FK Vardar

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ФК Вардар Cкoпje
FK Vardar Skopje
FK Vardar.png
Full name Fudbalski klub Vardar Skopje
Nickname(s) Црвено-Црни (The Red & Blacks)
Founded 22 July 1947; 66 years ago (1947-07-22)
Ground Philip II Arena, Skopje
Ground Capacity 32,580
Owner Russia Sergei Samsonenko
Chairman Republic of Macedonia Mirko Spaseski
Manager Ukraine Sergey Andreyev
League Macedonian First League
2013–14 5th
Website Club home page

FK Vardar Skopje (Macedonian: ФК Вардар Cкoпje) is a Macedonian football club based in the capital city of Skopje. Founded in 1947, FK Vardar is a member of the First Macedonian Football League since its inception. FK Vardar is the most popular and renowned Macedonian football club both domestically and abroad, winning 8 national championships and 6 national cups. Its home venue is the Philip II Arena, with a current capacity of 33,460.

History[edit]

Beginnings[edit]

FK Vardar was created with the merger of city rivals FK Pobeda and FK Makedonija, in the hall of cinema "Vardar" on 22 July 1947. The foundation assembly had decided the club color to be blue and it was, but already at the next assembly the decision was changed to red and white. The present recognizable red and black color was adopted after the 1963 Skopje earthquake. That same year, after a qualifying match against FK Sloga from Novi Sad, Vardar becomes member of the Yugoslav First League.

Yugoslav top division[edit]

The club won its first major trophy in the 1961 Yugoslav Cup.[1] Many famous players from the region started their careers at Vardar, and their triumph in the Yugoslavian Cup was a highlight. The leader of that particular generation of players was Andon Dončevski, who would later find success as coach of the 1987 title winners. Due to massive irregularities during the last 34th week of fixtures, the 1985-86 Yugoslav First League season ended notoriously. Yugoslav Football Association headed by Slavko Šajber voided the last week results ordering a replay of all 9 fixtures. Twelve clubs were docked 6 points due to alleged participation in the match-fixing scandal. All teams agreed to replay their games with the exception of FK Partizan who refused. That decision would eventually cost them the championship. The league title was awarded to Red Star Belgrade. What followed is a series of lawsuits on behalf of FK Partizan and the case was taken to the Yugoslav Constitutional Court. The following 1986-87 Yugoslav First League season saw 10 teams starting with -6 points. Vardar would go on to win the league title that year with 38 points. After the completion of the 1986-87 season, the court ruled that there was no evidence of wrongdoing in the week 34 of the previous season. The title was given back to FK Partizan and that also meant that there was no merit for the 6-point docking thus the final standings were re-counted. Partizan became the new champion with 42 points. Nevertheless, Vardar represented SFR Yugoslavia in the 1987-88 European Cup. The 1987 championship team brought together a group of wonderful players, led by the talented Darko Pančev and including Ilija Najdoski, Dragan Kanatlarovski and Vujadin Stanojković. FK Vardar went on to spend 33 seasons in the Yugoslav top flight from 1947 to 1992 and is ranked 11th on the all time table.

All-Time First Yugoslav League Table [2]
Rank Club MP W D L GF GA GD P
1 Red Star Belgrade 1335 719 328 288 2560 1415 +1145 1766
2 Partizan Belgrade 1335 657 354 324 2285 1428 +857 1668
3 Dinamo Zagreb 1302 597 366 339 2151 1495 +1006 1560
4 Hajduk Split 1302 587 346 369 2088 1486 +602 1520
5 Vojvodina 1221 465 311 445 1670 1595 +75 1241
6 FK Sarajevo 1228 447 311 470 1674 1773 -99 1205
7 Velež Mostar 1174 435 309 430 1668 1615 +53 1179
8 Željezničar Sarajevo 1063 403 274 386 1456 1424 +32 1080
9 OFK Belgrade 977 343 281 353 1355 1355 0 967
10 Radnički Niš 979 339 250 390 1088 1244 -156 928
11 Vardar Skopje 1005 328 251 426 1195 1459 -264 907

After independence[edit]

Vardar celebrated Macedonia's independence by winning three consecutive titles including going unbeaten in the inaugural season. During the 90's they remained at the top of Macedonian football reaching five Cup finals (winning four) and have always been the team to beat. After a lean spell by their standards, they won the league again in 2002 and the following season just missed out on qualifying for the UEFA Champions League group stage. A remarkable achievement, in the 2nd round of qualifying they eliminated CSKA Moscow and came within a goal of getting past Sparta Prague.[3] In 2011, Vardar was originally relegated from the First League, but after a merger with Miravci it stayed. The following season they won the league after nine years. To date they have 13 major honors to their name. In 2012, with the new transformation football club Vardar became the first team in Macedonia organized as a joint stock company incorporated under the companies act.[4]

All-Time First Macedonian League Table [5]
Rank Club MP W D L GF GA GD P
1 FK Vardar 669 369 159 141 1232 589 +643 1207
2 FK Sileks 636 294 128 214 1095 783 +312 975
3 FK Rabotnicki 495 261 104 131 826 511 +315 887
4 FK Pobeda 511 263 99 149 916 615 +301 863
5 FK Pelister 537 199 116 222 690 728 -38 685
6 FK Sloga 392 188 83 121 609 415 +194 616
7 FK Makedonija GP 425 164 98 163 569 524 +45 559
8 FK Cementarnica 55 448 158 94 196 589 622 -33 543
9 FK Belasica 363 139 72 152 486 528 -42 470
10 FK Shkendija 316 134 60 122 456 435 +21 459

Memorable moments[edit]

In their history, Vardar has had many memorable matches. Among those, the one that stands out the most was defeating Partizan Belgrade by a score of 5:0. In early history, the 2:1 victory over Varteks in the 1961 Yugoslav Cup final is remembered by the club as its first major trophy win. A game that had the highest attendance was a match up against FC Trepca where Vardar won 2:1 and earned promotion to the Yugoslav First League. Other matches to remember came against the great four of Yugoslav Football: Red Star Belgrade, Partizan Belgrade, Dinamo Zagreb and Hajduk Split. At the beginning of the Macedonian First League the most memorable matches were all the wins against rival FK Pelister, including the first ever Macedonian Cup final in 1993 where Vardar won 1-0 at the old Skopje City Stadium. The biggest international achievement of the club came in 2003 when Vardar came one goal short of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League group stage.

Honours[edit]

League[edit]

Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Yugoslav First League:

  • Winners (0): 1987 (revoked)

Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Yugoslav Second League:

Republic of Macedonia Macedonian First League:

Cup[edit]

Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Yugoslav Cup:

Republic of Macedonia Macedonian Cup:

  • Winners (5): 1993, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2007
  • Runners-up (1): 1996

Republic of Macedonia Macedonian Super Cup:

  • Winners (1): 2013

Socialist Republic of Macedonia Macedonian Republic Cup:

  • Winners (12): 1955, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1979, 1980, 1992

International[edit]

Mitropa Cup:

  • Semi-finalists (1): 1968
  • Round of 16 (2): 1969, 1970

Balkans Cup:

  • Runners-up (2): 1972, 1974

Other tournaments[edit]

Vuko Karov Tournament:

  • Winners (3): 1993, 2001, 2006
  • Runners-up (1): 2011

Stadium[edit]

Main article: Philip II Arena

FK Vardar's home venue is Philip II Arena. Its current capacity is 33,460[6] spectators which puts it among 10 largest stadiums on the Balkans. The pitch is 105 x 68 m. Two big scoreboards, 18 x 6 m are installed on both East and West stands. There are 494 VIP boxes and 386 media seats, all of them on the North stand. Philip II Arena is an all-seater ground with 80% of the seats covered from inclement weather.

Philip II Arena
Capacity
North - 10,974
South - 10,562
East - 5,962
West - 5,962
Total - 33,460

Vardar in Europe[edit]

Vardar's first competitive European match was a 0-5 loss against Dunfermline Athletic in the 1961–62 European Cup Winners' Cup. Muarem Zekir holds the record for most appearances in Europe for the club with 21. Top scorer in UEFA club competitions is Wandeir with 13 goals. The biggest win in UEFA competition was against Ethnikos Achnas in the 2004 Intertoto Cup, defeating them twice by the score of 5-1 and 10-2 on aggregate.

UEFA club coefficient ranking[edit]

As of 07-07-2014, Source: [1]

Rank Team Points
316 Montenegro FK Sutjeska 3.050
317 Estonia FC Flora Tallinn 3.050
318 Republic of Macedonia FK Vardar 3.050
319 Montenegro FK Zeta 3.050
320 Latvia FK Liepājas Metalurgs 3.050

Current squad[edit]

As of 18 June 2014

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Montenegro GK Igor Pavlović
25 Republic of Macedonia GK Borjan Ristovski
41 Croatia GK Matija Kobetić
4 Serbia DF Radenko Bojović
5 Republic of Macedonia DF Zlatko Tanevski (captain)
6 Republic of Macedonia DF Boban Grnčarov
19 Armenia DF Hovhannes Hambardzumyan
21 Republic of Macedonia DF Stojan Stojčevski
32 Republic of Macedonia DF Darko Glišić
7 Republic of Macedonia MF Blagoja Ljamčevski
8 Armenia MF Artak Dashyan
11 Republic of Macedonia MF Jasir Asani
15 Republic of Macedonia MF Filip Stojanovski
No. Position Player
16 Republic of Macedonia MF Nikola Gligorov
20 Republic of Macedonia MF Andrej Acevski
23 Republic of Macedonia MF Filip Despotovski
24 Republic of Macedonia MF Aleksandar Temelkov
26 Republic of Macedonia MF Viktor Serafimovski
87 Republic of Macedonia MF Vlatko Grozdanoski
3 Republic of Macedonia FW Filip Petkovski
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina FW Edin Ademović
13 Republic of Macedonia FW Filip Petrov
18 Republic of Macedonia FW Dimitar Ivanov
22 Republic of Macedonia FW Filip Ivanovski
27 Republic of Macedonia FW Vasko Raspaškovski
50 Republic of Macedonia FW Ilčo Naumoski

Coaching Staff[edit]

As of 4 February 2014.[7]

Position Name Nationality
Manager Sergey Andreyev  Ukrainian
Assistant Coach Oleg Sergeyev  Russian
Assistant Coach Aleksandar Vasoski  Macedonian
Goalkeeping Coach Saša Ilić  Macedonian
Doctor Kole Nedelkovski  Macedonian
Physiotherapist Jovan Dimovski  Macedonian
Physiotherapist Rubin Srbinovski  Macedonian

Club Management[edit]

Position Name Nationality
Chairman Mirko Spaseski  Macedonian
Director Samoil Simev  Macedonian
Director of football Vacant
Secretary Nikola Stojanovski  Macedonian
Technical Secretary George Spasovski  Macedonian
Technical Secretary Ljupka Stojanovska  Macedonian
Security Commissioner Aleksandar Kolevski  Macedonian
Economic Stole Simonoski  Macedonian

Notable former players[edit]

Notable former coaches[edit]

Recent Presidents[edit]

Nationality Name Year
Republic of Macedonia Borče Ristevski 2008
Republic of Macedonia Vančo Šehtanski 2008
Republic of Macedonia Trifun Kostovski 2008
Republic of Macedonia Jordan "Orce" Kamčev 2008–2009
Republic of Macedonia Bojan Zahariev 2009
Republic of Macedonia Dragi Setinov 2009–2010
Republic of Macedonia Vančo Šehtanski 2010
Republic of Macedonia Dragi Setinov 2010
Republic of Macedonia Serbia Milovan "Mišo" Majstorović 2010
Republic of Macedonia Atanas Kostovski 2010–2011
Republic of Macedonia Zoran Šiškovski 2011–2014
Republic of Macedonia Mirko Spaseski 2014–

Club records[edit]

[8]

Recent seasons[edit]

Season League Cup European competitions Top goalscorer
Division P W D L F A Pts Pos Player Goals
1992–93 1. MFL 34 27 7 0 119 16 61 1st W Saša Ćirić 36
1993–94 1. MFL 30 23 5 2 85 16 51 1st
1994–95 1. MFL 30 23 7 0 79 17 76 1st W UEFA Cup PR Saša Ćirić 35
1995–96 1. MFL 28 17 6 5 60 22 57 3rd RU UEFA Cup R1
1996–97 1. MFL 26 11 10 5 32 15 40(-3) 4th GS UEFA Cup R1
1997–98 1. MFL 25 12 5 8 34 25 41 4th W
1998–99 1. MFL 26 15 4 7 61 32 49 4th W Cup Winners' Cup QR
1999–2000 1. MFL 26 7 8 11 39 38 29 10th QF UEFA Cup QR
2000–01 1. MFL 26 20 3 3 52 16 63 2nd QF Zoran Miserdovski 11
2001–02 1. MFL 20 11 4 5 28 16 37 1st SF UEFA Cup QR Mario Petkov 12
2002–03 1. MFL 33 22 6 5 73 37 72 1st QF Champions League QR2 Rogério Oliveira 15
2003–04 1. MFL 33 17 9 7 66 39 60 3rd QF

Wandeir 17
2004–05 1. MFL 33 22 6 5 68 34 72 2nd R2 Intertoto Cup R3 Wandeir 19
2005–06 1. MFL 33 19 7 7 42 19 61 3rd QF UEFA Cup QR2 Riste Naumov 15
2006–07 1. MFL 33 17 8 8 63 34 59 4th W UEFA Cup QR1 Wandeir 12
2007–08 1. MFL 33 12 11 10 45 40 47 4th QF UEFA Cup QR1 Jovan Kostovski 10
2008–09 1. MFL 33 11 12 7 35 23 45 5th R2 Boban Jančevski 10
2009–10 1. MFL 33 9 6 11 31 28 30(-3) 6th R1 Boško Stupić 7
2010–11 1. MFL 30 9 5 19 24 44 29(-3) 11th QF Fahrudin Đurđević 5
2011–12 1. MFL 33 22 10 1 50 15 76 1st SF Filip Ivanovski 24
2012–13 1. MFL 33 20 8 5 71 21 68 1st SF Champions League QR2 Jovan Kostovski 22
2013–14 1. MFL 33 15 11 7 55 32 56 5th R2 Champions League QR2 Aco Stojkov 10

Rivalries[edit]

  • FK Vardar Skopje vs. Pelister Bitola is the biggest and most violent match in Macedonia. An important aspect of this match-up is the intense rivalry in the Macedonian Tifo scene between the clubs supporters Komiti Skopje and Čkembari Bitola. The rivalry began in the season 1989/1990 at a match in Skopje, between FK Vardar Skopje and Red Star Belgrade. A conflict occurred between the "Skopje fans" and a few Bitola fans who went to cheer for Vardar, who at that time was the most popular Macedonian football club in the former Yugoslavia. On 8 March 1991 in Bitola, Pelister and Vardar met in the Yugoslav second league and the first incident occurred. From that day forward, started the big rivalry between Komiti and Čkembari along with the Vardar-Pelister match becoming the Eternal derby of Macedonia. At the moment the Bitola club isn't very successful and therefore the biggest match has now become the Skopje city derby between FK Vardar Skopje and Rabotnički. This is only a football rivalry on the pitch because Rabotnički does not have organized supporters.
  • Other big matches are: FK Vardar Skopje and Sloga Jugomagnat in the Skopje local derby. FK Vardar Skopje vs. Shkëndija Tetovo in the ethnic derby (Majority of Vardar Skopje fans are Macedonians and Orthodox Christians, while most Shkëndija fans are Albanians and Muslims). The brotherhood derby is between FK Vardar Skopje and Teteks Tetovo (The fans of this two clubs have been dubbed as "Orthodox Brothers").

Supporters[edit]

Main article: Komiti Skopje

FK Vardar supporters are known as Komiti (Macedonian: Комити). Komiti are the first organized supporters group of Vardar and they were founded on 4 June 1987 in Skopje, at the match between Vardar and Crvena Zvezda. Throughout their existence, they left significant seal in the history of Vardar and with their support becoming the 12th player of the team. FK Vardar as a club is supported by most Macedonians worldwide. The team has always been a symbol of the Macedonians and Macedonia in the world. Komiti have great relations with Teteks fans Vojvodi and Schalke 04 fans Ultras Gelsenkirchen.[9]

Soborna Church Skopje, place where 'Komiti Skopje' are gathered before FK Vardar matches

References[edit]

11 ^ As Gragjanski Skopje

External links[edit]