Red Star goes to Yerevan, yet nobody wanted to come to Belgrade: 8 "home" games, stolen European cup
Red Star played all its games of the Champions League 1991-1992 season away from home. In addition, we remember some other, rather bitter moments when the club's rivals refused to play in Yugoslavia, i.e. Serbia
Red Star footballers will travel to Yerevan for the play-off Europa League qualifier against Ararat, a decision that has been welcomed by the Armenians. Red Star will thus do what many did not want to do when the situation was reversed, and when Serbia suffered.
This is an occasion to remember all the matches that took place in the history of the club from 1991 to 2000, when Red Star many times had to "host" its rivals in Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria or even Austria!
The 1991 European Super Cup evokes a particularly bitter memory. Red Star played away at Manchester United and lost 1-0, when even the famous Sir Alex Ferguson wondered how the English club managed to win.
Dejan Savicevic played a dream match, created dozens of occassions for Darko Pancev, but Red Star missed them all and there was no second chance. At the time, the Super Cup was played in two games, but the English refused to come to Belgrade because of the war, although Belgrade itself was not affected by war.
However, UEFA accepted the request of the English, and there was no rematch.
Already in the 1991-1992 season, when Red Star defended the title of the European champion, the club had to play all its matches abroad. Portadown and Apollon Limassol were defeated 4-0 and 3-1 in Szeged, Hungary, followed by games against Anderlecht, Sampdoria and Panathinaikos in other locations - the Belgians were defeated in Budapest 3-2, Panathinaikos in Sofia 1-0, while the fateful defeat by Sampdoria, 1-3, also took place in the capital of Bulgaria.
Sampdoria was at the time at the top of the group table under the new system of the competition, to reach the Champions League final, playing against Barcelona. Red Star footballers who wore the club's jersey in 1992, still regret the chance, believing that everything would have been different if Red Star had welcomed the then strong team of Sampdoria in Belgrade.
After that, Red Star played against Lyon in the 1998-1999 season in Romania and lost 1-2, experiencing a similar fate the following season against Montpellier, who won 0-1.
Previously, Metz came to Belgrade and Red Star progressed past them. Dalibor Skoric once vividly described the atmosphere.
"The games were played during a difficult time for our country. At that time, Serbs were branded with Western propaganda, and it was questionable whether we would welcome Metz in Belgrade at all. It was obvious that Metz players came out on the pitch scared. I will never forget the moment from the 15th minute when one of their footballers did not know which way to go in order to exit the pitch.
We scored two goals very quickly, Ognjenovic and Drulic were the scorers, and it seems to me that we missed a chance to win even more convincingly and avoid the drama in the return match. Metz was harmless, but we were unlucky to conceded a goal in the 90th minute. The defense had relaxed, and in that way we allowed them to have an active result before the return match," recalled Skoric, who was the goal scorer against Lyon in Bucharest.
However, the year 2000 will be remembered particularly for the glorious victory over Leicester.
The English had refused to play in Belgrade, although the match against Dynamo Kiev had already been played in the Serbian the capital without any problems. After the 1-1 in England, Leicester refused to come to Belgrade and bitterly regretted that during the game in Vienna.
Red Star fans came in large numbers, and with the Serb diaspora filling the stands in Austria, Leicester felt like they were playing in Belgrade. That is why the "guests" had to go back to England with two goals from Drulic and one from Gvozdenovic - the result was 3-1 for Red Star.
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