Red Star Belgrade

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Crvena zvezda
Logo FC Red Star Belgrade.svg
Full nameФудбалски клуб Црвена звезда / Fudbalski klub Crvena zvezda (Red Star Belgrade)
Nickname(s)Звезда / Zvezda (The Star)
Црвено-бели / Crveno-beli (The Red-Whites)
Short nameCZV, ZVE (In European competitions)
Founded4 March 1945;74 years ago (1945-03-04)
Ground Rajko Mitić Stadium
Capacity55,538 [1]
PresidentSvetozar Mijailović
Head Coach Vladan Milojević
League Serbian SuperLiga
2018–19 Serbian SuperLiga, 1st of 16 (champions)
Website Club website
Soccerball current event.svg Current season

Fudbalski klub Crvena zvezda (Serbian Cyrillic : Фудбалски клуб Црвена звезда, IPA:  [fûdbalskiː klûːb tsř̩ʋenaː zʋěːzda] ), commonly known in English as Red Star Belgrade (Serbian : Црвена звезда Београд / Crvena zvezda Beograd) or simply Red Star, is a Serbian professional football club based in Belgrade, the major part of the Red Star multi-sport club. They are the only Serbian and ex-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 30 national championships, 24 national cups, 2 national supercups and one league cup between Serbian and the former Yugoslav competitions, Red Star was the most successful club in former 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.

The Serbian Cyrillic alphabet is an adaptation of the Cyrillic script for Serbo-Croatian, developed in 1818 by Serbian linguist Vuk Karadžić. It is one of the two alphabets used to write standard modern Serbian, Bosnian and Montenegrin, the other being Latin. In Croatian, only the Latin alphabet is used.

Serbian language South Slavic language

Serbian is the standardized variety of the Serbo-Croatian language mainly used by Serbs. It is the official language of Serbia, co-official in the territory of Kosovo, and one of the three official languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition, it is a recognized minority language in Montenegro, where it is spoken by the relative majority of the population, as well as in Croatia, North Macedonia, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.

Association football Team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.


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 all other former Yugoslavian 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.

Serbian diaspora Serbian emigrant communities in the diaspora

Serbian diaspora refers to Serbian emigrant communities in the diaspora. The existence of a numerous diaspora of Serbian nationals are mainly consequences of either economic or political reasons.

Fudbalski klub Partizan, commonly known as Partizan Belgrade or simply Partizan, is a Serbian professional football club based in Belgrade. It forms a major part of the Partizan multi-sport club. The club plays in the Serbian SuperLiga and has spent its entire history in the top tier of Yugoslav and Serbian football having won a total of 44 official trophies: 27 national championships, 15 national cups, 1 national supercup, 1 Mitropa Cup finishing in the Yugoslav league all-time table as second.

Eternal derby (Serbia) Club football rivalry in Belgrade, Serbia

The Eternal derby, also called the Derby of Southeast Europe and Belgrade derby, is the local derby in Belgrade, Serbia, between fierce city rivals Red Star Belgrade and Partizan Belgrade, two of the biggest and most popular clubs in Serbia. It has been described as "one of European football's most bitter rivalries".

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.

International Federation of Football History & Statistics organization that chronicles the history and records of association football

The International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) is an organization that chronicles the history and records of association football. It was founded on 27 March 1984 in Leipzig by Alfredo Pöge with the blessings of general secretary of the FIFA at the time, Helmut Käser. The IFFHS was based at Al-Muroor Street 147, Abu Dhabi for some time but, in 2010, relocated to Bonn, Germany.

The International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) compiled a list of the Top 200 European clubs ranked by the results in European matches over the whole 20th century.

Feyenoord association football club in the Netherlands

Feyenoord Rotterdam is a Dutch professional football club in Rotterdam, that plays in the Eredivisie, the top tier in Dutch football. Founded as Wilhelmina in 1908, the club changed its name to SC Feijenoord in 1912, SC Feyenoord in 1974, and Feyenoord Rotterdam in 1978, when SC Feyenoord became a separate amateur team. Since 1937, Feyenoord's home ground has been the monumental Stadion Feijenoord, nicknamed De Kuip.


Red Star legend Rajko Mitic. Rajko Mitic (1970).jpg
Red Star legend Rajko Mitić.

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.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Mitra Mitrović was a Serbian politician, feminist and writer.

Socialist Republic of Serbia Former federated state of Yugoslavia between 1945 and 1990

The Socialist Republic of Serbia, previously known as Federal State of Serbia and People's Republic of Serbia, commonly referred to as Socialist Serbia, or simply as Serbia, was one of the six constituent republics of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It was the largest constituent republic in terms of population and territory. Its capital, Belgrade, was also the federal capital of Yugoslavia.

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.

The proletariat is the class of wage-earners in an economic society whose only possession of significant material value is their labour-power. A member of such a class is a proletarian.

Joseph Stalin Soviet leader

Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was a Georgian revolutionary and Soviet politician who led the Soviet Union from the mid–1920s until 1953 as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922–1953) and Premier (1941–1953). Initially presiding over a collective leadership as first among equals, by the 1930s he was the country's de facto dictator. A communist ideologically committed to the Leninist interpretation of Marxism, Stalin helped to formalise these ideas as Marxism–Leninism, while his own policies became known as Stalinism.

Vladimir Lenin Russian politician, communist theorist and founder of the Soviet Union

Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known by his alias Lenin, was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as head of government of Soviet Russia from 1917 to 1922 and of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1924. Under his administration, Russia and then the wider Soviet Union became a one-party communist state governed by the Russian Communist Party. Ideologically a communist, he developed a variant of Marxism known as Leninism; his ideas were posthumously codified as Marxism–Leninism.

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.

The Yugoslav First Federal Football League, was the premier football league in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1918–1941) and Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1945–1992).

The Yugoslav Cup, officially known between 1923 and 1940 as the King Alexander Cup (Serbian: Куп Краља Александра Croatian: Kup Kralja Aleksandra, and between 1947 and 1991 as the Marshal Tito Cup, was one of two major football competitions in the former Yugoslavia, the other one being the Yugoslav League Championship. The Yugoslav Cup took place after the league championships when every competitive league in Yugoslavia had finished, in order to determine which teams are ranked as their corresponding seeds. The Marshal Tito Cup trophy was based on a design by Branko Šotra.

The 1958 edition of Mitropa Cup was unofficial and only for this tournament was named Danube Cup. The tournament was won by the Yugoslavs of Crvena Zvezda.

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 this match the rule was passed that the ball must not be returned to the goalkeeper. 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 Stankovic was the youngest captain ever in Red Star's history. Dejan Stankovic - Inter Mailand (1).jpg
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.

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.

Crest and colours

At the end of the World War II, several of pre-war Yugoslav clubs were dissolved because they had played matches during the war and were labelled collaborators by Josip Broz Tito communist authorities. One of these clubs was SK Jugoslavija from Belgrade. Red Star was formed from the remains of Jugoslavija and they were given their red and white colours. The typical kit of Red Star is a shirt with red and white vertical stripes, and red or white shorts and socks. Sometimes the club also used an all-red one next to the all-white one. Red Star also used, as away kit or third kit, an all-blue jersey, but very rarely, so that the club used all the colours of the Serbian flag. The crest is a red five-pointed star, white framed, on a red-white background. In addition, the whole crest is framed with gold colour. There are three golden stars on the top of their emblem, symbolizing the 30 titles won. [14]

Grb FK Crvena zvezda (1945 - 1950).PNG
Grb FK Crvena zvezda (1950 - 1995).PNG
Grb FK Crvena zvezda (1995 - 2010).PNG
Logo FC Red Star Belgrade (2011-2019).svg
Logo FC Red Star Belgrade.svg


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 55,538, 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. 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 Mitic Stadium viewed from the air Fk Red Star stadium.jpg
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. [15] 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. [16]

Youth school


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


Delije section at Rajko Mitic Stadium. Beograd 7652.jpg
Delije section at Rajko Mitić Stadium.

The organized supporters of Red Star are known as Delije, the plural of the singular form Delija, which in Serbian generally signifies a courageous, brave, strong or even handsome young man. A rough English translation might be simply "Heroes", "Braves", "Hardman" or "Studs". The name Delije first began to be used by hardcore Red Star supporters during the late 1980s, with official inauguration taking place in 1989. Up to that point, the Red Star fans were scattered amongst several organized fan groups that shared in the north stand of Red Star's stadium. The Delije are today one of the most famous supporter groups in the world, who support all clubs in the Red Star multi-sport club. Their style of supporting includes the use of large and small flags, displaying of banners and especially the creation of colorful and large choreographies, noisy and constant cheering and other supporters stuff. The acoustic support is often coordinated by a so-called "Vođa" (Serbian: leader) by a megaphone and accompanied by drums. Subgroups of Delije exist outside of Belgrade as well, in cities across Serbia and all other ex-Yugoslav republics. As a sign of appreciation, Red Star painted in the late 1990s, the word Delije in block letters across their stadium's north stand.

Since the mid-1980s the supporters maintain brotherhood relations with Olympiacos ultras – a friendship based on common Orthodox faith and same club colours. Since the mid-2000s FC Spartak Moscow fans are also included in this friendship.

The Eternal derby

Graffiti of the Delije at Rajko Mitic Stadium. Beograd 7654.jpg
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 Interior ministry 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's dubbed one of, along with the Old Firm, the Rome derby and the Istanbul derby, the most heated rivalries in European football. [20] In 2009, British newspaper Daily Mail ranked the Eternal derby as fourth among the ten greatest football rivalries of all-time. [21] The biggest attendance for a Red Star – Partizan match was about 108,000 spectators at the Red Star Stadium.

Honours and achievements

Red Star has won 4 international and 57 domestic trophies, making them the most successful football club in Serbia and the former Yugoslavia.

Domestic competitions (57)

National Championships – 30 (record)

National Cups – 24 (record)

National Super Cups – 2 (record)

National League Cup – 1

International competitions (4)

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 56 European seasons, and the most notable results are:

Friendly tournaments (19)

Individual awards



Club records

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). [24] 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). [25]

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

1 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Dragan Džajić 1963–75; 1977–78389
2 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Bora Kostić 1951–61; 1962–66341
3 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Vladimir Petrović 1972–82332
4 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Jovan Aćimović 1965–76318
5 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Boško Gjurovski 1978–89299
6 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Rajko Mitić 1945–58294
7 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Vladica Popović 1953–65291
8 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Miloš Šestić 1974–84277
9 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Ratomir Dujković 1964–74266
10 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Miroslav Pavlović 1967–74264

Top ten scorers of all-time

1 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Bora Kostić 1951–61; 1962–66230
2 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Dragan Džajić 1963–75; 1977–78155
3 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Dušan Savić 1973–82149
4 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Zoran Filipović 1970–80138
5 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Kosta Tomašević 1945–54137
6 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Vojin Lazarević 1966–70; 1972–74134
7 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Darko Pančev 1988–92116
8 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Rajko Mitić 1945–58109
9 Flag of Serbia and Montenegro (1992-2006).svg Mihajlo Pjanović 1999–0392
10 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Antun Rudinski 1953–6279

Club all-time European record

Red Star BelgradeSeasonsPWDLGFGAMatch %W
Representing Flag of Serbia.svg Serbia 12782723289910234.62
Representing Flag of Serbia and Montenegro (1992-2006).svg Serbia and Montenegro 11662620201098039.39
Representing Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Yugoslavia 2915880285031520650.63
European Cup / UEFA Champions League 126622539
UEFA Cup / UEFA Europa League 140583646
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 34121012
UEFA Super Cup 1001
Intercontinental Cup 1100
As of 11 December 2018

UEFA Ranking

As of 14 March 2019 [26]
81 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Standard Liège 17.500
82 Flag of England.svg Everton 17.000
84 Flag of Serbia.svg Red Star Belgrade16.750
85 Flag of England.svg Burnley 16.006
86 Flag of England.svg Southampton 16.006

Best results in International competitions

European Cup / UEFA Champions League
1990–91 Winnersdefeated Flag of France.svg Marseille 0–0 in Bari, 5–3 pen.
1956–57 Semi-finalslost to Flag of Italy.svg Fiorentina 0–1 in Belgrade, 0–0 in Firenze
1970–71 Semi-finalslost to Flag of Greece.svg Panathinaikos 4–1 in Belgrade, 0–3 in Athens
1991–92 Semi-finals2nd in Group A with Flag of Italy.svg Sampdoria, Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Anderlecht and Flag of Greece.svg Panathinaikos
1957–58 Quarter-finalslost to Flag of England.svg Manchester United 1–2 in Manchester, 3–3 in Belgrade
1973–74 Quarter-finalslost to Flag of Spain.svg Atlético Madrid 0–2 in Belgrade, 0–0 in Madrid
1980–81 Quarter-finalslost to Flag of Italy.svg Internazionale 1–1 in Milan, 0–1 in Belgrade
1981–82 Quarter-finalslost to Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Anderlecht 1–2 in Brussels, 1–2 in Belgrade
1986–87 Quarter-finalslost to Flag of Spain.svg Real Madrid 4–2 in Belgrade, 0–2 in Madrid
UEFA Cup / UEFA Europa League
1978–79 Runners-uplost to Flag of Germany.svg Borussia Mönchengladbach 1–1 in Belgrade, 0–1 in Düsseldorf
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
1974–75 Semi-finalslost to Flag of Hungary.svg Ferencváros 1–2 in Budapest, 2–2 in Belgrade
1971–72 Quarter-finalslost to Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Dynamo Moscow 1–2 in Belgrade, 1–1 in Moscow
1985–86 Quarter-finalslost to Flag of Spain.svg Atlético Madrid 0–2 in Belgrade, 1–1 in Madrid
UEFA Super Cup
1991 Runners-uplost to Flag of England.svg Manchester United 0–1 in Manchester
Intercontinental Cup
1991 Winnersdefeated Flag of Chile.svg Colo-Colo 3–0 in Tokyo
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup
1961–62 Semi-finalslost to Flag of Spain.svg Barcelona 0–2 in Belgrade, 1–4 in Barcelona
1962–63 Quarter-finalslost to Flag of Italy.svg Roma 0–3 in Rome, 2–0 in Belgrade
Mitropa Cup
1958 Winnersdefeated Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Rudá Hvězda Brno 4–1 in Belgrade, 3–2 in Brno
1967–68 Winnersdefeated Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Spartak Trnava 0–1 in Trnava, 4–1 in Belgrade
1957 Semi-finalslost to Flag of Hungary.svg Vasas 1–3 in Budapest, 2–3 in Belgrade

Biggest win in UEFA competition:

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

Current squad

As of 3 February 2019 [27] [28] [29] [30]

First team

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

1 Flag of Serbia.svg GK Zoran Popović
2 Flag of Serbia.svg DF Milan Gajić
3 Flag of Serbia.svg MF Branko Jovičić
7 Flag of Serbia.svg MF Miloš Vulić
8 Flag of Montenegro.svg MF Mirko Ivanić
9 Flag of Serbia.svg FW Milan Pavkov
10 Flag of Serbia.svg MF Nenad Milijaš ( captain [31] )
11 Flag of the Netherlands.svg MF Lorenzo Ebecilio
15 Flag of Serbia.svg DF Srđan Babić
17 Flag of Germany.svg MF Marko Marin
19 Flag of Serbia.svg DF Nemanja Milunović
20 Flag of Serbia.svg MF Goran Čaušić
21 Flag of Serbia.svg MF Veljko Simić
22 Flag of Brazil.svg FW Jonathan Cafú (on loan from Bordeaux [32] )
23 Flag of Serbia.svg DF Milan Rodić
27 Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg GK Nemanja Supić
28 Flag of Serbia.svg FW Dejan Joveljić
29 Flag of Serbia.svg MF Dušan Jovančić
30 Flag of Montenegro.svg DF Filip Stojković ( 3rd captain [33] )
31 Flag of the Comoros.svg FW El Fardou Ben Nabouhane
33 Flag of Serbia.svg MF Milan Jevtović
34 Flag of Serbia.svg DF Stefan Hajdin
36 Flag of Slovakia.svg MF Erik Jirka
37 Flag of Ghana.svg DF Rashid Sumaila (on loan from Qadsia SC [34] )
77 Flag of Serbia.svg DF Marko Gobeljić ( 4th captain [35] )
82 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg GK Milan Borjan
90 Flag of Serbia.svg DF Vujadin Savić ( vice captain [36] )
92 Flag of Serbia.svg FW Aleksa Vukanović
99 Flag of Ghana.svg FW Richmond Boakye

Domestic & UEFA Reserves

As of 20 July 2018 [28] [37]

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

25 Flag of Serbia.svg DF Strahinja Eraković

Players with multiple nationalities

Out on loan

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

8 Flag of Serbia.svg MF Dejan Meleg (at Flag of Greece.svg Levadiakos until the end of the 2018–19 season) [38]
19 Flag of Serbia.svg MF Veljko Nikolić (at Grafičar Beograd until the end of the 2018–19 season) [39]
32 Flag of Serbia.svg GK Aleksandar Stanković(at Grafičar Beograd until the end of the 2018–19 season) [39]
40 Flag of Serbia.svg FW Stefan Cvetković(at Bačka Bačka Palanka until the end of the 2018) [40]
44 Flag of Brazil.svg DF Zé Marcos (at Flag of Montenegro.svg OFK Grbalj until the end of the 2018–19 season) [41]
73 Flag of Serbia.svg FW Jug Stanojev(at Grafičar Beograd until the end of the 2018–19 season) [39]
93 Flag of Serbia.svg DF Aleksa Terzić (at Grafičar Beograd until the end of the 2018–19 season) [42]
–– Flag of Serbia.svg GK Strahinja Savić(at Grafičar Beograd until the end of the 2018–19 season) [39]
–– Flag of Serbia.svg GK Miloš Čupić(at Zlatibor Čajetina until the end of the 2018–19 season) [43]
–– Flag of Serbia.svg DF Nemanja Stojić(at Grafičar Beograd until the end of the 2018–19 season) [39]
–– Flag of Serbia.svg DF Damjan Daničić(at Grafičar Beograd until the end of the 2018–19 season) [39]
–– Flag of Serbia.svg DF Marko Kojić(at Grafičar Beograd until the end of the 2018–19 season) [39]
–– Flag of Serbia.svg DF Marko Konatar(at Grafičar Beograd until the end of the 2018–19 season) [39]
–– Flag of Serbia.svg MF Marko Janković(at Grafičar Beograd until the end of the 2018–19 season) [39]
–– Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg MF Stefan Santrač(at Grafičar Beograd until the end of the 2018–19 season) [39]
–– Flag of Serbia.svg MF Željko Gavrić(at Grafičar Beograd until the end of the 2018–19 season) [39]
–– Flag of Serbia.svg MF Miloš Nikolić(at Grafičar Beograd until the end of the 2018–19 season) [39]
–– Flag of Serbia.svg FW Nikola Veselinović(at Jedinstvo Putevi until the end of the 2018–19 season) [40]
–– Flag of Ghana.svg FW Ibrahim Tanko (at Bežanija until the end of the 2018–19 season) [44]
–– Flag of North Macedonia.svg FW Strahinja Krstevski (at Grafičar Beograd until the end of the 2018–19 season) [45]
–– Flag of Serbia.svg FW Dejan Vidić(at Zemun until the end of the 2018–19 season) [46]
–– Flag of Montenegro.svg FW Nikola Krstović (at Flag of Montenegro.svg Zeta until the end of the 2018–19 season) [47]

For recent transfers, see List of Serbian football transfers winter 2018–19.

Retired number(s)

12  600px Bianco e Rosso diagonale con stella Rossa.png Delije (the 12th Man)

26 Flag of Serbia.svg 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. [48] Gogić had also been assigned with jersey 25 for the 2014–15 season, which had worn in Jagodina previously. [49] 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. [50]

Club officials

Coaching history

For details see List of Red Star Belgrade football coaches

Club presidents

  • Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Mita Miljković (1948–51)
  • Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Isa Jovanović (1951–52)
  • Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Sava Radojčić (1952–54)
  • Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Dragoslav Marković (1954–55)
  • Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Milić Bugarčić (1955–56)
  • Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Dragoje Đurić (1956)
  • Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Dušan Blagojević (1956–60)
  • Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Milić Bugarčić (1960–63)
  • Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Radovan Pantović (1963–65)
  • Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Dušan Blagojević (1965–68)
  • Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Nikola Bugarčić (1968–77)
  • Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Radovan Pantović (1977–81)
  • Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Brana Dimitrijević (1981–82)
  • Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Vlastimir Purić (1982)
  • Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Miladin Šakić (1982–87)
  • Flag of Serbia and Montenegro (1992-2006).svg Svetozar Mijailović (1987–93)
  • Flag of Serbia and Montenegro (1992-2006).svg Dragan Džajić (1998–04)
  • Flag of Serbia.svg Dragan Stojković (2005–07)
  • Flag of Serbia.svg Toplica Spasojević (2007–08)
  • Flag of the United States.svg Dan Tana (2008–09)
  • Flag of Serbia.svg Vladan Lukić (2009–12)
  • Flag of Serbia.svg Dragan Džajić (2012–14)
  • Flag of Serbia.svg Svetozar Mijailović (2014–present)

Notable players

Stars of Red Star

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

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

Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg GK Stevan Stojanović
Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg GK Željko Kaluđerović
Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg DF Duško Radinović
Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg DF Slobodan Marović
Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg DF Refik Šabanadžović
Flag of Romania.svg DF Miodrag Belodedici
Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg DF Ilija Najdoski
Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg DF Goran Vasilijević
Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg DF Goran Jurić
Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg DF Rade Tošić
Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg MF Vladimir Jugović
Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg MF Robert Prosinečki
Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg MF Dejan Savićević
Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg MF Siniša Mihajlović
Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg MF Vlada Stošić
Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg MF Ivica Momčilović
Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg FW Darko Pančev
Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg FW Dragiša Binić

Notable players

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

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

Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors

PeriodKit ManufacturerShirt Sponsor
1977–78 Admiral
1979 Puma
1980–86Kristal Zaječar
1986–87de LUXE
1987–88 Lee Cooper
1989–90Mister Baby
1991–93 Hummel Classic
1993–94 Komercijalna banka
1994–96 Diadora Beobanka
1996–98 Kappa
1998–01 Pils Light
2001–02 Adidas
2002–05 Wiener Städtische
2005–06 Toyota
2006–08 Nike
20102344 – Za moju Zvezdu
2010–12 Gazprom
2012–13 Legea
2013–17 Puma
2017– Macron

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 8 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. [51] 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. [51]

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. [52]

Two non-related bands, one of them from Great Yarmouth, Great Britain, [53] [54] and the other one from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States, [55] 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. [56]

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