Belgium for KFC Diest, and in the United States for the San Jose Earthquakes.  While playing in the United States, he was known as Miro Pavlovic. On the national level he played for Yugoslavia national team (46 matches/two goals), and was a participant at the 1974 FIFA World Cup and at Euro 1968.

CM/DM: Jovan Aćimović (Yugoslavia)
Known for his career with Red Star Belgrade, Jovan Aćimović played for Yugoslavia national team for 55 matches(3 goals), and was a participant at the 1974 FIFA World Cup, and at UEFA Euro 1968 and UEFA Euro 1976.  Yugoslavia finished second at the European Championship of 1968.

CM: Vladica Popović (Yugoslavia)
Popović started playing at local side Jedinstvo but his talent was spotted while he was still very young and giants Red Star Begrade brough him to their youth team where he will later play for more than a decade becoming team captain and also regular member of the Yugoslav national team between 1956 and 1967.  He also played for Stuttgart and Stuttgart Kickers.

CM: Vladimir Jugovic (Yugoslavia)
Jugovic was a member of Red Star Belgrade that won the European Cup in 1990.  He won another one with Juventus in 1996. He also played for Sampdoria, Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid, Lazio, LR Ahlen, AS Monaco FC and VfB Admira Wacker Mödling. He warned 41 caps. He played at Euro 2000 and the World Cup 1998 for Yugoslavia.  His total of caps were limited because of the ban on Yugoslavia.
Vladimir Jugovic
LW: Bora Kostić (Yugoslavia) 
Bora Kostić is the all-time leading scorer Red Star Belgrade,  During his club career, he played for Red Star Belgrade until 1961.  Then, he played for Lanerossi Vicenza in Italy and then, St. Louis Stars in the United States. Internationally, he earned 33 caps and 26 goals for the Yugoslavia, and participated in the 1960 European Nations' Cup. He won an Olympic Gold Medal in 1960.

LW: Dragan Dzajic (Serbia)
Džajić is viewed by some football experts as perhaps one of the most underrated players in European football, partly because he played in Yugoslavia. He is considered one of the greatest left wing in history of the game.  He played most of his career with Red Star Belgrade.  He was capped 85 times for Yugoslavia.  He was voted the best player at Europran Championship in 1968, where Yugoslavia finished second.
Dragan Dzajic

AM/CM: Vladimir Petrović   (Yugoslavia) 
During his playing career, he mostly played for Red Star Belgrade and is one of only five Zvezdine zvezde (stars of the Star) — the legends of the club. He started out at Red Star making his debut in 1971, at the age of 16.  In 1980, he was named the Yugoslav Footballer of the Year. In 1982, he moved abroad, and briefly played for Arsenal.  He subsequently played for Brest and AS Nancy in France, and Royal Antwerp and Standard Liège in Belgium. In all he played 526 matches for the clubs.
Vladimir Petrović  
AM: Dejan Savicevic (Montenegro)
He is considered one of the best players in the history of Yugoslavian and Serbian football. He starred for Yugoslavia at the 1990 FIFA World Cup (where he was named in the World Cup All-Star Team) and 1998 FIFA World Cup where he captained the team. He was a star player at Red Star Belgrade, but he was playing for Marseille when Red Star Belgrade beat Marseille in the 1990 Final of the European Cup.

AM: Dragan Stojkovic (Serbia)
He is considered one of the best players in the history of Yugoslavian and Serbian football. He starred for Yugoslavia at the 1990 FIFA World Cup (where he was named in the World Cup All-Star Team) and 1998 FIFA World Cup where he captained the team. He was a star player at Red Star Belgrade, but he was playing for Marseille when Red Star Belgrade beat Marseille in the 1990 Final of the European Cup.
Dragan Stojkovic 
AM: Dragoslav Sekularac (Serbia)
Dragoslav Sekularac was considered one of the best player in Red Star Belgrade history.  He was a football idol in the 1960's. He played in the 1958 and 1962 World Cup Finals, where his team reached the semifinal in 1962.  He later played for Independiente Santa Fe in Colombia for five seasons, before transferring to Millonarios from Bogotá and ending his playing career in the German Bundesliga with Karlsruher SC.
Dragoslav Sekularac
FW: Dušan Savić (Yugoslavia)
Savić started with Red Star Belgrade in 1974. He quickly grew into a feared striker and a fan favourite. At still only 19, he made his national team debut for Yugoslavia. He ended up playing more than 400 official matches for Red Star Belgrade. After leaving Red Star,  Savić played Sporting de Gijón in Spain, and Lille OSC, and AS Cannes in France.  

ST: Bora Kostić (Yugoslavia)
During his club career, Bora Kostic played for Red Star Belgrade, Lanerossi Vicenza and St. Louis Stars. He earned 33 caps and 26 goals for the Yugoslavia national football team, and participated in the 1960 European Nations' Cup. Kostić was no less prolific at the club level with Red Star Belgrade, for whom he remains to this day the all-time leading marksman with 158 league strikes.

ST/SS:  Rajko Mitic (Yugoslavia)
Rajko Mitic started his career with BSK Belgrade. After the World War II, he was the captain of Red Star Belgrade when it was found in 1945.   He played 14 seasons there and was known for his leadership. He was considered one of the club's greatest players.  He won 59 caps (in which he was captain 34 times) for Yugoslavia, and scored 32 goals.
Rajko Mitić
ST: Zoran Filipović (Yugoslavia)
Filipović made his name in Yugoslavia as a potent striker with Red Star Belgrade from 1969 to 1980. He still holds the club record for most goals in European competitions.  He played abroad for Club Brugge in Belgium, S.L. Benfica and Boavista FC. On an international level, Zoran Filipović played 13 matches for the Yugoslav national team scoring 2 goals. 

ST:  Darko Pancev (Yugoslavia/Macedonia)
Darko Pancev was the European Golden Boot winner in 1991 when he scored 34 goals.  With Red Star Belgrade, he scored 84 goals from 91 league appearances, and winning the European Cup and the Intercontinental Cup in 1991.  In 1992, he made a move to Inter Milan, but his career never took off after the European Cup. He was capped 27 times for Yugoslavia and 6 times for Macedonia.
Darko Pancev

Honorable Mention
Duško Radinović, Ljubiša Spajić, Milan Jovin, Ratomir Dujković, Stanislav Karasi, Kosta Tomašević, Miroslav Pavlovic, Vladislav Bogicevic, Nikola Jovanović, Miloš Šestić,  Dejan Petković.

Squad Explanation
-- Red Star gave away the title of the Star of Red Star (Serbian: Звездина звезда / Zvezdina zvezda) to the players that had a major impact on the club's history and have made the name of the club famous around the globe. Vladimir Petrović, Rajko Mitić, Dragan Dzajic, Dragan Stojkovic, Dragoslav Sekularac and the entire 1991 team were officially given the title. 
-- The European Cup victory was Red Star Belgrade's greatest victory.  I selected the following players to my all-time team: Dragan Stojkovic, Darko Pancev, Dejan Savicevic, Vladimir Jugovic, Miodrag Belodedici, Slobodan Marović , Stevan Stojanović, Ilija Najdoski and Sinisa Mihajlovic 
-- Miodrag Belodedici was an ethnic Serb. He literally showed up at the office of Red Star Belgrade and asked to join the club after deflecting from Romania.
-- Vladimir Durković and Branko Stanković are ahead of Duško Radinović at rightback.
-- Nemanja Vidić is one of the few recent players who reached stardom from the club.
-- I am uncertain about the left back position.  Milan Jovin and Slobodan Marović were the names I came up with.
-- Vladimir Petrović was a legend at the club, despite his setback in England. 
-- And I am uncertain about Dejan Petković. He was better known for his career in Brazil, which was rare for an European player.  He is on my honourable mention.
-- Branko Zebec's career with Red Star Belgrade was very short.
-- Darko Pancev's disappointing career does not include his time here.  He was the European Golden Boot winner in 1991 when he scored 34 goals.   
-- Bora Kostić is their all-time leading scorer.

Formation




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