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The Red Journey

A story where take a club from one of Europe's lower leagues to make them a worldwide force to be reckoned with!
Started on 8 April 2014 by TVDLC123
Latest Reply on 11 July 2014 by Justice
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you got a helluva team there
To qualify from that group is quite the effort!! You really are in tremendous form!
@Josh - Thanks, it was hard, but we got there :)
@Bosola - Yeah, the squad is really young as well, so its only going to get better.
@Walter - It wasn't easy, but I'm quite proud, especially comparing our squad strength and depth to the others in our group.

November/December Monthly Review Part 2


A great period for Red Star, both in terms of their results, and the importance of those results. They started off the month with a harsh loss in Wales, but bounced back very well from that, to get two great results in the league. First came the 3-1 victory against Cukaricki, before they travelled to play Sumadija, who they beat 4-0. Finally, they played AS Saint-Etienne at home in a crucial match, which they managed to win. In this period, of the 10 goals scored, 9 of them came from Ifeanyi Onyilo or Filip Kasalica, Red Star’s two outstanding strikers.

League/European Table

Red Star are continuing to be relentless in the league, as they reach the halfway mark in terms of the amount of games they have to play. At this stage, they are well ahead of 2nd place Vojvodina, with 8 points separating them, as well as a +16 better goal difference. Partizan have continued to struggle, and are basically out of the title race. Due to their poor showing, they sacked their manager, Vuk Rasovic, as they look to finish in one of the lowest positions of their recent history. At the bottom of the table, Donji and OFK Beograd are in the relegation zone, and both will need to improve if they are to stay in with a chance of surviving. In the Europa League, Red Star have pulled off the shock of the competition, making it through to the knockout rounds, finishing in 2nd position, in their so called ‘Group of Death’, at the expense of Swansea and Saint-Etienne, who they beat on the final match day to progress.


As per usual, Filip Kasalica still heads the top goalscorer list with 13 goals, but he is quickly being caught by teammate, Ifeanyi Onyilo, who is now on 7. In terms of assists, it is now led by Radnicki player Stranhinja Petrovic, who is one ahead of Red Star player Milos Ninkovic. Kasalica still heads the list for the players average rating, with rightback Marko Vesovic, who had to play a more advanced role this month in the league due to fitness and injury, dropping to 3rd place. In the Europa League, Red Star players are doing well also. Kasalica is top of the goalscorers list, 2 ahead of Spurs player Roberto Soldado, while Milos Ninkovic is tied as the highest assister on 6.

Player of the Month

A great month for the club, with all of their players putting in a great shift, however one man has stood out yet again. Coming from being their third choice striker, to scoring 6 goals in 3 games and starting for Red Star, Ifeanyi Onyilo earns to honour of being Player of the Month again. After a double against Cukaricki, he went on to score a hat trick against Sumadija, and getting the first goal against Saint-Etienne, his contribution speaks for itself, both in terms of quantity and importance. It will be interesting to see how the manager chooses to deal with having two of the league best strikers when he normally plays with one up top.
I love this kind of update! Some really good results and you're doing great in the league! Your strikeforce is absolutely immense!
Unlucky about the loss to Swansea but other than that an impressive month!
Nice update too, and a great lead at the top of the league you have their :D
@Josh - Thanks, and yeah, Onyilo and Kasalica have been awesome for me :)
@Pompey - Yeah, its a bit annoying to lose, but the result didn't matter anyway, so I'm not too mad :P Also, yeah, the league is easily ours to lose.

Big new signing for Red Star at the start of winter break
Hofler during his troubled time at Freiburg

As the year draws to a close and with the winter beak beginning in the Serbian League, Red Star Belgrade have announced a new signing in the shape of Freiburg’s defensive midfielder, Nicolas Hofler. The 23 year old will join for a reported fee of around 300K on the 1st of January, and will be eligible to be registered for the domestic league, but not the Europa League Knockout Stages as he has already played for Freiburg.

The German has spent the majority of his career with Freiburg, after joining them from Regional Division side Pfullendorf as a 15 year old. The talented youngster spent the start of his career training with the first team, but after he was unable to break into the main squad, was moved down to Freiburg’s 2nd team, where he starred for 3 years. At the age of 21, Hofler was sent out on loan, to get more first team football at a higher level, in order to help his so far stagnated development, to 2nd Division side Aue for 3 more years. He struggled in his first two years, but became a key player for them in the 2012/13 season, starting in most of their games. This prompted Freiburg to try and give him a chance in their first team, but due to injuries he was unable to play regularly for them. He moved back down to the 2nd team, and has played well, but he quickly became unhappy that he wasn’t being given proper game time at the top level, especially at his age. The club felt that he wasn’t up to their standard, and therefore transfer listed him in October.

Hofler plays primarily as a defensive midfielder, a role which is key in Red Star’s tactics under current caretaker boss, Robert Prosine?ki and has proven to be quite capable in that role. He is a solid tackler, and a very hard worker. He speaks fluent German as well as some English, and will be looking to German speaker, Dragan Mrdja, and fluent English speakers such as Ifeanyi Onyilo to help him settle in. The player has commented on his move, in the early hours of today.

‘I am very proud to be joining Red Star. They are a team with a great history, and they are doing very well at the moment, especially in Europe. I would like to thank everyone at Freiburg for helping me grow as a player, but for me as a professional player, I would like to advance my career, and I see Red Star as the perfect place to achieve my goals. I have talked to the manager, and we share views on where the club is going, and I hope I can help it get there.’

The club also announced a statement on their official website, welcoming the player into the club. Fans of the Belgradian club are excited about the deal, and hope the player can bring something different to what they currently have available, and hope he will make a good impact on them, solidifying their status at the top of the league. Robert Prosine?ki has publicly announced he will be using this window to revamp his central and defensive midfield options, where he feels he is lacking, with only Aleksandar Kovacevic looking solid in that position. This means fans can expect at least one other arrival at the club, and potentially even an outgoing or two during the January window.
Amazing story #RedStarForTrophees
@Bst - Haha, thanks mate :)

Europa League Knockout Round Draw

The draw was made today for the Europa League 1st and 2nd Knockout Rounds, and it throws up some very interesting ties. Surprise outfits this season, Red Star Belgrade, have been rewarded for getting through the ‘Group of Death’ with a match against PAOK. The Greek side managed to get to this stage by topping their group, which consisted of Zenit, Rapid Wien and Vardar, and will be another tough opposition for the inform Serbian side. Their team is largely made up of loanee’s, such as Miroslav Stoch and Tomas Necid. However, it is veteran striker, Dimitris Salpingidis that Red Star’s defence will have to be most vary about, with the Greek star in great form this season, topping his club’s scoring charts with 11 goals. Red Star will be looking to their own strikeforce of Filip Kasalica and Ifeanyi Onyilo to do damage to their opposition, and help their dream run in this competition continue. The winner of this match will play another strong outfit, in the shape of the winner of the Zenit vs PSV tie. Regarding the matchup, manager Robert Prosinečki had this to say to the media.

‘It is obviously a tough draw, but at this stage in the competition, there are no easy draws per say. We will do our best to progress, and in the form we are in, I can fully see us pull off yet another upset. The players are looking forward to playing the match, and for many of them, this will be a new experience. Our achievements in Europe in this competition have been outstanding, and to progress even further would be incredible. After that, we’ll just look at it on a match by match basis.’

While the Red Star players are looking forward to their match, a number of other tough games have come out of the draw. Firstly, there is the match whose winner will play either Red Star or PAOK, as Zenit take on PSV. The Russian side are one of the favourites for the competition, and with a side led by Brazilian star Hulk, look very deadly. PSV themselves however are no pushovers, with a very young side full of enthusiasm and raw talent, it would be foolish to write them off.

The other Serbian side in the competition, Partizan have been in terrible form in the league, but have looked fairly solid in Europe, scraping through to this stage in 2nd place. They will play one of the heavyweights in English side Tottenham Hotspur. The London club are in 2nd place in the EPL, behind Chelsea on just goal difference, and will be expecting a big win here. Their team, consisting of players such as Erik Lamela and Sandro have been great this year for them, with the former being their top goalscorer.

Across the channel, there is another intriguing tie, involving French side Olympique Lyonnais and Spanish side Real Sociedad. Both sides have played well so far in the competition, and look solid in their domestic league, so this should be a very close affair. Sociedad will be looking to use their energetic mentality to beat their opponents, and with players such as Inigo Martinez and Antoine Greizmann, they look dangerous. The French side however have experience on their side, and will give a good game to any team they play.

Finallly, there is the game which sees Italian giants Napoli take on Portuguese side SL Benfica. Napoli possess a great side, and after clever spending last summer by their new manager Rafa Benitez, look to be a big force in Europe. They are led by former Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain, who has been in good form for them in the league, on average getting a goal every two games. He is backed up by talented Slovakian Marek Hamsik. The central attacking midfielder can be deadly at times, and links up well with the rest of his team. Finally, there is young starlet, Lorenzo Insigne. The 22 year old Italian has attracted a lot of attention around Europe, with teams such as PSG and Man City looking at him. This talented side will come up against last year’s runners up, SL Benfica. The Portuguese outfit are strong in their own right, with lots of natural talent, in the shape of players such as Oscar Cardozo, Ezequiel Garay and Rodrigo. Also, they have Eduardo Salvio, another player being looked at by Europe’s superpowers, with Atletico and Real Madrid looking to battle it out for his signature. This tie, combined with the rest of the matches, should provide for another great round of European football.
Woah man, lots of detail in there! Very nicely written and I wish you the best of luck in the knockout stages.
A quality write up. PAOK aren't very strong, probably one of the kindest draws you could get! Good luck :D
@Josh - Thanks, it took me a while :P
@Walter - Yeah, much better than some of the others draws we've got *cough* Sevilla *cough* Spartak *cough* :P

Robert Prosine?ki reveals Assuncao’s contract won’t be renewed
Assuncao will be moving on from the league leaders come the end of his contract

Speaking at a local charity event in Belgrade, caretaker manager, Robert Prosine?ki told the media that veteran, Paulo Assuncao will not be offered a new deal when his current contract expires in the summer. This means the Brazilian will be free to discuss terms with other clubs from around the world during the January transfer window on a pre-contractual basis.

The 33 year old is currently the 5th highest earner at the club, and earns 2.3K per week. Originating from Brazil, the well-travelled 33 year old signed for Red Star in the summer, and has become a bit part player for them. He has featured in only 11 of Red Star’s games in all competitions this season, and has yet to score or even get an assist. Despite this, when he has featured, he has looked fairly solid defensively, operating as a defensive midfielder alongside young star Aleksandar Kovacevic. However, his place in the starting lineup came under scrutiny after an injury kept him out for a month, in which time 27 year old Goran Gogic was given a chance. The Serbian took it with both hands, and even when Assuncao was fit again, he was not put in the first team.

The former Atletico and Porto player will not be short of clubs interested in requiring his services however. Despite his age, he is still very capable, acting as a shield in front of his team’s defence. Assuncao is also a great team player with good anticipation, and always gets stuck in if needs be. His aggression can also be his downfall however, and for Red Star, he is currently serving a one match ban for accumulating too many yellow cards. In the league altogether, he is also the player who has received the most yellow cards, with a total of 5. This is despite him not playing regularly, and it will be a worry for any potential club looking to sign him, and could ward them off.

With the player looking certain to move on in the summer, Red Star could be tempted to try and strengthen their squad with the wages he will leave behind. His defensive midfield position will need to be covered by a new player, with new signing Hofler ineligible for the Europa League and primarily bought to play as backup for Aleksandar Kovacevic in the role of a ball winning midfielder. This means we should expect at least one more new player in this role before the window closes, so watch this space.

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