Here’s a bit of a mad story coming out of Serbia. Do you remember Matija Nastasic?
Sure you do. The defender is only 22-years-old, after all, and far from being washed up, he’s at Schalke. Not playing regularly but he’s there, have a look. They paid a pretty penny for him too. €12 million.
That fee was paid to Manchester City, where many remember Nastasic from. City themselves paid Fiorentina at least €15m at one stage for the defender. That’s at least €27m in total. Fiorentina reportedly splashed out €2.5m on Nastasic when he was at Partizan Belgrade but that figure is in doubt after a former club captain spoke out.
Albert Nadj is not pleased about how the club have handled their prodigies, cashing in too quickly on the likes of Lazar Markovic and Aleksandar Mitrovic. Now a coordinator at the club after retiring, Nadj may have been embellishing when he spoke about the Nastasic transfer away from Partizan in 2011.
He told Blic: “Matija Nastasic left the club for one washing machine, without having played one match for Partizan A team! A man directly involved in his transfer told me how Nastasic’s family was poor and one day their washing machine broke. So some agents took advantage of that, jumped in and took the kid under their custody. And no one in Partizan deals with these kind of things. It should be normal that the youth team coach knows the family situation of his players, rather than some agent!”
If this is actually true then it leaves a rather embarrassing stain on the reputation of Partizan!
French daily L’Equipe have a small article on Tuesday linking Liverpool and Man City to a hugely promising Serbian teenager.
Andrija Zivkovic, 19, plays for Partizan Belgrade, and L’Euipe believe a clamour of the top clubs in Europe are chasing his signature.
PSG are in the hunt from France, Liverpool and Man City from England, while Borussia Dortmund are interested in taking the player to Germany.
The report places a five million euro transfer fee around Zivkovic’s neck.
Despite he young age, Zivkovic already has bags of experience. He is the youngest player ever to make a senior appearance for the Serbian national team, while he’s also the youngest Partizan captain ever.
Indeed, he’s fast approaching 100 professional games.
Zivkovic’s contract expires at the end of the season meaning he could be available at a cut-price in January, or he could become a free agent over the summer.
One has to wonder though why Zivkovic would move to either Premier League options, as it’s unlikely he’ll be able to lock down a first team place in either Liverpool’s or Man City’s first teams.
Chelsea have officially completed the signing of Danilo Pantic from Partizan Belgrade, with the player immediately joining Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem for the forthcoming campaign.
The midfielder has reportedly signed a four-year deal at Stamford Bridge, and is considered to be one for the future as the Blues look to build a squad capable of staying at the top of the Premier League for many years to come.
It is understood that talks between the West London club and the player had been taking place since January, with the player determined to move Stamford Bridge despite interest from across Europe.
Danilo Pantic has represented Serbia at youth level and helped his country reach the semi-finals of last summer’s European Under-19 Championships.
The 18-year-old has already experienced what it is like to face one of Chelsea’s London rivals after the player featured against Tottenham Hotspur in the Europe League last year, but will have to wait for an opportunity to face them in the Premier League as he will now spend the next year playing in the Eredivisie.
Speaking to the Chelsea website Danilo Pantic said: ‘I am very happy to sign for Chelsea, the champions of the English Premier League, and I hope I can show my value at Vitesse in the coming season. I am honoured at the faith both clubs have shown in me.’
We’ve signed 18-year-old midfielder Danilo Pantic from Partizan Belgrade. He joins Vitesse for the season. http://t.co/hfIYjY35tF#CFC
YouTube channel Trollstation have become an overnight viral topic of conversation for a shameful prank pulled during Tottenham’s Europa League match with Partizan Belgrade on Thursday.
The match at White Hart Lane was held up on three occasions in the first half as three pitch invaders took turns coming onto the pitch.
After some online kerfuffle over who was responsible, a YouTube channel called Trollstation finally took credit for the invaders.
Now Trollstation have posted a video on the social media platform showing how the three men rocked up to the Spurs game with the intention of running on the pitch, as well as fan cam footage from inside the stadium of their bad behaviour.
Betfair are offering some superb enhanced odds for Tottenham’s Europa League match against Partizan tonight at White Hart Lane.
Spurs can secure qualification with a win or perhaps even a draw or defeat if Asteras fails to beat Besiktas at home.
Tottenham are heavy favourites after picking up eight points from the Europa League group stage draw so far, meanwhile Partizan have been the whipping boys of the group, collecting just one point from four matches.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side are also in good form, having won four of their last five games.
There is no chance of Spurs not taking this game seriously as Pochettino is keen to bag first spot in the group and the north London side travel to Besiktas in the final game.
Pochettino will likely play a strong line-up, including Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane, the match winners at Hull on Sunday.
Partizan’s Europa League form has got progressively worse since an opening day 0-0 draw with Spurs.
The Serbs have conceded eight goals in three matches and have nothing at all to play for.
Even two wins from their final two Europa League matches would not be enough to catch Spurs or Besiktas…
Partizan Belgrade have apologized for the disgraceful banner unfurled in the crowd during their Europa League tie against Spurs last night.
It carried an anti-semitic message, saying ‘Only Jews And Pussies’ in an offensive nod to the show Only Fools And Horses.
The apology was prompted by UEFA announcing that they were opening disciplinary proceedings against the club “for racist behaviour of their supporters, field invasions by supporters, setting-off of fireworks and use of laser pointer. The case will be dealt by the Uefa control, ethics and disciplinary body on 3 October.”
The club’s full apology said: “The message displayed on that banner is completely opposite to preferences and opinions of almost all citizens of Serbia and Partizan fans.
It is absolutely absurd to link a club that was founded after the WWII on anti-fascist principles and after the battle of people of Europe with antisemitism and similar dark and anti-civilisation impulses.
We fully condemn perpetrators of this mindless act, not only of antisemitic nature, but one that represents hatred of Partizan and Serbia as well.
We believe this vicious action will not spoil our sporting friendship with Tottenham and football aficionados in Great Britain. In cooperation with competent authorities, Partizan FC will do everything to locate, trial and ban those perpetrators from sporting fields.
We apologise to everyone who found themselves insulted and upset by this banner.Once again, we point out that such banner message is completely opposite to history and tradition of our club, and our fans’ aspirations.”
In a game that was spoiled by disappointing displays of racism and intolerance by the home support, Partizan Belgrade nabbed an otherwise proud result when they hosted Spurs last night.
A goalless draw for the Serbians was celebrated by their players as they hung around the pitch after the final whistle to enjoy the jubilant atmosphere in the stadium.
One fan ran onto the pitch to try to get closer to his heroes only to be stopped by stewards who didn’t appear too pleased with his actions.
However, he was spared their judgement when Partizan veteran Danko Lazovic, an attacker who has played for a host of top clubs including PSV, Zenit and Bayer Leverkusen, came to his rescue. He even gave the bloke the shirt of his back. Bless!
You can see the act of heroism in the video above.
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It was slow, methodical, and a scary representation of just how powerful (and feared) Partizan Belgrade’s ultras are.
One of the big shocks in the Champions League on Tuesday night was Partizan Belgrade’s 3-1 aggregate defeat to Bulgaria minnows Ludogorets Razgrad.
After seeing their side capitulate to a team many would have heard of, Partizan’s ultras had their say in a very public fashion.
After the full time whistle the Belgrade fans starting chanting for the board to sacked, which in turn saw the Partizan players head over to their ultras in an effort to calm them down.
Then, in an incredible scene, well-known Partizan ultra leader Miloš Radisavljević Kimi slowly jumped down from the stands onto the pitch, before he calmly walked over to club captain Marku Šćepoviću, removed the armband in emasculating fashion.
Kimi then walked slowly to the bleachers, captain’s armband in hand, without a single Partizan player or security official daring to stop the ultra from doing what he pleased.