Dušan "Duško" Bajević (Serbian Cyrillic: Душан Бајевић, pronounced [dǔʃan bǎjeʋitɕ]; Greek: Ντούσαν Μπάγεβιτς, Doúsan Báyevits; born 10 December 1948) is a Bosnian professional football manager and former player.
|Full name||Dušan Bajević|
|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|
|2019–2020||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
He spent almost all of his career at hometown club Velež Mostar for who he played almost 400 games and scored 170 goals. He also played with AEK Athens where he won the Alpha Ethniki two times and the Greek Cup once.
As a manager, Bajević has also had success, winning one Yugoslav Cup with Velež, four Greek league titles, one Greek Cup, one Greek League Cup and one Greek Super Cup with AEK Athens, then four Greek league titles and two Greek Cups with Olympiacos and one Greek Cup with PAOK.
Bajević was the total player. He played almost 400 games for local club Velež Mostar where he scored 170 goals. His coach was Sulejman Rebac. Bajević is also remembered for being the part of the Velež three known as the "Mostar BMV" (Bajević, Marić and Vladić) during the 1960s, 70s and 80s. He stayed in Velež from 1966 to 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. Bajević 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. Bajević was also the league's top scorer during the 1979–80 season.
He came back to Velež in 1981 and stayed to 1983 before retiring. During his career, He was together with Slobodan Santrač the best goalscorer in the 1969–70 Yugoslav First League season, scoring 20 goals. Bajević is remembered as "The Prince of Neretva" and was part of the Velež three known as the "Mostar BMV" (Bajević, Marić and Vladić) during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
Bajević played for the Yugoslavia national team in the 1974 FIFA World Cup where he scored three goals against Zaire. He scored 29 times and earned 37 caps for Yugoslavia during his international career which lasted from 1970 to 1977.
After ending his football career in 1983, Bajević took over the role as manager of Velež. He led the team to win the Yugoslav Cup 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 manage AEK Athens.
He took over AEK's managing position in 1988. During his first season in charge (1988–89), he guided the team to an unexpected championship after a ten-year drought, when he 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, reaching the last 16 in the following competitions: the European Cup (1990); the UEFA Cup (1992); the Champions League (1993) and (1995); and the Cup Winners' Cup (1996).
In 1996, after eight successful seasons at AEK, Bajević moved to Olympiacos, bringing great hostility upon himself from the AEK supporters. Under Bajević Olympiacos won their first championship in 1997 after ten sterile years, finishing 12 points ahead of AEK Athens and 20 points ahead of Panathinaikos. Also in 1997–98, Olympiacos participated for first time in the UEFA Champions League, finishing third in the group. In 1998 they were champions again after an important away win against Panathinaikos (0–2), finishing three points ahead of Panathinaikos. In 1999, they won the Double: in the league they ended 10 points ahead of AEK and 11 ahead of Panathinaikos; in the Cup, Olympiacos beat Panathinaikos 2-0. And, for the first and only time in their history, they reached the UEFA Champions League quarter finals that year, losing to Juventus 1–2 in Italy and drawing 1–1 at the Olympic Stadium).
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 soon moved north to Thessaloniki, the capital of Macedonia, 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. 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 after 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 the 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, but a 3-1 defeat against Liverpool F.C. in the last game eliminated them. Olympiacos went as far as the fourth round of the UEFA Cup. Despite these good results he resigned, 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, brought in by club president Dragan Stojković as replacement for the recently departed Walter Zenga. The club's fans were optimistic about the appointment due to Bajević's reputation as an experienced coach with a good record in Greece.
As the Serbia-Montenegro league champion, Red Star began its European campaign in the Champions League qualifying. After easily disposing of Irish champions Cork City in the opening round, the next qualifying round saw them drawn against powerhouse AC Milan, losing 1–3 on aggregate. Despite the defeat, many took some positives from the Milan clash. However, things were different when Slovan Liberec eliminated Red Star from the UEFA Cup first round by an embarrassing 1–4 aggregate score, including a 1–2 loss at home.
In contrast to European failures, the domestic form was satisfactory, as Red Star sat top of the league with 14 points to spare at the winter break. With the league restart, however, a 4-2 home loss on 24 February 2007 to eternal rival FK Partizan was followed on 27 February 2007 by an incident that saw angry fans smash the side window of Bajević's club-issued Toyota SUV with a brick while the vehicle was parked at the Marakana stadium parking lot during Bajević's guest appearance on the 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 of progressing from the group stage.
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 two-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 a year and a half in order to manage the fifth 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.
Bosnia and HerzegovinaEdit
On 21 December 2019, Bajević was named new head coach of the Bosnia and Herzegovina national team, with a contract until the end of UEFA Euro 2020 should he qualify through the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying play-offs before that. He extended his contract with the Bosnia and Herzegovina FA on 22 April 2020.
In his first game as head coach, Bajević's Bosnia made a good result after drawing against Italy in a 2020–21 UEFA Nations League A match on 4 September 2020. He suffered his first loss three days later, on 7 September, in another UEFA Nations League A match, this time against Poland. Bajević failed to qualify Bosnia for UEFA Euro 2020 after losing in a penalty shoot-out against Northern Ireland in the play-off semi finals on 8 October 2020. His contract ended following Bosnia's exit from the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League A.
Football Federation of BiH: 2011–2012Edit
On 1 April 2011, after the Football Association 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.
- As of 18 November 2020
|Velež Mostar||1 July 1983||30 June 1987||152||66||42||44||43.42|
|AEK Athens||1 July 1988||26 June 1996||372||217||77||78||58.33|
|Olympiacos||26 June 1996||10 November 1999||157||113||22||22||71.97|
|PAOK||1 January 2000||8 May 2002||117||63||28||26||53.85|
|AEK Athens||20 May 2002||25 January 2004||82||45||23||14||54.88|
|Olympiacos||1 July 2004||30 June 2005||51||31||10||10||60.78|
|Red Star Belgrade||1 July 2006||10 March 2007||28||18||3||7||64.29|
|Aris Thessaloniki||7 September 2007||30 June 2008||49||22||13||14||44.90|
|AEK Athens||21 November 2008||27 September 2010||84||39||23||22||46.43|
|Omonia||13 October 2010||14 April 2011||29||18||8||3||62.07|
|Atromitos||2 June 2012||23 December 2012||19||6||10||3||31.58|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||21 December 2019||18 November 2020||8||0||2||6||0.00|
- Yugoslav First League Top Goalscorer: 1969–70 (20 goals)
- Alpha Ethniki Top Goalscorer: 1979–80 (25 goals)
- Greek Cup Top Goalscorer: 1977–78, 1978–79
- Brazil Independence Cup 1972 Top Goalscorer
- Alpha Ethniki: 1988–89, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1993–94
- Greek Cup: 1995–96
- Greek League Cup: 1989–90
- Greek Super Cup: 1989
Bajević is famous for his nickname "Princ sa Neretve". On 10 September 2008, he 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 city. On 20 February 2019, Bajević was awarded the 2018 Bosnia and Herzegovina Award for sports for his contribution in popularization and development of football in Bosnia and Herzegovina over the past years.
- IFFHS. Iffhs.de. Retrieved on 3 January 2011.
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- Bajevic returns to AEK Archived 14 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- "AEK turn to familiar face Bajević". Retrieved 31 March 2018.
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- on YouTube; 7 August 2010
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- "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.
- K.H. (20 February 2019). "Dušanu Bajeviću uručena Državna nagrada za sport u 2018. godini" (in Bosnian). Klix.ba. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dušan Bajević.|
- Dušan Bajević at Soccerway