Dušan Bajević (Serbian Cyrillic: Душан Бајевић, pronounced [dǔʃan bǎjeʋitɕ]; Greek: Ντούσαν Μπάγεβιτς, Doúsan Báyevits; born 10 December 1948) is a Bosnian-Herzegovinian football manager and former player. Bajević was born in Mostar, SFR Yugoslavia.
|Date of birth||10 December 1948|
|Place of birth||Mostar, FPR Yugoslavia|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|2006–2007||Red Star Belgrade|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
- 1 Club career
- 2 International career
- 3 Managerial career
- 4 Managerial statistics
- 5 Administrative work
- 6 Honours
- 7 Other
- 8 References
Dušan "Duško" Bajević was the total player. He played almost 400 games for Velež where he scored 170 goals. His coach was Sulejman Rebac. He stayed in Velež from 1966–1977 before going to AEK Athens, where he won the Greek championship twice. He is one of the most controversial figures in the history of the club. He was a successful player, loved by AEK's fans who gave him the nickname "Prince" (Πρίγκηπας). He joined the team in 1977 along with other great players of the era and won two championships and one cup title. His combination with Thomas Mavros was one of the best in Europe and one of the club's most beloved scoring duo. He was also the league's top scorer during the season 1979–1980.
Bajević played for the Yugoslavia national football team in the 1974 FIFA World Cup where he scored three goals against Zaire. He scored 29 times and earend 37 caps for Yugoslavia during his international career (1970–1977).
After ending his football career in 1983 he took over as coach for Velež. He led the team to win the Kup Maršala Tita in 1986 by defeating Dinamo Zagreb 3–1 in the final. The next season Velež finished the league in second spot and Bajević went to Greece to coach AEK Athens. He is remembered as "The Prince of Neretva" and BMW (Bajević, Marić and Vladić). Bajević took the surname of his mother.
He took over AEK's head coaching position in 1988. During his first season in charge (1988–89), he managed to lead the team to an unexpected championship, delivering the league title to the club after a ten-year drought since he last won it as a player. He then went on to win three consecutive championships (1992, 1993, 1994), one Greek Super Cup (1989), one League Cup (1990), one Pre-Mediterranean Cup (1991) and one Greek Cup (1996).
The club also had several decent campaigns in Europe under his management. Namely, they reached the European Cup last 16 once (1990, and the Champions League last 16 twice (1993) and 1995), the Cup Winners' Cup last 16 once (1996) and the UEFA Cup last 16 once (1992).
In 1996, after eight glorious seasons at AEK, Bajević moved to Olympiacos, bringing great fan hostility upon himself from AEK supporters. While he was Olympiacos' manager, Olympiacos won their first championship in 1997 after ten sterile years, and became champions for three consecutive times. In 1999, Olympiacos won the Double and, for the first and only time in their history, reached the UEFA Champions League quarter finals.
In the 1996–97 season, Bajević led Olympiacos to the championship after 10 years, putting an end to the "stone years'. This season, the team ended the League with a 12 points difference from AEK Athens, and 20 points difference from Panathinaikos.
The next season, 1997–98, Olympiacos participated for first time in the UEFA Champions League ending with a 3rd place in the group. In the Alpha Ethniki, Bajević's team along with AEK and Panathinaikos were too close in the table, but finally Olympiacos made an important away win against Panathinaikos (0–2) and celebrated the second consecutive championship, with three points difference from Panathinaikos.
1998–99 was a very successful season. Olympiacos reached the UEFA Champions League quarter finals, losing to Juventus (1–2 loss in Italy and 1–1 in the Olympic Stadium). They also won the domestic double. In the league they ended with 10 points difference from AEK and 11 from Panathinaikos. In the Cup, Olympiacos won 2–0, beating rivals Panathinaikos.
The fans had great expectations for the 1999–00 season with the additions of Giovanni and Zlatko Zahovič to the squad, but Bajević's team only achieved a 3rd place in the Champions League group stage. The head coach was sacked on 11 November 1999, despite Olympiacos holding the top spot in the league at the time.
Bajević wasn't out of a job for long, moving north to the region of Macedonia and its capital Thessaloniki, where he had a decent spell at financially strapped PAOK. During his stay at the club, he won the Greek Cup in 2001 (after a near-thirty year wait) beating Οlympiakos 2–4 in Athens in a game in which his team delivered very high quality football.
AEK, second timeEdit
In the summer of 2002, Bajević returned to AEK. Fans were bitterly divided among those who accepted him and those who couldn't forgive his defection to Olympiacos. The latter made his life a living hell. In the 2002–03 Champions League, AEK became the first and only team to collect six ties out of six games in the group phase and ended up at third position. A notable match was the 3–3 draw against reigning European champions Real Madrid at the Nikos Goumas Stadium and another 2–2 draw against Real Madrid coming back from 2–0 down at the Bernabeu in Madrid.
Still, the antagonism with a section of AEK fans persisted. During a league match against Iraklis on 25 January 2004, Bajević decided he had enough abuse and with no prior warning left the bench and resigned while the game was still in first half.
Olympiacos, second timeEdit
In 2004, he returned to Olympiacos, where he won the double again. Also, his team got very close to the second round of the Champions League by collecting ten points, however the defeat against Liverpool F.C. with 3–1 in the last game stopped them not making it to the next round. Olympiacos went as far as the fourth round of the UEFA Cup. Despite these good results, he quit, mainly due to the pressure from Gate 7 fans who were not satisfied with the team's way of playing, although the majority of the fans were on his side.
Red Star BelgradeEdit
On 25 May 2006, Bajević became the coach of the former European Cup champion Red Star Belgrade. He was brought in by club president Dragan Stojković as a replacement to recently departed Walter Zenga, with the appointment generally welcomed by club's fans due to Bajević's glowing reputation as an experienced coach with plenty of success from the Greek league.
The expectations were also plentiful as Red Star, Serbia-Montenegro league champion, was getting ready to start Champions League qualifying. After easily progressing from the initial stage versus Irish champions Cork City, they were drawn against powerhouse AC Milan in the final qualifying round, putting up decent resistance en route to 1–3 aggregate loss. Despite the failure to get into the Champions League, many still took some positives from the Milan clash, however things were different when Bajević's squad got eliminated from the UEFA Cup in the first round by Slovan Liberec with embarrassing ease (1–4 on aggregate, including the 1–2 loss at home) thus failing to reach the group stage.
In contrast to European failures, the domestic league form was satisfactory with Bajević leading the team to top of the league with 14 points in spare at the winter break. However, the second part of the season began with an inexplicable dip in form. The slide continued and on 24 February 2007 Red Star lost 4–2 to eternal rivals FK Partizan. A few days later on 27 February 2007, angry fans made damage to Bajević's club-issued Toyota SUV by slaming a brick through its side window while the car was parked at the Markana stadium parking lot during Bajević's guest appearance on SOS kanal TV station.
The end of Bajević's stint with Red Star came in shocking fashion on 10 March 2007 during a league match versus FK Vojvodina. Red Star was down 0–2 at home, prompting the fans to start chanting "Dušan leave". Soon after the chant was picked up by the majority of the north stand where the club's most loyal supporters gather, Bajević decided to walk out on the team in the middle of the match, leaving the pitch in 70th minute. The match finished 0–3, shrinking Red Star's lead at the top of the table to only 6 points. Bajević's overall league record at the helm of Red Star during 2006–07 season was 14 league wins, 3 draws, and 3 losses.
On 7 September 2007, Bajević signed a 3-year contract with Aris Thessaloniki. During the 2007–08 season, when he was the head coach of Aris Thessaloniki, the team played superb football. Aris reached both a respectable 4th place in the Greek Super League and reached the Greek Cup final, where the team was beaten by Greek champions Olympiacos F.C. with the score of 2–0. On 1 July 2008, he decided to resign, allegedly because Aris president Labros Skordas demanded that he bench star defender Avraam Papadopoulos, after the latter rejected a contract extension.
In the UEFA Cup, Aris made excellent performances, eliminating Real Zaragoza and beating 3–0 Bajević's old club Red Star Belgrade at home. Although, draws with Bolton and SC Braga and a 6–0 away loss to Bayern at Munich ended the team's dreams for qualification.
After his resignation, he was immediately related with Panathinaikos, while there were reports that there was a contract to be pented by the side of Bajević. But he finally decided not to join the team, which eventually appointed Henk ten Cate. By the end of October, when the team of Panathinaikos was totally under-performing, and while ten Cate was on the verge of being sacked, the football manager of Panathinaikos, Kostas Antoniou was said to have asked once again Bajević to become the coach of the greens, but both sides rejected this relation.
AEK, third timeEdit
On 21 November 2008, Bajević made his second return to AEK together with two other former players of AEK, Stelios Manolas in the position of the technical director and Lysandros Georgamlis as assistant coach.
In his first interview since being re-appointed as the head coach of AEK, Bajević covered a range of issues including the squad he had inherited, his ambitions for the remainder of what has so far been a difficult season, the possibility of a return to the club's symbolic home ground—the Nikos Goumas Stadium at Nea Philadelphia—and about his well-documented relationship with the fans.
On a possible return of AEK returning to the Nikos Goumas Stadium, Bajević said: "It is my home because as a player and a manager I lived there", "I'm not the only one who wants a stadium at Nea Philadelphia – there are a lot of others who want it there." He then went on to discuss his relationship with the fans and Original 21, "I have said sorry to whoever I aggrieved and I say sorry again to everyone", "We can't afford to talk about it now though. We all love AEK. We need to forget the good and the bad and look forward".
His first game in charge was a 1–1 draw against OFI Crete in Crete on 23 November 2008. The first season in his third spell in-charge of "Dikefalos Aetos" brought ups and downs. AEK in the league, finished 4th, thus qualifying for the seasons annual play-offs in which AEK finished 2nd meaning qualification for next seasons Europa League. Bajević managed to get AEK to the Greek Cup Final where they came up short handed as they lost 16–15 on penalties to Olympiacos after the game finished 4–4 after extra time.
On 7 August 2010 Bajević faced one of his worst moments in football. A section of AEK fans physically assaulted him following a friendly-game loss against to second division side Kallithea F.C.. Bajević fell to the ground after being punched by the fans who surrounded the coach as he attempted to leave the pitch at the Gregoris Lambrakis Stadium following the 2–1 defeat.
It was feared that the incidents in Kallithea would lead to Bajević's resignation, but due to overwhelming support from AEK management, players, and the majority of AEK fans, Bajević was convinced to stay on with the club. The video of the attack caused a worldwide shock, with many foreign media sources commenting on the lack of progress in stamping-out hooliganism at Greek football matches.
Month-and-a-half later on 26 September 2010, Bajević resigned as head coach of AEK, following the 3–1 away defeat to Olympiakos Volou in the Greek Superleague.
AC Omonia NicosiaEdit
On 13 October 2010, Bajević signed a contract with Cyprus's club, AC Omonia Nicosia, following the resignation of its predecessor Takis Lemonis. The managerial crew was also consisted of two training assistants, assistant coach Lysandros Georgamlis and physical fitness coach Dimitris Mpourouzikas. The first game with Bajević sitting on the club's bench was scheduled on Monday, 18 October against Olympiakos Nicosia.
Return to GreeceEdit
On 2 June 2012, Bajević agreed on a 2-year contract with Greek Cup finalist Atromitos. He came to replace Giorgos Donis who resigned some days before. The Bosnian coach returned to Greece after 1.5-year in order to manage the 5th Greek club in his career.
He resigned his post on 22 December 2012 following the third round elimination in the Greek Cup to second-tier Olympiakos Volou that progressed on away goals following the injury time equalizer by Añete. In the league, Atromitos was holding the 4th spot after 15 matches.
- As of 22 December 2012
Football Federation of BiH: 2011–2012Edit
On 1 April 2011, after the Football Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina was suspended for two months from all international competitions by FIFA and UEFA, Bajević became part of its "normalization committee", an interim committee created to run the Bosnian Football Federation, and whose main purpose was to have the Federation approve the changes required by FIFA for the suspension to be lifted.
- Yugoslav First League Top Goalscorer: 1969–70
- Yugoslav Footballer of the Year: 1972
- Greek Superleague Top Goalscorer: 1979–80
- Greek Championship: 1988–89, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1993–94
- Greek Cup: 1995–96
- Greek League Cup: 1989–90
- Greek Super Cup: 1989
On 10 September 2008, Dušan Bajević received the Sport Association of the City of Mostar Award for his contribution in popularization and development of football and sport in general in his town.
- IFFHS. Iffhs.de. Retrieved on 3 January 2011.
- Bajeviću razbijen terenac; Nezavisne novine, 27 February 2007
- Red Star's lustre fading fast as Bajevic snaps again;Jonathan Wilson's Blog @ guardian.co.uk, 14 March 2007
- "Profile in Aris official website". Retrieved 31 March 2018.
- Bajevic returns to AEK Archived 14 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- "AEK turn to familiar face Bajević". Retrieved 31 March 2018.
- AEK Athens coach Bajevic attacked by fans Archived 26 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine; Reuters, 7 August 2010
- on YouTube; 7 August 2010
- AEK coach Bajevic attacked by fans. FourFourTwo. Retrieved on 3 January 2011.
- "Bajevic to lead Omonia". Archived from the original on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
- Ostavka Bajevića u Atromitosu;B92, 22 December 2012
- "Barbarez: Moramo iskoristiti pruženu priliku". Retrieved 31 March 2018.
- "FIFA Names Ivica Osim Head of Bosnian Football :: Balkan Insight". Retrieved 18 April 2011.
- "Priznanje Princu sa Neretve". sportsport.ba (in Bosnian). 10 September 2008. Retrieved 20 March 2013.