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OFK Beograd
Crest of OFK Beograd
Full name Omladinski fudbalski klub Beograd
Nickname(s) Romantičari
Founded 1911
Ground Omladinski Stadion,
Belgrade
(Capacity: 15,912)
Chairman Serbia Momčilo Minić
Head Coach Serbia Dejan Đurđević
League Jelen Superliga
2008-09 11th
Home colours
Away colours

Omladinski Fudbalski Klub Beograd (Serbian Cyrillic: ОФК Београд), commonly referred to as OFK Beograd, is a football club from Belgrade, Serbia, more precisely from the Karaburma urban neighborhood. It currently is the oldest team playing in the Serbian Superliga. The name means "Youth Football Club Belgrade" in Serbian.

Contents

History

The beginning

OFK Beograd was founded in 1911 under the name BSK in the Kingdom of Serbia. The club won five national championships in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In its rich history, the club has also been named Metalac between 1945 and 1950.

How it all started is just as how the club is living today: never on top but always among the best. Usually, it is in the shadow of the bigger Belgrade clubs, such as Red Star and Partizan, but always in the search of its own identity and a place on the big stage. On the field, it always went well, but the stadium remained empty. The problem was the name: it didn't attract the attention of fans. For this reason, in 1950 the club brought back its old name of BSK.

The golden era

A two decade long "Golden Era" had begun. Already in 1953, the club had won the Yugoslav Cup. Three other celebrations followed, in 1955, 1962, and 1966. The club was the national vice-champion twice, in 1955 and in 1964, and the club was very rarely standing under 6th position in the league table. In the meantime, the club had changed its name once again. In 1957, the club was baptised into today's OFK Beograd, once again in an attempt to attract spectators to the stadium, especially younger ones who often opted for either Red Star or Partizan. In that time, the players played attractive and lovely football and therefore got the nickname of "Romantičari".

The 1960s and the first half of the 1970s were years of European glory. OFK Beograd had participated eight times in European competitions. Their biggest success came in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1962-63 season, playing in the semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur, eventual champions. In the following ten years, football giants such as Napoli, Feyenoord, Panathinaikos, and Juventus also fell to the blue and white.

The silent fall

The Romantičari were not able to take advantage of their success on the domestic and European scene. After several successful season, a sudden fall occurred. OFK Beograd was slowly losing its brilliance. During the 1980s, the club has often been changing leagues, from the First Division to the Second. In Karaburma, nothing could remind us of the old glorious days except a few bleaky old pictures. The "Silent Fall" lasted as long as the Golden Era. Still, the tradition could not be forgotten and the club comes back to its old habits in the 1990s. Fourth position in 1992 and 1994 announced a bright future for OFK in the 21st century.

Modern times

In the summer of 2003, they were back in European competitions. They played in the UEFA Intertoto Cup. OFK humiliated Estonian side Narva Trans at home by the score of 6-1, but UEFA canceled the result because of a smoke bomb being thrown on the field during the game. It was later discovered that it was an act of an angry hooligan from a city rival, furious about his club being relegated to the Second Division. Consequently, only the second leg result would count. OFK Beograd did not let its fans down and won in Tallinn with a score of 5-3. They were eliminated in the second round by Czech representants Slovácko, with a score of 4-3. The club was back on the European stage in 2004. They started playing in the second round and easily eliminated Dinaburg. In the third round, OFK went on to play against Tampere United at the legendary Ratina Stadium, host of a historic match between Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union at the 1952 Summer Olympics. Yugoslavia were having a torrid time against the Soviets. 5-1 up with 15 minutes of their first round match to go, the Yugoslavs, understandably, put their feet up. Arthur Ellis, the match referee, recorded what happened next in his book, The Final Whistle (London, 1963): "The USSR forced the most honourable draw ever recorded! [Vsevolod] Bobrov, their captain, scored a magnificent hat-trick. After the USSR had reduced the lead to 5-2, he, almost single-handed, took the score to 5-5, scoring his third in the last minute. For once, use of the word sensational was justified." Although Bobrov's early goal in their replay presaged a miraculous recovery, Yugoslavia recovered sufficiently to put out their opponents easily in the second half. The Soviet side had been expected by Moscow to win the 1952 Games, and their defeat by Yugoslavia was not mentioned in the Soviet press until after Joseph Stalin's death the following year. OFK Beograd defeated their Finnish opponents and deservedly went on to play in the semifinals. They were eliminated by a better and more experienced opponent, Atlético Madrid.

In 2005, the club reached the UEFA Cup second round of qualifying after more than 32 years, losing to Lokomotiv Plovdiv by the away goals rule. In 2006, the club was awaiting French side Auxerre, once again in the UEFA Cup. In the first game, in Belgrade, OFK defeated their opponents by the score of 1-0. In the second game, it looked like the Serbian club was through with the score being 2-1 in favor of Auxerre with only ten minutes to play. OFK allowed three goals in only ten minutes, suffering a heavy 5-1 loss and ending their European dream.

Honours

European Competitions

Before UEFA was founded (in 1954), OFK Beograd, under the name of Belgrade Sport Club (BSK), participated in Mitropa Cup, the first really international European football competition. The club competed for five seasons without a big success, usually stopped by teams from Hungary, the major football power at the time. In UEFA competitions, OFK Beograd played 10 seasons, the biggest success being reaching semifinal of UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1962-63.

Before UEFA

  • Competed in five seasons

1) 1927

MC QF: MTK Hungária (HUN) 4 – 2 BSK | BSK 0 – 4 MTK Hungária | (Agg: 2 – 8)

2) 1928

MC QF: BSK 0 – 7 Ferencváros (HUN) | Ferencváros 6 – 1 BSK | (Agg: 1 – 13)

3) 1938

MC R1: BSK 2 – 3 Slavia Prague (TCH) | Slavia Prague 2 – 1 BSK | (Agg: 3 – 5)

4) 1939

MC QF: BSK 3 – 0 Slavia Prague (TCH) | Slavia Prague 2 – 1 BSK | (Agg: 4 – 2)

MC SF: BSK 4 – 2 Újpest (HUN) | Újpest 7 – 1 BSK | (Agg: 5 – 9)

5) 1940

MC QF: BSK 3 – 0 Venus Bucureşti (ROM) | Venus Bucureşti 0 – 1 BSK | (Agg: 4 – 0)

MC SF: BSK 1 – 0 Ferencváros (HUN) | Ferencváros 2 – 0 BSK | (Agg: 1 – 2)

UEFA competitions

  • Qualified for Europe in 10 seasons

1) 1962–63

CWC QR: OFK Belgrade 2 – 0 Chemie Halle (GDR) | Chemie Halle 3 – 3 OFK Belgrade | (Agg: 5 – 3)

CWC R1: OFK Belgrade 5 – 1 Portadown (NIR) | Portadown 3 – 2 OFK Belgrade | (Agg: 7 – 4)

CWC QF: OFK Belgrade 2 – 0 Napoli (ITA) | Napoli 3-1 OFK Belgrade | (Agg: 3 – 3, won play-off 3 – 1)

CWC SF: OFK Belgrade 1 – 2 Tottenham Hotspur (ENG) | Tottenham Hotspur 3 – 1 OFK Belgrade | (Agg: 2 – 5)

2) 1963–64

UC R1: Juventus (ITA) 2 – 1 OFK Belgrade | OFK Belgrade 2 – 1 Juventus | (Agg: 3 – 3, lost play-off 0 – 1)

3) 1964–65

UC R1: Athletic Bilbao (ESP) 2 – 2 OFK Belgrade | OFK Belgrade 0 – 2 Athletic Bilbao | (Agg: 2 – 4)

4) 1966–67

CWC R1: OFK Belgrade 1 – 3 Spartak Moscow (USSR) | Spartak Moscow 3 – 0 OFK Belgrade | (Agg: 1 – 6)

5) 1968–69

UC R1: Rapid Bucureşti (ROM) 3 – 1 OFK Belgrade | OFK Belgrade 6 – 1 Rapid Bucureşti | (Agg: 7 – 4)

UC R2: OFK Belgrade 1 – 0 Bologna (ITA) | Bologna 1 – 1 OFK Belgrade | (Agg: 2 – 1)

UC R3: OFK Belgrade 3 – 1 Goztepe (TUR) | Goztepe 2 – 0 OFK Belgrade | (Agg: 3 – 3, lost on away goals)

6) 1971–72

UC R1: OFK Belgrade 4 – 1 Djurgården (SWE) | Djurgården 2 – 2 OFK Belgrade | (Agg: 6 – 3)

UC R2: OFK Belgrade 1 – 1 FC Carl Zeiss Jena (GDR) | Carl Zeiss Jena 4 – 0 OFK Belgrade | (Agg: 1 – 5)

7) 1972–73

UC R1: Dukla Prague (TCH) 2 – 2 OFK Belgrade | OFK Belgrade 3 – 1 Dukla Prague | (Agg: 5 – 3)

UC R2: Feyenoord (NED) 4 – 3 OFK Belgrade | OFK Belgrade 2 – 1 Feyenoord | (Agg: 5 – 5, won on away goals)

UC R3: OFK Belgrade 0 – 0 Beroe Stara Zagora (BUL) | Beroe Stara Zagora 1 – 3 OFK Belgrade | (Agg: 3 – 1)

UC QF: OFK Belgrade 3 – 2 Twente (NED) | Twente 2 – 0 OFK Belgrade | (Agg: 3 – 4)

8) 1973–74

UC R1: Panathinaikos (GRE) 1 – 2 OFK Belgrade | OFK Belgrade 0 – 1 Panathinaikos | (Agg: 2 – 2, won on away goals)

UC R2: Dinamo Tbilisi (USSR) 3 – 0 OFK Belgrade | OFK Belgrade 1 – 5 Dinamo Tbilisi | (Agg: 1 – 8)

Season Competition Round Country Club Home Away
2003–04 Intertoto Cup R1 Estonia Narva Trans 6-1 5-3
2003–04 Intertoto Cup R2 Czech Republic Slovácko 3-3 0-1
2004–05 Intertoto Cup R2 Latvia Dinaburg 3-1 2-0
2004–05 Intertoto Cup R3 Finland Tampere United 1-0 0-0
2004–05 Intertoto Cup Semi-final Spain Atlético Madrid 1-3 0-2
2005–06 UEFA Cup QR2 Bulgaria Lokomotiv Plovdiv 2-1 0-1
2006–07 UEFA Cup QR2 France Auxerre 1-0 1-5
2008–09 Intertoto Cup R2 Greece Panionios 1-0 1-3

UEFA competitions summary

OFK Belgrade Seasons P W D L F A Match Pts%W Ties P Ties W Ties L Ties %W
Representing Serbia Serbia 2 4 2 0 2 4 8 50.00 2 - 2 -
Representing Yugoslavia Yugoslavia 8 38 14 7 17 64 69 46.05 18 10 8 55.56
Total 10 42 16 7 19 68 76 46.43 20 10 10 50.00

Youth system

OFK Beograd's youth system has a reputation as one of the best in Serbia. In its 95 years of existence, it produced hundreds of players who played for OFK Beograd's senior first team, the national team and who became players of international calibre.

Players such as Ilija Petković, Mitar Mrkela, Dragoslav Stepanović, Slobodan Santrač, and Saša Ćurčić all played in different periods of time but they all share one thing together and that is their youth development at OFK Beograd.

Since OFK Beograd's existence, attention was always turned to the younger categories of players and the results of that work are directly responsible for the club's success. Modern football is a serious aspect of the club, this is why it does everything in its possibility to modernize the training facilities. Recently, the club has built a whole new private training center, compromising eight playing fields along with training equipment with the newest technology. OFK Beograd is constantly in search of better quality at their Youth Club.

A youth school was created compromising 150 players born in between 1996 and 1999. There are also seven competitive teams for which more than 170 players are playing. The youth system compromises around 20 highly qualified coaches who are all specialised in certain areas of the game. Most of the coaches are former players who spent years at the club and who also went through the same youth system. Several physios are also present and are equipped with the newest technology for their work.

Currently, the board is examinating the possibility of cutting a hundred players from the youth system as they believe the coaches would have an easier job and could concentrate on indiviuals.

OFK Beograd is always proud of their Youth Club and the atmosphere they create for youth development. They are getting better coaching every year and it is said that the players now progress more rapidly than they did in the past. The club is always a strong contender in the Serbian Superliga and usually qualifies for European competitions, which proves the quality and huge efforts put in the youth system.

The fans

OFK Beograd's fans are commonly known as "Blue Union" (Plava Unija) since 1994.

The whole story begins in 1911 when Beogradski Sportski Klub (BSK) was founded, a club who dominated the fields of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, but it was also known for one other thing, its fans.

The club's fans followed the team wherever it went, they carried the spirit and of the city of Belgrade in their hearts, and were always present in the clubs' hardest moments. Many things could've broken the enthusiasm of the fans, such as the war or constant name changes, but nothing could separate the fans from their beloved club.

File:OFK Beograd 1 - 0 Auxerre.jpg
During a match against Auxerre

The fans' modern history is not as glorious as it used to be, but one thing is sure - the old spirit is also present in the new fans' hearts.

An organized group appears for the first time in 1984 under the name of "Blue Thunders". The group lives under that name until 1990, but influenced by the rise of nationalism in Yugoslavia, they change their name to "Sokolovi". The group officially collapses in 1993 as football is nothing more than pure non-sense during that period in Serbia. The fans' love towards the club was certainly not forgotten and in 1994 a new group is founded - Blue Union Belgrade. The name says it all, as all the club's lovers unite to create what is today OFK Beograd's official fan group.

File:OFK Beograd 2 - 1 Lokomotiv Plovdiv.jpg
The Blue Union

Every new beginning is complicated, one of the first things to do for the young group was to create a name for themselves and show that they exist. In any possible manner. Originality and aggressiveness towards the others proved to be the key to success. A confrontation with the club's board was inevitable since watching your team collapse slowly is not what the fans needed, but the Blue Union was the only one to stand up. Obviously, confrontations with other fan organizations of the same level happened, in an attempt by the Blue Union to get respected across Serbia. The group's participation in all events in the city put them shoulder-to-shoulder with the other organizations in the country already from the beginning. During that period, the group's friendship with Voždovac's fans, "Invalidi", officially begun. That friendship, over the years, has become something more and it is still the same today.

File:OFK Beograd 2 - 4 Crvena Zvezda.jpg
2005-06 Serbian Cup final

OFK Beograd has played in the "B" Division from 1996 to 1998, which was very interesting since they were the only team from the capital city of Belgrade. During those years, the group gains in expansion and under the slogan of "JEDAN TIM - JEDAN GRAD - JEDNO IME - BEOGRAD" follows the club throughout Serbia. The slogan translates to "One team - One city - One name - Belgrade".

When the "A" and "B" divisions made only one, the Blue Union started printing out their own newspapers. It was the first time such an initiative was taken by a club from Serbia. During every home game, every fan received a copy. Inside were articles about the club's past, its legends, the historic games, etc. Unfortunanely, there were only ten editions before the newspapers ceased to exist.

Originality, which is still strived for, was one of the most distinguishing characteristics of BU in that period. There are many examples, but here we will mention just some of them: while all other supporter groups were engaged in competition for the best looking and aesthetically most appealing banner, BU wore and presented awkward, ugly, hand made banners in all sizes; group didn’t care much for flamboyant choreographies or for the choreographies at all for that matter; pyrotechnics were all right but not a must; we renewed the terrace fashion of wearing turnover spitfire jackets and established the habit of wearing blue-collar workers overalls when following team on away games as a mean to make statement regarding social background of the group members. Also, we can mention the time when FK Milicionar, a pro-regime police-backed team, entered the first division the group reacted with creation of banner which bore a message “GOAL AGAINST REGIME”. Among other things, members of BU also reinstated the old ex-Yugoslav firms habit of “finding” local home crews when our team was on away matches, no matter which Serbian town or city was in question.

Crisis in Serbia during the spring of 1999. took its toll on complete football supporter scene and BLUE UNION was no exception. Pressure which was built up and directed toward our group culminated in those turmoil times and seriously damaged long-built reputation and prestige of all OFK BEOGRAD supporters and devoted fans. Project which was ultimately named “CLUB OF OFK BEOGRAD SUPPORTERS” is an attempt to restore all of the core values and principles which formed the character of fans of this renowned football club from Karaburma neighborhood.

BLUE UNION BELGRADE in 2004. celebrated 10th anniversary, but also two decades of organized supporting on Karaburma terraces. We can regard football season of 2002-2003. as a sort of overture to the mentioned celebration and it was during this season that the group started “REGULAR CHAMPIONSHIP AND CONSEQUENCES” and all of us remember big fuss which was caused by “It’s regular, istn it?” parole which was raised after the Sutjeska-OFK Beogard match and what was at a time a spontaneous form of protest against corruption in Serbian football, a menace that deprived supporters of the most precious thing in football – it’s beauty.

BLUE UNION also formed a friendship with supporters of Dynamo Moscow, although this camaraderie started spontaneous, later it gained a more organized and serious form. Soon mutual visits and joint supporting on each other team games followed so today we can be proud on this great friendship with our Russian colleagues.

In latter history, group is still struggling to maintain genuine urban spirit which was Blue Union hallmark ever since forming. Organization was also improved and raised to a higher level including development of marketing, attracting new generations of supporters, improving aesthetic appeal of our choreographies which are now marked by our easily recognizable style. Periodically, group is engaged in production of complete assortment of supporter requisites and the profits of their sales are used to raise popularity of the club and finance the work of group. The OFK Beograd supporter web site – [www.blueunionbelgrade.com] – must be also mentioned, because it represent a viable source of all actual information related to the OFK Beograd club, football in generally but also the supporter scene in Serbia, region and beyond that…All those activities and initiatives are undertaken with one and just one goal, a that is return of OFK Beograd to the paths of old glory and on the place that rightfully belongs him with the faithful army of supporters that follow him all the way to the top. Of course, it is needless to mention the repression to which supporters of our group were exposed all these years, and which we are managing to overcome somehow just as a whole plethora of other inhibiting factors that characterize the land and time we’re living in.

The Blue Union continues to support their beloved club even if the attendance at Omladinski Stadium is very low in the recent years. Since 1994, a lot of events happened, the younger people who were founding members of the group are still very present and active, and one thing is sure: the Blue Union is still proudly supporting OFK Beograd and will always be.

Current squad

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

No. Position Player
1 Serbia GK Bojan Šaranov
3 Serbia DF Aleksandar Mijatović
4 Serbia DF Nenad Lazarevski
5 Serbia DF Branko Lazarević
6 Montenegro DF Miloš Mrvaljević
7 Serbia MF Nikola Beljić
8 Serbia MF Uroš Sinđić
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina FW Petar Jelić
10 Serbia MF Veseljko Trivunović
11 Serbia DF Danilo Nikolić
13 Serbia MF Miloš Žeravica
14 Cameroon FW Aboubakar Oumarou
15 Serbia DF Petar Planić
No. Position Player
17 Serbia FW Nenad Injac
18 Serbia DF Milan Rodić
19 Serbia MF Miloš Krstić
20 Serbia FW Bojan Aleksić
21 Serbia MF Aleksandar Marković
22 Serbia MF Nikola Simić
23 Serbia DF Darko Jovandić
26 Brazil DF Roberto Carvalho
27 Serbia GK Đorđe Topalović
29 Serbia FW Nemanja Milić
32 Serbia FW Mladen Popović
Serbia GK Andrija Dragojević
Serbia MF Andrej Mrkela

For recent transfers, see List of Serbian football transfers winter 2009–10.

Notable former players

1911–1945 :

Kingdom of Yugoslavia Yugoslavia

France France

Italy Italy

Romania Romania

1945–present :

Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia SFR Yugoslavia (1945–1992)

Federal Republic of Yugoslavia FR Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro (1992–2006)

Serbia Serbia (2006–present)

Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina

Brazil Brazil

Latvia Latvia

Republic of Macedonia Macedonia

Montenegro

Coaching history

  • Serbia Dejan Đurđević (June 2009–present)
  • Serbia Simo Krunić (April 2009 - June 2009)
  • Serbia Mihajlo Ivanović (April 21, 2008 - April 14, 2009)
  • Serbia Ljupko Petrović (March 12, 2008 - April 21, 2008)
  • Serbia Branislav Vukašinović (April 2, 2007 - March 8, 2008)
  • Serbia Ratko Dostanić (December 26, 2006 - April 1, 2007)
  • Serbia Slobodan Krčmarević (October 23, 2005 - December 24, 2006)
  • Serbia Branko Babić (June 15, 2004 - October 16, 2005)
  • Serbia Dragoljub Bekvalac (April 5, 2004 - May 15, 2004)
  • Republic of Macedonia Stevica Kuzmanovski (July 29, 2003 - April 4, 2004)
  • Serbia Dragoljub Bekvalac
  • Serbia Zvonko Varga
  • Serbia Miodrag Ješić (1998–1999)
  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Božidar Milenković (1996–1997)
  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Blagomir Krivokuca
  • Yugoslavia Nikola Beogradac (1976 - 197X)
  • Yugoslavia Milutin Šoškić (1972 - 197X)

References

External links








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