FK Čukarički

Fudbalski klub Čukarički (Serbian Cyrillic: Фудбалски клуб Чукарички) is a Serbian professional football club from Belgrade, more precisely from the Čukarica municipality, that currently plays in the Serbian SuperLiga, the top tier of Serbian football.

Čukarički
Logo FK Čukarički.png
Full nameFudbalski klub Čukarički
Nickname(s)Čuka
Brđani (The Highlanders)
Founded4 July 1926; 94 years ago (1926-07-04) as Čukarički SK
GroundČukarički Stadium
Capacity4,070[1]
Owner and presidentDragan Obradović
Head CoachDušan Đorđević
LeagueSerbian SuperLiga
2019–20Serbian SuperLiga, 6th
WebsiteClub website

Founded in 1926, the club spent the first years of its existence in the amateur field.[2] In the days of Yugoslavia, Čukarički played predominantly in the lower divisions of the country.[2] The first notable achievements for the club were in the seasons of 1971–72 and 1993–94, when they reached the Yugoslav Second League respectively and then reaching for the first time ever in the club's history the national top tier of football the Yugoslav First League the first tier in the newly created Serbia/Montenegro, as well as for the first time in the club's history playing on the European stage in the UEFA Intertoto Cup 1996 and the UEFA Intertoto Cup 1997.[2]

On 17 April 2012, the club was bought by Dragan Obradović, the owner of the Serbian construction and wholesale company ADOC.[3][4] Since then Čukarički is the first ever professional football club in Serbia to have been privatized, and is also one of the first clubs in Southeast Europe which were ever bought.[3][4] Since been bought the club has become one of the most stable and organised clubs in Serbian football and have qualified for the Europa League regularly something that would have been impossible prior to the club been privatised.

The clubs best honours and achievements include winning the 2014–15 Serbian Cup, their highest league finishes have been third place two times in 2014–15, 2015–16 seasons.

The most famous players to represent the club include: Aleksandar Kolarov who would go on to become one of the world's best left backs of his generation and represent the national team of Serbia at two world cups, Milos Ninkovic, Milan Dudic, Goran Gavrancic, Albert Nadj, amongst many others.

HistoryEdit

Beginnings of Čukarički (1926–1942)Edit

The club had emerged from Čukarica, more precisely in the working-class neighborhood of the Belgrade municipality, which is located on the right bank of the Sava River.[2] The club was formed on 4 July 1926 during a meeting that took place in a restaurant named Majdan, where the club got its official name, ČSKČukarički sport klub, and the decision was made that the club colors should be black and white, a tradition which is still present.[2] The first president was Miloš Ilić, known as the first Serbian aviator respectively combat pilots of the 1st class, and by that time a reservist of the Yugoslav Royal Air Force.[2] The first players of the club were amateurs, which organized the pitch, made their own jerseys and nets.

ČSK started in the third league of the Belgrade League system, but in 1928 managed to promoted to the second Belgrade League, where the club was able to keep several seasons.[5] In the season 1931–32, ČSK became champion and thus played from the next season in the Belgrad B-League, which they gained finally in 1935.[5] So, the club celebrated its first decade of existence with championship success. During this first period of success, especially striker Aleksandar Petrović, called Pikavac, was one of the most important figures of the club.[5] Coming from Palilulac Belgrade in 1932, he played in ČSK until 1936, when he was transferred to SK Jugoslavija, one of the major national clubs.[5] As a member of the Yugoslav national team, he is remembered as one of the best dribblers of Kingdom of Yugoslavia.[5]

In 1936, ČSK entered to the Belgrade First A-League, which was one of the Yugoslav Second League´s at that time, but relegated after two years.[5] The generational change in the squad is considered to be the reason for such a bad season, but after only one year, the club was back and won immediately the championship.[5] However, in that season the club was merged with FK Istra, a move that was not supported by many members of the direction board, and much less among the players.[5] Because of this, local popularity fell and the vast majority of the players moved to neighbouring clubs Banovac, Makiš and Šećeranac.[5] This made a stagnation in the club and during the following seasons the club did not compete in any level until 1942.[5]

The club during the World War II (1942–1944)Edit

During World War II, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was invaded in April 1941 by the Axis powers and divided. Parts of Serbia fell to the Independent State of Croatia, the Kingdom of Hungary, or were under Nazi-Germany administration, among Belgrade, which was occupied by the Wehrmacht. Under difficult circumstances, it was permitted for certain clubs to play football, including ČSK. Already after the invasion, the club returned 1942 after six years of abstinence successfully in the competition and won the First Belgrade League, thus played next season in the Serbian League, the top national tier during the war. In the 1942–43 season the club finished 4th, a remarkable achievement because they finished in front of several favourites like Jedinstvo Belgrade or BASK.[6]

In that period there was a popular domestic tournament named Letnji Pehar (Summer Trophy), where the best clubs competed like BSK, SK 1903, Obilić Belgrade and so also ČSK. Finally, the club defeated SK Banovac in the quarter-finals (2–1, 0–1), but lost against SK 1903 in the semi-finals (0–2, 0–2).[citation needed] The 1943–44 Belgrade First League season was formed by 10 clubs however after 8 rounds it was interrupted with ČSK placed as 6th. By the end of the war the club did not play under its name, only restoring its name in 1948 as FK Čukarički, now part of the Čukarički Sports Association.[2][5]

From the subclass to the first league (1944–2003)Edit

 
Ex-national player Milan Dudić started his professional career at Čukarički and played from 1999 to 2002 for the club.

In 1948, playing in the Belgrade Second League, which was the 6th tier of the newly formed league system of the Socialist Yugoslavia, the club finished 4th. It was coached by Jovan Veselinović and the squad was formed mostly by experienced older players. In 1950–51 with an already renovated squad, it finishes third and qualified to the Belgrade First League where it also finished third achieving promotion to the 1953–54 Belgrade Podsavezna League, the national fourth tier, where they finished third, again. Led by the coach Žikica Spasojević and striker Petar Popović they archived the promotion to the 1954–55 Serbian League, the third tier.

In summer 1955, Vule Radosavljević was made the main coach, however the club ended the first half of the season at bottom. Radosavljević was replaced by Dragomir Kojadinović and there were also changes at club direction board which may have contributed to a comeback with the team finishing the season in 8th place. This earned them participation in the pley-off for the Yugoslav Second League, however they failed to qualify. In 1955–56, many players left the club, and led by coach Brana Aćimović they finished 2nd in the Belgrade Podsavezna League. 1956 is the year of the beginning of the fall as many important club players retired in that period.

Also, numerous club directions and coaches succeeded. So, the club played constantly in Belgrade leagues. Great achievement was brought on to the club ten years later in the 1966–67 season when they finished first in the Second Belgrade League and won the Belgrade Cup the same year.[2] They were promoted to the Serbian League where they were constantly on top.[2] So, these seasons, the club competed for promotion to the Yugoslav Second league, which he reached as a champion of the 1971–72 season. There, Čukarički held for several years, but did not succeed to promotion to the Yugoslav First League.[2]

In the early 1990s, the club played again in the third tier and between 1993 and 1995 in the second league of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.[2] In the 1994–95 season, the club managed finally for the first time in its history the promotion to the first league, where they played until 1998.[2] In the Yugoslav Cup in 1995, Čukarički came into the quarterfinals and also competed in the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 1996 and 1997.[2] Their biggest success during this period came in the 1999–00 season, when they finished 6th in the first league, in which 21 teams participated.[2] The club remained till 2003 in the first division.[2]

From insolvency to privatization (2003–present)Edit

 
Miloš Ninković, here as a player of Dynamo Kyiv, came from the youth school of the club and played three years as professional for Čukarički.

After four years in the first league, Čukarički relegate in 2003. Although succeeded in 2004 as champion of the group West the direct re-promotion, the club relegated again in 2005. Čukarički was renamed in the early 2000s, as the Serbian company Stankom dedicated as the main sponsor and funder. Therefore, the club was known for a long time under the name Čukarički Stankom. By the arrival of Stankom the club was stabilized. So, they improved the organization, increased the stadium capacity to 7,000 and also brought a better financial situation. In 2007, Čukarički finally reached the top division, the Serbian SuperLiga.

 
Aleksandar Kolarov, here in the jersey of Manchester City, played from 2003 to 2006 for the club and is regarded as the most famous player who ever played for Čukarički.

From August 2007 to December 2008, the former Bundesliga manager Dragoslav Stepanović coached the club. After seven defeats in a row and the time between last place in the 2008–09 season, he was relieved of his duties. At the end of the season, the team made the 9th place in the table under coach Dejan Đurđević and remained in the league.

The 2009–10 season ended for Čukarički with the 13th place and escaped with three points ahead of Napredak Kruševac barely the relegation. This happiness the team should does not have anymore in the 2010–11 season. The club could not win a single one of its thirty league matches and finished with just five points on the last place and relegated in the Serbian First League.[2]

Also in the Second League, Čukarički was not very successful. With 41 points they were equal on points with Banat Zrenjanin and Radnički Sombor. Because of the direct comparison between all three teams only Radnički Sombor had to join the 3rd league as 15th of the final table. The club was in a very difficult financial situation and was on the verge of bankruptcy, however, the year 2011 marked a turning point, as the construction and wholesale company ADOC, which operates in the pharmacy, diagnostics and construction industry, bought up Čukarički and immediately invested in the club, making Čukarički the first professional football club in Serbia, which was privatized, and also one of the few clubs in Southeast Europe, which are privately owned.[2][3][4]

Through the privatization, the financial and organizational situation of the club improved significantly, but also in the infrastructure and the squad has been invested.[3][4] In the 2012–13 season, the club then managed the runner-up of the second league and the return to the first league. In the following 2013–14 season, the upswing of the club continued, so Čukarički was able to secure a surprising 5th place in the league.

European recordEdit

MatchesEdit

Season Competition Round Club Home Away Aggregate
1996 UEFA Intertoto Cup Group 9   Spartak Trnava N/A 0–3 5th  
  FK Daugava 1–3 N/A
  Karlsruher SC N/A 0–3
  Universitatea Craiova 1–2 N/A
1997 UEFA Intertoto Cup Group 10   Groningen N/A 0–1 3rd  
  Gloria Bistrița 3–2 N/A
  Montpellier N/A 1–3
  Spartak Varna 3–0 N/A
2014–15 UEFA Europa League 1QR   Sant Julià 4–0 0–0 4–0  
2QR   Grödig 0–4 2–1 2–5  
2015–16 UEFA Europa League 1QR   Domžale 0–0 1–0 1–0  
2QR   Gabala 1–0 0–2 1–2  
2016–17 UEFA Europa League 1QR   Ordabasy 3–0 3–3 6–3  
2QR   Videoton 1–1 0–2 1–3  
2019–20 UEFA Europa League 1QR   Banants 3–0 5–0 8–0  
2QR   Molde 1–3 0–0 1–3  
Notes
  • 1QR: First qualifying round
  • 2QR: Second qualifying round

StadiumEdit

Čukarički Stadium, also known as Stadion na Banovom brdu, was inaugurated in 1969 and has an all-seated capacity of 4,070.[7]

The supporters are known as Brđani,[8] a colloquial name attributed to people from Belgrade residential area known as Banovo Brdo where the club offices and the stadium are located. The group was formed in 1991.[citation needed]

Honours and achievementsEdit

Current squadEdit

First teamEdit

As of 5 October 2020[9][10]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   SRB Nemanja Belić
2 DF   SRB Viktor Rogan
3 DF   SRB Nemanja Tošić
5 MF   SRB Marko Docić (captain)
6 DF   SRB Miladin Stevanović
7 FW   MNE Marko Rakonjac
10 FW   SRB Milutin Vidosavljević
11 MF   SRB Marko Šarić
12 GK   SRB Đorđe Petrović
14 MF   SRB Mitar Ergelaš
16 DF   SRB Dimitrije Kamenović
20 MF   MNE Asmir Kajević
21 DF   SRB Darko Puškarić
22 MF   SRB Srđan Mijailović
No. Pos. Nation Player
26 DF   SRB Uroš Drezgić
27 MF   BIH Milan Savić
30 DF   SRB Nikola Ćirković
40 DF   SRB Miloš Ostojić
50 MF   BIH Andrej Bosnić
55 MF   SRB Danilo Pantić (on loan from Chelsea)
65 DF   SRB Stefan Šapić
71 GK   SRB Andrej Kožul
72 FW   SEN Ibrahima N'Diaye
77 MF   BIH Stefan Kovač
86 MF   SRB Veljko Birmančević
88 MF   SRB Jovan Lukić
89 DF   SRB Slobodan Rubežić

Players with multiple nationalitiesEdit

Out on loanEdit

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
17 MF   MNE Bojica Nikčević (at Novi Pazar until the end of the 2020–21 season)

Notable playersEdit

This is a list of FK Čukarički players with senior national team appearances:[11]

Former managersEdit

Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsorsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Official club website: Stadion FK Čukarički
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Official club site of Čukarički:Istorijat kluba
  3. ^ a b c d [1] Archived 17 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine Mozzart Sport (Serbian): ČUKARIČKA BAJKA: Od ruševina do jedinog srpskog kluba bez dugovanja – June 15, 2013
  4. ^ a b c d Politika:Posle privatizacije Čukarički uz rame prvaku Archived 15 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "85 godina SD Cukaricki_za CIP". Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
  6. ^ Miroslav Milovanović: "Naš Plavi Bukvar" Archived 12 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine, pag. 85
  7. ^ Stadion at FK Čukarički official website, retrieved 30 September 2012
  8. ^ Klub at FK Čukarički official website, retrieved 30 September 2012
  9. ^ "First team". FK Čukarički official website. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  10. ^ "Licensed for the Serbian SuperLiga". superliga.rs. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  11. ^ FK Čukarički at National-Football-Teams.com

External linksEdit