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Belgrade Derby Tonight


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I'm off to the Partizan v Red Star Belgrade 2nd leg of the Cup at Partizan's stadium tonight. The gypsies, sorry...I mean Red Star, are 2-0 up from the first leg even though Partizan were all over them. Should be a hoot with fireworks and flares galore. Avram Grant is Partizan manager and is as popular as Steve Kean at Blackburn.

Fans are too organised for my liking. No spontanaity with everyone doing what the Capos tell them to do.

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The paramilitary gangster Arkan from the Yugoslav Wars was a big Red Star fan ... he became head of a supporters club and recruited his paramilitaries from the membership. Not sure I'd venture to a Belgrade derby ... Serbs are lunatics.

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The paramilitary gangster Arkan from the Yugoslav Wars was a big Red Star fan ... he became head of a supporters club and recruited his paramilitaries from the membership. Not sure I'd venture to a Belgrade derby ... Serbs are lunatics.

They probably say the same about celtc fans - after all, many of them support one of the biggest paramilitaries in Europe.

It helps being a foreigner - I feel far safer in and around a Belgrade derby than I ever did travelling away to Hibs or Aberdeen in the mid-80s :)

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Partizan weren't up for it and their fans were relatively subdued. Red Star well up for it and kicked things off with a good display.

Partizan had a few good chances in the first half but their Toad of a manager, Avram Grant obviously used all his charisma to come up with a half time talk which made Partizan not turn up in the 2nd half. Both ends were full of the usual nutters but other areas were slightly mixed. How anyone can stand next to your bitter rivals and watch them score without wanting to batter them is beyond me.

Nowhere close to the hatred and passion when we play the beasts. But neither is it a Liverpool "derby". Next biggie is the Belgrade league derby on 5 May but Partizan should be more up for that and will hopefully clinch the league by winning.

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What would it be like if either of the Belgrade giants played Croatia Zagreb or FK Sarajevo?

As an aside, I love Serbian history ... endlessly tragic and fascinating. Never thought they'd give up Mladic. Maybe they're going soft.

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What would it be like if either of the Belgrade giants played Croatia Zagreb or FK Sarajevo?

As an aside, I love Serbian history ... endlessly tragic and fascinating. Never thought they'd give up Mladic. Maybe they're going soft.

They continue to think whether they could start a Balkan League as all the clubs in the region suffer from lack of competition. But there remains a fear that games such as Red Star v Hadjuk Split would provide provide the spark to kick things off in a bad way round these parts.

It remains a complete mystery to me how there was a war here as the vast majority of folk in the region are fine decent people. It's a warning to us all. I confess to finding Serbs warmer than Croats but other than that there's very little difference. Proud, humorous, friendly and a handsome race of people.

Croatia and Serbia are in the same WC qualifying group as Scotland, Macedonia and Belgium so it will be fun and games when they play each other. Will probably be no away fans but it will be bedlam. I joke to folk here that I hope the two of them get papped out for violence as that will give Scotland a chance of qualifying.

If you're after a decent book I'd suggest "The Serbs - History, Myth & Destruction of Yugoslavia" by Tim Judah even though it doesn't paint Serbs in the best of light.

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They continue to think whether they could start a Balkan League as all the clubs in the region suffer from lack of competition. But there remains a fear that games such as Red Star v Hadjuk Split would provide provide the spark to kick things off in a bad way round these parts.

It remains a complete mystery to me how there was a war here as the vast majority of folk in the region are fine decent people. It's a warning to us all. I confess to finding Serbs warmer than Croats but other than that there's very little difference. Proud, humorous, friendly and a handsome race of people.

Croatia and Serbia are in the same WC qualifying group as Scotland, Macedonia and Belgium so it will be fun and games when they play each other. Will probably be no away fans but it will be bedlam. I joke to folk here that I hope the two of them get papped out for violence as that will give Scotland a chance of qualifying.

If you're after a decent book I'd suggest "The Serbs - History, Myth & Destruction of Yugoslavia" by Tim Judah even though it doesn't paint Serbs in the best of light.

There's no difference at all between Serbs and Croats ... they're only different because when the Roman Empire split into "East" and "West" the division just happened to split what became the Serbs and Croats up. Croatia was in the "Western" empire and looked to Rome, whereas Serbia was in the "Eastern" empire and looked to Constantinople.

I've already have that book ... a very good read. Also have a fascinating book called "Kosovo: A Short History" by Noel Malcolm. It's not actually that short, if I'm honest.

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There's no difference at all between Serbs and Croats ... they're only different because when the Roman Empire split into "East" and "West" the division just happened to split what becames the Serbs and Croats up. Croatia was in the "Western" empire and looked to Rome, whereas Serbia was in the "Eastern" empire and looked to Constantinople.

I've already have that book ... a very good read. Also have a fascinating book called "Kosovo: A Short History" by Noel Malcolm. It's not actually that short, if I'm honest.

Personally I think there's a niche in the market for someone to write a book about the Balkan wars. There's surprisingly little about and even less that's any good. Although it will probably be another 20 years before folk look back and it properly sinks in what a messed up place this part of the world was. And right under the noses of the EU and NATO.

So if you're really interested in these parts give it a go. I'd buy it (tu)

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Personally I think there's a niche in the market for someone to write a book about the Balkan wars. There's surprisingly little about and even less that's any good. Although it will probably be another 20 years before folk look back and it properly sinks in what a messed up place this part of the world was. And right under the noses of the EU and NATO.

So if you're really interested in these parts give it a go. I'd buy it (tu)

It's been a messed up part of the world for an awfully long time ... more or less since the Ottomans became involved, starting with that famous battle in 1389. Otto von Bismarck famously stated that "some damned silly thing in the Balkans" would probably cause the next European war ... prophetic words, considering that the next European war (the Great War 1914-1918) started with the Sarajevo assassination on Vidovdan in 1914. Tito kept the peace, but once Tito was gone no one was strong enough to keep a lid on the Serbian nationalists.

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