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Estrela Vermelho 2005 (Red Star Belgrade) “Airport Junkies”
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Karl
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  Estrela Vermelho 2005 (Red Star Belgrade) “Airport Junkies”
« em: 25 de Abril de 2011, 20:51 »
Estrela Vermelho 2005 (Red Star Belgrade) “Airport Junkies”
 
Me and Maria got this crazy idea of heading to the airport. Braga were still a small fish when it came to televising games even if it was a European game against a former European Cup winner. Only those with satalite dishes which were few and far between in Braga could tune into some little known Serbian TV channel to watch the game live. We later saw a recording and it was certainly a sight to behold. Thousands of red and white flares in a sold out 80,000 seater(I dont think anybody was sitting though) stadium with just about every supporter baying for blood, sweat and tears to be spilt in the pursuit of victory. Only about 20 Braga fans could afford or were willing to risk their lives going to Belgrade chasing a dream. The civil war was over but the supporters and the people of the country had little or nothing to shout about.

Joao Carlos ( a good friend who a few years later invited us to his wedding) gave his account of the intensity and intimidation they witnessed that day. Prior to thematch they were order bythe police to remove alls colours, scarves, jerseys, coats or anything that had the Braga symbol on it. The Police were not taking any chances and obviously knew the drill of avoiding problems and genuinely didnt want any of the visiting supporters getting hurt or even killed. They were spatonby rival fans and were set up a with a constant barrage of abuse from supporters who dinteven watch the game and only directed hatred owards the very few brave Braga fans who were absolutely no threat to them. To this day I still dislike Serbian teams and I am happy when I see them getting dumped out of European competitions. They bring absolutely no glory onto themselves by their disgraceful behaviour. Braga bravely carved out a 0-0 draw which gav themevery chance of qualifying for the next round if they could edge a win in the home leg. It was a remarkable result considering the athmosphere and the teams inexperience playing in European football.

So off to the airport we went. We were met at the airport by three other hardy souls and Braga fans who had had the same bright idea and we must have waited nearly two hours for the delayed flight to arrive. We only nodded in aknowledgement to the other three Braga supporters as in those days there was a slight uncomfortableness(is that a word? – It is now!) about being a Braga and also possibly due to the fact we were 5 nutcases in an airport with no destination and only to geta quick glimpse of our heroes returning from battle. They hadn’t even won the game and we(at least myself and Maria) had not even seen the game! I can’t even rememeber if we acknowledged the player when they arrived through the arrival gates at about 340am that night.

There was one lasting moment that I wont forget. The players and the rest of the travelling party had obviously left Belgrade in a hurry because as soon as they got into the main arrivals lounge three players headed directly to a peanut vending machine. Hunger was taking hold of the athletes. It’s quite possible that they had left a hostile country that day without eating dinner or maybe they just didn’t trust the food in a place where they were given such a bad reception. I can’t remember whothe players where but I think Vandinho was one of them. As the three of them struggled and took turns trying to get the damned machine working we were breaking our hearts laughing at thescene from about three metres away. I don’teven remember if they managed to get any peanuts in the end or if they just gave up and walked away in frustration! There were five of us that day. The Braga was starting to take hold. Years later it would be thousands of supporters in that same airport with no time or space to stop for peanuts!

Augustita
Augustita Juniores
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  Re:Estrela Vermelho 2005 (Red Star Belgrade) “Airport Junkies”
« Responder #1 em: 25 de Abril de 2011, 22:14 »
Augustita likes this :)
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rvx Equipa Principal
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  Re:Estrela Vermelho 2005 (Red Star Belgrade) “Airport Junkies”
« Responder #2 em: 25 de Abril de 2011, 22:26 »
Great story  ;). You must add to that their behavior here in Braga, specially when their goalkeeper ( Stojkovic, that plays for Partizan) simulated the firing of an automatic weapon against Braga fans.
« Última modificação: 25 de Abril de 2011, 22:29 por RVX1921 »
Karl
Karl Juniores
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  Re:Estrela Vermelho 2005 (Red Star Belgrade) “Airport Junkies”
« Responder #3 em: 26 de Abril de 2011, 00:05 »
Great story  ;). You must add to that their behavior here in Braga, specially when their goalkeeper ( Stojkovic, that plays for Partizan) simulated the firing of an automatic weapon against Braga fans.

Stojkovic will get his own story later!
 

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