FK Vardar

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Vardar
FK Vardar.png
Full name Fudbalski klub Vardar Skopje
Nickname(s) Црвено-Црни (The Red & Blacks)
Founded 22 July 1947; 69 years ago (1947-07-22)
Ground Philip II Arena, Skopje
Ground Capacity 33,460
Owner Russia Sergey Samsonenko
Chairman Republic of Macedonia Mirko Spaseski
Manager Republic of Macedonia Goce Sedloski
League Macedonian First League
2015–16 1st (Champions)
Website Club home page
Current season

FK Vardar (Macedonian: ФК Вардар), commonly referred to as Vardar, is a football club based in the capital city of Skopje, in the Republic of Macedonia . Founded in 1947, they have been members of the Macedonian First Football League since its inception in 1992. Vardar (named after the eponymous river) is the most popular and renowned Macedonian football club both domestically and abroad, winning 9 national championships and 5 national cups. Its home venue is the Philip II Arena, with a 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. FK Pobeda has competed in the first season of the Yugoslav First Federal League after the World War II, finished at the 8th place and won the relegation play-offs against FK Sloga from Novi Sad, so Vardar was a member of the Yugoslav First League from the very beginning. However, during the following decade they were several times relegated and promoted back again. The present recognizable red and black color was adopted after the 1963 Skopje earthquake.

Yugoslav First League[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 later coached the team from 1985 to 1988. 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 but Partizan, who had won the title with a 4-0 over Zeljeznicar Sarajevo, refused, after which the game was awarded 3-0 to Zeljeznicar, which gave Crvena zvezda the title. Crvena zvezda played in the 1986/87 European Champions Cup. However, after a sequence of legal processes, the original final table, with Partizan as champions, was officially recognized, in 1987. The following 1986-87 Yugoslav First League season saw 10 teams starting with −6 points. Vardar Skopje, who had not been deducted 6 points, won the title, and participated in the 1987/88 Champions Cup, but the points deduction was later annulled after more legal proceedings, and the title was given to Partizan, who headed the table with the deduction. In 1986/1987 season team had 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 Federal First League Table (1945–1992) [2]
Rank Club After the Dissolution MP W D L GF GA GD P
1 Red Star Serbia 1335 719 328 288 2560 1415 +1145 1766
2 Partizan Serbia 1335 657 354 324 2285 1428 +857 1668
3 Dinamo Zagreb Croatia 1302 597 366 339 2151 1495 +1006 1560
4 Hajduk Split Croatia 1302 587 346 369 2088 1486 +602 1520
5 Vojvodina Serbia 1221 465 311 445 1670 1595 +75 1241
6 Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina 1228 447 311 470 1674 1773 −99 1205
7 Velež Mostar Bosnia and Herzegovina 1174 435 309 430 1668 1615 +53 1179
8 Željezničar Bosnia and Herzegovina 1063 403 274 386 1456 1424 +32 1080
9 OFK Beograd Serbia 977 343 281 353 1355 1355 0 967
10 Radnički Niš Serbia 979 339 250 390 1088 1244 −156 928
11 Vardar Republic of Macedonia 1005 328 251 426 1195 1459 −264 907

After independence[edit]

Vardar celebrated the Republic of Macedonia 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 buying the license from 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 (1992–2016) [5]
Rank Club Competition MP W D L GF GA GD P
1 Vardar 1. MFL 733 414 173 146 1353 627 +726 1356
2 Sileks 1. MFL 700 316 147 237 1165 885 +280 1060
3 Rabotnički 1. MFL 560 291 123 146 914 571 +343 996
4 Pobeda Banned [6] by FFM and UEFA
(eligible to compete in 2017–18)
511 263 99 149 916 632 +284 863
5 Pelister 1. MFL 570 207 124 239 714 764 −50 717
6 Sloga Jugomagnat Dissolved 392 189 84 119 609 412 +197 620
7 Škendija 1. MFL 380 175 71 134 588 492 +96 593
8 Makedonija Gj. P. 1. MFL 425 164 98 163 570 525 +45 559
9 Renova 1. MFL 352 152 97 103 497 403 +94 553
10 Cementarnica 4. MFL – OFL Kisela Voda 448 157 95 196 588 622 −34 541
  • Deducted points: FK Makedonija Gj. P. -19, FK Sloga Jugomagnat −11, FK Vardar −9, FK Cementarnica −3 and FK Škendija −3.

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 Marshal Tito 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 Trepča where Vardar won 2:1 and earned promotion to the Federal First League. Other matches to remember came against the great four : 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 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 Second League:

Republic of Macedonia Macedonian First League:

Cup[edit]

Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Yugoslav Cup:

Republic of Macedonia Macedonian Football Cup:

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

Republic of Macedonia Macedonian Super Cup:

  • Winners (2): 2013, 2015

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[7] 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 22.07.2016, Source: [1]

Rank Team Points
238 Denmark Randers FC 5.100
239 Denmark AC Horsens 5.100
240 Republic of Macedonia FK Vardar 5.075
241 Netherlands FC Utrecht 5.052
242 Cyprus AEK Larnaca 5.035

Current squad[edit]

As of 11 July 2016

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

No. Position Player
1 Republic of Macedonia GK Igor Aleksovski
28 Republic of Macedonia GK Tome Pačovski
90 Republic of Macedonia GK Filip Gačevski

3 Republic of Macedonia DF Goran Popov
4 Montenegro DF Nemanja Mijušković
6 Republic of Macedonia DF Boban Grnčarov (captain)
19 Armenia DF Hovhannes Hambardzumyan
21 Ukraine DF Yevhen Novak
32 Republic of Macedonia DF Darko Glišić
77 Republic of Macedonia DF Vladica Brdarovski

7 Republic of Macedonia MF Blagoja Ljamchevski
8 Republic of Macedonia MF Stefan Spirovski
No. Position Player
9 Republic of Macedonia MF Dejan Blaževski Injured
10 Montenegro MF Damir Kojašević
11 Republic of Macedonia MF Jasir Asani
14 Republic of Macedonia MF Darko Velkovski
16 Republic of Macedonia MF Nikola Gligorov
20 Republic of Macedonia MF Boban Nikolov
70 Brazil MF Juan Felipe
87 Republic of Macedonia MF Vlatko Grozdanoski
97 Republic of Macedonia MF Petar Petkovski

80 Colombia FW Jhon Obregón
89 Brazil FW Jonathan Balotelli

Coaching Staff[edit]

As of 02 July 2016.[8]

Position Name Nationality
Manager Goce Sedloski  Macedonian
Assistant Coach Aleksandar Vasoski  Macedonian
Goalkeeping Coach Saša Ilić  Macedonian
Doctor Kole Nedelkovski  Macedonian
Physiotherapist Jovan Dimovski  Macedonian
Physiotherapist Toshe Trajkovski  Macedonian
Physiotherapist Angele Milevski  Macedonian

Club Management[edit]

Position Name Nationality
Chairman Mirko Spaseski  Macedonian
Director Samoil Simev  Macedonian
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]

Managers[edit]

Presidents[edit]

[10]

Club records[edit]

[11]

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
1999–00 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 Janchevski 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, Filip Petrov 9
2014–15 1. MFL 32 20 9 3 56 21 69 1st QF Filip Ivanovski 11
2015–16 1. MFL 32 25 5 2 67 17 80 1st QF Champions League QR2 Dejan Blazhevski 10

Rivalries[edit]

Eternal Derby[edit]

The macthc against 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 Vardar 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. In recent years the rivalry wained slightly in importance as Pelister stopped being as competitive.

Skopje derby[edit]

FK Shkupi and previously upheld by predeccessor Sloga is the main derby in the city, as both clubs have active organised support.[12] This rivalry is drawn along ethnic lines as Vardar fans are Macedonians and Orthodox Christians, while Shkupi are Albanians and Muslims.[13]

Rabotnički is the other team in Skopje with organised fans, although the rivalry is rarely manifested on the football pitch, it is widely upheld however in handball and basketball.

Inter-regional rivalries[edit]

Vardar has a strong rivalry with Shkëndija Tetovo[14] Like the rivalry with Shkupi, this rivalry is also drawn along ethnic lines as Shkëndija fans are Albanians and Muslims.[15]

There is also a friendly "brotherhood derby" with Teteks Tetovo; the fans of these 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.[16]

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

References[edit]

External links[edit]