Chapter 5- Opportunity
As I woke up, my head was throbbing with pain and I reached over to get a glass of water. This house wasn’t much, but it was a place to stay. A two bedroom flat in the industrial centre of Serbia, located on a busy main road which was a 10 minute drive away from the airport; no wonder the noise pollution was terrible. Whilst getting up, I could hear a plethora of car horns from the open window to the left of my bedside table. After a quick wash, I checked out my phone for any important messages or calls I received during the night, but there was nothing of much significance. I decided to go out to get some necessary supplies for my time here, just the essentials I would need until an opportunity arose.
I opened the door to see the cab driver I called, perched in my front yard, leaning on his yellow car with a smile plastered on his small face. I greeted him and got inside the car, while specifying my desired location. During the journey, I checked out the facilities Belgrade had to offer; from its extensive football training facilities for youngsters to its stunning, historic monuments which were just a footstep away, this city was a sight to behold.
Near the end of the journey, I received a call from a man I thought I would never meet again. My phone lit up with the name, Dragan Džajić. Dragan was not only the most successful and the best Serbian footballer ever, he was also the president for the club I used to work for, Red Star Belgrade. Dragan was a good friend of mine, however we hadn’t taken for at least a year, so to receive a call from him, especially at this moment when I was in Belgrade, was most unusual. I answered the call, intrigued by the reason for it.
‘Hey, Robert?’ Dragan asked.
'Hey Dragan, it’s been a while.’ I replied. A bright smile lit up on my face as I heard the voice of an old acquaintance.
‘It has, I’m sorry I didn’t contact you, your resignation left me and the rest of the board in shock.’
‘No worries, it was a long time ago, and I wasn’t ready then.’
‘Ah yes, you see, that is partially the reason why I am calling.’ Dragan said, with some hesitance.
‘Oh?’ I asked, surprised with that statement. Was there a loose end he wanted me to tie up?
‘Late last night, Slaviša Stojanovič, you know Slaviša right? We just appointed him as our new manager. He was taken ill, with potential cancer being the cause. The club is with him all the way, assisting him emotionally and financially, but we still need someone to lead the team in his absence. When I heard you were in Belgrade and that you had stooped your contract with your previous club, I knew that it was meant to be. I need someone I know and trust right now, and Robert, you are that person. Will you take back your old job, and become the manager of Red Star Belgrade?’
I almost dropped my phone in shock over what he had just told me. He wanted me to return and manage the biggest club in the country! My brain could not process what was happening, but I didn’t care. For once in my life, I didn’t care about my brain, and I let my heart do the talking.
‘Yes, Dragan, I would love to.’