The Quest for European Dominance - A Red Star Belgrade Story

Klippybo

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THE QUEST FOR EUROPEAN DOMINANCE - A RED STAR BELGRADE STORY

Welcome to my new story. I have chosen to manage Red Star Belgrade (also known as Crvena zvezda), the peoples club of Serbia. Having just managed for 20 seasons in my UEFA Champions League Challenge I have missed developing a legacy at just 1 club and developing young talent and nurturing them through and I have chosen to try life in Serbia. Now in my UCL Challenge save after 18-19 seasons Red Star had developed the most players in the top leagues in Europe so that has piqued my interest too!

The aim for the story is quite simple. Take Red Star back to the top of European football since they won the European Cup 30 years ago by winning the UEFA Champions League and then go on to become the most reputable team in Europe. In conjunction with this I also want to lead Serbia to international glory too!!!!

Sounds simple lol.

So lets meet the manager................


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NEMANJA VIDIC

A Red Star graduate, Vidic spent 4 years with the club at the beginning of his career making 95 apps and scoring 16 goals and won 1 league title and 1 cup in the process. The centre-back was then sold to Spartak Moscow where he spent 2 years before being sold to Manchester United for £7m.

It was there that he became one of the best defenders in the world. Between 2006-14 he made 300 apps, scored 21 goals and won 5 league titles, 3 league cups, 5 Community Shields, the Champions League and a Club World Cup!! At the end of his contract he joined Inter Milan however he only made 28 appearances (scoring once) before retiring after 1 season in Italy.

For his country he earned 3 caps for FR Yugoslavia, 17 caps (1 goal) for Serbia and Montenegro and 36 caps (1 goal) for Serbia so in total it was 56 caps and 2 goals! lol.

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THE CLUB

Founded
- 1945
Nicknames - Zvezda (The Star), Crveno-beli (The Red-Whites)
Ground - Rajko Mitic Stadium
Capacity - 53,000
Rivals - Partizan Belgrade - The Eternal Derby

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HONOURS
Domestic competitions
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


--

So please follow and comment as I try to take Red Star back to the top of European football and restore their glory days. I should point out that I am not starting off as manager of the Serbian national team and I am using a downloaded up-to-date database!!!

Now lets get cracking!!!!!!!!!!​
 
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SEASON BY SEASON RECORD

SEASONSUPERLIGASERBIAN CUPUEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUEUEFA EUROPA LEAGUECLUB WORLD CUP
2020-21WINNERS (unbeaten)Semi-Finals1st Round--
2021-22WINNERS (unbeaten)Quarter-FinalsGroup Stage2nd Round-
2022-23WINNERSWINNERSGroup Stage1st Round-
2023-24WINNERS (unbeaten)WINNERS1st Round--
2024-25WINNERS (unbeaten)WINNERSRunners-Up--
2025-26WINNERS (unbeaten)WINNERSSemi-Finals-Quarter-Final
2026-27WINNERS (unbeaten)WINNERSQuarter-Finals--
2027-28WINNERS (unbeaten)WINNERSQuarter-Finals--
2028-29
 
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PRE-SEASON

So I arrive in Belgrade with an open mind and with no pre-conceived ideas and eager to find out how things are in Serbian football! The board expect me to conquer all domestically and have the best youth academy in the country which is the very least that I expect. The club is in a sound financial position with a balance of £17m and of that I have been given £3m to spend.

I fairly quickly realised that in the Serbian league you have 2 start with 2 U21 players so that really helps with youth development and also the matchday squad can only have 4 foreigners in it but with Serbia not being in the EU that means that anybody who isnt Serbian is counted as a foreign player. With a bit of luck Serbia will join the EU in the future!

Also my reserve side is called RFK Gravicar and they play in the 2nd tier of Serbian football and players can move freely between the 2 clubs so I hope that they will dominate the 2nd tier and also it is a good level for some of my younger players.

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PLAYERS OUT

Two players have been shown the door so far. Ben went to Dalian Pro for £1m. The 31y/o attacking midfielder looked like a decent player but as he was from Comoros he was a foreign player so I decided to cash in on him. I also controversially sold the club captain, Milan Borjan, to Al-Duhail for £700,000. The Canadian international is a decent player for this level but at 32y/o I wanted a younger keeper.

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PLAYERS IN

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Brother of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Vanja is my new keeper and he came in from Torino for £550,000. He looks like a decent player and should be a star at this level. He is also my best free-kick taker at the club which could prove to be interesting!!!!

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Marko Jevremovic has been brought in from Javor for £275,000 and he will be my backup LB. An excellent crosser of the ball he should get opportunities to impress and with my first choice LB nearing 30 a regular start may not be too far away.

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SQUAD

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As the reigning champions we naturally have the strongest squad in the country. We are really strong defensively although due to the U21 rule in the SuperLiga I wont actually be able to play my best CB pairing! Normally I would play Degenek and Pankov however I may have to chuck Erakovic in but he is a fine prospect.

In midfield we have a couple of decent players but in backup some great prospects in the shape of Stankovic, Nikolic and Petrovic while my attacking midfield 3 is very strong. Falco will be my RW, Kanga my AMC and Katai my AML. Katai is our best player and is our only player in the current Serbia squad and I have also named him as captain.

Up front I will be relying on on-loan striker Diego Falcinelli for the first half of the season but I have arranged a transfer for January to compete for his place however until then we look pretty weak up top.

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SEASON AIMS

Win the league! Simple!!!!! The board expect us to reach the play-off for the Champions League so we shall see what happens there. We start out in the 1st qualifying round in the Champions Path so I have no idea how strong our opponents will be so we shall take it as it comes. Group stage football would be great be it in the Europa League or the Champions League but it is all unknown just now!!!!​
 
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AUGUST

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Lineup - A.Stankovic, Gajic (Gobeljic), Degenek, Erakovic, Rodic, Sanogo, Petrovic, Falco, Kanga*, Katai, Falcinelli

A nice way to start off my managerial career!!!! We smash 5 past Rad (like many teams in this league, I have never heard of them lol) to go top of the table on matchdat one. Kanga scored 2 great goals in 2 minutes. Milinkovic-Savic was injured so my backup keeper, Aleksandar Stankovic, came in for a start.


--

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Lineup - A.Stankovic, Gajic (Gobeljic), Degenek, Erakovic, Rodic*, Sanogo, Petrovic, Falco, Kanga (Ivanic), Katai, Pavkov (Krstovic)

A home win which is nice but whether it was any good I dont know as again I have never heard of our opponents.


--

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Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic, Degenek, Erakovic (Pankov), Rodic (Jevremovic), Sanogo, Petrovic*, Falco, Kanga (Ivanic), Katai (Gavric), Pavkov

Same as above! lol. This time we left it late as Njegos Petrovic scored a stoppage time winner with a header off a corner. Milinkovic-Savic returned from injury and made his debut here.


--

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Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic (Gobeljic), Degenek, Erakovic, Rodic (Jevremovic), Sanogo (Nikolic), Petrovic, Falco, Kanga, Katai (Gavric*), Pavkov (Krstovic)

Another late goal earned us the points here as Gavric came off the bench to get the winner with an angled shot. We are the only side with a 100% record in the league now.


--

UEFA Champions League Champions Path 1st Qualifying Round
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Lineup
- Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic, Degenek, Pankov, Rodic, Sanogo (N.Stankovic), Petrovic, Falco, Kanga, Katai*, Krstovic (Falcinelli)

Into the next round we go with an easy win over the Albanian side. Katai was in imperious form as he scored 2 and also had 1 disallowed to deny him his hat-trick.


--

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Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic (Gobeljic), Degenek, Pankov, Rodic, Sanogo, Nikolic (N.Stankovic), Falco (Bakayoko), Kanga (Ivanic), Katai (Gavric), Krstovic

My first eternal derby and my first game against a side I have actually heard of!!!! A draw was a fair result in all honesty as we missed a penalty before taking the lead through my Montenegrin forward Krstovic while they had an equaliser disallowed before deservedly drawing level.


--

UEFA Champions League Champions Path 2nd Qualifying Round
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Lineup
- Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic, Degenek, Pankov, Rodic, Sanogo, Ivanic (Nikolic), Falco, Kanga, Katai (Gavric), Krstovic*

Before the former Yugoslavia split up this would have been a domestic fixture as Sarajevo used to be part of the former Yugoslavia before becoming the capital of Bosnia & Herzegovina. We won easily mainly thanks to a superb hat-trick from Nikola Krstovic.


--

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Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic (Gobeljic), Degenek (Erakovic), Pankov, Rodic (Jevremovic), Sanogo, Petrovic, Srnic (Bakayoko), Kanga*, Katai, Krstovic (Falcinelli)

I was a bit worried when they went in level at half-time with only one shot but we managed to put things right in the 2nd half with 2 goals.


--

SUMMARY

A hectic month!!!! We had 6 league games and 2 Champions League games to fit in so the action was coming thick and fast. I am still learning about my players obviously but I feel as though I have a first XI settled albeit restricted by league rules.

In the SuperLiga we won 5 and drew 1 which is a great start to the season. Our one draw came against our greatest rivals Partizan Belgrade but considering that we were away from home I think it could prove to be a great result. We are not playing great however but I put that down to my players learning my formation and tactics etc plus I may be asking too much of players of lower ability of what I am used to.

In the Champions League we easily defeated KF Tirana and FK Sarajevo to set up a tie with Ferencvaros in the next round. We need to defeat them and then win another tie to get to the group stage so there is still a lot of work to do.

Regarding transfers I sold my 31y/o CB Nemanja Milunovic to Al-Sadd for £500,000. Basically due to his age and the fact that he was 4th choice in his position meant that he had to go and I promoted a 16y/o defender in his place.

My education in Serbia continues (and not just down to team names etc lol) as it appears that the transfer window ends in October!!!

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PLAYER OF THE MONTH
FILIPPO FALCO
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--

SUPER LIGA
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It seems like there will be a bit of league reconstruction after this season - I assume due to Covid. 6 teams going down and 2 coming up so a 16 team league next term.
 
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SEPTEMBER

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Lineup
- Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic, Degenek, Erakovic (Pankov), Rodic, Sanogo, Petrovic, Falco*, Kanga (Ivanic), Katai, Falcinelli (Krstovic)

I think I have heard of Javor before but I cant be certain lol. In the end we strolled the game as we scored 4 goals with Falco netting twice. Falcinelli made his 1st start after returning from injury and duly got injured and will be out for another couple of months which is a huge blow.

--

UEFA Champions League Champions Path 3rd Qualifying Round
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Lineup
- Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic, Degenek, Pankov, Rodic (Jevremovic), Sanogo, Petrovic, Falco, Kanga, Katai*, Krstovic (Pavkov)

We are one round away from the Champions League group stage now after this win. Katai got the only goal of the game and we meet the boards expectations by reaching the playoffs.


--

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Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic (Gobeljic), Degenek, Erakovic, Rodic, Sanogo (N.Stankovic), Ivanic, Falco*, Kanga (Nikolic), Katai (Gavric), Krstovic (Pavkov)

I am proud of my players here as after our European exploits my players were tired but they fought back to win this match. Ivanic scored with a stunning strike from 30 yards.


--

UEFA Champions League Champions Path Playoff 1st Leg
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Lineup
- Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic (Gobeljic), Degenek, Pankov, Rodic*, Sanogo, Petrovic, Falco, Ivanic, Katai (Gavric), Krstovic (Pavkov)

Its all to play for in the 2nd leg as we draw away here in Norway. Rodic got ourselves an away goal however so we have a slight advantage.


--

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Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic, Degenek, Erakovic (Pankov), Rodic, Sanogo, Ivanic, Falco, Kanga (N.Stankovic), Katai, Krstovic (Pavkov)

While I am naturally pleased with the victory I am disappointed that we didnt score more goals as Kanga had 2 penalties saved and we hit the woodwork a couple of times also!


--

UEFA Champions League Champions Path Playoff 2nd Leg
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Lineup
- Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic, Degenek, Pankov, Rodic, Sanogo, Ivanic, Falco, Kanga, Katai, Krstovic (Pavkov)

SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We reach the group stages of the Champions League!!! We surged into a 3 goal lead here and with that it should have been game over but they pulled 2 goals back and only needed one more to knock us out but thankfully we held on.

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SUMMARY

I am delighted with how this month went as we remain unbeaten this season and everything is turning out really well. In the league we won all 3 fixtures and have already opened up a sizeable 7pt gap at the top of the table so that is encouraging. In real life this season Red Star have won 30 and drew 2 of their league fixtures while not losing so I have some way to go to match that!

However it is in the Champions League where our concentration was really focused on. We narrowly defeated Ferencvaros over in Hungary to reach the playoffs and after drawing 1-1 with Molde in Norway we took them back to Belgrade and beat them 3-2 but it was a nervy one! As such we have been put in a group alongside Manchester City, Zenit St.Petersburg and Besiktas. I dont think we will qualify from the group but it certainly wasnt a nightmare draw. The finances involved to even just reaching this stage (just short of £14m) should set us up to really blow other teams out of the water domestically.
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Finally we were given a non league side in the Serbian Cup however I noticed that my B team, Graficar, are involved in the competition so in the future we could be drawn against each other but they are not allowed to play in the same division as us which seems a bit contradictory.

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PLAYER OF THE MONTH
FILIPPO FALCO
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SUPER LIGA
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OCTOBER

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Lineup
- Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic (Gobeljic), Pankov, Erakovic, Rodic, Sanogo*, Ivanic (N.Stankovic), Falco, Kanga, Katai, Krstovic (Bakayoko)

My 2 wingers - Falco and Katai - are certainly on form just now as they are scoring the bulk of our goals while my strikers are misfiring. Our opener was direct from a free-kick from distance and with that Falco has scored in our last 4 league games.


--

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Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic, Degenek (Erakovic), Pankov, Rodic, Sanogo, Petrovic (Nikolic), Falco, Kanga (Ivanic), Katai (Gavric), Krstovic (Pavkov*)

Spartak were 4th in the table so I expected a tough match but in the end we made it tough for ourselves! They didnt have a shot on goal but we couldnt break them down and Kanga missed another penalty in the first half however I made 5 subs all at once after an hour and it was Pavkov who headed us in front to get us the win and claim his 1st goal of the season.


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UEFA Champions League Group H
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Lineup
- Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic (Gobeljic), Degenek, Pankov, Rodic (Jevremovic), Sanogo, Petrovic, Falco, Kanga (Ivanic), Katai, Pavkov (Krstovic)

A decent point but we really should have won the match. A defensive error from Gajic allowed them to go in front but Katai levelled for us 10min later and he then had a goal disallowed. A draw gives us another £822,000 pounds in the bank though. It really is a game changer domestically.


--

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Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic, Degenek, Pankov*, Rodic, Nikolic, Petrovic (N.Stankovic), Srnic (Bakayoko), Ivanic, Gavric, Pavkov (Krstovic)

I am happy with this result as I was without Sanogo who was suspended while Falco, Kanga and Katai were unfit after playing so many games in such a short space of time.


--

UEFA Champions League Group H
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Lineup
- Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic, Degenek (Erakovic), Pankov*, Rodic, Sanogo, Petrovic (Nikolic), Falco (Bakayoko), Kanga (Ivanic), Katai (Srnic), Krstovic

A fantastic result. We took the lead when Krstovic broke his recent goalscoring drought but we were pegged back before half-time. It was a tight affair but Pankov headed us in front and we managed to hold on however they had a stupendous goal disallowed in stoppage time thankfully for us.

3pts and another £2.46m in the bank too!

--

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Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic, Pankov, Erakovic, Rodic, Sanogo, Petrovic*, Falco, Kanga (Ivanic), Katai, Krstovic (Lazetic)

What a late show we put on here! We took a 1st half lead through Petrovic but early in the 2nd half they levelled against the run of play and when Kanga missed a penalty to put us ahead I was worried however we rattled in 4 goals in the final 11min plus stoppage time to get us the points. 16y/o striker, Marko Lazetic, came off the bench to make his debut and he grabbed a goal.


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SUMMARY

We were excellent this month. On the domestic front we won all 4 games as expected however it was our European results that really stood out. We drew 1-1 at home to Zenit in a game we probably should have won but then followed that up by getting a tremendous 2-1 away victory over Besiktas. Those 2 results alone gives us an excellent chance to qualify from the group or at the very least have European football past Christmas be it in this competition or in the Europa League.

Due to all the Champions League finances the club now has £30.5m in its coffers which is almost double the amount than when I arrived at the club. The board therefor has raised my transfer budget up to £8m which is fairly sizeable for a Serbian club. I didnt spend any of it on transfer deadline day however.

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PLAYER OF THE MONTH
RADOVAN PANKOV
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SUPER LIGA
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NOVEMBER

UEFA Champions League Group H
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Lineup
- Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic, Degenek, Pankov, Rodic (Jevremovic), Sanogo, Petrovic (Ivanic), Falco (Bakayoko), Kanga (Nikolic), Srnic, Krstovic

Meh. My first defeat as manager but I am pleased with my players level of performance and we kept it respectable. Krstovic has scored 7 goals this season now and 6 have come in the Champions League and he also had one disallowed here.


--

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Lineup
- Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic, Pankov, Erakovic (Duric), Rodic, Sanogo, Petrovic, Falco (Srnic), Ivanic (Nikolic), Katai, Krstovic (Lazetic)

Disappointing. We fail to score for the 1st time this season but at least we got a point. They missed so many good chances as did we and we also ended the game with 10 men after Sanogo got sent-off. Could have been better but it also could have been much worse.


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Kup Srbije 1st Round
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Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gobeljic (Despotovski), Duric, Erakovic, Jevremovic, N.Stankovic, Nikolic (Bacanin), Bakayoko, Ivanic, Srnic, Pavkov*

I havent heard of 90% of our league opponents so there was no chance of me having heard of our non league opponents here. I played my backups and youngsters and they did a fine job.


--

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Lineup
- Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic (Gobeljic), Degenek, Erakovic, Rodic, Ivanic, Petrovic, Falco*, Kanga (Nikolic), Katai, Pavkov

A good victory with 4 goals scored but an issue is Kanga and his penalty taking. He missed another one here and out of 9 spot kicks he has only scored 3 of them this season which is just not good enough yet he has high attributes for being a penalty taker.


--

UEFA Champions League Group H
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Lineup
- Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic, Degenek, Pankov, Rodic (Jevremovic), Sanogo, Petrovic (Ivanic), Falco, Kanga, Srnic (Gavric), Krstovic*

WOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

WHAT A VICTORY!!!!!!

To beat Man City at home is some achievement but we fully deserved it. We fell behind early on but Krstovic quickly levelled and then Kanga scored with a stunning finish to have us ahead. We looked to see the game out but Aguero equalised for them however within a minute Krstovic netted again to give us the victory.

Krstovic really does love the Champions League it seems as it is now 8 of his 9 goals that have come in it.

--

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Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic (Pankov), Degenek, Erakovic, Rodic, Sanogo (Nikolic), Petrovic, Falco, Ivanic, Katai (Gavric*), Pavkov (Krstovic)

We have a habit of scoring late goals and we got another here to win this game through Gavric.

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SUMMARY

This month saw us play in the Serbian Cup for the first time and we won 3-0 with my backups which was nice. However it was our exploits in the Champions League that took my breath away. We lost 3-1 away to Man City but we competed very well and we did better than that in our next meeting as we beat them 3-2. That result means that we have 7pts and lie in 2nd place in the group. All we need is one positive result and we will have qualified for the knockout stages which would be astonishing.

In the league we have an 8pt lead at the top of the table. We did drop 2pts against Vojvodina which was disappointing but is understandable considering the efforts that my players put in against Man City just a few days earlier.

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PLAYER OF THE MONTH
NIKOLA KRSTOVIC
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SUPER LIGA
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DECEMBER

UEFA Champions League Group H
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Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic, Pankov, Erakovic (Duric), Rodic, Nikolic*, Petrovic (N.Stankovic), Falco, Ivanic (Bacanin), Katai (Gavric), Pavkov (Krstovic)

WE QUALIFY FOR THE KNOCKOUT STAGES!!!!!!

I am so happy with this result. I had meant to start my Champions League specialist, Krstovic, but I forgot to change my strikers but thankfully I wasnt left thinking "what if?". We got the winner in stoppage time when Nikolic thundered in a strike when we were actually down to 10 men as Bacanin broke his ankle and I had already made 5 subs.

If we beat Besiktas at home and Man City lose to Zenit we will win the group but that is extremely unlikely.


--

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Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic, Degenek, Erakovic, Rodic (Jevremovic), Sanogo, Petrovic (Nikolic) (N.Stankovic), Falco, Kanga*, Katai (Gavric), Krstovic

Metalac are bottom of the league and without a manager and we piled on the misery here with a comfortable victory.

--

UEFA Champions League Group H
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Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic, Pankov, Erakovic, Rodic (Jevremovic), Sanogo, Petrovic (N.Stankovic), Falco (Srnic), Ivanic, Katai (Gavric), Krstovic (Pavkov*)

We wrap up the group stages with a victory here thanks to yet another late goal - this time from Pavkov. Man City won though so we finish 2nd in the group which is still a fantastic achievement and in prize money alone for our results we have earned over £11m to date.

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--

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Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic, Degenek, Pankov*, Rodic, Sanogo, Petrovic (N.Stankovic), Falco (Bakayoko), Kanga (Ivanic), Gavric (Srnic), Pavkov (Krstovic)

We had to remain patient here as we battered our opponents and just couldnt find the goal - even when they went down to 10 men but eventually we broke through though Pavkov and Srnic settled it with a 2nd.

--

Kup Srbije 2nd Round
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Lineup
- Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic, Degenek, Pankov, Rodic (Jevremovic), Sanogo, Ivanic, Falco (Srnic), Kanga*, Katai, Pavkov

We reach the quarter-finals with this victory as 3 first half goals see us through. Kanga converted a penalty for a change which was nice!

--

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Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic, Degenek (Erakovic), Pankov, Rodic, Sanogo, Petrovic, Falco*, Ivanic (N.Stankovic), Gavric (Srnic), Pavkov

We end 2020 with a comfortable victory. Ivanic got us underway with an early penalty while Pankov and Pavkov scored after we were levelled to get us all 3 points.

--

SUMMARY

2020 ends and I have to say I am loving life in Belgrade! We went unbeaten this month and actually won all of our matches. Now that is no surprise domestically and we are now 10pts clear with a game in hand so there is not much else to say on that front.

In the Champions League however we defeated Zenit with a stoppage time winner and then went on to beat Besiktas to end the group with a tally of 13pts which is a phenomenal achievement. When the group was drawn I thought it would be tough but we would have a good chance of getting 3rd but to get the results that we did is unbelievable. We will not go any further however as Bayern Munich are our next opponents.

Also, and I have mentioned this already, the finances involved is really key to how we are going to improve. In all this season we have earned around £25m in Champions League revenue and considering our annual wage budget is £5.5m it goes to show that at the embryonic stage of this save we are onto a great thing. As a result of the money piling in the board have upped my transfer budget to £20m and while naturally that is most welcome I dont want to make too many changes in January.

Finally the youth intake preview came in and it is fair to say that I am excited! Golden generation did you say?
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PLAYER OF THE MONTH
MILAN PAVKOV
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--

SUPER LIGA
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JANUARY

Apparently in Serbia that you dont play any games in January! A winter break is one thing but to spend so long without a competitive fixture is new on me. We did play 5 friendlies however and did a little bit of transfer business.

I sold several players from my Graficar squad (who are winning the 2nd division) and also 1 first team player who hasnt played for me and I did sign a couple of players for Graficar on the cheap but the one bit of news is my only signing for the first team............

It was actually arranged in July when I came to the club as he wasnt old enough to join the club permanently then due to his age but he has now joined and will be my first choice striker. I paid a club and Serbian record £2.1m to bring in Matias Arezo from River Plate de Motevideo and he will surely be the best striker in the league. With Falcinelli being injured for the first half of the season and Krstovic and Pavkov coming in and out of the side I do hope that I have a striker that I can rely on.
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Signing Arezo is bad news for Erakovic however as due to the U21 player rules in Serbia it means that Pankov can play every week now so Erakovic will go back on the bench. Arezo does take up one of the 4 foreigners spots but that isnt an issue at the moment.
 
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FEBRUARY

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Lineup
- Milinlovic-Savic, Gobeljic, Degenek, Pankov, Rodic*, Sanogo, Petrovic, Srnic, Kanga, Katai, Arezo (Pavkov)

We return from our long break with a victory but with them being 2nd bottom of the league I would have expected a bigger winning margin. Arezo made his debut but he was disappointing in truth.

--

nepredak.png


Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gobeljic (Erakovic), Degenek*, Pankov, Rodic, Ivanic, Petrovic, Srnic (Bakayoko), Kanga, Katai, Arezo

Arezo's first goal for the club won the game for us here. It was a fine finish so I am pleased that he has got off the mark early on. We didnt play well though and arguably deserved a point.

--

novi.png


Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gobeljic, Degenek, Pankov, Rodic, Sanogo*, Petrovic (Ivanic), Srnic, Kanga, Katai, Arezo

Arezo strikes again as we beat Novi Pazar. He seems to have taken to life in Serbia well!

--

proleter.png


Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gobeljic, Degenek, Pankov, Rodic, Sanogo, Petrovic, Falco, Kanga, Katai*, Arezo (Krstovic)

2 early goals got us on our way here and made things comfortable for us. Katai scored a double in an impressive performance but Arezo struggled badly.


--

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Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gobeljic (Erakovic), Degenek, Pankov, Rodic, Sanogo (Nikolic), Petrovic, Falco (Srnic), Kanga (Ivanic), Katai, Arezo (Krstovic)

We werent at the races here and were fortunate to get a draw in truth. They were the better side and missed some great chances and the result brings to an end our 9 game winning run.


--

UEFA Champions League 1st Round 1st Leg
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Lineup
- Milinkovic-Savic, Gobeljic, Degenek, Pankov, Rodic (Jevremovic), Sanogo, Petrovic (Nikolic), Srnic (Ivanic), Kanga, Katai, Arezo (Falcinelli)

We were never likely to upset the odds here but I am still not happy to lose by 4. We missed a few chances ourselves and gifting them 2 penalties was a bit needless and very annoying.


--

indija.png


Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gobeljic, Degenek, Pankov, Rodic (Jevremovic), Nikolic, Petrovic, Srnic, Ivanic (N.Stankovic), Katai, Arezo*

After 50min I was spittting feathers as we were 2-0 down and playing hopelessly but we somehow managed to turn it around. Arezo scored a hat-trick to put us 3-2 up, Ivanic converted a penalty and then Petrovic scored a wonder goal moments after they went down to 10 men.


--

SUMMARY

There wasnt much swashbuckling football on offer this month as most of our games were tight apart from the last 2. We are still unbeaten in the league however and even a goalless draw at home to Partizan Belgrade in the derby didnt cut our lead at the top and it is now 19pts. We have drawn 3 games however so we are doing worse than the side in real life!!!

Not in the Champions League however as our run is almost at an end after we were trounced 4-0 at home to Bayern Munich. Hopefully we can keep it respectable in the 2nd leg and not lose to a cricket score.

The youth intake is next month with a promise of a golden generation coming through - excited!!!!!

--

PLAYER OF THE MONTH
ALEKSANDAR KATAI
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--

SUPER LIGA
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MARCH

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Lineup
- Milinkovic-Savic, Gobeljic (Gajic), Degenek, Pankov, Rodic*, Sanogo, Petrovic, Falco, Kanga (Nikolic), Katai (Ivanic), Arezo

The result and performance was decent enough here but the highlight for me was a penalty that they missed which was so wide it almost ended up at the corner flag! Never seen anything like it before! Javor sacked their manager immediately after this match.


--

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Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gobeljic, Degenek, Pankov, Rodic (Jevremovic), Sanogo, Petrovic, Falco*, Kanga (Ivanic), Katai, Arezo (Pavkov)

We go 23pts clear now in the league after this victory.

--

Kup Srbije Quarter-Final
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Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gobeljic (Gajic), Degenek, Pankov, Rodic, Sanogo, Ivanic (Nikolic), Falco, Kanga, Katai (Srnic), Arezo*

We reach the semis thanks to an Arezo double although we were a tad fortunate as we werent great and they had a goal disallowed also.


--

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Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic, Degenek, Erakovic, Rodic, Sanogo, Ivanic, Falco (Nikolic), Kanga*, Srnic, Arezo (Krstovic)

Kanga's late goal won us the match in which we dominated throughout. Arezo had a goal disallowed earlier in the 2nd half which was a shame. I only had 6 players on the bench here due to injuries and my U19 side having a match on the same day.


--

UEFA Champions League 1st Round 2nd Leg
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Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic (Gobeljic), Pankov, Erakovic, Rodic, Sanogo, Petrovic, Srnic (N.Stankovic), Ivanic, Katai (Nikolic), Arezo (Falcinelli)

Meh. I am pleased that we limited them to just 2 goals here as after losing 4-0 at home I feared the worst.


--

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Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic, Degenek (Pankov), Erakovic, Rodic (Jevremovic), Sanogo (N.Stankovic), Ivanic (Nikolic), Srnic, Kanga*, Katai, Arezo (Krstovic)

A stunning goal from Guelor Kanga spared our blushes here as we managed to ****** a draw. We then hit the woodwork twice so we could have won it but Macva deserved a point for sure.


--

SUMMARY

As expected our European run is over as we went to Munich and lost 2-0 fairly respectably to make it 6-0 on aggregate. It was a great run and financially was worth over £34m to us but alas after 12 matches we are out.

Back on the domestic front we will play Partizan Belgrade in the semis of the Serbian Cup after we narrowly beat Mladost but in the league while we are still unbeaten but we really struggled in some of the matches and I expected more goals and more attacking play from my players.

The golden generation of my youth intake was a joke tbh. I signed up a couple of players but nobody coming in is even good enough to trouble my first team squad as it is.

--

PLAYER OF THE MONTH
GUELOR KANGA
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--

SUPER LIGA
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Nice about Arezo transfer! Will you consider bringing Brenner if possible? Not sure if he would sign for Red Star.

Have your heard of Perez Tica and Abiel Osorio? I think they could fit well for Red Star. Nice season so far!
 
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APRIL

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Lineup
- Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic, Degenek, Pankov, Rodic, Sanogo, Petrovic (Nikolic), Srnic, Kanga, Katai (Ivanic), Arezo*

We are another step closer to winning the title with victory here. Arezo scored twice while Kanga has now scored in each of our last 3 league games.

--

0-0.png


Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic, Degenek (Erakovic), Pankov*, Rodic, Sanogo, Petrovic (Nikolic), Srnic (Falco), Kanga, Katai (Ivanic), Arezo (Pavkov)

****** **** this was an awful match. Katai hit the bar with a free-kick and had a 2nd half goal disallowed but this game was truly woeful.


--

vozdovac.png


Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic, Degenek, Pankov, Rodic, Sanogo, Petrovic, Falco (Srnic) (Ivanic), Kanga, Katai, Arezo*

CHAMPIONS!!!!!

We seal the clubs 4th title in a row with an entertaining victory over Vozdovac. Arezo scored twice to get him into double figures for the season, Kanga converted a penalty and Ivanic headed in a 4th in stoppage time. Falco and Srnic both went off injured though so that is a big blow.

--

Kup Srbije Semi-Final
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Lineup
- Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic (Gobeljic), Degenek (Erakovic), Pankov, Rodic, Sanogo, Petrovic (N.Stankovic), Katai, Kanga (Nikolic), Ivanic, Arezo (Falcinelli)

SHOCKING!!!!!

This was, by far and away, our worst performance of the season as we are dumped out of the Serbian Cup by our bitter rivals. We have failed to beat Partizan this season which is not good enough. This of course is our 1st defeat domestically this season.

--

vojvodina.png


Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic, Degenek, Pankov, Rodic, Sanogo, Petrovic, Katai (Nikolic), Kanga, Ivanic, Arezo*

We bounce back from our cup exit with a win here away to 2nd placed side Vojvodina. Arezo scored twice and despite him arriving in January he is now 2 goals behind my top scorer this season.


--

cukaricki.png


Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic, Degenek (Erakovic), Pankov, Rodic (Jevremovic), Nikolic, Petrovic, Katai, Kanga (Bakayoko*), Ivanic, Arezo

Axel Bakayoko came out of the cold to be our match winner here. He already has a move arranged for the summer to go back to France so it was impressive that he played so well when coming in from the cold so much.


--

SUMMARY

This month had its highs and lows for sure. We sealed the title with a 4-2 win over Vozdovac which was great. To win the title with 6 games left to play really does show our dominance however in our very next match we crashed out of the Serbian Cup with a 1-0 defeat against our rivals Partizan Belgrade which had me lower than a snakes belly.

That of course was our first defeat in Serbian football this season and we go into the final month with nothing to play for apart from wanting to remain undefeated in the league.

Congratulations to my B team, Graficar. They have won the 2nd divisionand currently have a 15pt lead at the top but alas they will not be allowed to get promotion.

--

PLAYER OF THE MONTH
MATIAS AREZO
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--

SUPER LIGA
APRIL.png
 
Nice about Arezo transfer! Will you consider bringing Brenner if possible? Not sure if he would sign for Red Star.

Have your heard of Perez Tica and Abiel Osorio? I think they could fit well for Red Star. Nice season so far!

Brenner signed for Cincinatti a couple of months back so that transfer is unlikely. The other 2 dont seem to be in the game in this save.

I will have to keep an eye on the amount of foreigners at the club so will probably just be signing Serbian players in the summer.
 
Brenner signed for Cincinatti a couple of months back so that transfer is unlikely. The other 2 dont seem to be in the game in this save.

I will have to keep an eye on the amount of foreigners at the club so will probably just be signing Serbian players in the summer.

Aha, that's the case. I think my database is 300k people. I'll share with you their profiles from 2023.

And regarding Brenner, in my save Cincinatti sold him for around 4.5M, just so you know.
 

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MAY

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Lineup
- Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic, Degenek, Pankov, Rodic, Sanogo, Petrovic, Katai, Kanga*, Ivanic (Gavric), Arezo (Falcinelli)

Our biggest win of the season and our best performance in the league by far as we hit relegated Backa for 6. Kanga got a hat-trick of penalties and he has now scored 9 out of 15 for the season - not a great record but getting back to respectability!


--

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Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic, Degenek, Pankov, Rodic, Nikolic (N.Stankovic), Petrovic, Katai, Kanga*, Ivanic (Gavric), Arezo (Falcinelli)

Another penalty for Kanga and more miraculously another goal for Degenek and he also had one disallowed too!!!!!!


--

RADNIK.png


Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic (Gobeljic), Degenek, Pankov, Rodic, Sanogo, Petrovic, Katai (Falco), Kanga*, Ivanic (Gavric), Arezo (Krstovic)

Guelor Kanga was the star of the show yet again as he ran the match. He put us in front in the 4th minute and has won the MOM award in our last 3 matches now. This win means we go over the 100pt mark which is pleasing.


--

napredak.png


Lineup - Milinkovic-Savic, Gajic, Degenek (Erakovic), Pankov, Rodic, Sanogo, Petrovic (N.Stankovic), Katai, Kanga (Falco), Ivanic, Arezo*

WE ARE THE INVINCIBLES!!!!!

A special way to end the season as we score 5 goals with Matias Arezo helping himself to 4 of them in an attempt to end the season as our top scorer but alas he was 1 goal short of Kanga's tally.

--

SUMMARY

We ended the season in great form! With nothing to play for apart from remaining unbeaten in the league all season we really turned it on. Backa were hit for 6 while Metalac and Rudnik were easily beaten before we ended the season by thrashing Napredak 5-0 so the ultimate goal was achieved. We also broke the 100pt mark but alas we didnt score 100 goals and were 6 short.

End of season post to follow.

--

PLAYER OF THE MONTH
GUELOR KANGA
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SEASON REVIEW

My first season was over and it was a cracker! We won the league title by going the entire campaign unbeaten and in the end we won it by 22pts! 33 wins and 5 draws, 94 goals scored it really was a cakewalk however I feel that we can do so much better. So many times we just scraped by in matches and the level of performance wasnt there so I expect better next season - I am a tough taskmaster!!!!!

We ended the season on fire however and were rattling in the goals so lets hope that that is a sign of things to come.

We didnt do the domestic double however as we were knocked out in the semis of the Serbian Cup by Partizan Belgrade as we put in an insipid performance and didnt deserve to go through. Partizan went on to beat relegated Javor 5-0 in the final so it was certainly a missed opportunity.

The Champions League however was much better! The board wanted us to reach the playoff for qualifying but we obliterated that by not only reaching the group stages but actually getting to the first knock-out round. KF Tirana, Sarajevo, Ferencvaros and Molde were beaten as we reached the group stage and that was when things got tasty.

We drew with Zenit before beating Besiktas away which was a great start. Man City beat us 3-1 but when we played them at home we put in our best performance of the season to defeat them 3-2 and then we went on to beat Zenit and Besiktas to finish comfortably in the group in 2nd place. Bayern Munich were our opponents in the next round and they swept us aside 4-0 and 2-0 over the 2 legs.

As I have mentioned before, the finances involved by us doing so well in the Champions League should allow us to blow everyone else out of the water domestically. We should be in a position to cherry pick the best youngsters (apart from Partizan players) and that bodes well for the future.

--

SUPER LIGA
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--

SQUAD
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Goalkeepers - I used 2 keepers this season. I signed Vanja Milinkovic-Savic and he played every game bar 2. He had a decent season and the £550,000 fee that I paid already looks like a steal. Aleksandar Stankovic played the 2 games that he missed and that was the opening 2 games of the league campaign.

Defenders - At RB I had Milan Gajic and he had a standout season and even forced his way into the Serbian national side. At LB Milan Rodic nailed down that spot and he only missed 1 game during the season.

I had 3 defenders that I used regularly. Due to the U21 rules for the first half of the season I played Erakovic and the youngster didnt let me down but my best 2 CBs were Degenek and Pankov and they both had strong campaigns.

None of my other defenders really got a run in the side apart from Gobeljic who played when Gajic was injured.

Midfielders - I had a nice blend in central midfield with Sekou Sanogo being the defensive minded ball winner and Njegos Petrovic being the creative influencer. Both had standout seasons although with 18 yellows and 1 red card Sanogo missed a fair few games due to suspension.

On the RW Filippo Falco started the season on fire before injuries hampered his 2nd half of the season. He scored 14 goals and assisted 14 so he was very influential. Aleksandar Katai mainly played on the left wing and he was decent enough with 13 goals and 16 assists but my best attacking midfielder was Guelor Kanga as he shone throughout the season with 21 goals and 10 assists. He could have had so many more goals though as he missed 6 penalties!

Ivanic came into the side regularly and his versatility was incredibly important to us while the likes of Srnic, Nikolic and Gavric all had a part to play during the season.

Forwards - At the start of the season I had in mind that my on loan Italian striker, Falcinelli, was going to be my main man but after scoring on the opening day of the season he suffered a serious injury and never really got back into the team. Pavkov and Krstovic shared the striker role in the first half of the season without being brilliant however Krstovic came to life in the Champions League with 8 goals!

Then in January I broke the Serbian transfer record to sign Matias Arezo for £2.1m. The 18y/o Uruguayan striker was immense and scored 20 goals in 23 appearances including a hat-trick against Indija and also 4 goals on the final day of the season. I expect big things from him next season!!!!

My Player of the Season
- Filippo Falco
My Young Player of the Season - Matias Arezo
Must Do Better - Veljko Nikolic
Donkey of the Season - Diego Falcinelli

--

SUMMER PLANS

With a transfer budget of over £20m we are in a strong position regarding recruitment. Nobody else will have even a 3rd of my budget so we have to make it count. With the 4 foreigners rule I will probably just stick to Serbian players and have 2 players lined up already. I dont know in which round that we will be entering the Champions League next season however the leagues reputation has went up 3 places to 16 and Serbia's co-efficient is up to 15 so Serbia will have 2 teams in the Champions League the season after next.

As for Red Star ourselves - we are now ranked as the 38th best club in Europe.​
 
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PRE-SEASON

Well I say it is the pre-season post but really we are still in the middle of the summer but our games start so early in Serbia and the game date is 17 July 2021. The Super Liga has a different look to it this season as it is now a 16 team league and from what I can figure out we play each team twice and then the league splits into 2 groups of 8 and you then play the other 7 teams once again to make it a 37 game season. Also I can only name 7 subs this season and use 3 so it is back to normal on that front.

Anyways I have been busy in the summer market and have broken the Serbian transfer record which was £2.1m another twice and so far in total I have paid out £9m in transfer fees and I have to say we are looking much stronger than last term. I have also sold £3.5m worth of players and I would like to get rid of a lot, lot more but it is difficult to offload players in Serbia it seems and my Graficar B team squad is ****** huge!!!!

We enter the Champions League a round further in this season (2nd qualifying round) and we have drawn against Ferencvaros who we beat last season. This time it is over 2 legs however but we should still progress. The board once again expect us to reach the playoff round but naturally I want the Group Stage.

I better introduce you to my new signings but first I will tell you who is leaving.

--

PLAYERS OUT

The biggest name so far is Aleksandar Katai who joined Chinese club Henan for an initial £1.8m. The 30y/o winger had a decent season last term but his contract was due to expire at the end of the season and he wouldnt sign a new deal so off he went. Another winger, Slavoljub Srnic, left to join Las Palmas (who Red Star signed him from!) for an initial £650,000 while Axel Bakayoko joined Caen for £550,000. Apart from some returning loan players that were moved on that is pretty much it!

--

PLAYERS IN

Now this is exciting.

Firstly I equalled (not including him in record transfers) the national transfer record by again paying £2.1m for a player. Milutin Vidosavljevic is his very long name and the 20y/o winger joined from Cukaricki. PSG were sniffing around the player and with Srnic leaving I needed another winger so it would have been total folly not to swoop for this lad. He is super quick and can still improve so I am expecting big things.
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On the same day I raised the transfer record up to £3m by signing Sporting Gijon striker Uros Durdevic. He will probably be backup to Arezo (which when he finds out he will not like) but he should score a ton in the Super Liga when given a chance. He did have a short spell at the club earlier in his career too but it was nice to bring a decent Serbian player back into the country.
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I then raised the transfer record by another million to sign Reims goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic for £4m. I didnt really need a new keeper as Milinkovic-Savic did well last term but I liked the look of Rajkovic and he is currently in the Serbia squad and is a small step up from VMS. He is my new vice captain and I think he will be my keeper for years to come.
rajkovic.png


Now for my 2 loan signings and they are both from the Premier League in England and both are Serbian players. Firstly to replace Katai I have brought in Filip Stevanovic from Manchester City. He is only 18y/o but he was great for Partizan Belgrade last season and it is a real coup to bring him in and I would love to take him permanently in the future.
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However my next loan signing exceeds even that deal! Marko Grujic has joined us from Liverpool with an option to sign him for £11.25m. I didnt need a CM at all but the chance to bring in a fairly big name in Serbian terms and a current international so cheaply was an opportunity I couldnt refuse. He should absolutely stroll the Super Liga and huge things are expected of him.
grujic.png


--

SQUAD

I normally want to make a point of promoting 1 or 2 youngsters each season but I havent been able to do that yet as I cant sell the players ahead of them! Srdan Babic has returned from his loan spell at Famalicao and he is the only other new face at the moment and he will provide cover at CB and LB.

Rajkovic is my new keeper and I may put Milinkovic-Savic in as my cup keeper as he is far too good for this level to just be a backup but at the same time for us to get to where we need to go my backups need to be at a higher level too!

The back 4 will remain the same but Grujic will probably replace Sanogo in midfield which is a bit harsh on the lad but needs must. Stevanovic comes in on the LW and Durdevic will battle it out with Arezo for the striker spot.

--

SEASON AIMS

Win the league by going unbeaten again! We set the standard last season so its the minimum requirement now and ultimately I want to have a 100% record eventually. Naturally I feel that we should be doing the domestic double so the Serbian Cup is a priority also and in the Champions League I want to reach the money spinning group stage. I dont expect us to repeat our heroics of last season but we shall see what happens.
 
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Ljupko Petrovic

Manager of the 1991 European Cup winning side, Petrovic is still managing today. He has had 3 spells as manager of Red Star Belgrade. He has managed in Croatia, Serbia, Spain, Uruguay, Greece, Austria, the U.A.E., China, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Rwanda and is currently in Vietnam!!!! He won 2 league titles, 1 Serbian Cup and of course the European Cup while in charge of Red Star.


--

JULY

novi.png


Lineup
- Rajkovic, Gajic, Erakovic, Pankov*, Rodic, Grujic (Sanogo), Petrovic, Falco, Kanga, Stevanovic (Vidosavljevic), Arezo (Durdevic)

A decent start to the season. Pankov got us off to a great start with a headed goal and then Arezo finished to make it 2. We didnt run away with it however and they pulled a goal back through a penalty but Vidosavljevic came off the bench to grab a goal on his debut to seal the points.


--

UEFA Champions League Champions Path 2nd Qualifying Round 1st Leg
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Lineup
- Rajkovic, Gajic, Erakovic, Pankov, Rodic (Jevremovic), Grujic, Petrovic*, Falco, Kanga, Stevanovic (Vidosavljevic), Arezo (Durdevic)

Not bad. Petrovic put us in front and we were looking comfortable and then Vidosavljevic came off the bench to score again with a beautiful chip over their keeper however they immediately pulled a goal back and almost equalised late on. We should still go through though.


--

proleter.png


Lineup - Rajkovic, Gobeljic, Erakovic, Pankov, Rodic, Grujic*, Petrovic (Ivanic), Falco, Kanga, Stevanovic (Vidosavljevic), Arezo (Durdevic)

Kanga was back to missing penalties here as he missed a first half pen but at least he had already scored. Arezo netted again while Falco grabbed his 1st of the season.


--

UEFA Champions League Champions Path 2nd Qualifying Round 2nd Leg
ferencvaros.png


Lineup
- Rajkovic, Gobeljic (Babic), Erakovic, Pankov, Rodic, Grujic, Petrovic, Falco (Vidosavljevic), Kanga (Ivanic), Stevanovic, Arezo*

A superb performance and Matias Arezo was unplayable as he scored a perfect hat-trick and also assisted a goal as he put in a near perfect performance as we hammered the Hungarian side. Stevanovic and Grujic scored their first goals for the club here too.


--

SUMMARY

We have had a strong start to the season. In the league we got two 3-1 victories so that was nice but really apart from remaining unbeaten our main focus was on the Champions League. We didnt let ourselves down there either as we beat Ferencvaros 2-1 away before thrashing them 6-2 at home!

Legia Warsaw are our next opponents and I would like to think that we would get through against them and that would set us up with a playoff tie if successful.

As for my new signings Grujic has started well, Vidosavljevic is already a supersub, Rajkovic has been solid but Arezo's form has kept Durdevic out of the side and Stevanovic struggled for the first couple of games before scoring in the 6-2 win over Ferencvaros.

--

PLAYER OF THE MONTH
MATIAS AREZO
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--

SUPER LIGA
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Good stuff as per usual but is the name of the Serbian league seriously the Linglong tire Super Liga?? Doesn't do much to its credibility I don't think.
 
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