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|Full name||Omladinski Fudbalski Klub Beograd|
|Nickname(s)||Romantičari (The Romantics)|
|Founded||9 November 1911|
|Head coach||Zoran Milinković|
|2011–12||Serbian SuperLiga, 8th|
|Website||Club home page|
Omladinski fudbalski klub Beograd (Serbian Cyrillic: Омладински фудбалски клуб Београд, English: Youth Football Club Belgrade), commonly known as OFK Beograd , is a professional Serbian football club from Belgrade, more precisely from the Karaburma urban neighborhood. It is currently the oldest club playing in the Serbian SuperLiga and is part of the OSD Beograd sport society.
The club was founded in 1911 as BSK (Serbian Cyrillic: Београдски Спорт Клуб) or Belgrade Sports Club, 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 againe renamed into BSK, but in the 1957, the name was altered into OFK (Youth Football Club), Belgrade.
How it all started is just as how the club is living today: never on top but always among the best. Usually, it is in the shadow of the bigger Belgrade clubs, such as Red Star and Partizan, but always in the search of its own identity and a place on the big stage. On the field, it always went well, but the stadium remained empty. The problem was the name: it didn't attract the attention of fans. For this reason, in 1950 the club brought back its old name of BSK.
The golden era
A two decade long "Golden Era" had begun. Already in 1953, the club had won the Yugoslav Cup. Three other celebrations followed, in 1955, 1962, and 1966. The club was the national vice-champion twice, in 1955 and in 1964, and the club was very rarely standing under 6th position in the league table. In the meantime, the club had changed its name once again. In 1957, the club was baptised into today's OFK Belgrade, 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 Belgrade had participated eight times in European competitions. Their biggest success came in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1962-63 season, playing in the semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur, eventual champions. In the following ten years, football giants such as S.S.C. Napoli, Feyenoord, Panathinaikos, and Juventus also fell to the blue and white.
The silent fall
The Romantičari were not able to take advantage of their success on the domestic and European scene. After several successful season, a sudden fall occurred. OFK Belgrade was slowly losing its brilliance. During the 1980s, the club has often been changing leagues, from the First Division to the Second. In Karaburma, nothing could remind us of the old glorious days except a few bleaky old pictures. The "Silent Fall" lasted as long as the "Golden Era". Still, the tradition could not be forgotten and the club comes back to its old habits in the 1990s. Fourth position in 1992 and 1994 announced a bright future for OFK in the 21st century.
In the summer of 2003, they were back in European competitions. They played in the UEFA Intertoto Cup. OFK humiliated 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. It was later discovered that it was an act of an angry hooligan from a city rival, furious about his club being relegated to the Second Division. Consequently, only the second leg result would count. OFK Beograd did not let its fans down and won in Tallinn with a score of 5–3. They were eliminated in the second round by Czech representants Slovácko, with a score of 4–3.
The club was back on the European stage in 2004. They started playing in the second round and easily eliminated Dinaburg. In the third round, OFK went on to play against Tampere United at the legendary Ratina Stadium, host of a historic match between Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union at the 1952 Summer Olympics. OFK Belgrade defeated their Finnish opponents and deservedly went on to play in the semifinals. They were eliminated by a better and more experienced opponent, Atlético Madrid.
In 2005, the club reached the UEFA Cup second round of qualifying after more than 32 years, losing to Lokomotiv Plovdiv by the away goals rule. In 2006, the club was awaiting French side Auxerre, once again in the UEFA Cup. In the first game, in Belgrade, OFK defeated their opponents by the score of 1–0. In the second game, it looked like the Serbian club was through with the score being 2–1 in favour of Auxerre with only ten minutes to play. OFK allowed three goals in only ten minutes, suffering a heavy 5–1 loss and ending their European dream. In the 2010 Europa League, OFK beat Torpedo Zhodino of Belarus 3-2 on aggregate and went on to play Turkish powerhouse Galatasaray. The first game was in Turkey and after losing 2-0 with only ten minutes to go the very young OFK team came back with first a goal from Miloš Krstić and then a shock equalizer from Nenad Injac to earn OFK a great moment on the European stage. After the game the Turkish media noted that there were no foreign players in the OFK team, something OFK should be proud of because the club has always seen itself as a organisation that promotes Serbian talent.
Honours and achievements
National Championships – 5
National Cups – 4
- Runners-up (1): 2005-06
- 1/2 Finalists (1): 1962–63
- 1/4 Finalists (1): 1972–73
- Serbian League (top level between 1940 and 1944)
- Winners (3): 1940–41, 1942–43, 1943–44
- Runners-up (1): 1941–42
Before UEFA was founded (in 1954), OFK Belgrade, under the name of Belgrade Sport Club (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 Belgrade played 16 seasons, the biggest success being reaching semifinal of UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1962-63.
UEFA competitions summary
|OFK Beograd||Seasons||P||W||D||L||F||A||Match Pts%W||Ties P||Ties W||Ties L||Ties %W|
OFK Belgrade's youth system has a reputation as one of the best in the history of Serbian football. In its 95 years of existence, it produced hundreds of players who played not just for OFK Belgrade, but for the national team as well. Among these players are the likes of Ilija Petković, Mitar Mrkela, Nebojša Vučićević, Dragoslav Stepanović, Slobodan Santrač, Saša Ćurčić, Aleksandar Kolarov and Branislav Ivanović.
Since OFK Belgrade's existence, attention was always turned to the younger categories of players and the results of that work are directly responsible for the club's success. Modern football is a serious aspect of the club, this is why it does everything in its possibility to modernize the training facilities. Recently, the club has built a whole new private training center, compromising eight playing fields along with training equipment with the newest technology. OFK Belgrade is constantly in search of better quality at their youth team.
A youth school was created comprised 150 players born in 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 specialised 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.
OFK Belgrade'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 (which is corresponding with the volatile history of the Balkans overall) has produced adverse affects onto the average attendance of today's matches in which OFK Belgrade 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 Belgrade's main group of ultras.
OFK Belgrade'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 Belgrade first played against them, the OFK fans reacted with creation of 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 Belgrade is also known to be supported by fans of Dynamo Moscow.
- As of 11 March 2013
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Out on loan
For the first half of the 2012-13 season. Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Notable former players
- To appear in this section a player must have either:
- Played at least 100 games in Serbian top league.
- Played at least 80 games for the club.
- Set a club record or won an individual award while at the club.
- 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.
Shirt sponsors and manufacturers
|Period||Kit Manufacturer||Shirt Sponsor|
- Official website (Serbian)
- Unofficial club site
- Blue Union Belgrade fans site
- poll for best clubs player in first century
- Saving the stadium!
- Club profile and squad at Srbijafudbal.
- OFK Beograd Stats at Utakmica.rs