FK Obilić

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For the reserve team, see FK Mladi Obilić.
For other uses, see Obilić (disambiguation).
Obilić Belgrade
FK Obilić.svg
Full name Fudbalski klub Obilić Beograd
Nickname(s) Vitezovi (The Knights)
Founded 1924
Ground Obilić Stadium
Ground Capacity 4,600
President Goran Zelenović
League Second Belgrade League, Dunav Division
2013-14 First Belgrade League, Group A, 14th (Relegated)

Fudbalski klub Obilić Beograd (Serbian Cyrillic: Фудбалски клуб Обилић Београд), commonly known as Obilić Belgrade or simply Obilić, is a Serbian football club based in Vračar, a neighborhood of Belgrade. Named after medieval Serbian hero Miloš Obilić, a legendary 14th-century knight, the club currently competes in the Third Belgrade league - Group A (Three divisions lower than the Belgrade Zone League).

In its long history, Obilić Belgrade's most notable success occurred in 1998, when it became only the third club since the breakup of Yugoslavia to win the national league, winning the 1997–98 season. One of the two Belgrade football giants, Red Star Belgrade, former European and World Champion and Partizan, former European vice-champion, have won every other year.

Since the season 2001–02, when it finished in fourth place, Obilić has declined steeply: a club which once competed in European club competitions has been relegated to the lowest tier of the Serbian football league system.

History[edit]

The beginnings (1924-1944)[edit]

First team of Obilić Belgrade in 1924.

Obilic Belgrade was founded in 1924 by the young Serbs Milan Petrović, Boža Popović, Danilo Anastasijević called Dača, Petar Daničić and Dragutin Volić, Bosnjakovic Svetislav first secretary and goalkeeper. One year after its foundation, the club began playing competitively during the 1925–26 season as part of the Belgrade Football Subassociation (Beogradski loptački podsavez, Београдски лоптачки подсавез), an organization under the umbrella of Yugoslav Football Association. Belgrade's committee was very well organized and was divided into three tiers. Obilić enjoyed early success and moved to the first tier by the 1928–29 season. They would stay amongst the top having finished second once and third three times. This continued until World War II which dramatically changed the structure of Yugoslav football. During World War II, the club played in the Serbian Football League that usually consisted of ten clubs, and the competition ran from 1941–1944 under specific wartime circumstances. Obilić's placement in that league was usually 3rd, right behind the famous Belgrade clubs BSK and SK Jugoslavija. In the season 1942 they finished 7th, however that season consolidated Valok, Zečević, Lojančić, Anđelković and Dimitrijević in the team[1] for archiving the 3rd place again in 1943.

Obilić during SFR Yugoslavia (1945-1992)[edit]

After World War II, the name Obilić was banned by the communist party which had just taken over Yugoslavia. Considering the name to be "too Serbian" because of Miloš Obilić, a legendary 14th-century knight much celebrated in Serbian epic poetry, and the authorities forced the club into changing it. The new name became FK Čuburac after Čubura, the neighbourhood where the ground was located. The next big event in the club's history occurred in 1952, when FK Šumadija merged into FK Čuburac. Combined they restored the previous name "Obilić" after the government had changed its mind about the name and finally let them use the historic Serbian name.

The club moved in small steps higher and higher in the ranks. Starting from 1952, Obilić played in the Belgrade Second Division. In season 1972–73, Obilić had finally won the Belgrade Second Division and made the jump to the Belgrade First Division. They stayed there until season 1981–82, where Obilić placed fourth in the Belgrade Zone League and move up to the Serbian Second League North. Proving that this result was accurate, the following season Obilić won the league and promoted to the Serbian First League. After several years, more precisely in season 1987/88, Obilić earned the right to compete in the Inter-republic league North of the Yugoslav Third League. This was a huge moment for the club finally leaving the small regional leagues and moving up to more of what European football is known for. Obilić would now get to play teams from all across Yugoslavia. In that third division Obilić would stay until the civil war that tore the former Yugoslavia apart.

The rise of the club (1992-1996)[edit]

During the Yugoslav wars, all phases of life were affected including football. In 1992, as the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia fell apart, the Football Association of Yugoslavia had lost many clubs. Serbia and Montenegro remained united under the new Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Obilić was placed for the 1992–93 season in the new created Second National League. It took only three years for the club to reached the First National League Group B. Previously, Obilić reached the 1994–95 Yugoslav Cup final eventually losing to Red Star Belgrade. In the 1995–96 First League debut season, they began to show that they might be in future a potential competitor for the top part of the table.

The first Championship title (1996-2000)[edit]

In June 1996, the career criminal and later a paramilitary leader Željko Ražnatović, widely known as Arkan, took over Obilić and he swiftly turned into a top calibre club. With him now in charge of the club, Obilić started their way to the top of Yugoslav football, right there where the cross-town powerhouse's Red Star and Partizan have always been. In the season 1996–97, the club finished the First National league Group B as 1st, and advances further for the first time to the First National league Group A (then the league was divided in 2 groups, A and B, consisting each of 10 clubs). The next season was for Obilić the premiere in the top where they not only proved that they were a team that deserved to be there, but also that they were amongst the elite. In the season 1997–98, it was so far. Led by coach Dragan Okuka, Obilić Belgrade won the league and become the Champions of Yugoslavia for the first time in one of the most remarkable seasons ever seen in Yugoslav football. In the same season, Obilić also made it to the 1997–98 Yugoslav Cup final, but lost against Partizan Belgrade and barely missed the double. In the First qualifying round of the 1998–99 UEFA Champions League season, Obilić defeated Icelandic club ÍBV by 4–1 on aggregate and played the Second round against Germany′s record champion Bayern Munich. In the first leg in Munich, Bayern won 4–0 and the return match ended 1–1. Finally, Obilić was eliminated by the eventual runners-up of the 1998–99 Champions League. In the domestic league, the club could not defend the title, but became the vice-championship of the 1998–99 season, and finished in third place during the 1999–2000 season. During this period Obilić made an impressive run of 47 consecutive league matches without a single defeat (between round 11 of the 1997/98 season until the round 2 of the 1999/2000 season).[2]

However this feat unlike most came with great controversy. According to a book by American journalist Franklin Foer, How Football Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization, Ražnatović threatened players on opposing teams if they scored against Obilić. This threat was underlined by the thousands of veterans from his army that filled their home ground, chanting threats, and on occasion pointing pistols at opposition players during matches. One player told the British football magazine FourFourTwo that he was locked in a garage when his team played Obilić.

Over the summer 1998, there was a possibility that UEFA would prohibit the club from participation in Europe because of the underworld connections of Obilić′s president. As a result, Ražnatović stepped away from the position of president and gave his seat to his wife Svetlana Ražnatović, better known by her nickname "Ceca", on 25 July 1998. Svetlana Ražnatović held on to the role for a short period and decided that it wasn't something she was interested in and gave the seat away to Žarko Nikolić who held the title for about a year. Svetlana Ražnatović then suddenly had a change of heart and on August 14, in 2000, she became the president of the club once more.

The silent fall (2000-present)[edit]

Under the leadership of club president Svetlana Ražnatović, Obilić achieved an impressive third place in season 2000–01, and the season 2001–02, they finished the league as a fourth. This was the last time that Obilić would be considered to a top club in Yugoslavia. The next season, Obilić fell to the status of mediocre and finished the season as seventh. It was the beginning of decline in everything. The club who achieved European club competitions, began to sink continuously and slowly became a distant memory. In the 2003–04 season, they were still considered as average even though they managed to move up the rankings and get sixth. The 2004–05 season, Obilić fall outside of the top ten for the first time since its first arrival to the First League. Finally the end of the line Obilić was sent down to the Serbian First League after the season 2005–06. Obilić finished as 15th with only three wins the entire season. After only one year in the second division, Obilić has now again been relegated to the Belgrade Group of Srpska Liga in the 2006–07 season. They finally relegated to Amateur Level in the 2007–08 season. In the 2008–09 season, Obilić finished on the bottom of the Beogradska Zona League and were relegated into the Beogradska Prva Liga Zone. In 2010-11 season, Obilic finished last in Beogradska Prva Liga Zone and were relegated into the Second Belgrade League. In Season 2011-12, Obilic finished last and been relegated to the Third Belgrade League, 7 divisions under Serbia's elite football league. Once champions of the mighty Yugoslavian football league Obilic has fallen on hard times. In 2012-13 season Obilic finished champions in Group A of Third Belgrade League. Obilic won 18 of 20 matches and drew twice. Consequently they promoted to Second Belgrade League.[3] Obilic admitted to First Belgrade League but relegated to Second Belgrade League after collecting only 11 points in 26 matches in 2013-14 season.

Stadium[edit]

The club's stadium is also named accordingly to venerate the Serbian knight it is called the Obilić Stadium with a capacity of about 4,550. The team was founded in 1924 and is recognized as one of the oldest active football clubs in Serbia.

Trivia[edit]

When Miljan Miljanić stepped down from his presidential post at the Football Association of Yugoslavia in September 2001, the press jokingly cheered Svetlana Ražnatović's election for the post campaigning that they would have the most beautiful president. However, former Red Star player Dragan Stojković, known lovingly by his nickname Piksi, was elected to the post.

Honours and achievements[edit]

National Championships

National Cups

Obilić in Europe[edit]

Season Competition Round Opposition Score
1995–96 Cup Winners' Cup Qualifying round Georgia (country) Dinamo Batumi 0–1 (H), 2–2 (A)
1998–99 Champions League First qualifying round Iceland IBV 2–0 (H), 2–1 (A)
Second qualifying round Germany Bayern Munich 0–4 (A), 1–1 (H)
UEFA Cup First round Spain Atlético Madrid 0–2 (A), 0–1 (H)
2000–01 Intertoto Cup First round Croatia Cibalia 1–3 (A), 1–1 (H)
2001–02 UEFA Cup Qualifying round Faroe Islands Gøta 4–0 (H), 1–1 (A)
First round Denmark København 0–2 (A), 2–2 (H)
2002–03 Intertoto Cup First round Finland Haka 1–2 (H), 1–1 (A)

Notable former players[edit]

This is a list of players with national team appearances:[4]

For the list of all former and current players with Wikipedia article, please see Category:FK Obilić players.

Coaching history[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ S.K. 1913 osvojio pehar - Takmičenje iznenađenja završeno (SK 1913 won the trophy - Championship full of surprises is finished a text by Ljubomir Vukadinović at trstenicani.com, retrieved 14-12-2013 (Serbian)
  2. ^ FK Obilic' series of 47 matches unbeaten in the Yugoslav League at RSSSF, retrieved 1-6-2013
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ FK Obilić at National-Football-Teams.com

External links[edit]