FK Radnički Niš

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Radnički Niš
logo
Full name Fudbalski klub Radnički Niš
Nickname(s) Real sa Nišave
(Real from Nišava)
Real iz Niša
(Real from Niš)
Founded 23 April 1923; 90 years ago (1923-04-23)
Ground Čair Stadium, Niš
Ground Capacity 18,151[1]
President Darko Bulatović
Manager Milan Milanović
League Serbian SuperLiga
2012–13 Serbian SuperLiga, 12th
Website Club home page
Home colours
Away colours
Current season

Fudbalski klub Radnički Niš (Serbian Cyrillic: Фудбалски клуб Раднички Ниш, English: Radnički Niš Football Club), or simply Radnički Niš, is a professional football club based in Niš, the third largest city in Serbia, and one of the most famous clubs on the Balkans. The name Radnički means "Labourers" in Serbian and its roots comes from the relationship with the Labour movement that the club had during the first half of the 20th century.

Radnički Niš was one of the most stable clubs in the former Yugoslavia; the team spent a total of 29 seasons in the Yugoslav First League, achieved the 3rd place in 1980 and 1981, and finished in the Top 10 in the Yugoslav First League all-time table.[2] Radnički Niš also made it to the semifinals of the UEFA Cup in 1982.

Club history[edit]

Establishment (1923-1945)[edit]

"The Fists", one of the monuments in memory of the victims of the Bubanj massacre.

The club was founded on April 23, in 1923, in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. One of its major founders was the communist activists Miloš Marković (who was two years later also the founder of Sloboda Užice). In the same year, the club played its first unofficial games. Two years later, in the 1925/26 season, the club became a part of a professional league of the Morava Banovina. At the beginning of the World War II in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1941, the club terminated the activities to be renewed in 1945, one year after the liberation of the occupation of Nazi Germany.[3] During the time of German occupation, one of the first Nazi concentration camp in Yugoslavia was located in Niš, the Crveni Krst concentration camp. About 30,000 people passed through this camp, of whom over 12,000 were executied nearby the Bubanj hill. Radnički Niš lost during the war some players, club officials and many supporters. Therefore comes mainly the especially deep-rooted antifascist attitude of the city, the club and its supporters. To commemorate the victims of the massacre, on the Bubanj hill, where the killings took place, was built the memorial complex, called Bubanj Memorial Park, not so far from the Čair stadium.

The rise and stabilization (1962-1975)[edit]

In 1962, Radnički Niš were promoted to the Yugoslav First League for the first time in its history. Already on 23 September in 1962, the Radnički fans displayed their first big choreography on the first league match against Red Star Belgrade. On the eastern stand has emerged a large transparent "Real sa Nišave", which translates to "Real from Nisava", and is still today the nickname of the club. The transparent could be seen at every home game throughout the 60s.[4] In following years, the club has a well development and was one of the most stable football clubs in the country. Also, the club invested more and more value on a good football youth work. In 1963, the club founded its youth school through which many of the Radnički players went. In 1975, Radnički beat Turkish club Eskişehirspor (1–0, 2–1) and won its first trophy of European importance, the Balkans Cup.[5]

Journey across Europe (1980-1984)[edit]

In 1980, Radnički finished the national championship on the 3rd place, the best placement so far, and started the following season for the first time in the UEFA Cup, where Radnički achieved during the 1980–81 UEFA Cup season the 1/8 final, but lost against Dutch club AZ Alkmaar. In 1981, the club was again third and qualified for the 1981–82 UEFA Cup season. In the first round, the draw placed as first S.S.C. Napoli on Radnički Niš's journey across Europe. In the first leg in front of 70.000 spectators at Stadio San Paolo, the club from South Serbia achieved a 2–2 draw, which was enough for Radnički to progress after a goalless match in Serbia because of the away goals rule. After eliminating the Azzurri, Radnički played the second round against Grasshopper Zürich. The Swiss club won the first match in Zürich by 2-0, but Radnički had equalized with a 2-0 and won finally convincingly 3-0 by penalty shoot-out. In the third round waited Feyenoord from Rotterdam. In the first leg in Niš, the result was 2–0 for Radnički and at De Kuip the result was 1–0 for the Dutch club. However, it was a 2–1 victory on aggregate for the Serbian club and in the quarterfinals Radnički were drawn Dundee United from Scotland. In the first leg, held in Dundee, Radnički suffered a 2–0 defeat. Although they were not given much chances in the return leg, the Real from Nišava pulled off a convincing 3–0 win in front of its spectators, and with aggregate score of 3–2 they eventually achieved their greatest success in history by reaching the semifinals of this prestigious tournament. The semifinals provided a football holiday at Čair Stadium, due to the fact that German top club Hamburger SV led by stars like Horst Hrubesch, Felix Magath, Lars Bastrup, Manfred Kaltz, Thomas von Heesen and Uli Stein were visiting Niš. In the first leg, Radnički Niš won against the favored North Germans in front of 38,500 enthusiastic Radnički fans with 2-1, but they clearly lost the second leg in Hamburg by 5-1 (Hamburg lost at the end the final, but won next year the 1982–83 European Cup). After one year of international abstinence, the club qualified for the 1983–84 UEFA Cup season (finished the 1979–80 Yugoslav First League season on the 4th place) and came down to the 1/8 final like 1981.

Radnički Niš played between 1981–84, overall 22 matches across the whole of Europe. During this time, Radnički lost in three European season only one UEFA Cup home match of total 11 and this against a team from the domestic league. A great contribution to this success had the Radnički Niš fans with their fiery support. The Čair Stadium was a tough ground for the opposition and the atmosphere created by Radnički Niš fans in a cracking stadium always gave hope to the team that they could overcome anybody.[6]

Recent history (1985-2012)[edit]

After great years, Radnički Niš relegated in 1985 totally unexpected, after 23 years of premiership football affiliation, in the Yugoslav Second League. However, under coach Josip Duvančić, Radnički won in 1986 the Yugoslav Second League and returned to the first league after only a year of absence. In 1989, the club played its second Balkans Cup final after 1975, but they lost against OFI Crete from Greece by 3-1. At the beginning of the 90s, it started a difficult time for the entire country. The disintegration of Yugoslavia, the civil war (1992–1995), the inflation and the UN sanctions have hit all the Yugoslav football teams hard, and of course also Radnički Niš. In the season 2000/01, the club drop out of the first division for the second time in its history. In the following season, Radnički Niš won the second division championship and quickly returned to the major clubs, but they ended the 2002/03 season at last. After that, the club competed in the following five seasons in the second league, and in the 2008/09 season, Radnički arrived even Serbia's third division, won the championship, but they ended the 2009–10 Serbian First League season again on a relegation place. In the season 2010/2011, they won the Serbian League East and was promoted to the Serbian First League, Serbia's second division. It followed a further championship title. The club won the 2011-12 Serbian First League and was promoted to the Serbian SuperLiga, Serbia's highest football league. In the same season, the club also received a new stadium, and all this makes the fans hope for a successful future. All the success has earned the club a great interest from the Niš population, and the club becomes the city's trademark in the world. This earned them the sponsorship deals of several companies from Niš and some from foreign countries, who invested in the club and helped in its fast elevation to the top and its professional club status.[7]

Club colors and crest[edit]

The club has performed at the beginning in green jersey and on the left, in the white field, was a red five-pointed star as a symbol of belonging to the Labour movement, like the color red, which was later take over as the typical color of Radnički. Sometimes used the club also an all-blue one kit, so that the club used all the colors of the Serbian flag. The crest includes also the color red, but also much white, the founding year and the Niš Fortress, which is a complex and important cultural and historical monument of the city of Niš.

Radnički Niš's present crest 

Stadium[edit]

The home field of Radnički Niš is the Čair Stadium. It is named after the Čair neighbourhood in Medijana, the most populous municipality of Niš. The construction of the stadium was finished in 1963, and had a capacity for up to 40,000 spectators. After renovations between 2011–12, the stadium capacity has been brought to 18,151 seats. The stadium is part of the Čair sports complex, that includes also the modern sporting arena Čair, a modern indoor swimming pool and much more. After the renovation of the swimming pool, the Čair hall, and the complete reconstruction of the Čair stadium, Niš will get a unique sports complex in Serbia and will have a complete reconstruction of its sports infrastructure.[8]

Reconstruction[edit]

Čair Stadium under construction in 2012.

The Čair stadium began undergoing complete reconstruction during the second half of 2011 in an ambitious project by the Football Association of Serbia and the city of Niš. The project includes the renovation of eastern, southern and northern stand. When reconstruction finished, the stadium's seating capacity was increased to 18,151 spectators, including an additional VIP lounge with 120 seats and media lodge with 50 seats. The project includes also the covering of the whole stadium, new floodlights and LED, new locker and press room, new ambulance, parking area, ticket office, restaurant and TV room for broadcasts. After reconstruction, the stadium is expected to fulfill the most up to date UEFA standards.[9] The cost of the project is estimated to be over 1.1 billion Serbian dinars (10 million euros).[10]

Debut game on the new Čair Stadium[edit]

Although not completely finished, Čair Stadium finally has been declared as a suitable venue for the second home match (first home match had to be played at Jagodina City Stadium against Radnički Kragujevac). But the actually home opening match came in 5th round of Serbian SuperLiga for the game against FK Smederevo on September 15, in 2012. About 7,000 seats has been initially installed and they were completely filled as Radnički Niš has hosted its first SuperLiga match after 9 years. Manager Aleksandar Ilić has fielded the following squad: Stevan Stefanović, Branislav Vukomanović, Milan Jovanović, Marko Ranđelović, Miloš Perić, Bratislav Pejčić, Aleksandar Jovanović, Dušan Kolarević, Miloš Petrović, Vladan Binić and Strahinja Petrović. Radnički supporters had to wait till the 84th minute, when midfielder Dušan Kolarević scored by a 30-meter strike[11] and brought Radnički Niš to the 1-0 win in the opening match.[12]

Radnički's Ivan Krstić youth school[edit]

An important segment of the club is its youth school, which was founded in 1963, through which many of the Radnički players went. The youth school is named by former Radnički's football player Ivan Krstić. He stepped in with nine years to Radnički's youth school and settled in the first team and became captain. At the threshold of a great football career, he lost his life during the training by a lightning on the auxiliary field, near the youth school. In memory of the killed former football player, the football schools bears today his name.[13]

History[edit]

During 1963, one year after entry of Radnički in the Yugoslav First League, the club formed is own football schools after initiative of Tihomir Petrović. From nine Niš primary schools were selected 48 pioneers, who began to learn the football alphabet at Radnički. It was a bright start to the football school tradition of Radnički that will eventually become a real talent pool, who produced many football names that will spread the glory of Niš, Yugoslav and Serbian football. The first greater success had Radnički's youth already in 1966, where they won a larger tournament in Germany. In 1969, it followed the winning of the tournament in Paris, after they defeated the Italian team US Cagliari. It followed more success and one of the highlight was the winning of the international tournament "Vojvodina-Red Star", which was played in 1984 and where participated many national and international top youth teams. During the tournamtent, Radnički's youth was led by Milorad Janković, a former player of Radnički, who was awarded by the Football Association of Yugoslavia as the most successful coach. 1991 will be remembered as the year, where Radnički's youth achieved its greatest success. For the first time, led by coach Vladislav Nikolić, they won the Yugoslav championship, after they defeated Željezničar Sarajevo (1-0 at home by a goal from Dejan Petković, 1-1). In 1992, Radnički had again a national champion in its own series. Its cadets was Yugoslav champion and repeat the success of only one year ago. A triumph for the managers of the youth school and coaches like Miroslav Glišović, Milorad Janković, Ljubiša Rajković and Miodrag Stefanović. At that period, Radnički's football school was recognizable by his youth work which demonstrated a high level of technical, which was especially recognizable to the young players Dragan Stojković and Dejan Petković and tactical readiness in combination of fighting adaptable and enjoyed always an excellent reputation. The last major success of the Radnički's football school was in 2000, where Radnički's cadets, led by coach Aleksandar Jovanovski, won the Serbian championship. In the final, they beat Red Star Belgrade by 1-0 and qualified for the final tournament for the Yugoslav championship. In the contest for the best cadet teams in the country, Radnički's young players achieved the 3rd place. In the same year, it opened new sport facilities which enables much better working conditions. Today, the youth coaches are mostly former players of Radnički who are responsible for 400-450 young Radnički players and working by standards of major European football clubs.[14]

Notable youth players[edit]

Dejan Petković played for Radnički Niš 53 time (34 goals).

In its history, Radnički Niš has developed many players who got the chance to play for their national team. There are also many players who played more than 200 games for the club or that spent more than ten years there. The most important one is certainly Dragan Stojković (retired), who is considered as one of the best players which Yugoslavian and Serbian football ever had. After four seasons with Radnički Niš, Stojković played four illustrious seasons for Red Star Belgrade, and his stellar performances earned him the title of The 5th Star of Red Star only given out to the very best players in Red Star 's club storied history. In 1990, Stojković moved to Olympique de Marseille for a transfer fee of £5.5 million, one of the most expensive transfers at this time, and won finally the 1992–93 UEFA Champions League with the French club. Further most notable home-bred footballers during its history are Dejan Petković (retired), who played for Red Star Belgrade, Real Madrid and several Brazilian top clubs, and who is considered to be one of the best foreign players to have played in Brazil, and Dragan Pantelić (retired), who played more than 260 games for the club. More notable players are former Olympique de Marseille player Slobodan Antić (retired) and the former Yugoslavian representatives Dragan Holcer (retired), Ljubiša Rajković (retired), Slavoljub Nikolić (retired) and Milovan Obradović (retired). Notable players from the recent past are current Radnički Niš coach Aleksandar Ilić (retired), Siniša Gogić (retired), Goran Stojiljković (retired), followed by Miodrag Jovanović (retired) and the former Red Star Belgrade goalkeepers Dejan Pešić and Ivan Ranđelović (retired), Predrag Ranđelović, who played for several Russian top clubs, and Igor Stefanović (FC Porto).

Supporters[edit]

The first large organized support happened in 1962 against Vardar, where several thousand fans from Niš occupied Skoplje. In 1962, Radnički Niš were promoted to the Yugoslav First League for the first time in their history and attracted thereby more supporters from Niš and its surroundings. Since Radnički's entry to the first division, Čair has always been a tough ground for the opposition. Although the club had numerous supporters throughout the history, more organized groups emerged end of the 80's. In 1989, three days before the championship match against Red Star Belgrade, a decision was made that the club should have an organized fan group and that it should be shoulder-to-shoulder with the other fan organizations in Yugoslavia. There were several suggestions for a name, but the name Meraklije was chosen. Meraklije is plural of the singular form Meraklija, which means something like "neko ko uživa u nečemu", which roughly translates to "someone who enjoys something special." A person in this state is called Meraklija. The closest translation would be "bohemian". Besides football club, the Meraklije also support other sport sections like handball, especially the Serbian national handball team.[15]

Club honours and achievements[edit]

Domestic[edit]

National Championships

National Cups

International[edit]

Individual awards[edit]

Serbian First League top scorers

Season Name Goals
2011–12 Serbia Ivan Pejčić 13

Radnički Niš totals by league rank and highest achievements[edit]

Radnički Niš in Europe[edit]

Season Competition Round Country Club Home Away
1980/81 UEFA Cup R1 Austria LASK Linz 2-1 4-1
UEFA Cup R2 Bulgaria PFC Beroe Stara Zagora 1-0 2-1
UEFA Cup 1/8 Netherlands AZ 2-2 0-5
1981/82 UEFA Cup R1 Italy FC Napoli 0-0 2-2
UEFA Cup R2 Switzerland Grasshoppers 2-0 (3:0) e.t. 0-2
UEFA Cup 1/8 Netherlands Feyenoord 2-0 0-1
UEFA Cup 1/4 Scotland Dundee United 3-0 0-2
UEFA Cup 1/2 Germany Hamburger SV 2-1 1-5
1983/84 UEFA Cup R1 Switzerland FC St. Gallen 3-0 2-1
UEFA Cup R2 Czechoslovakia FK Inter Bratislava 4-0 2-3
UEFA Cup 1/8 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Hajduk Split 0-2 0-2
1990 Mitropa Cup Group Italy A.S. Bari 0-3
Mitropa Cup Group Hungary Pécsi Mecsek FC 1-0

Radnički Niš in Rappan Cup (Intertoto Cup)[edit]

UEFA did not administer this competition until 1995[edit]

Season Round Country Club Home Away
1964/65 Group East Germany Empor Rostock 3-0 1-3
Group Poland Gwardia Warsaw 5-1 2-4
Group Sweden Norrköping 0-2 2-2
1965/66 Group East Germany Empor Rostock 2-1 0-3
Group Poland Zaglebie Sosnowiec 0-0 2-5
Group Czech Republic Košice 7-2 0-2

Radnički Niš in Balkans Cup[edit]

Season Round Country Club Home Away
1963/64 Group Bulgaria FC Spartak Plovdiv 2-3 0-2
1975 Group Greece Panionios G.S.S. 2-0 0-0
Group Albania 17 Nëntori 3-0 0-0
Final Turkey Eskisehirspor 1-0 2-1 Gold medal icon.svg
1988/89 Group Romania FC Universitatea Craiova 0-0 0-1
Group Bulgaria PFC Lokomotiv Sofia 2-1 4-3
Final Greece OFI Crete 1-3 Silver medal icon.svg

Note: Balkans Cup was a minor regional competition for clubs from Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Turkey, and Yugoslavia. It has been at least 28 times in the period from 1961-1994.

Current squad[edit]

As of 23 February 2014

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

No. Position Player
1 Serbia GK Nenad Filipović
4 Serbia DF Radoš Bulatović
7 Serbia MF Saša Stojanović (vice-captain)
8 Serbia MF Dušan Kolarević
9 Serbia FW Vladimir Milenković
11 Serbia FW Ivan Pejčić
14 Serbia DF Miloš Petrović
16 Serbia MF Milan Ćulum
17 Serbia MF Bratislav Pejčić
18 Serbia MF Petar Đuričković (on loan from Red Star Belgrade)
19 Serbia MF Saša Marjanović
20 Serbia MF Aleksandar Trišović
21 Serbia MF Strahinja Petrović
No. Position Player
22 Bosnia and Herzegovina DF Aleksandar Kosorić
23 Serbia GK Aleksandar Kesić
24 Serbia MF Aleksandar Jovanović (captain)
25 Slovenia FW Dragan Jelić
27 Serbia MF Miloš Krstić (on loan from Thun)
29 Senegal DF Ibrahima Gueye
30 Serbia DF Vladan Pavlović
49 Serbia DF Branko Pauljević (on loan from Partizan)
50 Serbia GK Miloš Perić
67 Serbia MF Nikola Mitrović
77 Bosnia and Herzegovina DF Petar Jovanović
99 Brazil FW Caio Sanchez

Out on loan[edit]

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

No. Position Player
Serbia GK Miodrag Filipović (at Radnički Pirot)
Serbia DF Stefan Marković (at Moravac Mrštane)
Serbia DF Nikola Vukadinović (at Kopaonik Brus)
Serbia DF Mladen Mitrović (at Sinđelić Niš)
Serbia MF Aleksandar Stanković (at Sinđelić Niš)
Serbia MF Igor Stupar (at Kopaonik Brus)
No. Position Player
Serbia MF Mladen Petrović (at Radnički Pirot)
Serbia MF Miloš Nikolić (at Radnički Pirot)
Serbia FW Aleksandar Mišić (at Žitorađa)
Serbia FW Marko Zdravković (at Balkanski)
Serbia FW Miodrag Todorović (at Car Konstantin)
Serbia Lazar Jeremić (at Car Konstantin)

For recent transfers, see List of Serbian football transfers winter 2013-14. For summer transfers, see List of Serbian football transfers summer 2013.

Technical staff[edit]

As of July 5, 2012

Current technical staff
  • Manager: Serbia Dragoljub Bekvalac
  • 1st Assistant Manager/Coach: Serbia Miroslav Blanuša
  • Fitness Coach: Serbia Ferenc Kamasi
  • Goalkeeper Coach : Serbia Zoran Vasković
  • Secretary of the coaching staff: Serbia Predrag Stamenković
  • Doctor: Serbia Dr. Dragoslav Bošković
  • Physiotherapist: Serbia Marko Stanković
  • Economic: Serbia Srđan Mitić
  • Economic: Serbia Tomislav Pešić

Club management[edit]

As of July 5, 2012

Current management
  • President: Serbia Darko Bulatović
  • Technical secretary: Serbia Boban Stanković
  • PR : Serbia Ljubica Stojanović

Notable players[edit]

For the list of current and former Radnički Niš footballers with Wikipedia article, please see Category:FK Radnički Niš players.

To appear in this section a player must have either:
  • Played at least 100 games in Serbian top league.
  • Played at least 80 games for the club.
  • Set a club record or won an individual award while at the club.
  • Played at least one international match for their national team at any time.

Below are the notable former and current players who have represented Radnički Niš in domestic and international competitions since the club's foundation in 1923.

Coaching history[edit]

This is the list of first team coaches of Radnički Niš:[19]

Kit manufacturers[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Official
Supporters
Other