Red Star Belgrade

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Red Star Belgrade
Logo FC Red Star Belgrade.svg
Full nameФудбалски клуб Црвена звезда
Fudbalski klub Crvena zvezda
(Red Star Football Club)
Nickname(s)Звезда / Zvezda (The Star)
Црвено-бели / Crveno-beli (The Red-Whites)
Short nameCZV, ZVE
Founded4 March 1945; 75 years ago (1945-03-04)
GroundRajko Mitić Stadium
Capacity53,000[1]
PresidentSvetozar Mijailović
Head coachDejan Stanković
LeagueSerbian SuperLiga
2019–20Serbian SuperLiga, 1st
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Fudbalski klub Crvena zvezda (Serbian Cyrillic: Фудбалски клуб Црвена звезда, pronounced [fûdbalskiː klûːb tsř̩ʋenaː zʋěːzda]; English: Red Star Football Club), which translates into English as simply Red Star (Serbian: Црвена звезда / Crvena zvezda), is a Serbian professional football club based in Belgrade commonly known elsewhere as Red Star Belgrade (Serbian: Црвена звезда Београд / Crvena zvezda Beograd), the major part of the Red Star multi-sport club.

They are the only Serbian and Yugoslav club to have won the European Cup, having done so in 1991, and the only team to have won the Intercontinental Cup, also in 1991. With 31 national championships, 24 national cups, 2 national supercups and one league cup between Serbian and Yugoslav competitions, Red Star was the most successful club in Yugoslavia and finished first in the Yugoslav First League all-time table, and is the most successful club in Serbia. Since the 1991–92 season, Red Star's best results are in the UEFA Champions League group stage and UEFA Europa League knockout phase.

According to 2008 polls, Red Star Belgrade is the most popular football club in Serbia, with 48.2% of the population supporting them.[2] They have many supporters in other former Yugoslav republics and in the Serbian diaspora. Their main rivals are fellow Belgrade side Partizan. The championship matches between these two clubs are known as The Eternal derby.

According to the International Federation of Football History & Statistics' list of the Top 200 European clubs of the 20th century, Red Star is the highest-ranked Serbian and ex-Yugoslavian club, sharing the 27th position on the list with Dutch club Feyenoord.

History[edit]

Red Star legend Rajko Mitić.

Yugoslavia and Serbia-Montenegro period[edit]

In February 1945, during World War II, a group of young men, active players, students and members of the Serbian United Antifascist Youth League, decided to form a Youth Physical Culture Society, that was to become Red Star Belgrade on 4 March. Previously, as of December 1944, all pre-war Serbian clubs were abolished, and on 5 May 1945, communist Secretary of Sports Mitra Mitrović-Djilas signed the decree dissolving formally all pre-war clubs on the territory of Socialist Republic of Serbia. The clubs were dissolved because during the German occupation, there was an attempt to organize the league so all the clubs were labelled collaborators by Josip Broz Tito's communist regime. Two of the most popular clubs from Belgrade were SK Jugoslavija and BSK Belgrade. Red Star was formed on the remains of SK Jugoslavija and they were given SK Jugoslavija's stadium, offices, players and even their red and white colours, along with the logo with addition of a red star. The entire BSK Belgrade squad also joined along with some other players from Belgrade and Central Serbia.

The name Red Star was assigned after a long discussion. Other ideas shortlisted by the delegates included "People's Star", "Blue Star", "Proleter", "Stalin", "Lenin", etc.[3] The initial vice presidents of the Sport Society – Zoran Žujović and Slobodan Ćosić – were the ones who assigned it.[4] Red Star was soon adopted as a symbol of Serbian nationalism within Yugoslavia and a sporting institution which remains the country's most popular to this day.[5] On that day, Red Star played the first football match in the club's history against the First Battalion of the Second Brigade of KNOJ (People's Defence Corps of Yugoslavia) and won 3–0.

Red Star's first successes involved small steps to recognition. In the first fifteen years of existence, Red Star won one Serbian championship, six Yugoslav championships, five Yugoslav Cups, one Danube Cup and reached the semi-finals of the 1956–57 European Cup. Some of the greatest players during this period were Kosta Tomašević, Branko Stanković, Rajko Mitić, Vladimir Beara, Bora Kostić, Vladica Popović, Vladimir Durković and Dragoslav Šekularac. As champions, Red Star were Yugoslavia's entrants into the 1957–58 European Cup where they were famously beaten 5–4 on aggregate by English champions Manchester United in the quarter-finals. Manchester United, managed by Matt Busby defeated Red Star 2–1 in the first leg in England before drawing 3–3 with them in Yugoslavia in the return match on 5 February at JNA Stadium.[6] The second leg is notable for being the last match played by the Busby Babes: on the return flight to England the following day, the plane crashed in Munich, resulting in the deaths of 23 people, including eight Manchester United players.

During the Miljan Miljanić era, Red Star won four Yugoslav championships, three Yugoslav cups, two Yugoslav supercups, one Yugoslav league cup, one Mitropa Cup and reached the semi-finals of the 1970–71 European Cup. A new generation of players emerged under Miljanić's guidance, led by Dragan Džajić and Jovan Aćimović. Red Star eliminated Liverpool in the second round of the 1973–74 European Cup and Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of the 1974–75 European Cup Winners' Cup. Branko Stanković, whose reign as head coach was to last four years, brought Red Star three trophies and the first great European final. After eliminating teams like Arsenal, West Bromwich Albion and Hertha BSC, Red Star made for the first time the UEFA Cup final. There, Red Star met Borussia Mönchengladbach, who played five European finals from 1973 to 1980. The Germans fell behind one goal from Miloš Šestić, but Ivan Jurišić’s own goal gave Gladbach a psychological advantage before the rematch. This game was played at the Rheinstadion in Düsseldorf, where the Italian referee Alberto Michelotti gave a questionable penalty to the Germans, and the Danish player Allan Simonsen sealed Red Star's fate. The Foals won 2–1 on aggregate.[7]

After the 1970s, historical matches against Udo Lattek's Barcelona followed during the 1982–83 European Cup Winners' Cup. In both matches, Barcelona were the better team and Red Star was eliminated. Remarkably, when Barça's Diego Maradona scored his second goal in front of approximately 100,000 spectators at the Marakana, the Belgrade audience were so excited about the goal that even the loyal Belgrade fans applauded Maradona.[8] Gojko Zec returned to the team in 1983, finding only one player from the champions generation he was coaching back in 1977, Miloš Šestić. Zec similarly repeated the club's triumph from his previous mandate by winning the championship immediately upon his arrival. Zec would later leave the club in a controversial Šajber's case-style scandal which was the result of irregularities in the 1985–86 season.

After Zec left in 1986, there were great changes in the club. The management of the club, run by Dragan Džajić and Vladimir Cvetković, began to build a team that could compete with some of the most powerful European sides. During that summer, Velibor Vasović became coach and the side was strengthened by acquiring a number of talented young players, among whom Dragan Stojković and Borislav Cvetković stood out. In the first season that started with penalty points, Red Star focused on the European Cup and achieving good results. In 1987, a five-year plan was developed by the club with the only goal being to win the European Cup. All that was planned was finally achieved. On the club's birthday in 1987, it started. Real Madrid were defeated at the Marakana. From that day through to March 1992, Red Star enjoyed the best period of success in its history. In these five seasons, Red Star won four National Championships; in the last of those four years of heyday, the club won the 1991 European Cup Final, played in Bari, Italy.

Red Star coach Ljupko Petrović brought the team to Italy a week before the final in order to peacefully prepare the players for a forthcoming encounter with Marseille. By that time, Red Star had 18 goals in 8 matches, whereas the French champions had 20. Therefore, the 100th European competing final was expected to be a spectacle of offense. Nonetheless, both Petrović and Raymond Goethals opted for defence and the match settled down into a war of attrition. After a 120-minute match and only few chances on both sides, the match was decided following the penalty shootout. After several minutes of stressful penalties, one of Marseille's players, Manuel Amoros, missed a penalty, and Darko Pančev converted his penalty to bring the European Cup to Yugoslavia for the first time. Red Star won the shootout, 5–3, on 29 May 1991 in front of 60,000 spectators and the millions watching on television around the world. Twenty-thousand Red Star fans at the Stadio San Nicola and millions of them all over Yugoslavia and the world celebrated the greatest joy in Red Star's history.[9] Red Star went unbeaten at the 1990–91 European Cup in Bari and the 1991 Intercontinental Cup in Tokyo.

In 1992, the club was weakened by the departure of numerous players from the champions generation (new players were added, such as Dejan Petković and Anto Drobnjak). The success in the previous season caught the attention of European giants which rushed making lucrative offers to sign Red Star's best players. In addition, Red Star had to defend the continental trophy playing its home games in Szeged, Budapest and Sofia due to the war in former Yugoslavia, thereby reducing their chances of defending their title. UEFA changed the format of the competition that year and the 1991–92 European Cup was the first to be played in a format with two groups each having four teams. Despite the disadvantage of playing its home games abroad, Red Star still did well and finished second in the group behind Sampdoria. In domestic competition, main rivals Hajduk Split and Dinamo Zagreb left the league, just as all the other clubs from Croatia, Macedonia and Slovenia did, and the championship in Yugoslavia that was cut in size was played on the edge of observance of regulations around the beginning of the Bosnian War. At the end of May, the United Nations had the country under sanctions and dislodged Yugoslav football from the international scene. The Breakup of Yugoslavia, the Yugoslav Wars, the inflation and the UN sanctions have hit Red Star hard. In the period between May 1992 and May 2000, only one championship victory was celebrated at the Marakana. However, they did manage to win five cups, along with several glorious European performances, including the famed 1996 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup showdown against Barcelona side which featured Ronaldo and Hristo Stoichkov.

Dejan Stanković was the youngest captain ever in Red Star's history.

Immediately after the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia ended, Red Star won the 17th cup in its history by winning 4–2 against Partizan. Two seasons later, the club returned to the European spotlight by making it to the 2001–02 UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds, where Red Star was eliminated by Bayer Leverkusen (0–0 and 0–3), which would later be a finalist in the Champions League that year. Slavoljub Muslin left the bench in September 2001, after which Red Star's subsequent seasons became more volatile.

Independent Serbia and recent era[edit]

In the 2006–07 UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds, Red Star was barely eliminated (3–1 on aggregate) by the same Milan side which ultimately won that year's competition. Furthermore, the campaign in Group F of the 2007–08 UEFA Cup was a large disappointment, especially given that the first game against Bayern Munich was a sensational last-minute loss (by a score of 2–3 in Belgrade). In those years, Red Star's teams featured the likes of Nikola Žigić, Boško Janković, Milan Biševac, Dušan Basta, Dejan Milovanović, Segundo Castillo, Ibrahima Gueye, Nenad Milijaš and Ognjen Koroman. After a six-year drought, Red Star won their 26th league title in 2013–14 season.

Despite Red Star's success on the pitch in 2013–14, the financial situation at the club has worsened, so much so that the club were banned from participating in the 2014–15 UEFA Champions League for which they qualified by winning the Serbian SuperLiga. The UEFA Club Financial Control Body found Red Star's debts to players, some of whom had not been paid for at least six months, staff and other clubs, totalled €1.86 million. The club board were also alleged to have hidden debts and falsified documents. This, on top of an earlier UEFA disciplinary measure in 2011, meant Red Star did not meet the necessary Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play criteria and, as such, should not have been granted a UEFA license by the Serbian FA.[10] Rivals Partizan took Red Star's place in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round.

After ten years of waiting, Red Star qualified for the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League group stage. Red Star progressed through four qualifying rounds and reached the knockout phase of the tournament, becoming the first team in competition's history to reach the knockout phase after starting their season in the first qualifying round.[11] Although Red Star played in the group stage of the first edition in which groups format was introduced in the European Cup, 1991–92 European Cup, the designation "Champions League" was only adopted a season later in which Yugoslav clubs were already banned from participating in. Thus, when Red Star eliminated Red Bull Salzburg in the 2018–19 UEFA Champions League play-off round, and qualified for the UEFA Champions League group stage, it meant that Red Star will compete for the first time since the new format was introduced.[12] Red Star became the first Serbian team to win a match in the UEFA Champions League when they defeated Liverpool.[13]

On 14 May 2019, the 1946 People's Republic of Serbia League title was officially recognized by the Serbian FA, meaning that Red Star's triumph in the 2018–19 Serbian SuperLiga was their 30th national championship. Red Star reached the UEFA Champions League group stage for the second successive season after eliminating Sūduva, HJK Helsinki, Copenhagen and Young Boys.

On 5 November 2019, cable television channel Zvezda TV started airing.

Crest and colours[edit]

Red Star adopted the iconic red and white vertical stripe jersey in 1950.

Originally the red and white motif of Red Star was inherited from the expropriated SK Jugoslavija that wore red shirts and socks, with white shorts. Between 1945–1950, Red Star maintained this strip before adopting the now familiar red and white vertical striped shirts, with alternating white or red shorts and socks in 1950.[14][15][16] The red and white stripes have become indivisible to Red Star's image, conferring the popular nickname Crveno-beli, "the red and white's" in Serbian. The club continued to wear the initial pre-stripe kit throughout its existence, but has generally declined in usage. During the 1950s and 1960s, the club also alternated between blue trunks, a long white V-neck on a red shirt, and a red shirt with thin white horizontal lines.[17][18][19]

Red Star have usually worn an all-white away kit, whilst also utilizing predominantly blue or red away or third kits, thereby incorporating the Serbian tricolour.[20][21][22] The club crest is a red five-pointed star, white framed, on a red-white background. In addition, the whole crest is framed in gold. There are three golden stars on the top of the club emblem, symbolizing the 30 titles won.[23]

Despite the club's overtly Communist name and imagery, Football Club Red Star has become a symbol in its own right. The "petokraka" from which the club's name derives has paradoxically become a symbol of the club itself and of Serbian nationalism, moving further away from its original association with the Partisans and the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. Due to Red Star's popularity and sporting success, the club and its crest have become synonymous with broader Serbian identity, and patriotism that echoes beyond the sporting landscape.[24][25][26]

Crests
Logo FC Red Star Belgrade (2011–2019).svg
Logo FC Red Star Belgrade.svg
2011–2019
2019–present

Stadium[edit]

Red Star's home ground is the Rajko Mitić Stadium (since 21 December 2014), formerly known as Red Star Stadium. With a seated capacity of 53,000 it is the largest stadium in Serbia and in the former Yugoslavia. The stadium was opened in 1963, and in the course of time and due to the fact that stadium's former capacity was about 110,000, it got the unofficial moniker Marakana, after the large and famous Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Belgrade's sold-out Marakana garnered the reputation of being a very tough ground for visiting teams to play in. Some of the biggest football events have been held at this stadium, such as the European Cup final between Ajax and Juventus in 1973, UEFA European Championship final between West Germany and Czechoslovakia in 1976, and the first leg of the UEFA Cup final between Red Star and Borussia Mönchengladbach in 1979. During the mid-1990s, in order to meet UEFA demands for spectators comfort and security, standing places at the stadium were completely done away with and seats were installed on all four stands. In the years, since the stadium's capacity was gradually decreased, followed different stadium modernisations.

Rajko Mitić Stadium viewed from the air.

In 2008, the club reconstructed the stadium's pitch, under-soil grass heaters, improved drainage systems were installed and new modern turf replaced the old surface. The training pitch, located next to the stadium, was also renovated by laying down synthetic turf and installing new lighting equipment. In 2011, the stadium received also a new modern LED scoreboard. Today, the stadium has a central lodge, named 5 Zvezdinih Zvezda (English: 5 Stars of Red Star), which consist of five segments, each bears the name of one of Red Star's legendary players (Mitić, Šekularac, Džajić, Petrović, Stojković), two other VIP lounges and a special VIP gallery with over 450 seats. It has also a modern press box with a capacity of 344 seats including seven extra-comfortable seats, an extra media center, the Red Cafe and a restaurant. On the west stand of the stadium exist also an official Red Star shop along with a Delije shop. The playing field measures are 110 × 73 m, and is illuminated by 1,400 lux floodlights. According to the known German Web portal "Stadionwelt", Belgrade's "Marakana" is in the top 50 football stadiums in Europe.[27] In 2012, American Bleacher Report ranked the Red Star Stadium, especially if it is sold out, as among the most intimidating stadiums in the world.[28]

Youth academy[edit]

History[edit]

Some of the most notable home-grown players are Dragan Džajić, named the best player in the history of Serbia (the choice of the Football Association on the 50th anniversary of UEFA, known as the Golden Player), who reached third place at the election for the European Footballer of the Year in 1968, then Dragoslav Šekularac – a runner-up with Yugoslavia at 1960 European Nations' Cup, Vladimir Petrović – the fourth Star of Red Star, Vladimir Jugović – two times the European Cup winner (with Red Star and Juventus), as well as Dejan Stanković and Nemanja Vidić.

Further notable home-grown players include Vladica Popović, Ratomir Dujković, Stanislav Karasi, Slobodan Janković, Ognjen Petrović, Vladislav Bogićević, Dušan Nikolić, Zoran Filipović, Dušan Savić, Milan Janković, Boško and Milko Gjurovski, Stevan Stojanović, Vladan Lukić, Zvonko Milojević, Zoran Jovičić, Ivan Adžić, Nebojša Krupniković, Goran Drulić, Nenad Lalatović, Marko Pantelić, Ognjen Koroman, Vladimir Dišljenković, Marko Perović, Dejan Milovanović, Dragan Mrđa, Boško Janković, Dušan Basta, Vujadin Savić, Slavoljub Srnić, Filip Stojković, Marko Grujić and Luka Jović.

Former Red Star and Real Madrid coaching legend Miljan Miljanić was also a member of Red Star's youth school.

Current coaching staff[edit]

  • U19s: Marko Neđić[29]
  • U17s: Nikola Mitić[30]

Supporters[edit]

Red Star is the most popular football club in Serbia.[31][32] The club has fans and sympathisers throughout the whole country, but also throughout the regional and global Serbian diaspora, making the club a symbol of Serbdom. Fan groups are widespread throughout Serbia and former Yugoslav republics, and the club has the highest social media following amongst former Yugoslav football teams.[33] Traditionally, Red Star has been represented as the people's club, whilst always attracting support from all social classes, their fan base is not associated with any specific social group. Due to the club's widespread popularity, most fans are generally apolitical, whilst hardcore ultras espouse nationalist and right-wing sentiments.[34][35]

The organized supporters of Red Star are known as Delije, roughly translated in English as the "Heroes", "Braves", "Hardman" or "Studs". The term derives from the plural of the singular form "Delija", in Serbian. Delije support all branches of the Red Star multi-sport society. They are one of the most famous supporter groups in the world, renowned for their passion and fanaticism.[36][37]

Delije section at Rajko Mitić Stadium.

Hardcore supporters began to emerge during the 1980s, with official inauguration taking place in 1989. Previously, Red Star fans were scattered amongst several organized fan groups within the north terrace of the Rajko Mitić Stadium, colloquially known as "Marakana". Their style of support is greatly influenced by Italian and English football culture of the 1980s. It includes the use of widespread choreography, flares, flags, banners, and boisterous cheering.[38] The word Delije is displayed (in Cyrillic) on the north terrace seats of Rajko Mitić Stadium as a sign of appreciation, and fidelity between the club and supporters. Subgroups of Delije exist outside of Belgrade, along with cities across Serbia and all other ex-Yugoslav republics. Despite Red Star's broad fan base, Delije have developed an infamous reputation for hooliganism amongst some segments of its ultras, especially during Belgrade derbies.[39][40][41]

Due to warm Serbo-Hellenic relations in recent decades, Red Star's Delije ultras have developed a strong kinship with Olympiacos F.C. ultras. The "Orthodox Brothers" friendship is based on mutual Eastern Orthodox faith, a strong cultural marker amongst the Serbs and Greeks.[42] Both clubs also share the same colours, and are from the national capitals. They are also the most decorated football teams in their respective countries. The brotherhood has evolved to include FC Spartak Moscow ultras, owing to strong Russophilia and a shared Slavic heritage.[43][44]

The Eternal derby[edit]

Graffiti of the Delije at Rajko Mitić Stadium.

Red Star's fiercest and long-standing city rival is FK Partizan, the other large and popular sport society in Serbia. They also have many supporters in all other former Yugoslavian republics and also in the Yugoslavian diaspora. The rivalry started immediately after the creation of the two clubs in 1945. Red Star was founded with close ties to the State Security Administration and Partizan as the football section of the Yugoslav People's Army. Since then, both clubs have been dominant in domestic football. The match is particularly noted for the passion of the Red Star's supporters, called Delije, and Partizan's supporters, the Grobari (English: "Gravediggers" or "Undertakers"). The stands of both teams feature fireworks, coloured confetti, flags, rolls of paper, torches, smoke, drums, giant posters and choreographies, used to create visual grandeur and apply psychological pressure on the visiting teams, hence the slogan, "Welcome to Hellgrade." Some fans also sometimes use trumpets, similar to the supporters in South America. This creates for the region a typical and distinctive Balkan Brass Band atmosphere. Both sets of supporters sing passionate songs against their rivals, and the stadiums are known to bounce with the simultaneous jumping of the fans. The duel is regarded as one of the greatest football rivalries in the world and the matches between these rivals have been labeled as the Eternal derby. Given its widespread touch on the entirety of a major city, it is dubbed one of, along with the Old Firm, the Rome derby and the Istanbul derby, the most heated rivalries in European football.[45] The biggest attendance for a Red Star – Partizan match was about 108,000 spectators at the Red Star Stadium.

Honours and achievements[edit]

Red Star has won 4 international and 58 domestic trophies, making it the most successful football club in Serbia and the former Yugoslavia.

Domestic competitions (58)[edit]

National Championships – 31 (record)

National Cups – 24 (record)

National Super Cups – 2 (record)

National League Cup – 1 (shared record)

  • Yugoslav League Cup
    • Winners (1): 1972–73[47]

International competitions (4)[edit]

Red Star is the most successful club from Serbia (and former Yugoslavia) in all European competitions, and the only club from Eastern Europe that has won both the European Cup and the Intercontinental Cup. On 27 October 2017, FIFA officially recognized all winners of the Intercontinental Cup as club world champions, in equal status to the FIFA Club World Cup. The club competed in 57 European seasons, and the most notable results are:

Friendly tournaments (20)[edit]

Individual awards[edit]

Domestic[edit]

International[edit]

Club records[edit]

Dragan Džajić is Red Star's record appearance holder with 389 matches. The goalscoring record holder is Bora Kostić with 230 goals. Numerous Red Star players were in the Yugoslavian national team and Branko Stanković, Rajko Mitić, Vladimir Beara, Bora Kostić, Vladimir Durković, Dragoslav Šekularac, Miroslav Pavlović, Jovan Aćimović, Dragan Džajić, Vladimir Petrović, Dragan Stojković and Dejan Savićević are among them. Dragan Džajić played 85 matches for the Yugoslavian national football team, a national record.

Red Star holds records such as to be only the second foreign team that could beat Liverpool at Anfield (after Ferencváros in the 1967–68 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup), which was also the only defeat of Liverpool at home in the European Cup history in the whole 20th century (during the 1973–74 European Cup).[48] Red Star was also the first team that could beat Bayern Munich on the Olympiastadion in its long UEFA competition history (during the 1990–91 European Cup).[49]

They are the only Serbian (and ex-Yugoslav) club, and only the second team from this southern corner of Europe and Southeast Europe, to have won the European Cup, having done so in 1991, which was also the 100th UEFA competing final. Red Star is among the nine clubs, which have ever won the European Cup unbeaten. They are also the only team from the Balkans and Southeast Europe to have won the Intercontinental Cup, also in 1991. Red Star is the most successful club from the Balkans and Southeast Europe, being the only club to win both the European Cup and Intercontinental Cup. The Romanian football player Miodrag Belodedici was the first ever Red Star player to have won the European Cup with two different teams, Steaua București and Red Star, and very curious both of the team's names mean "Star". Later, the double winners were also Dejan Savićević (Red Star and Milan) and Vladimir Jugović (Red Star and Juventus).

Top ten most appearances of all-time[edit]

Rank. Player Period Apps
1 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Dragan Džajić 1963–75; 1977–78 389
2 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Bora Kostić 1951–61; 1962–66 341
3 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Vladimir Petrović 1972–82 332
4 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Jovan Aćimović 1965–76 318
5 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Boško Gjurovski 1978–89 299
6 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Rajko Mitić 1945–58 294
7 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Vladica Popović 1953–65 291
8 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Miloš Šestić 1974–84 277
9 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Ratomir Dujković 1964–74 266
10 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Miroslav Pavlović 1967–74 264

Top ten scorers of all-time[edit]

Rank. Player Period Goals
1 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Bora Kostić 1951–61; 1962–66 230
2 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Dragan Džajić 1963–75; 1977–78 155
3 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Dušan Savić 1973–82 149
4 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Zoran Filipović 1970–80 138
5 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Kosta Tomašević 1945–54 137
6 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Vojin Lazarević 1966–70; 1972–74 134
7 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Darko Pančev 1988–92 116
8 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Rajko Mitić 1945–58 109
9 Serbia and Montenegro Mihajlo Pjanović 1999–03 92
10 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Antun Rudinski 1953–62 79

Club all-time European record[edit]

Red Star Belgrade Seasons P W D L GF GA Match %W
Representing Serbia Serbia 14 97 33 29 35 121 134 34.02
Representing Serbia and Montenegro Serbia and Montenegro 11 66 26 20 20 109 80 39.39
Representing Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Yugoslavia 29 158 80 28 50 315 206 50.63
Total 54 321 139 77 105 545 420 43.30
Competition P W D L
European Cup / UEFA Champions League 143 67 31 45
UEFA Cup / UEFA Europa League 142 59 36 47
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 34 12 10 12
UEFA Super Cup 1 0 0 1
Intercontinental Cup 1 1 0 0
Total 321 139 77 105
As of 22 October 2020

UEFA Ranking[edit]

Best results in International competitions[edit]

Season Achievement Notes
European Cup / UEFA Champions League
1990–91 Winners defeated France Marseille 0–0 in Bari, 5–3 pen.
1956–57 Semi-finals lost to Italy Fiorentina 0–1 in Belgrade, 0–0 in Firenze
1970–71 Semi-finals lost to Greece Panathinaikos 4–1 in Belgrade, 0–3 in Athens
1991–92 Semi-finals finished second in a group with Italy Sampdoria, Belgium Anderlecht and Greece Panathinaikos
1957–58 Quarter-finals lost to England Manchester United 1–2 in Manchester, 3–3 in Belgrade
1973–74 Quarter-finals lost to Spain Atlético Madrid 0–2 in Belgrade, 0–0 in Madrid
1980–81 Quarter-finals lost to Italy Internazionale 1–1 in Milan, 0–1 in Belgrade
1981–82 Quarter-finals lost to Belgium Anderlecht 1–2 in Brussels, 1–2 in Belgrade
1986–87 Quarter-finals lost to Spain Real Madrid 4–2 in Belgrade, 0–2 in Madrid
UEFA Cup / UEFA Europa League
1978–79 Runners-up lost to Germany Borussia Mönchengladbach 1–1 in Belgrade, 0–1 in Düsseldorf
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
1974–75 Semi-finals lost to Hungary Ferencváros 1–2 in Budapest, 2–2 in Belgrade
1971–72 Quarter-finals lost to Soviet Union Dynamo Moscow 1–2 in Belgrade, 1–1 in Moscow
1985–86 Quarter-finals lost to Spain Atlético Madrid 0–2 in Belgrade, 1–1 in Madrid
UEFA Super Cup
1991 Runners-up lost to England Manchester United 0–1 in Manchester
Intercontinental Cup
1991 Winners defeated Chile Colo-Colo 3–0 in Tokyo
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup
1961–62 Semi-finals lost to Spain Barcelona 0–2 in Belgrade, 1–4 in Barcelona
1962–63 Quarter-finals lost to Italy Roma 0–3 in Rome, 2–0 in Belgrade
Mitropa Cup
1958 Winners defeated Czechoslovakia Rudá Hvězda Brno 4–1 in Belgrade, 3–2 in Brno
1967–68 Winners defeated Czechoslovakia Spartak Trnava 0–1 in Trnava, 4–1 in Belgrade
1957 Semi-finals lost to Hungary Vasas 1–3 in Budapest, 2–3 in Belgrade

Biggest win in UEFA competition:

Season Match Score
European Cup / UEFA Champions League
1957–58 Red Star – Stade Dudelange 9–1
1969–70 Red Star – Linfield 8–0

Current squad[edit]

As of 5 October 2020[52][53][54]

First team[edit]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK Serbia SRB Zoran Popović
2 DF Serbia SRB Milan Gajić
4 MF Montenegro MNE Mirko Ivanić
5 DF Australia AUS Miloš Degenek
6 DF Serbia SRB Radovan Pankov
8 MF Gabon GAB Guélor Kanga
9 FW Serbia SRB Milan Pavkov
10 MF Serbia SRB Aleksandar Katai
14 FW Ghana GHA Richmond Boakye
16 FW Italy ITA Diego Falcinelli (on loan from Bologna)
19 DF Serbia SRB Nemanja Milunović
20 MF Serbia SRB Njegoš Petrović
21 MF Serbia SRB Veljko Simić
22 MF Serbia SRB Veljko Nikolić
No. Pos. Nation Player
23 DF Serbia SRB Milan Rodić (3rd captain)
24 MF Serbia SRB Željko Gavrić
25 DF Serbia SRB Strahinja Eraković
27 GK Serbia SRB Nikola Vasiljević
31 FW Comoros COM El Fardou Ben
35 MF Ivory Coast CIV Sékou Sanogo (on loan from Al-Ittihad)
44 DF Serbia SRB Stefan Hajdin
49 MF Serbia SRB Andrija Radulović
70 MF Austria AUT Srđan Spiridonović
77 DF Serbia SRB Marko Gobeljić (vice-captain)
82 GK Canada CAN Milan Borjan (captain)
92 FW Serbia SRB Aleksa Vukanović
99 FW Montenegro MNE Nikola Krstović

Players with multiple nationalities[edit]

Out on loan[edit]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
15 DF Serbia SRB Srđan Babić (at Portugal Famalicão until the end of the 2020–21 season)[55]
30 DF Serbia SRB Uroš Blagojević (at Grafičar Beograd until the end of the 2020–21 season)[56]
30 MF Serbia SRB Miloš Pantović (at Voždovac until the end of the 2020–21 season)[56]
32 GK Serbia SRB Aleksandar Stanković (at Grafičar Beograd until the end of the 2020–21 season)[56]
33 DF Serbia SRB Marko Konatar (at Inđija until the end of the 2020–21 season)[56]
34 MF Serbia SRB Aleksa Matić (at Grafičar Beograd until the end of the 2020–21 season)[56]
36 MF Slovakia SVK Erik Jirka (at Spain Mirandés until the end of the 2020–21 season)[57]
36 DF Serbia SRB Aleksandar Lukić (at Grafičar Beograd until the end of the 2020–21 season)[56]
51 GK Serbia SRB Andrija Katić (at Budućnost Dobanovci until the end of the 2020–21 season)[56]
51 GK Serbia SRB Miloš Gordić (at Mačva Šabac until the end of the 2020–21 season)[56]
93 FW Serbia SRB Ilija Babić (at Grafičar Beograd until the end of the 2020–21 season)[56]
–– GK Serbia SRB Miloš Čupić (at Zlatibor Čajetina until the end of the 2020–21 season)[56]
–– GK Serbia SRB Ivan Guteša (at Grafičar Beograd until the end of the 2020–21 season)[56]
–– DF Serbia SRB Stefan Mitrović (at Grafičar Beograd until the end of the 2020–21 season)[56]
–– DF Serbia SRB David Petrović (at Grafičar Beograd until the end of the 2020–21 season)[56]
No. Pos. Nation Player
–– MF Serbia SRB Stefan Fićović (at Grafičar Beograd until the end of the 2020–21 season)[56]
–– MF Kenya KEN Richard Odada (at Grafičar Beograd until the end of the 2020–21 season)[56]
–– MF Serbia SRB Petar Piplica (at Grafičar Beograd until the end of the 2020–21 season)[56]
–– MF Serbia SRB Nikola Stanković (at Grafičar Beograd until the end of the 2020–21 season)[56]
–– MF Serbia SRB Martin Novaković (at Rad until the end of the 2020–21 season)[56]
–– MF Ghana GHA Ibrahim Mustapha (at Zlatibor Čajetina until the end of the 2020–21 season)[56]
–– MF The Gambia GAM Ousman Marong (at Israel Hapoel Ra'anana until the end of the 2020–21 season)[56]
–– MF Serbia SRB Vukan Đorđević (at Radnički Pirot until the end of the 2020–21 season)[56]
–– MF Serbia SRB Vladimir Lučić (at IMT until the end of the 2020–21 season)[56]
–– MF Serbia SRB Ilija Stojančić (at Loznica until the end of the 2020–21 season)[56]
–– MF Serbia SRB Mateja Stojanović (at OFK Žarkovo until the end of the 2020–21 season)[56]
–– MF Serbia SRB Aleksandar Ilić (at Dubočica until the end of the 2020–21 season)[56]
–– FW Slovenia SVN Vanja Panić (at Grafičar Beograd until the end of the 2020–21 season)[56]
–– FW Serbia SRB Luka Marković (at Novi Pazar until the end of the 2020–21 season)[56]

Other players under contract[edit]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
28 FW Serbia SRB Marko Lazetić
29 MF Serbia SRB Mateja Bačanin
No. Pos. Nation Player
32 GK Serbia SRB Marko Ćopić
–– FW Serbia SRB Dejan Vidić

For recent transfers, see List of Serbian football transfers summer 2020.

Retired number(s)[edit]

12 – Delije (the 12th Man)

26 Serbia Goran Gogić, midfielder (2013−14) – posthumous honour.

Since 2014, Red Star Belgrade have not issued the squad number 26 in the Serbian SuperLiga. It was retired in memory of Goran Gogić, who died on 3 July 2015, aged 29.[58] Gogić had also been assigned with jersey 25 for the 2014–15 season, which he had worn in Jagodina previously.[59] Since then some of players, like Marko Marinković and Milan Jevtović used to be registered for the UEFA competitions. Jevtović also made his debut for the club with 26 jersey in summer 2018, but later chose number 33 in the domestic competition.[60]

Club officials[edit]

Coaching history[edit]

For details see List of Red Star Belgrade football coaches

Club presidents[edit]

  • Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Mita Miljković (1948–51)
  • Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Isa Jovanović (1951–52)
  • Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Sava Radojčić (1952–54)
  • Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Dragoslav Marković (1954–55)
  • Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Milić Bugarčić (1955–56)
  • Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Dragoje Đurić (1956)
  • Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Dušan Blagojević (1956–60)
  • Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Milić Bugarčić (1960–63)
  • Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Radovan Pantović (1963–65)
  • Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Dušan Blagojević (1965–68)
  • Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Nikola Bugarčić (1968–77)
  • Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Radovan Pantović (1977–81)
  • Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Brana Dimitrijević (1981–82)
  • Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Vlastimir Purić (1982)
  • Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Miladin Šakić (1982–87)
  • Serbia and Montenegro Svetozar Mijailović (1987–93)
  • Serbia and Montenegro Dragan Džajić (1998–04)
  • Serbia Dragan Stojković (2005–07)
  • Serbia Toplica Spasojević (2007–08)
  • Serbia Dan Tana (2008–09)
  • Serbia Vladan Lukić (2009–12)
  • Serbia Dragan Džajić (2012–14)
  • Serbia Svetozar Mijailović (2014–present)

Notable players[edit]

Stars of Red Star[edit]

Red Star has almost a 50-year-long tradition of giving 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. So far, five players and the entire 1991 team were officially given the title. They are:

The 1991 European Cup Winner Generation[edit]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
GK Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia YUG Stevan Stojanović
GK Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia YUG Željko Kaluđerović
DF Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia YUG Duško Radinović
DF Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia YUG Slobodan Marović
DF Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia YUG Refik Šabanadžović
DF Romania ROU Miodrag Belodedici
DF Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia YUG Ilija Najdoski
DF Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia YUG Goran Vasilijević
DF Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia YUG Goran Jurić
No. Pos. Nation Player
DF Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia YUG Rade Tošić
MF Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia YUG Vladimir Jugović
MF Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia YUG Robert Prosinečki
MF Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia YUG Dejan Savićević
MF Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia YUG Siniša Mihajlović
MF Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia YUG Vlada Stošić
MF Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia YUG Ivica Momčilović
FW Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia YUG Darko Pančev
FW Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia YUG Dragiša Binić

Notable players[edit]

To appear in this section a player must have played at least 80 matches for the club.
Flags indicate national teams they played for, not nationality.

Notable foreign players[edit]

To appear in this section a player must have played at least 30 matches for the club.

Kit suppliers and shirt sponsors[edit]

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
1977–78 Admiral
1979 Puma
1980–86 Kristal Zaječar
1986–87 de LUXE
1987–88 Lee Cooper
1988–89 Casucci
1989–90 Mister Baby
1990–91 DEXIM
1991–93 Hummel Classic
1993–94 Komercijalna banka
1994–96 Diadora Beobanka
1996–98 Kappa
1998–01 Pils Light
2001–03 Adidas
2003–05 Wiener Städtische
Sharp
2005–06 Toyota
2006–08 Nike
2008–09
2010 2344 – Za moju Zvezdu
2010–12 Gazprom
2012–13 Legea
2013–17 Puma
2017– Macron

In popular culture[edit]

The club's name in Serbian is also the title of the 2013 Italian novel Crvena Zvezda by Enrico Varrecchione. Written in the alternate history genre, utilizing elements of uchronia, its story is based on the premise of what if the 9 November 1988 return leg of the European Cup second round clash between Red Star and AC Milan hadn't been ordered abandoned by German referee Dieter Pauly in the 65th minute due to thick fog that night in Belgrade. Red Star were leading 1–0 after a goal by Dejan Savićević and were also a man up due to Milan striker Pietro Paolo Virdis receiving a red card. After abandonment, UEFA cancelled the match and ordered it replayed in full the next day. This time it finished 1–1 and went to penalties (the first leg in Milan also ended 1–1) where Milan won and went through to the quarter-finals, eventually winning the European Cup — thus getting the coveted trophy again after twenty years, the club's first under its recently arrived owner, ambitious businessman Silvio Berlusconi. In the novel's parallel universe, Red Star won the 9 November 1988 match in Belgrade and eliminated AC Milan, which thus never won its 1989 European Cup, meaning that Berlusconi's ultimate entry into Italian politics had a much weaker background push, which adversely affected his performance at the 1994 Italian general election.[61] The novel also follows the fate of Red Star's fictional striker, loosely based on Savićević, Jovan Eldzic who scored the famous goal in the fog and later went on to transfer to AC Milan where he achieved more accolades, eventually taking Italian citizenship, remaining living in Italy upon retiring from football before entering politics and running for mayor of a small town in Piedmont's Alessandria province.[61]

Billy Bragg's 1991 UK top thirty hit song "Sexuality" contains the lyric "I had an uncle who once played for Red Star Belgrade." When interviewed many years later Bragg was asked if this was true, to which he replied that his uncle actually played for Fulham but that did not fit the rhyme with played.[62]

Two non-related bands, one of them from Great Yarmouth, Great Britain,[63][64] and the other one from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States,[65] shared the name Red Star Belgrade.

A football club in Ecuador, in the city of Cuenca, created in 1961, is inspired in Red Star Belgrade. It is named CDS Estrella Roja. Estrella Roja is the translation and the way Red Star is known in Spanish speaking countries. The club crest is even the same as the one Red Star had between 1995 and 2011.[66]

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External links[edit]

Official