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Omladinski fudbalski klub Beograd (Serbian Cyrillic: Омладински фудбалски клуб Београд, English: Belgrade Youth Football Club), commonly known as OFK Beograd, is a Serbian professional football club based in Belgrade. It is one of the oldest football clubs in Serbia, currently competing in Serbia's third tier. The club is one of the most respected due to numerous players of high quality coming through its youth ranks through the years. OFK Beograd is part of the OSD Beograd sport society.

OFK Beograd
OFK Beograd.svg
Full nameOmladinski fudbalski klub Beograd
Nickname(s)Romantičari (The Romantics)
Founded1 September 1911; 107 years ago (1911-09-01)
GroundOmladinski stadion, Belgrade
Capacity15,000
ChairmanIlija Petković
Head coachUroš Kalinić
LeagueSerbian League Belgrade
2017–18Serbian League Belgrade, 2nd
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Contents

HistoryEdit

The beginningEdit

The club was founded in 1911 as Beogradski sport klub (BSK) (Serbian Cyrillic: Београдски спорт клуб (БСК)) was one of the most prominent football clubs in Kingdom of Serbia and later Kingdom of Yugoslavia. It was also the most successful club between 1923 and 1941, with five national champion titles. BSK played its first game on 13 October 1911 against Šumadija from Kragujevac and won 8–1.

In 1945, after the World War II, club was reestablished under the name Metalac by its former members. This club carried the name until 1950, when it was once again renamed into BSK, but in the 1957, the name was altered into OFK (Serbian Latin: Omladinski fudbalski klub; English: YFC – Youth Football Club) Belgrade.

The golden eraEdit

A two decade long "Golden Era" began when the club won the Yugoslav Cup in 1953. Three other Yugoslav Cup wins followed, in 1955 and the 1961–62 and 1965–66 seasons. The club was the Yugoslav First League runner-up twice, in 1954–55 and in 1965–66. In the meantime, the club had changed its name once again. In 1957, the club was named OFK Beograd, once again in an attempt to attract spectators to the stadium, especially younger ones who often opted for either Red Star or Partizan. In that time, the players played attractive and lovely football and therefore got the nickname of "Romantičari".

The 1960s and the first half of the 1970s were years of European glory. OFK Beograd had participated eight times in European competitions. Their biggest success came in the 1962–63 European Cup Winners' Cup season, playing in the semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur, eventual champions. In the following ten years, teams such as Napoli, Feyenoord, Panathinaikos, and Juventus also lost to OFK Beograd.

The silent fallEdit

The Romantičari were not able to take advantage of their success on the domestic and European scene. After several successful seasons, a sudden fall occurred. During the 1980s, the club has often been changing leagues, from the First Division to the Second.

Modern timesEdit

In the summer of 2003, they were back in European competition. They played in the UEFA Intertoto Cup. OFK defeated Estonian side Narva Trans at home by the score of 6–1, but UEFA cancelled the result because of a smoke bomb being thrown on the field during the game. Consequently, only the second leg result would count. OFK Beograd won in Tallinn with a score of 5–3. They were eliminated in the second round by Czech club 1. FC Slovácko, with a score of 4–3.

The club was back on the European stage in 2004. They started playing in the second round of the Intertoto Cup and eliminated Dinaburg. In the third round, OFK went on to play against Tampere United. OFK Beograd defeated their Finnish opponents and went on to play in the semifinals. They were eliminated by Atlético Madrid losing the first leg 1–3 at home with Aleksandar Simić scoring for OFK and Fernando Torres, Diego Simeone and Ariel Ibagaza scoring for Atlético, losing the second leg 2–0 in Madrid meant OFK were eliminated 1–5 on aggregate. Even though OFK were eliminated it was seen as an honour and a return to the club's glory days to have a European powerhouse such as Atlético play at Omladinski stadion with world class talents such as Torres and Simeone.

In 2005, the club entered the UEFA Cup in the second round of qualifying losing to Lokomotiv Plovdiv on the away goals rule. In 2006, the club faced French side Auxerre in the UEFA Cup. In the first game, in Belgrade, OFK defeated their opponents by the score of 1–0 a goal from centre-back Miloš Bajalica in the 31st minute of play proving the difference, a great result considering Auxerre was then one of France's strongest clubs. In the second game OFK Beograd lost 5–1 with the result standing at 2–1 for Auxerre with ten minutes to play, a result which would see OFK Beograd eliminate Auxerre. However, the young OFK team capitulated in the last ten minutes of play conceding three goals and were eliminated 5–2 on aggregate. In the 2010 Europa League, OFK beat Torpedo Zhodino of Belarus 3–2[1][2] on aggregate and went on to play Galatasaray where they lost 7–3 on aggregate, coming back from two-nil down to draw 2–2 with late goals been scored by Miloš Krstić and Nenad Injac in Turkey against Galatasaray but ultimately losing the second leg 1–5 at home with Danilo Nikolić scoring the only goal for OFK.

OFK Beograd were relegated from the Serbian SuperLiga after finishing fifteenth in the 2015–16 season. The next season saw relegation from the 2016–17 Serbian First League after finishing bottom of the table. The club played in the Serbian League Belgrade in the 2017–18 season (their first season in the Serbian third tier), finishing in second place behind Žarkovo who were promoted to the Serbian second tier.

In November 2018 the "Klub prijatelja OFK Beograda" was formed (trans. "Club of Friends of OFK Beograd") with the goal of saving the club from becoming extinct and helping the club through its most difficult times. The KPO is made up of loyal fans who want to see OFK return to its former glories competing at the very top of the first tier of Serbian football.

Honours and achievementsEdit

DomesticEdit

National Championships – 5

National Cups – 5

InternationalEdit

OtherEdit

  • People's Republic of Serbia League (Belgrade championship):
    • Winners (1): 1945

European competitionsEdit

Before UEFA was founded (in 1954), OFK Beograd, under the name of Beogradski Sport Klub (BSK), participated in Mitropa Cup, the first really international European football competition. The club competed for five seasons without a big success, usually stopped by teams from Hungary, the major football power at the time. In UEFA competitions, OFK Beograd played 16 seasons, the biggest success being reaching the semifinals of the 1962–63 European Cup Winners' Cup.

UEFA competitions summaryEdit

OFK Beograd Seasons P W D L F A Match Pts%W Ties P Ties W Ties L Ties %W
Representing Serbia   2 4 2 0 2 4 8 50.00 2 - 2 -
Representing Yugoslavia   8 38 14 7 17 64 69 46.05 18 10 8 55.56
Total 10 42 16 7 19 68 76 46.43 20 10 10 50.00

Youth systemEdit

 
Branislav Ivanović honed his skills at OFK Beograd

OFK Beograd's youth system has a reputation as one of the best in the history of Serbian football. In its 107 years of existence, it produced and promoted hundreds of players who played not just for the club, but for the national team as well. Among these players are the likes of Josip Skoblar, Spasoje Samardžić, Ilija Petković, Slobodan Santrač, Dragoslav Stepanović, Mitar Mrkela, Saša Ćurčić, Duško Tošić, Branislav Ivanović, Aleksandar Kolarov, and many others.

Since OFK Beograd's existence, attention was always turned to the younger categories of players. Recently, the club has built a new private training center, comprising eight playing fields along with training equipment with the newest technology.

A youth school was created with 150 players born between 1996 and 1999. There are also seven competitive teams for which more than 170 players are playing. The youth system compromises around 20 highly qualified coaches who are all specialized in certain areas of the game. Most of the coaches are former players who spent years at the club and who also went through the same youth system. Several physios are also present and are equipped with the newest technology for their work.

RivalsEdit

OFK's biggest rivals are FK Rad from the Belgrade suburb of Banjica. It is known as the small Belgrade derby. In the mid 2000s in a game between the two clubs in the last game of the season OFK scored a last minute equalizer against Rad meaning Rad were relegated for the first time in almost twenty-five years. In the following season when OFK were playing in the Intertoto Cup Rad fans threw a number of flares from outside the stadium forcing UEFA to award the game 3–0 against OFK even though OFK won the game 6–1 against Estonian club Narva Trans.

Other rivals to a much lesser degree include Partizan and Red Star Belgrade.

SupportersEdit

OFK Beograd's fans are commonly known as Plava Unija (The Blue Union) since 1994. When Beogradski Sportski Klub (BSK) was founded in 1911, the club which dominated the fields of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes developed a significant fan base. Throughout the several wars that took place since the founding of BSK, the club's turbulent history has produced adverse effects on the average attendance of today's matches in which OFK Beograd plays.

An organized group appeared for the first time in 1984 under the name of "Blue Thunders". The group lived under that name until 1990. When they were influenced by the rise of nationalism in Yugoslavia, they change their name to "Sokolovi" (The Falcons). The group officially collapsed in 1993 about a year after UN sanctions were put on FR Yugoslavia. The fans' love towards the club was certainly not forgotten and in 1994 a new group is founded – Blue Union Belgrade. The name remains the title of OFK Beograd's main group of ultras.

OFK Beograd's fans have been known to be resistant of past regimes. In the 1990s, Milicionar, a pro-regime police-backed team, entered the first division. When OFK Beograd first played against them, the OFK fans reacted with creation of a banner which bore the message "Goal Against the Regime." Among other things, members of Plava Unija also reinstated the old ex-Yugoslav firms habit of finding local home crews when our team was on away matches, no matter which Serbian town or city was in question.

Plava Unija fostered a friendship with Voždovac's fans, "Invalidi" while the club still played in Yugoslavia's second tier from 1996 to 1998. That friendship still remains to this day. OFK Beograd is also known to be supported by fans of Dynamo Moscow.[3]

Team kitsEdit

The Official team kit is currently produced by Spanish sports apparel company Joma.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Goalkeeper

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

As of 24 October 2018

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

No. Position Player
1   GK Miloš Čupić
3   MF Vasilije Đurić
5   DF Sreten Smiljanić
7   FW Aleksa Denković
8   MF Aleksa Veličković
10   FW Uroš Milovanović
12   GK Ilija Petrović
13   DF Miloš Zlatković
15   MF Nikola Stojanović
18   MF Aleksandar Petrović
21   FW Luka Đokić
24   DF Nikola Ignjatović
28   DF Aleksandar Tasić
No. Position Player
29   GK Goran Vukliš
30   FW Bogdan Radojković
31   DF Dimitrije Tvrdišić
33   FW Nemanja Ratković
36   MF Marko Batinica
45   GK Vukašin Vraneš
66   DF Nemanja Trajković
––   DF Zlatko Iličić
––   DF Mile Šarenac
––   FW Stefan Paranos
—–   DF Marko Milutinović
––   MF Neil Frendo
––   DF Zak Grech

Notable former playersEdit

To appear in this section a player must have played at least one international match for their national team at any time.

For the list of current and former players with Wikipedia article, please see: Category:OFK Beograd players.

Coaching historyEdit

Shirt sponsors and manufacturersEdit

Period Kit Manufacturer Shirt Sponsor
2006–2010 Joma Citroën
2010–2011 Jako Arena Sport
2011 None
2012 FOX
2012–2013 Onze
2014–present DDOR

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ OFK Beograd – Torpedo Zhodino : 2–2 Match report from Scorespro.com
  2. ^ Torpedo Zhodino – OFK Beograd : 0–1 Match report from Scorespro.com
  3. ^ Moscow fan club OFK Beograd official website (in Russian)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i BSK Beograd at exyufudbal.in.rs, retrieved 29-11-2015
  5. ^ Sándor Nemes, also named Alex Neufeld was often named Antal Nemes in Yugoslav press
  6. ^ IFFHS match report BSK-Ujpest (1939)
  7. ^ Mészáros István profile at magyarfutball.hu
  8. ^ Svetozar Popović profile at nogomet.lzmk.hr

External linksEdit