A draw in the final game of the season away to already relegated Goztepe scrapped Fenerbahce's chances of UEFA Cup qualification. Rebrov had given Fenerbahce the lead with a penalty in the 16th minute after Erhan was brought down in the box. Cem equalised for the home side five minutes into the second half by blasting in unmarked from close range to a ball that came back off Rebrov's head. Referee Musa Eryilmaz didn't give Fenerbahce a clear penalty in the last minute of the match. The results mean Fenerbahce've completed the 2002-2003 season in 6th place with 51 points.
Our Bata didn't play tonight as he was redcarded in the match against Diyarbakirspor. He has been in Belgrade for a couple of days and is training with the Serbia and Montenegro national team. Bata and his teammates have three very important matches before them, friendly against England and qualification matches against Finland and Azerbaijan.
Serbia and Montenegro coach Dejan Savicevic has named his squad for the friendly against England and qualification matches against Finland and Azerbaijan.
Goalkeepers: Dragoslav Jevric, Goran Zilic
Defenders and wingers: Zoran Njegus, Slobodan Markovic, Zoran Mirkovic, Nenad Djordjevic, Nemanja Vidic, Sinisa Mihajlovic, Goran Gavrancic, Mladen Krstajic, Dejan Stefanovic, Nikola Malbasa, Boban Dmitrovic
Midfielders: Goran Trobok, Igor Duljaj, Nenad Kovacevic, Nenad Brnovic, Dragan Mladenovic, Zvonimir Vukic, Branko Boskovic
Attackers: Predrag Mijatovic, Savo Milosevic, Darko Kovacevic, Nenad Jestrovic
England Serbian and Montenegro, 03/06 at 20.00
Finland Serbia and Montenegro, 07/06 at 19.00
Azerbaijan - Serbia and Montenegro, 11/06 at 20.00
Fenerbahce's penultimate game of the season with Diyarbakirspor ended in a goalless draw at home. Our Bata was sent off in the last minute of the match and won't be able to play against Goztepe on Saturday.
UEFA's Executive Committee, acting in agreement with FIFA, today decided to lift the suspension of the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan (AFFA) in relation to the UEFA EURO 2004 qualifying competition with immediate effect. The decision, subject to FIFA formally lifting its suspension of the AFFA, means that Azerbaijan's EURO 2004 qualifying match at home to Serbia and Montenegro in Group 9 will go ahead as scheduled on 11/06.
Selector Dejan Savicevic will announce the team for the England friendly and qualification matches against Finland and Azerbaijan on Monday, 26/05, or on Tuesday, 27/05. Bata is one of the players selector will call but due to the obligations in the club, he will not join his teammates for the preparations in Belgrade and will fly directly to England.
Fenerbahce lost 2-0 away to Istanbulspor in a game that showed little signs of good football from Bata's side. Both goals came in the first half of the game.
After nine games Fenerbahce have managed to get the much missed three points against Kocaelispor. Tuncay's exquisite strike with the outside of his right foot in the 26th minute was the only goal of the game. Bata returned from his muscle injury and showed a very good performance tonight.
Fenerbahce have tonight lost 2-1 to Bursaspor. Our Bata didn't play due to the injury.
Sebastian Kehl's thunderous 25-metre drive on the hour was enough to seal Germany's victory over Serbia and Montengero tonight.
The hosts dominated the first half with an aggressive and disciplined performance but they failed to create many scoring opportunities. Our national team showed little in the first 45 minutes but had the best chance before the break, when striker Nenad Jestrovic set off on a solo run, only to fire straight at goalkeeper Frank Rost, deputising for injured captain Oliver Kahn.
The 26,000 fans in attendance on a damp evening survived two frights early in the second half but Rost made brilliant saves from close-range efforts from striker Savo Milosevic. Substitute striker Benjamin Lauth also put the ball in the net but his 79th-minute strike was disallowed for offside.
Bata again served as a captain of Serbia and Montenegro national team. Unfortunately he was only able to play the first half of the match. Coach Dejan Savicevic was forsed to subtitute him due to the muscle injury.
The following players represented Serbia and Montengero colours tonight: Dragoslav Jevric, Nemanja Vidic, Mladen Krstajic, Dejan Stefanovic, Nikola Malbasa (Jovan Markoski, 80.), Zoran Mirkovic (Nikola Lazetic, 45.), Goran Trobok (Ivica Iliev, 84.), Nenad Kovacevic (Nenad Brnovic, 78.), Zvonimir Vukic (Branko Boskovic, 72.), Savo Milosevic, Nenad Jestrovic (Predrag Mijatovic, 61.)
Johnson's deflected header earned Fenerbahce a draw against Samsunspor after Oktay had given the visitors a shock lead in the 39th second. Former Fenerbahce forward Oktay stole the ball from Mustafa on the edge of the area and hit a hard shot past stand-in keeper Volkan as early as the 39th second of the game. A frustrating performance throughout the game saw many misplaced passes, but as the final whistle approached Fenerbahce stars increased their tempo. The Ghanian's goal came five minutes from time in a spell of overwhelming pressure from Fenerbahce side, but the second goal wasn't to be as Johnson struck the crossbar three minutes after his goal.
Bata didn't play tonight due to the groin injury. He believes he will be ready for the upcoming friendly against Germany.
Serbia and Montenegro coach Dejan Savicevic has named his squad to face Germany on 30th April in Bremen.
Goalkeepers: Dragoslav Jevric (Vitesse), Dragan Zilic (Sartid)
Defenders and wingers: Nikola Lazetic (Lazio), Zoran Mirkovic (Fenerbahce), Nenad Djordjevic (Obilic), Nemanja Vidic (Crvena zvezda), Goran Gavrancic (Dynamo Kyiv), Mladen Krstajic (Werder Bremen), Dejan Stefanovic (Vitesse), Nikola Malbasa (Partizan)
Midfielders: Goran Trobok (Partizan), Nenad Kovacevic (Crvena zvezda), Nenad Brnovic (Zeta), Jovan Markovski (Zeleznik), Zvonimir Vukic (Partizan), Branko Boskovic (Crvena zvezda)
Attackers: Predrag Mijatovic (Levante), Savo Milosevic (Espanyol), Nenad Jestrovic (Anderlecht), Ivica Iliev (Partizan)
Fenerbahce have tonight lost 2-0 away to Besiktas after Nouma's early tap in and Sergen's lob after a defensive mistake in the 64th minute. Coach Tamer Guney said the team played better in the first half despite going down early on. Guney added that he implemented a tactical change for the second half but the "simple mistake that led to the goal disrupted the players' concentration".
Beschastnykh scored his first goal for the club against Denizlispor to earn Fenerbahce a draw. The Russian forward scored in the 85th minute after recieving a pass from Umit Ozat. Bencik had given the lead to Denizlispor in the 53rd minute. Bata didn't play tonight due to the ancle injury.
The second half featured Bata seemingly twist his ankle on the wet surface, but the glitch wasn't too serious and he carried on with his duty. In the meantime, Semih equalised in teh 64th minute thanks to Tuncay's work on the left, and this was then turned into a lead through Ali Gunes's left foot strike which entered off the post. Bata avoided a serious injury when Ahmed Hassan had blatantly stamped on just above his ankle. Bata wasn't best pleased with the tackle, and had to get sprayed on to ease the pain. But again, he duly carried on featuring in this exciting encounter. Genclerbirligi piled on the pressure, however, and scored through another dead ball situation with only a minute to go in added time. Deniz went up to head the ball, but replays show that Fener youngster Fahri was the last one to get a touch.
Despite the team's poor situation, Fener fans showed their quality once again by near-filling the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium, and applauding both teams off the field who'd displayed some fantastic football.
(by our Fenerbahce correspondent: Alp Ayhan)
Fenerbahce's Head Coach Oguz Cetin has resigned, the board announced tonight. Youth Coach Tamer Guney will take charge until the end of the season. Club Spokesman and Vice President Atilla Kiyat stated: "We've accepted Oguz Cetin's resignation. Tamer Guney will take charge until the end of the season with a technical squad of his choice. There are a number of candidates for next season but it would be wrong to announce them now."
Fenerbahce face title challengers Genclerbirligi at home this weekend.
Fenerbahce have got their second defeat in a row, away to relegation battlers Adanaspor. Referee Selcuk Dereli gave two penalties to the home side, one of them resulting in the sending off of Bata's defensive partner Fatih Akyel.
The first goal came through a deflected cross in the 18th minute, while the first penalty came just before half time. Young sub Semih came on and scored quickly in the 69th minute to bring the deficit back to one goal, but 10 minutes from time Necati scored another penalty to put the game beyond reach.
Bata once again played with a bandage over his knee but didn't look troubled from his injury. His tackling was the most accurate out of the defenders for this game. Bata also got booked for a foul on Necati in the
Much criticism was made of the referee from Fenerbahce directors after the game. Vice President Murat Ozaydinli stated to the TV cameras: "This referee's performances in our previous games are there for people to see. In the Galatasaray game he booked the most important man of our defence (Bata) which dropped him from the game. There's so much to say."
(by our Fenerbahce correspondent: Alp Ayhan)
Our players again gave selector Dejan Savicevic something to worry about. After drawing against Azerbaijan back in February, Serbia and Montenegro have today lost a friendly match against Bulgaria.
Petrov gave the Bulgarians a 14th-minute lead, taking the ball down on his thigh, shrugging off his marker and letting fly a great volley from the edge of the area. Serbia and Montenegro equalised in the 28th minute when Darko Kovacevic's effort was deflected past goalkeeper Zdravko Zdravkov by Ivailo Petkov, but Todorov grabbed a 56th-minute winner for the visitors after a brilliant move down the left.
Bata played another steady game but the overall team performance wasn't good. Our hero served as a captain during today's match.
Click here to view the pictures Nebojsa Parausic from MN Press agency has took of Bata during the match against Bulgaria.
The qualifying match between Serbia and Montenegro and Wales, scheduled to be played in Belgrade on Wednesday 2nd of April, has been postponed. The game will now be played on Wednesday 20th of August.
UEFA, the authorities in Serbia and Montenegro, and both national football associations have been holding talks this week about the fate of next Wednesday's match, after security concerns were raised over the current political situation in Serbia and Montenegro. A state of emergency is in force in the country following the assassination of prime minister Zoran Djindjic on 12 March. Following further talks with representatives of the Football Association of Serbia and Montenegro and the Football Association of Wales in Rome today, as well as after further consultations with the authorities in Serbia and Montenegro, UEFA has agreed to postpone the match.
Selector Dejan Savicevic today announced the list of players for a friendly match against Bulgaria and a qualifier against Wales.
Goalkeepers: Dragoslav Jevric, Dragan Zilic
Defenders and wingers: Nikola Lazetic, Goran Trobok, Zoran Mirkovic, Nenad Djordjevic, Sinisa Mihajlovic, Mladen Krstajic, Goran Gavrancic, Boban Dmitrovic, Ivica Dragutinovic, Nikola Malbasa
Midfielders: Dejan Stankovic, Nenad Kovacevic, Nenad Brnovic, Igor Duljaj, Zvonimir Vukic, Branko Boskovic
Attackers: Predrag Mijatovic, Darko Kovacevic, Savo Milosevic, Danijel Ljuboja
The match against Bulgaria will be played on Thursday 27th of March, on Napredek stadium in Krusevac. As for the match against Wales, UEFA and the authorities in Serbia and Montenegro are involved in discussions as to whether it can go ahead on Wednesday 2nd of April. Serbia and Montenegro FA have contacted UEFA with safety concerns. UEFA are in contact with both national associations to discuss the viability of alternative venues and will make a statement on the subject on Tuesday. Wales FA are understood to be concerned about logistical and visa complications surrounding switching venues at such a late point in time, therefor the possibility of playing in Cardiff has been rejected.
Serbia and Montenegro is still in state of emergency after Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic was assassinated earlier this month.
Fenerbahce have lost to Altay at home for the first time in Turkish league history, through Sinan's 74th minute goal. The game was marked by intense protests after the goal by Fenerbahce fans. Bata was part of the defence, next to Mustafa Dogan instead of new captain Umit Ozat who was suspended.
Bata played another steady game but the overall team performance wasn't good. He also suffered a collision when going up for a defensive header and had to leave the playing field for a short while.
Serbia and Montenegro will be playing a friendly against Bulgaria on 27th of March, followed by a Euro 2004 qualifier against Wales on 2nd of April. Bata has travelled to Belgrade for these games and will be announced in the squad by selector Dejan Savicevic. Meanwhile Serbia and Montenegro will play England in a friendly on 3rd of June. The game will be played in the Walkers Stadium in Leicester.
(by our Fenerbahce correspondent: Alp Ayhan)
The Fenerbahce board have taken out midfielder Yusuf Simsek, left wingers Ali Akdeniz and Abdullah Ercan, captain Ogun Temizkanoglu and sub keeper Oguz Daglaroglu from the squad in a move to "make the squad younger" for next season. Club spokesman Atilla Kiyat announced the decision on Monday, which was taken in accordance with Head Coach Oguz Cetin's report to the board. Back at Samandira, the rest of the squad are preparing for Saturday's home game against Izmir side Altay. Bata looks to feature in the starting line-up after a knee worry at the start of the week. Cetin gave special instructions to the defenders in today's session. Please click here to view pictures from yesterday's training!
Bata will travel to Belgrade following the Altay game for Serbia and Montenegro's game against Wales.
Fenerbahce drew 3-3 with relegation battlers Elazigspor this afternoon. Fener only once managed to take the lead in the game. Umit gave the home side the lead as he broke through the defence and slotted past Rustu in the 18th minute. Tuncay equalised before half time with his left foot after Ogun took a quick free kick to assist him. Slovakian Czinege made it 2-1 three minutes into the second half with a simple goal from a short range. Substitute Ceyhun came on and scored a power curler in the 76th minute to bring the scores level while Serhat added another a minute later, hitting into the roof of the net. Ze Roberto scored the final goal of the game with an extemely powerful free kick in the 80th minute.
Bata was troubled by injury towards the end of the first half. He was stretchered off and was seen holding his knee. However he wasn't holding his already bandaged knee. He came hobbling back on and played the rest of the game. Click here to view Bata's pictures from the Elazigspor match!
This not so good result further dampens the spirits of Fenerbahce fans who had to put up with a 2-0 derby loss last week. Chances of European qualification are getting slimmer by the week.
(by our Fenerbahce correspondent: Alp Ayhan)
Fenerbahce lost 2-0 to Galatasaray in the Ali Sami Yen Stadium, with two first half goals by Umit Karan. Bata began his evening with a yellow card after only 28 seconds when he brought down Umit Karan in the first foul of the game. Umit Davala's back header came to Umit Karan who volleyed in from close range with no pressure on him to score the first goal. The second came from a long shot which caught Rustu unexpected and went into his bottom left corner. The second half performance improved, but there were hardly any opportunities being created by Fener. Tuncay had the clearest chance when he had only Mondragon to beat, but took the ball wide with the Colombian in close pursuit before losing posession. Bata was mostly faced with Galatasaray's Lukunku, followed by ex-Fenerbahce number 10 Haim Revivo in the second half. Bata was also claiming for an elbow on him by substitute Arif. Replays showed there was contact, but only Arif knows if it was intentional or not. Many objects, uncluding a glass bottle, were thrown by Galatasaray fans on to the pitch aiming for our players, especially ex-Galatasaray Fatih Akyel.
Fenerbahce yesterday achieved a second consecutive victory prior to next week's Galatasaray derby. Goals were scored by Rebrov and Yusuf. Bata showed a great performance and was, once again, one of the best players on the pitch. Fenerbahce hasn't received a goal since his return from a lenghty injury.
Today the squad have started getting ready for the the derby. The players that featured in last night's victory carried out a jog while the other players went through fitness and endurance exercises. The squad will have a day off tomorrow and resume preparations on Monday.
The game scheduled for this Sunday against Denizlispor has been postponed by the Turkish Football Federation. The Federation has also postponed the Diyarbakirspor-Besiktas game, due to the UEFA Cup games Besiktas and Denizlispor played on Thursday. The club later scheduled a friendly match against Hyundai Ulsan. The match should have been played today but has been cancelled due to bad weather conditions.
There was no training session yesterday due to the weather but today's session was moved to the gym in the Deragzi Facilities. The players went through a sprinting exercise followed by a game of basketball and a football match. The mini basketball tournament was played with three teams. The team of Oguz, Ogun, Tuncay, Abdullah, Rebrov and Semih won the tournament with five wins while the team of Yusuf, Fatih, Beschastnykh and Erman came first in the football tournament. The injured Serhat (left knee), our Bata (right knee) and Kemal (thigh strain) received treatment at the Sportomed Sportive Rehabilitation Centre.
Former player Kennet Andersson visited Istanbul this week. He was presenting his company at Istanbul's fair and came to the training to see his friends again.
Fenerbahce beat Gaziantepspor 2-0 at the end of an eventful week. Johnson's left foot strike from outside the area in the 3rd minute gave Fener an early lead, while Tuncay squeezed in from a narrow angle four minutes from time to make it 2-0. There were no further goals in a game where our Bata showed a good performance in defence with Umit Ozat. Bata was close to Gaziantep's Viola until the Brazilian got injured and was replaced by another Brazilian Silva Regis. It made no difference as the Fener defence gave little opportunities to the visiting side.
The new name, Serbia and Montenegro, didn't bring much luck to our national team and the players were jeered off the pitch after a lacklustre second-half performance. Mijatovic fired Serbia and Montenegro ahead when he coolly converted a 32nd-minute spot kick after Lazetic was felled in the penalty box. Lazetic doubled the lead nine minutes after the break when his speculative cross hit the underside of the bar and bounced over the line off goalkeeper Jakhangir Gasanzade's back. But the visitors refused to lie down and Gurbanov spoiled the party for the capacity 8,000 home crowd, which got behind their team by chanting "Yugoslavia" instead of the cumbersome new name adopted by the federal parliament earlier this week. Gurbanov pulled a goal back when he unwittingly deflected Samir Aliyev's free kick past Serbia and Montenegro's stranded goalkeeper Dragoslav Jevric. However, the equaliser was a goal of the highest quality as he rifled home from the edge of the box after latching onto a delightful through ball by Emin Imamaliev.
The Football Association of Yugoslavia (FSJ), after 83 years of existence, has been renamed the Football Association of Serbia and Montenegro (FSSCG). The country's new name has been formally ratified by the United Nations and recognised by the European and International houses of football, UEFA and FIFA. Serbia and Montenegro has the same borders as Yugoslavia but a new constitution has been formed.
Serbo-Montenegrin football officials insist that the change in name will in no way adversely affect football in the country. "We carry on where we stopped. Our primary interest is the EURO 2004 qualifiers," said FSSCG general secretary Branko Bulatovic. "In our organisation we don't do politics. Our job is football. Serbia and Montenegro have gone through difficult times in the past decade and the Football Association has proudly defended the nation's name."
Fenerbahce's championship hopes were further dashed tonight after a 0-0 away draw with Ankaragucu. The game saw Bata's official return from his long absence. He played in a four man backline after playing as part of a three man line-up since he transferred to Fenerbahce. He featured a lot in the game, and was mostly seen battling it out with Ankaragucu's young forward Huseyin.
The general performance of the side wasn't enough to create clear chances on goal. Beschastnykh made his debut from the start along with Kemal as Rebrov entered the scene with nearly half-an-hour to go. But none of the new faces could make a difference to a frustrating performance. Time will tell if the problems lie in the players or Oguz Cetin's 4-2-3-1 system. But Fenerbahce have no time to waste, with Champions League qualification "at least" being the main target for clubs like Genclerbirligi and Galatasaray too.
Besiktas is now 11 points ahead of Fenerbahce in the league after their 5-0 romp over Kocaelispor. Click on the link to view Turkish league standings.
Turkey's soccer league is likely to cancel or reschedule matches in areas near the Iraqi border because of fears about a U.S.-led war, a Turkish soccer federation official said. Turkey is expected to provide some support to U.S. war efforts, but fears it could become susceptible to Iraqi retaliation. "We probably will not allow league matches to be played in the east and southeast," the semiofficial Anatolia news agency quoted Turkish Soccer Federation Vice President Ata Aksu as saying. "It's certain that a war is unavoidable." The league decision could affect several teams, including Super League clubs Diyarbakirspor, Gaziantepspor, Adanaspor, Malatyaspor, and Elazigspor. Aksu said any decision to cancel or reschedule matches would come after Turkey's government had announced the country's contribution to any U.S. war.
Coach Dejan Savicevic has announced the Yugoslavia squad for the UEFA EURO 2004 qualifying game with Azerbaijan next Wednesday.
Goalkeepers: Dragoslav Jevric (Vitesse) and Dragan Zilic (Sartid)
Defenders and wingers: Milan Dudic (Crvena zvezda), Nikola Lazetic (Lazio), Nenad Djordjevic (Obilic), Goran Bunjevcevic (Tottenham), Goran Trobok (Partizan), Mladen Krstajic (Werder) and Boban Dmitrovic (GAK)
Midfielders: Dejan Stankovic (Lazio), Zvonimir Vukic (Partizan), Igor Duljaj (Partizan), Branko Boskovic (Crvene zvezda), Nenad Brnovic (Zeta) and Jovan Markovski (Zeleznik)
Attackers: Predrag Mijatovic (Levante), Savo Milosevic (Espanyol), Mateja Kezman (PSV Eindhoven) and Danijel Ljuboja (Strasbourg)
Savicevic faces a number of injury problems ahead of the game. Our Bata, Nemanja Vidic, Nenad Dzodic, Goran Djorovic, Dejan Stefanovic, Ognjen Koroman and Ivica Dragutinovic are all ruled out through injury when Sinisa Mihajlovic and forward Darko Kovacevic are both suspended.
Savicevic was cautiously optimistic ahead of his sides home game with Azerbaijan, which will be played in Podgorica. We are favourites, that is true. But I have seen so many matches in my life when better teams, on paper, have not won, he said. I believe in my team, these are very experienced and quality players, and I expect three points. We must play very offensively and try to score a goal in the opening minutes.
Bata talked about the Azerbaijan match earlier this week. In the statement for his official website, he said: "I know my national team will give it all and I don't expect any problems. Every rival deserves our respect and no team should be underestitamed. We should never look at the statistics. We must always give all we've got."
Bata is currently in Ankara with Fenerbahce and is expected to play his first competitive match after he got injured in the EURO 2004 qualifier against Italy in October last year.
Bata has answered all the questions sent by his fans during the past two months. If you have a question for Bata, please send it to webmaster's e-mail address.
1. Can you please comment on the latest developments in Partizan?
2. Is there a chance you will return to Partizan and help the club qualify for the Champions League next season?
3. Are you satisfied in Turkey?
1. I don't know what else to say as all has been said already. Partizan has had good policies in the past ten or fifteen years. I am very sorry Tumbakovic left the club but a well known football name has been brought in. I hope Partizan will win the title again this season. They have a big advantage, ten points, and I believe they won't lose it.
2. It's very hard to talk about it. Of course I would like to help Partizan but there are so many things that have to be taken into consideration. But mostly it depends on what my club's wishes will be.
3. I am very satisfied. I can show my maximum and that's the most important for me.
1. Do you like animals and do you have a pet?
2. Will you come to Izmir on 12/02 to watch the Turkey - Ukraine match?
1. I love animals. Yes, I have a dog in Belgrade. The dogs' name is Laki (pronounced Lucky) and he is ten years old.
2. I can't come. Izmir is too far away and I imagine we will have a training or perhaps even two on that day. If the match was played in Istanbul, I would have come to the stadium. I will watch on television.
1. Are you jealous?
2. Do you plan to have a wife and children one day? And when?
3. Would you prefer to have a son or a daughter?
4. Who did you spend New Years Eve with?
1. I think I'm not.
2. Of course. I don't know when.
3. That's not important. As long as the child is healthy.
4. At home with my family.
1. Does anybody from your family or one of your friend collect newspaper articles about you and tape the macthes and shows you appear in? I know it might sound stupid but I imagine one day you will want to look at that and remember your most succesful and happy days?
2. Are you still in contact with Marko Perovic?
1. It doesn't sound at all stupid. That's the way it should be. My late father was collecting everything. After he passed away my mother took over but I must admit we have become a little lazy. My friend Maja is collecting the photographes.
Would you like to work as a coach in Partizan one day?
It's too early to talk about that. I still plan to play another two or three years. When I retire I will start making plans.
Your dear friend Rapaic left Fenerbahce. Who do you spend the most time with now?
I hang out with everybody. They are all my friends and it doesn't make any difference.
Who do you see as your succesor in Yugoslav national team?
Nenad Djodjevic, and of course Nemanja Vidic.
When would you return to Partizan if not now?
You must understand that I have a contract I must oblige to. I can't just go to Partizan.
Are there any football websites that you really like to surf?
I often visit my website. And Nisa's website. (Nisa is Nisa Saveljic who plays for French Sochaux. Note from the webmaster). I visit websites of my ex teammates and Yugoslav national team players to see how they are performing.
1. What is your favourite food and drink?
2. What is your favourite car?
3. What is the most beautiful city you have ever seen?
4. Who was the first to wish you a Happy New Year?
5. What is your unfullfilled wish?
6. Is there something your are missing in the World of famous that you had as a youngster?
7. What is your ascendant?
1. Dimljena vesalica. Coca - cola.
2. I am not into cars and they are not my passion. The best car for me is the one that I drive - Peugeot 206. I know there are better cars but this one is perfectly fine for me.
4. My niece Mila.
5. Greater success with Yugoslav national team.
6. Sometimes I would like to have more peace and quiet, a little corner where I could relax and not be observed.
1. Are you afraid of the Azerbaijan game?
2. Who do you know from your opposition?
3. If you lose will this be the disaster of your national team career?
4. Does it give you comfort that Azerbaijan hasn't scored a goal yet?
1. I know my national team will give it all and I don't expect any problems. I will not play as I am still injured.
2. I must admit I don't know a lot. We watch the match Azerbaijan played with Italy and that's all the information I have.
3. I would not be a disaster but it certainly would be bad.
4. Every rival deserves our respect and no team should be underestitamed. We should never look at the statistics. We must always give all we've got.
When do you plan to return to Partizan?
I don't know. I want to return one day but there are so many things that have to be taken into consideration.
1. Who is your favourite basketball player?
2. What is your favourite Yugoslav city?
3. What do you do when you come to Yugoslavia?
4. Do you know if any more Serbian players will come to Fenerbahce?
3. I rest.
4. I don't know but I would want as many Serbian players as possible at Fenerbahce.
Will you return to Italy?
I don't know. It's hard to say.
What do you do an hour or two before the match?
I am preparing. Mentally and physically.
Where do you buy your clothes?
Where I like them. I don't have any special places where I shop. I don't buy only clothes by "famous makes".
1. Do you think Lothar Matthaus will be successul as Partizan coach?
2. How did you feel when you watched Fenerbahce beat Galatasaray 6-0?
3. Where you fouled in the Fenerbahce - Malatya match?
4. What victory and what defeat in the Fenerbahce jersey will you always remember?
5. You sometimes run in the "Belgrade forest". Do you then think of your home town?
6. The ball is flying towards the goal. The goalkeeper can't reach it but you can stop it with your hands. Would you do that or would you let it go in?
1. I think so.
2. The feeling was simply incredible.
4. The victory against Gaziantep and the defeat against Feyenoord.
6. It would all depend on the result at the time and how late in the match we were. I would have to decide in a split second.
Best regards! Yours, Bata Mirkovic
Fenerbahce tonight lost to Besiktas with 0-1. Bata didn't play as he still has problems with his knee.
Turkish league standings!
Our Bata made his return to football after three-and-a-half months out tonight as he started Fenerbahce's friendly against Kocaelispor. He played in the centre of a four-man defence and looked composed and confident on the ball. Kocaelispor rarely produced any attacks to put the defence under pressure but Bata stood out with his interceptions. He started the second half with a bandage on his troubled knee and was substituted in the 63rd minute for Mustafa Dogan.
This friendly was Fener's last one before next Sunday's Besiktas derby, postponed from the first half of the league. It could only have done good for morale as the canaries netted four goals past a defensive Kocaelispor. The goals came late though, but this may be proof towards an improvement in fitness after a tough mid-season camp. Ceyhun scored with a powerful half-volley in the 63rd minute and added his and Fener's second five minutes later through a nice one-two with substitute Vova Beschastnykh. Fener's latest signing assisted again in the 77th minute by putting another new boy Erhan through to blast home, making it 3-0. The final goal came from Ali Akdeniz in stoppage time. Fenerbahce and Besiktas' new purchases won't be able to play on 2 February, as this is officially the league's first half fixture.
(by our Fenerbahce correspondent: Alp Ayhan)
Bata left Fenerbahce's training facilities yesterday morning and flew to Yugoslavia, as he was informed his grandmother's passed away. He is supposed to return to Istanbul on Friday and join his teammates for training.
In one of Turkey's most read sports newspapers, Fanatik, an article title "Special Attention to Mirkovic" claimed that Fenerbahce's Head Coach Oguz Cetin is longing for Bata's return and is showing "great effort" for it to happen as quickly as possible.
It was said that Cetin together with coach Nurettin Yildiz and the physios, took Bata through a special session on Saturday morning. Following this intensive session he stayed for longer than his teammates and trained with the ball by himself.
Fenerbahce have lost in the Efes Pilsen Cup final to Trabzonspor yesterday, despite going ahead with Ali Gunes four minutes before half time. Trabzonspor fought back with Ali Sen and Erman's goals after the break. Our Bata didn't play as he is not yet completely fit. He is working hard and believes he will be ready for the match against Besiktas on 02/02.
Fenerbahce will continue training in Antalya until Monday when the return to Istanbul is scheduled. Click here to view all the pictures of Bata from the training camp in Antalya!
Fenerbahce lost to PSV Eindhoven in the final group game of the Efes Pilsen Cup tonight, but still qualified for the Friday final. Ali Gunes had scored the first goal of the game, as he did against Werder Bremen, through a nice move by Miki Stevic and Semih. But the second half saw Robben score from a fine individual effort, followed by Fenerbahce keeper Oguz's huge mistake, passing the ball straight to Bata's national teammate Mateja Kezman, who slotted in a comfortable goal to make it 2-1. Both teams had spells of control but it was Fenerbahce that missed the clear chances towards the end. The final will be Friday at 19.00 CET, against either Spartak Moscow, Hertha Berlin or domestic rivals Trabzonspor.
Bata didn't feature in tonight's game. In the interview he gave to Serbian daily Glas javnosti, Bata said he is still not completely fit but he believes he will be ready for the match against Besiktas to be played on 02/02/03. Bata also talked about the training camp in Antalya. He said Antalya is heaven. The team has excellent facilities at their disposal and the weather is ideal for training at 15 to 20C.
Fenerbahce's chief doctor Professor Omer Tasar spoke in a press conference today to give information on the injured players, including Bata. Tasar said that Bata's ligament tear has healed but added: "However he's experiencing problems with the muscles adapting to that area. I'm hoping that he'll be joining the team shortly."
Fenerbahce 5 - 1 Werder Bremen
The opening game of the Efes Pilsen Cup tournament ended in a 5-1 win over Bundesliga side Werder Bremen. Young Semih scored two goals and the others came from Ali Gunes, Hakan (penalty), Ceyhun and Borovski of Werder Bremen. Our Bata didn't play tonight but his come back is expected to happen soon.
Fenerbahce coach Oguz Cetin commented the match by saying the win made him happy and that the significant thing was to show team spirit on and off the pitch. Cetin said: "It's good to see five goals against such a team. We're going to try and perform our pressing game, like we did in this match, in every game we play from now on. We need to be in posession of the ball more. The important thing is that the players did their tactical duties in the best way."
Bata's best friend in Fenerbahce, Milan Rapaic, today left the club. The Croatian star has become unhappy with his lack of opportunities this season, and has mutually agreed with the club to tear up his contract.
"I have had very happy days in Fenerbahce. I've been honored to wear the shirt. But I have been a substitute for too long and this hasn't been good for my career. I will continue to play somewhere else" - said Rapaic before departing from Antalya, where Fenerbahce have been training for the past week.
Rapaic came to Fenerbahce in the summer of 2000 and played 68 matches in Fenerbahce shirt. He scored 16 goals, among them some very important ones.
Journalists following the camp in Antalya claim Bata and Stevic were visibly upset because of Rapaic's departure and were the only two players not smiling during afternoon's training.
In the morning Bata and Stevic visited the beach in front of the hotel where the team is staying.
Fenerbahce are preparing for the second half of the season in Belek, Antalya, with Bata returning to the squad after his lengthy injury. Bata's return is seen as one of the positives of the camp by many different voices. One of the closest reporters to the club, Alaatin Metin, said in his column in the Aksam newspaper on Monday, "The best thing about the camp is the return of Mirkovic. The defensive problems were linked with his absence and his return will solve these difficulties." More praise was given to Bata in a football debate program on Turkey's league broadcaster, Lig TV on Tuesday night. Bata was labelled as a "very good professional" with "high game discipline and tactical understanding".
Former assistant and new coach Oguz Cetin revelead that he'll be changing the tactics from now on, playing a four man backline in contrast to the three man line up played in the last two-and-a-half seasons.
Cetin gave the new tactic it's first try against 2nd Division Antalya Kepezspor on Wednesday night. The game ended 6-1 but Bata didn't feature in the game. It's expected he'll make his comeback in the Efes Pilsen Cup, which starts on Saturday night. Fenerbahce will be playing Werder Bremen and the game will be broadcast live by Eurosport.
Another topic surrounding Fenerbahce is the captaincy issue. Ogun has openly expressed his wishes to give up the captaincy, saying he can't cope with the criticisms any more. However, Cetin said he's spoken to Ogun and managed to persuade him to carry on. Cetin said: "It's an important time for us and we've solved the problem. Ogun is the captain of this team."
New signing Vladimir Beschastnykh will join his new teammates on Thursday night. "Vova" said: "I'm pleased at the attention showed in me. I know Fenerbahçe has big targets. I'll be working hard for these targets to be met."
(by our Fenerbahce correspondent: Alp Ayhan)
Coach Oguz Cetin put the players through fitness training for an hour in the gym, followed by a jog out on the pitch on Sunday. Today the squad went through two training sessions in Belek. The morning session was a jog of a 2 km course in the forest a few times over, under Stefano Marrone's, new fitness coach, supervision. During this jog the players' heart rates were taken with polar watches (see the picture). Oguz Cetin headed the evening session which focused on tactics.
Tomorrow the first friendly will be played. From Friday on Fenerbahce will be participating in the Efes Pilsen Cup 2003, facing the clubs at the dates shown below.
Fenerbahce, Werder Bremen, PSV Eindhoven.
Trabzonspor, Hertha Berlin, Spartak Moscow.
11/01/03 Fenerbahce - Werder Bremen
(You can watch this match LIVE on Eurosport.)
12/01/03 Hertha Berlin - Spartak Moscow
13/01/03 Werder Bremen - PSV Eindhoven
14/01/03 Trabzonspor - Hertha Berlin
15/01/03 Fenerbahce - PSV Eindhoven
16/01/03 Trabzonspor - Spartak Moscow
17/01/03 Group A Winners - Group B Winners
(You can watch this match LIVE on Eurosport.)
Bata and his teammates have travelled to Antalya for the main part of the mid-season camp. The squad will be in the district of Belek until Monday 20th January. Captain Ogun spoke before the trip to Antalya and said: "We're going to make the most out of the Antalya camp. We'll be trying to bring down the number of mistakes we did in the first half of the season. The coming games will be a lot better." Players will soon be joined by Russian international Vladimir Beschastnykh, who has been singned from Spartak Moscow today.
Dear fans! I wish you a Happy New Year! Bata Mirkovic
Fenerbahce tonight beat Trabzonspor 3-2 thanks to Tuncay's hat-trick. The visitors took the lead early on through Fatih Tekke but Tuncay's quick double in the 18th and 22nd minutes turned the tables before half time. Erman's header in the 64th minute put the scores level at 2-2. Tuncay was the man once again to call on as he scored in the 73rd to complete his hat-trick and clinch the vital three points before the winter break. Bata will depart for Belgrade tomorrow. As always he will spend the holidays at home. Fenerbahce players will again meet in Istanbul on 03/01/03. The mid season preparations will be carried out in Antalya, between 4th and 19th January.
Bata has answered all the questions sent by his fans during the past two months. If you have a question for Bata, please send it to webmaster's e-mail address.
1. Do you think we can beat Italy in Belgrade?
2. Why don't you move to a League that is covered on TV around the World?
1. I think we can beat them.
2. I am a professional. My profession took me to Turkey.
1. When will you play for Yugoslav national team again?
2. Can you persuade Dejan Savicevic to call-up Rambo Petkovic to the national side?
Bata from Malmo
1. Hopefully as soon as I recover.
2. I can't. It's not my place to make such suggestions. These decisions are made by the selector and coaching staff.
1. How long does your contract with Fenerbahce last?
2. Will you come to play for Partizan next season? Our defence is horrible.
3. Nadj is back. If you were also to return, do you think we would have a chance of qualifying for the Champions League?
4. You played three seasons under Tumbanovic's thumb? What is your opinion on that incident he had with a sports reporter?
5. Are you better friends with Stevic than other teammates?
Nikola Beli from Trebinje
1. Until June 2003.
2. I don't know.
3. I think Partizan has a lot of very good players, and can certainly qualify for the Champions League without us old ones.
4. What happened happened. We all make mistakes. Tumbakovic admitted he made a mistake and he apologized. I don't agree with what he said, but I am on his side. He was provoked - that's why he said what he said. I can't really be objective because I respect and love Tumbakovic.
5. I have a good friendship with all my teammates, but I am very good friends with Miki Rapaic.
How do you like the new Van Gogh album, and what song do you like the best?
The album is excellent. The song I like the best is Za tvoje godine.
1. What was your impression of the matches Partizan played with Bayern in this season's Champions League qualifications?
2. Is there a chance that you will return to Partizan?
1. They were up against a much stronger opponent, and they did not disgrace themselves.
2. As long as I am an active player this possibility exists.
1. Are you happy in Fenerbahce, and how do you like Istanbul?
2. Who is your best friend in the team?
3. When will you start playing again?
1. I am very satisfied. Istanbul is a big city, a real metropolis. I really can't complain.
2. Miki Rapaic.
3. I think that I will be ready for the first match played after the winter break.
1. How long do you wish to carry on playing, and where do you want to finish your career?
2. How can I meet you?
Ivana from Kraljevo
1. I will play for as long as I show good performances. Naturally, I want to finish my career at home. In any case, my last stop will be KMF Konjarnik. (KMF Konjarnik is a little-football club Bata played for and is now honorary president of, note from the webmaster).
2. We live very far away. I really don't know when and where we could meet.
1. Why doesn't FSJ (Yugoslav football federation) employ a foreign selector?
2. Why doesn't Yugoslav national team play with three attackers?
1. We never had a foreign selector and I think that's the right decision. We have good homegrown coaches who can lead our team.
2. Tactics are a matter for the selector(s) to decide.
Could you fall in love with a girl from Niksic?
Why not? It's not important where the girl is from. As long as that is what the heart desires. I don't have geographical, religious, racial, or any other prejudices.
Best regards! Yours, Bata Mirkovic
Oguz Cetin's first game in charge of Fenerbahce ended in a goalless draw against League strugglers Goztepe. The frustrating performance didn't include many opportunities. Oguz Cetin reflected on the match by expressing his dissapointment. Cetin said: "It was an unexpected loss of points. We've lost two very important points on the way to the championship." Turkish league standings!!!
Club Doctor Ismail Basoz gave an update on the conditions of the injured players. Basoz said: "Mirkovic is being treated for his ongoing injury." Bata is still not training with the team but is jogging and working out in the gym on daily basis.
The Istanbul derby between Fenerbahce and Besiktas, previously postponed because of the European commitments of both teams, will take place at Fener's Sukru Saracoglu Stadium on 02/02/03. The Turkish Soccer Federation had rescheduled the match for 25/12/02 but Fenerbahce protested that this was Christmas day and it wanted to release its foreign players early so that they could celebrate Christmas at home with their families. Derby between Fenerbahce and Besiktas will be the first League match Bata will play after recovering from a difficult injury.
The board of directors came to a final decision after a long meeting tonight, announcing the end of Werner Lorant's job as coach. Club spokesman and vice president Atilla Kiyat made the official statement at the club headquarters saying they "accepted Lorant's resignation". The board voted favourably for assistant coach Oguz Cetin to take over as the boss of the professional football team, Kiyat announced. New coach Oguz Cetin spoke following his promotion from the assistant's spot by the board. Cetin thanked president Aziz Yildirim and the directors for trusting him in his statement to the press. Following his talk with new director of football Sadettin Saran, Cetin said: "I've come here with the support of my president. My target was to one day become the coach of Fenerbahce. That day is today. I thank the president and the board for trusting me and giving me this honourable job."
Fenerbahce will, under the new coach, on Saturday play a very important match against Goztepe. After two painful defeats (against Konyaspor on Tuesday and Diyarbakirspor on Saturday) Fenerbahce fans expect and deserve a victory. Turkish league standings!
There have been speculations in Turkish media that Bata will be able to play on Saturday but that is higly unlikely. Though there is no doubt Bata has fully recovered and has begun training with the team. Click here to view a picture of Bata from yesterday's training session!
Tuesday's Turkish Cup second round action produced a major shock. Fenerbahce traveled to face Konyaspor of the Second Division and lost 1-0. The game had started shockingly with a red card in the 34th second to Mustafa Dogan, as he brought down a Konyaspor player after his mistake at letting him through on goal. Faruk's goal ended up to be the decider in Konya. Werner Lorant spoke after Cup exit and labelled it "the worst, most painful defeat in his life". Lorant said: "Going down to 10 men in the 34th second was unexpected and we couldn't play good football from the wings and because we played one-on-one in defence we had flaws in attack. After we went down the motivation of the players and fans went down. Konyaspor worked hard and played with pressure. Now the only target ahead of us is the league, this is hurtful enough." The German coach said they'll be trying to bring back morale and motivation for Saturday's game against Diyarbakirspor and the other league games we have to play.
Our Bata didn't take part in Konyaspor match as he is still recovering from a difficult injury he has suffered in the EURO 2004 qualification match with Italy back in October. He has begun training - running and doing strenght excercises in the gym. Very soon he will be working with the ball.
An own goal by Saffet (71') followed by a nice individual effort by Yusuf (76') gave Fenerbahce the 2-0 victory over Istanbulspor. Turkish league standings!!! Both teams came out on the pitch with banners wishing good health for Washington. The starting 11 was Oguz, Mustafa Dogan, Umit Ozat, Fatih, Ogun, Tuncay, Abdullah, Stevic, Ceyhun, Serhat and Revivo. Our Bata didn't take part in today's match as he is still recovering from a difficult injury he has suffered in the EURO 2004 qualification match with Italy back in October. Bata returned to Istanbul on Monday after being treated in his country for two weeks. His condition is rapidly getting better and he will continue being treated in the club facilities.
Fenerbache today beat Kocaelispor with 2-1. Substitute Ortega's penalty in the 73rd minute turned out to be the winning goal after Kocaelispor equalised in the 50th minute thanks to a defensive mistake at the near post. Washington's header from Serhat's cross made it 1-0 in the 18th minute of the 1st half. Coach Werner Lorant reflected on the 2-1 win over Kocaelispor by saying: "I knew it wouldn't be easy, but I believed that we would win." Bata didn't take part in today's match as he is still recovering from a difficult injury he has suffered in the EURO 2004 qualification match with Italy back in October.
Eric Carriere scored twice and Olivier Kapo added another as France beat Yugoslavia 3-0 in a friendly tonight. Carriere opened the scoring in the 12th minute, rifling home a smart through ball from Lilian Thuram. Carriere then notched his second goal five minutes into the second half, after Emmanuel Petit put him through with a strong run to the edge of the penalty area. Kapo capped the scoring in the 70th minute, after Thierry Henry had forced Dragoslav Jevric into a superb diving stop. The rebound fell to Kapo just inside the penalty spot, and he finished with his first touch.
France: Fabien Barthez, Lilian Thuram (Benoit Pedretti), William Gallas, Marcel Desailly (Philippe Mexes), Jeremie Brechet (Mikael Silvestre), Claude Makelele (Sylvain Wiltord), Emmanuel Petit, Eric Carriere (Ludovic Giuly), Olivier Kapo, Steve Marlet, Thierry Henry
Yugoslavia: Dragoslav Jevric, Nemanja Vidic, Sinisa Mihajlovic (Dejan Stefanovic), Mladen Krstajic, Ivica Dragutinovic, Igor Duljaj (Goran Trobok), Dejan Stankovic (Branko Boskovic), Predrag Djordjevic (Ognjen Koroman), Mateja Kezman, Marjan Markovic, Darko Kovacevic (Savo Milosevic)
Bata didn't travel to France with Yugoslav national team as he is still recovering from a difficult injury he has suffered in the EURO 2004 qualification match with Italy back in October.
Yugoslav national team selector Dejan Savicevic has named his squad for the friendly match against France on Wednesday, 20/11, at 20.45. Jovan Markoski, from FK Zeleznik, and FK Partizan's Zvonimir Vukic have been called up instead of injured captain Predrag Mijatovic and our Bata Mirkovic. Bata is still recovering from a difficult injury he has suffered in the EURO 2004 qualification match with Italy back in October.
Goalkeepers: Dragoslav Jevric, Dragan Zilic
Defenders and wingers: Marjan Markovic, Ognjen Koroman, Nemanja Vidic, Milan Dudic, Sinisa Mihajlovic, Mladen Krstajic, Dejan Stefanovic, Ivica Dragutinovic
Midfielders: Dejan Stankovic, Predrag Djordjevic, Branko Boskovic, Goran Trobok, Igor Duljaj, Sasa Ilic, Nenad Brnovic, Jovan Markoski
Attackers: Savo Milosevic, Mateja Kezman, Darko Kovacevic, Zvonimir Vukic
Fenerbahce trashed Bursaspor with 7-1. Three goals came from Washington, two from Serhat and one from Ceyhun and Tuncay. Bata didn't take part in tonight's match as he is still injured. Turkish league standings!!!
Fenerbahce lost against Panathinaikos 4-1 and is out of the UEFA Cup in the 2nd Round. Rustu's mistakes lead to the first two goals being conceded, before Tuncay clawed one back, but Michaelsen scored with a free long range shot to make it 3-1. Substitute Warzycha scored the last goal of the game. Bata didn't take part in tonight's match as he is still recovering from a difficult injury he has suffered in the EURO 2004 qualification match with Italy back in October.
Our Bata is still recovering from the serious injury he suffered in the EURO 2004 qualification match against Italy. He is receiving treatment on a daily basis and is waiting for the day when he can start training again. Tomorrow he will travel to Germany, where he will visit one of the doctors that coach Werner Lorant recommended. He will then spend a couple of days receiving additional treatment in Belgrade.
Bata has, exclusively for his official website, answered some interesting questions.
Partizan beat Slavia in the first match of second round UEFA Cup by 3-1. Zvezda lost to Lazio 0-1. What, in your opinion, are the chances of the arch rivals qualifying for the third round?
Partizan had a good result in Belgrade, but a lot of hard work will be needed to beat an excellent Czech team. Zvezda is one goal behind but against Lazio that is considered a good result. I doubt Zvezda will qualify for the third round. Of course, it would be great for Yugoslav football if both teams qualified.
Your Fenerbahce thrashed Galatasaray 6-0 on Wednesday. Results says it all, and no comment is necessary but still...
Spectacular. News about our victory at once made headlines all over Europe. We put in a fantastic performance and I wish we could repeat it every week. I also must not forget to mention the teriffic
atmosphere at our Sukru Saracoglu stadium. Everything was just perfect on Wednesday.
When will we see you playing again?
I don't know. I hope in one month.
Fenerbahce tonight beat Samsunspor with 3-1. Goals came from Ceyhun Eris in 73rd minute, Milan Rapaic in 81st minute and Serkan Atkin in 90th minute. Turkish league standings!!!
Fenerbahce has demolished arch rivals Galatasaray with 6-0. Goals came from Tuncay 9', Ortega 37', Serhat 68', 74', Ceyhun 78' and Umit 86'. This record high victory moved Fenerbahce to 19 points from ten games, leaving our heroes seven points behind first-placed Galatasaray with a game in hand. Turkish league standings
"I've had big successes in my career but I've never been in a result like this in a derby game. Results like these are rare, " said Fenerbahce's coach Werner Lorant.
Bata didn't take part in this historic derby because he is still recovering from a difficult injury he has suffered in the EURO 2004 qualification match with Italy back in October.
Panathinaikos took an away goal and psychological advantage back to Athens for the second leg of their second round UEFA Cup tie after holding Fenerbahce to a draw at the Sukru Saracoglu stadium in the first meeting in European club competition between Turkish and Greek clubs. Basinas had put Panathinaikos ahead with a long ranger in the 15th minute before Washington capitalised on a defensive error to bring the score all square going into the changing rooms. The second half has seen a lot of action but not goals.
Bata could not help his teammates tonight as he is still recovering from a difficult injury he has suffered in the EURO 2004 qualification match with Italy earlier this month. He returned to Istanbul on Monday and is undergoing necessary treatment in Samandira, Fenerbahce sports facilities. It's expected our defender will be able to resume training in three weeks.
The latest examinations show our Bata has a full tear in a ligament in his right knee. "The necessary treatment has begun and if there are no complications then Mirkovic can resume training in six to eight weeks. This period could be longer or shorter depending on various conditions" - said Fenerbahce doctor Ismail Basoz. Bata returned to Belgrade on Sunday and will spend a week in his country before continuing treatment in Turkey.
Yugoslavia overcame a tough Finland side 2-0 in their EURO 2004 Group 9 qualifying game in Belgrade, thanks to second-half goals from Darko Kovacevic and Sinisa Mihajlovic. "I am satisfied with the result, but only with the performance in the second half," said Yugoslavia coach Dejan Savicevic. "My players were obviously not able to adopt a defensive formation, leaving a lot of space for the Finns in the air. At half-time I brought in Mladen Krstajic and that stopped the visitors. We are still not favourites in the group, we have still a lot of games to play, but we have achieved a very important victory." Bata didn't play tonight because he suffered a difficult injury in the match played on Saturday in Italy.
Our Bata injured himself in the early stages of Yugoslavia's Euro 2004 Qualifier against Italy in Napoli. He suffered a severe strain on the inner ligaments of his knee with intensive swelling. The match ended with 1-1, with goals coming from Mijatovic and Del Piero.
Yugoslav national team will tomorrow play it's first qualifier for EURO 2004. The match against Italy will start at 20.45 and will take place in Napoli. It's still uncertain if our Bata will be able to play as he has not yet completely recovered after the injury he suffered in the match against AIK Solna. Selector Savicevic said during yesterday's press conference that they will try everything possible to get Bata ready because his absence could create major problems. The decision will be made after the last training.
Fenerbahce's opponent in the second round of UEFA Cup will be Panathinaikos. The first match will be played in Istanbul on Sukru Saracoglu Stadium on 31/10. The second leg will take place in Athens on 14/11.
Yugoslavia coach Dejan Savicevic has named an 18-man squad for the EURO 2004 qualifiers against Italy and Finland.
GOALKEEPERS: Dragoslav Jevric, Dragan Zilic
DEFENDERS AND WINGERS: Zoran Njegus, Ognjen Koroman, Nemanja Vidic, Zoran Mirkovic, Sinisa Mihajlovic, Mladen Krstajic, Dejan Stefanovic, Ivica Dragutinovic
MIDFIELDERS: Dejan Stankovic, Predrag Djordjevic, Goran Trobok, Igor Duljaj
ATTACKERS: Predrag Mijatovic, Savo Milosevic, Mateja Kezman, Darko Kovacevic
Savicevic will name four other players by Monday. "We want to qualify. I respect all of our opponents, but we have the knowledge and strength to achieve qualification. The start is most important - this is clear. But we will settle for a victory over Finland at home to cover a defeat in Italy. But we are not going to Naples to defend but to play very courageously, " Savicevic said at today's press conference.
The first qualifier against Italy will be played in Naples on Saturday, 12/10. The match against Finlad will take place in Belgrade four days late, 16/10. Bata will comment both matches exclusively for his website.
Dejan Savicevic has finalised his squad for the EURO 2004 qualifier against Italy by adding five more names to his list. Predrag Djordjevic from Olympiakos Piraeus FC will not play against Italy because of the recent death of his father. In his place, Savicevic has called up Nenad Brnovic. Meanwhile Nikola Lazetic, Goran Bunjevcevic, Boris Vaskovic and Boban Dmitrovic have also received call-ups.
Fenerbahce tonight beat Altay with 3-1. Goals came from Ortega, Ogun and Stevic. Coach Werner Lorant had to leave Bata out of the squad. He was given necessary treatment by the masseur but in the end the doctor said Bata was not completely ready. To remind you, Bata played the whole UEFA Cup match on Thursday even though he was injured.
Fenerbahce 3 - 1 AIK Solna
Fenerbahce beat AIK Solna 6-4 on aggregate with a 3-1 win on the night, thanks to goals from Ali Gunes, Johnson and Serhat. It was a good game in Istanbul with plenty of action.
Rustu, Mirkovic, Umit Ozat, Fatih, Hakan Bayraktar, Ali Gunes, Stevic, Johnson, Ortega, Serhat and Washington started the game with Johnson as captain. Ortega kicked things off with a great long range strike after beating two players, but his shot was tipped over by Andersson in goal. Umit Ozat featured heavily in this game, mostly because of his frequent bursts upfront. On one occasion Umit won the ball from Tamandi and broke into the right side of the box before he squared for Washington. The Brazilian scored, but the referee, who made many dubious decisions all night, gave a foul against Umit.
Andersson was on his way to goal with a chipped pass but was denied thanks to quick reactions by our Bata. This created some tension, but the weight was lifted off when the first goal came on the half hour mark. Ortega's cross was knocked down by Stevic to Ali Gunes who finished while he was on his way to the floor. However Fener's lead didn't last long, as Andreas Andersson flicked a header to Hoch, who slotted in under Rustu from a narrow angle, 1-1. Umit Ozat's long range screamer struck the bar and went out of play in the 35th minute, creating a highlight for the first half.
Johnson was the captain tonight and did a great job in midfield alongside Miki Stevic but his biggest contribution was when he placed in the rebound of Serhat's header from AIK's keeper. With the score at 2-1, coach Werner Lorant could take off Ortega, who forced the AIK players to hack him down on many occassions with his uncopeable dribbling skills. Tuncay took his place, and once again made great impact as a substitute. Entering with only 10 minutes to go, Tuncay used his energy to keep AIK at bay. Stevic nearly sealed things off in the 86th with his speciality long range shot, but Andersson palmed away the effort. However Tuncay won the ball on the right wing and cut inside towards the box, then unselfishly set up Serhat who finished calmly with his left foot. With the score at 3-1, the Fenerbahce fans could relax and enjoy this home victory in Europe after a long, long time.
(by our Fenerbahce correspondent: Alp Ayhan)
Bata has answered all the questions sent by his fans during the summer. If you have a question for Bata, please send it to webmaster's e-mail address.
1. Which of the younger footballers do you like the most, and what do you think about Branko Boskovic?
2. Which European team do you like the most (please don't say Partizan)?
3. What kind of music do you like?
1. Among the younger players I admire Djordjevic from Obilic, who is a great player as well as a great person. I also have to mention Sasa Ilic and Vladimir Ivic from Partizan. Boskovic is a great player and has a bright future ahead of him.
2. I am sorry but I have to say Partizan. I also like Juventus.
3. I mostly like slow songs. Ballads. Italian cancone.
Are you involved in any humanitarian activities? If they answer is yes, why is there no mention of it on your site?
My teammates and myself are involved in humanitarian activities, but we have decided not to talk about it. We are not helping in order to promote ourselves. We are doing it out of our hearts. Caring for others is not something one should do or use to promote oneself.
What were your impressions of Turkey and Turkish people two years ago and how has it changed?
I was pleasantly surprised upon my arrival. I had no idea that Turkish football has so much quality. I also didn't know that people in Turkey are so kind and generous. So my impression has changed, very positively.
1. Why wouldn't you play for Red Star when you return to Yugoslavia?
2. Do you think Yugoslavia can be successful in EURO 2004?
1. Because I once played for Partizan. I know this does not sound professional, but I could never play for Red Star.
2. First we have to qualify. When we do we can start talking about our hopes for the tournament. We have to be very realistic. In the past decade there were too many expectations. Of course, we all hope for the best.
1. What part of Belgrade do you like the best after Konjarnik?
2. Do you agree with a saying "Away from the eyes, away from the heart"?
3. What (other than football) makes you happy and what makes you unhappy?
4. What characteristics do you dislike in girls?
5. Do you fall in love easily?
2. Not really.
3. Success of my family and friends. I am unhappy if my family and friends are having problems.
1. What Yugoslav national team player did you like the most when you were a teenager?
2. What do you think about the change of sponsor?
1. My idol was Milan Djurovic, a Rad player. However, he never played for the Yugoslav national team.
2. Both companies, Lotto and Adidas, have great programmes. It doesn't really matter what jersey we play in, or what it looks like. As long as we play good football.
What selector did you respect the most?
I have respected all selectors. However, if I have to name names then I would say Santrac (he was the first to select me for the national team) and Petkovic (unfortunately, he was in charge for two matches only).
1. What kind of a relationship do you have with Elvir Baljic?
2. Do you think Yugoslavia would have won a World or European title if it had remained one country?
3. How did you feel while watching the match Rapid - Partizan?
1. We are great friends. We talk on the phone often. We get together if we both have time. Baljic is a terrific friend.
2. Maybe yes and maybe no. If we judge by tradition and statistics then most likely no. All former republics of Yugoslavia had good teams in the past decade. We will never know.
3. I watched the match on television and felt really bad.
1. What are you planning on doing when you end your football career?
2. Which team did you support in World Cup 2002?
1. I have a lot of ideas but I have not decided anything yet. When my last season as a player is over, I will start thinking about the future.
2. Urugvay. That's because of Paolo Montero, who is a great friend of mine.
1. What, in your opinion, makes Fenerbahce different from all other Turkish clubs?
2. What do you think about Fenerbahce fans?
3. Did you hear about Fenerbahce before you signed for our club?
4. Why do they call you Bata?
1. An army of devoted fans.
2. They are great. They support us always no matter what. I only have good things to say about them.
3. Of course. Many Yugoslavian coaches and players were in the club before me.
4. Bata in my language means little brother. The nickname Bata was given to me by my brother Zvezdan. He is one year and seven days older than me. When my mother brought me home from the hospital Zvezdan asked: What is that? As my parents still hadn't decided on the name mom answered: Bata = little brother. Family members kept calling me Bata and this is how the nickname stuck. Nobody calls me Zoran.
Will you stay in Fenerbahce if we don't win the title? (This question was asked before the season 2001/2002 ended, note from the webmaster)
I am still here.
1. How did you feel when you first came to Turkey?
2. What are your impressions of Turkey and Fenerbahce now?
1. I felt just like the first time when I left my country and went abroad ( to Italy).
2. Turkey is an amazing country and Fenerbahce is a great club.
Are you friends with Savo and what kind of a person is he? (Savo in question is Savo Milosevic, note from the webmaster)
Savo is a great friend of mine and has been since we first met in 1991.
1. Why, in your opinion, is Dejan Petkovic - Rambo not playing for Yugoslav national team?
2. Have you ever listened to Bijelo Dugme and which of their songs do you like the most?
1. It's up to the selector to choose the players, so I would not want to comment. However, I think Rambo is an amazing player.
2. Of course. If I have to name one then I would say Ako ima boga.
1. What did Jarni do to you before that infamous incident?
2. What can the Yugoslav national team do to play better?
1. He fouled me and said a couple of nasty things.
2. I really don't know (Bata said that after he took a long time to think about it, note from the webmaster). Perhaps you could give us a few tips, and together we can be World champions.
1. Where do you hang out when you are in Belgrade?
2. Did you notice that girls here are only after rich men who can buy them things, provide for them?
1. I visit different places.
2. No I haven't. I don't spend much time in Belgrade, and when I am in my hometown I don't pay attention to such things.
What is your favourite male and female perfume?
I change perfumes a lot, but let's say Jean-Paul Gaultier. I am not an expert on female perfumes. I have never used them. (Bata laughing, note from the webmaster )
1. Are you happy in Fenerbahce?
2. How will Laza's departure affect you?
3. Do numbers 2 and 6 any special meaning to you?
2. I am sad because we can not hang out together anymore. But I'm also happy because he is now playing in the best league in the World. He will get a chance to show all of his abilities and will get even better.
3. Not really. They are just my jersey numbers.
1. Is Mateja Kezman a good friend of yours?
2. When are you coming to Switzerland again?
2. I really don't know.
1. What kind of music do you like?
2. What is your favourite group, singer (male and female) and album?
1. I like soft and gentle songs.
2. Van Gogh, Zvonimir Djukic - Djule, Leontina, Opasan ples.
Do you speak Turkish? If not, how do you communicate with your teammates and with Turkish people in general?
My Turkish leaves a lot to be desired. I know enough words to get around. In the team we use Turkish, English and Italian. Somehow we manage to understand each other.
Thanks to all that have sent me questions. Regards, Bata!
Fenerbahce 4 - 2 Elazigspor
The game began with a shock goal from Elazigspor, who pressured the defence and found an opening with Erhan Namli, who placed accurately into Oguz's bottom left hand corner the goal. From then on, Elazigspor looked to play on the counter attack, but the majority of attacking play came from Fenerbahce. Serhat's close range header went over the bar in the 13th minute while Revivo's free kick came close in the 15th. Ceyhun's new role as a defensive midfielder seemed to suit him fine, as he won balls in the centre of the park as well as join attacks with his dribbling skills. Ortega was eager to score in front of the home crowd for the first time, but he didn't do himself justice in the 32nd minute when he failed to connect when he jumped for a free header inside the six-yard box. Revivo also couldn't reach the cross at the back post. With half time approaching, the pressure increased from Lorant's men. A volley into the danger area by Stevic was met by Johnson, who stuck in his head to guide the ball past Kingston in the 44th minute. A minute later Fenerbahce were to throw men forward with urges from the crowd. Ceyhun's shot from inside the area came back off the keeper and fell to Ortega who dribbled through a couple defenders and squared to Revivo who crossed in back to the Argentine. 'El Burrito' hit a shot from close range that came back off Kingston, so he placed in the volley to score his first home goal. It couldn't have come at a better time for Fener, as it took off some weight from the players shoulders going into half time.
Until the 68th minute Fenerbahce were the dominant side but didn't get a clear opportunity to extend the 2-1 lead. But in that minute scorer of Elazigspor's first goal, Erhan, played Umit in from the right who converted the chance and drew his team back level. This was to last only a short while, as another great corner by Ortega was met by Johnson, who demonstrated his aeiral prowess and bulleted in the header into the back of the net, 3-2. The rest of the game was packed with controversy. Referee Ismet Arzuman didn't give what seemed a clear penalty on Ortega and therefore infuriated the Fenerbahce faithful.
Rules of the Turkish Federation state that if there is chants from the crowd that involve swearing directed at the referee then there is an announcement ordered by the referee to be made in the stadium, that calls for a stop to the insults. However the fans didn't listen and carried on as Ismet Arzuman continued his dubious decision making. This in turn resulted in two more announcements, with the threat of the game being abondoned becoming even more closer. Elazigspor nearly equalised with five minutes to go but were denied by a good save by Oguz. Substitute Meszaros had initiated an attack that Cem Yanik could have easily finished off a couple of metres away from goal, but the second choice keeper made a crucial save to sustain his teams lead. However things were wrapped up by sub midfielder Tuncay, when he chased a pass back from Haci Arif to his keeper and managed to slide in before a clearance was made to roll the ball into the goal. Tuncay's goal was an example of pure determination and belief that earned the chants for him by the supporters.
Bata had another solid performance in defence but got the fans worried when he was down holding his ankle on the left touchline. He'd been up the field to join an attack and suffered a slight knock when he was tackling his way back to defence. However Bata was able to carry on and fight. Bata has been one of the most consistent players in defence, which has changed so much since the start of the season. Ogun, Umit and Mustafa have been in and out of the defence, but Bata, along with Fatih, has been a regular choice by Werner Lorant out of all these internationals.
(by our Fenerbahce correspondent: Alp Ayhan)
AIK Solna 3 - 3 Fenerbahce
In the 1st Round of 1st Leg of UEFA Cup coach Werner Lorant fielded Rustu in goal, Mirkovic, Umit Ozat and Fatih in defence, Ali Gunes on the left wing, Hakan Bayraktar on the right wing, Stevic and Johnson in the middle with Ortega and Revivo in front of them whilst playing Serhat up front. An excellent first half display had seen Fenerbahce go into the dressing room 3-1 up (Revivo, Johnson and Stevic beat the opponent). The match finished 3-3 at the Rasunda Stadium with two goals coming from the home side in the second half. The 2nd leg will be played in Sukru Saracoglu Stadium in two weeks time.
Coach Werner Lorant said he's not happy with the outcome of the match to the press after the game. Lorant stated: "We've come out with a draw from a game that we should have won."
Malatyaspor have beaten Fenerbahce with 2-0. Bata didn't play because of an injury. He is already training and is expected to be able to help his teammates in this weeks UEFA Cup match against AIK Solna.
Gaziantespor 3 - 3 Fenerbahce
One of the hardest places to go to in Turkish football is Gaziantep, Fenerbahce fans will tell you that. This season wasn't any different, as a thrilling game took place at the Kamil Ocak Stadium. Werner Lorant fielded a side without Ariel Ortega and opted for the attacking line of Washington, Serhat and Revivo. Ali Gunes played on the right wing while Cem Karaca was on the left. Bata didn't make it into the team after yesterday's injury, which meant the defence was composed of Fatih, Ogun and Mustafa. Stevic and Johnson formed the central block of the team.
Gaziantepspor showed their attacking style early in the game. With effective dribbles from midfield, Gaziantep forced our defenders to track back with the forwards and in turn creating space for the midfielders. This is exactly what happened as Mustafa Sahinturk was sprinting with the ball from midfield who then made use of Julio Cesar and Yaw Preko's diagonal runs and exposed the gap in defence. He was too quick for Ogun who made contact and gave away a penalty. Kemal stepped up and fired into Rustu's bottom left hand corner in the 14th minute. Rustu was close to getting a touch but the penalty was too powerful and accurate to save.
Serhat had a decent chance to equalise four minutes later, when he chested Cem's high ball on to his left foot, but an increasingly narrowing angle and a poor shot by Serhat meant the ball would end up in the side netting. In the 22nd minute Mustafa Sahinturk once again assisted Gaziantep's goal. His corner found Alper, who rose to the header rather untroubled in the box and powered in to the top corner. Cem's shot in the 33rd minute went just over as we continually tried to get back into the game. The goal eventually came in the 38th minute when Stevic whipped in from a free kick, finding Revivo at the back post who guided the ball with his head past Omer in goal.
Preko got injured just before the half time whistle which damaged Gaziantep's attacking power significantly for the second half. Lorant began making attacking substitutions in the 55th minute by bringing on Tuncay for Johnson. Washington had a great chance in the 60th minute when his marker missed the ball coming in from the left, which left little time for the Brazilian to compose but still left him in front of goal. Last week's hat-trick man missed the target this time, hitting high and over.
Ball wizard Ortega finally made his entrance in the 66th minute, coming on for Ali Gunes. Ortega was to play a significant part in the latter stages in the game. Washington came close in the 68th minute when he blasted a shot from the edge of the area, only to find it fly just over the bar. However the best opportunity of the game for Washington, and for the whole team, was in the 70th minute, when he was played in by Ortega. Washington dribbled and entered the box into a one on one situation with Serhat free to his left, but Washington opted to shoot and didn't even hit the target. The Brazilian's shot hit the side netting on the near side as he tried to squeeze it in from Omer's near post.
Things took a turning for the worst when Fatih Akyel was sent off for an off the ball incident right by the linesman. Referee Metin Tokat consulted his assistant and a red card was shown for the defender. Fatih wasn't happy with the decision as he was forced off the field. Despite being a man down, Lorant's men did everything to get back into the game. Serhat's shot in the 79th minute was saved in two motions by Omer. However with 10 men and playing so attacking, a counter attack was unevitable from such a quick side.
First Mustafa Marangoz's shot at the end of a counter attack in the 82nd minute was saved, but two minutes later we weren't let off so lightly. With everyone forward in Gaziantep's half, the home side won posession and played a direct long ball to Kemal who sprinted in to space. He squared for Erdal who shot in his second touch and hit the bar. Rustu was committed while the defence were trying to re-group. The ball fell to Kemal who turned Rapaic and struck the post again, this time the inside, and extending his side's lead to 3-1.
Just as things looked to be over, and the TV broadcast was showing the replay of the last goal, Ortega was in the opposing box causing troble for the Gaziantep defence. He was fouled just before the left perimeter of the area and won us a penalty. He immediately picked up the ball and took it to the spot. The Argentine hit a classic South American penalty, stopping before the final hit to see if the keeper has moved himself. Ortega scored and we took the ball back to the centre circle.
With tired legs on both sides, gaps were opening up everywhere. Tuncay exposed one of them and played in Serhat from the right wing. His cross was too far Washington, but the Brazilian managed to keep it in and cross from the left side with his right foot. He found the completely unmarked Ogun who couldn't miss that header. The captain scored the vital goal in the six yard box. We'd scraped the draw out of this end to end match.
(by our Fenerbahce correspondent: Alp Ayhan)
Czech Republic trashed Yugoslavia with 5-0 in tonight's friendly played in Prague. Hosts got off to a flying start, going ahead in the second minute. Jan Koller crossed from the right to Vladimir Smicer who unleashed a spectacular volley to make it 1-0. The home team stretched the lead in the 21st minute when Ujfalusi headed home his first from close range off a Tomas Rosicky corner kick. Six minutes into the second half Baros soared above the Yugoslav defense to power home the third off a Rosicky free kick. In the 55th minute Tomas Galasek crossed to Ujfalusi and the defender scored his second, nodding the ball into the the right corner of the net. Baros added the fifth and his second ten minutes before the final whistle after he beat the Yugoslav defense including the keeper to score into an empty net.
A match that was supposed to mean a morale boost for our players turned out to be a disaster. Selector Savicevic wanted to see those little things that still didn't work so he could correct them in time for the first qualifier. But those little things weren't so little all of a sudden. To be perfectly honest, nothing worked. The defense was slow, midfield was non-existant and only one good shoot towards the goal was seen. We can only hope this match was not an indication of how things will be in the upcoming qualifications.
Yugoslav national team selector Dejan Savicevic today named a squad for the friendly match against Czech Republic.
Goalkeepers: Dragoslav Jevric (Vitesse), Igor Dimitrijevic (Obilic)
Defenders and wingers: Nikola Lazetic (Como), Ognjen Koroman (Dynamo, Moscow), Goran Bunjevcevic (Tottenham), Zoran Mirkovic (Fenerbahce), Sinisa Mihajlovic (Lazio), Mladen Krstajic (Werder), Nenad Dzodic (Montpellier), Boban Dmitrovic (GAK), Ivica Dragutinovic (Standard)
Midfielders: Dejan Stankovic (Lazio), Predrag Djordjevic (Olympiakos), Nenad Brnovic (Zeta), Goran Trobok (Partizan), Igor Duljaj (Partizan), Boris Vaskovic (Sartid)
Attackers: Savo Milosevic (Espanyol), Mateja Kezman (PSV), Darko Kovacevic (Real Sociedad), Mihailo Pjanovic (Crvena zvezda), Bojan Brnovic (Zeta)
Players will gather in Partizan sports center tomorrow at noon. The first training will be held at 18.00 and will be open to the public. Tuesday's and Wendesday's trainings will be held behind closed doors. On Thursday Bata and his teammates will travel to Prague. The friendly against Czech Republic will be played on Friday and will begin at 20.15.
Fenerbahce 3 - 2 Denizlispor
After the upsetting defeat to Feyenoord on Tuesday it was vital for Werner Lorant's men to get a positive result at home against Denizlispor. A different line up was selected by Lorant, with Mustafa Dogan being left out of the defensive trio and Abdullah being replaced by Cem on the left. Fatih and our Bata formed the defence with Ogun as a sweeper, while Ali Gunes was given teh right winger job. Johnson returned to his spot in centre midfield, accompanied by Stevic. Washington and Serhat formed the front two, supported by Ortega behind them.
Loyal fans filled most of the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium to show their support for the team, especially with the air of disappointment after the exit to Feyenoord. The players quickly reacted as Washington collected the ball outside the area, broke away from Hakan and placed the ball to the bottom right hand corner of the advancing keeper Suleyman in the 4th minute. Washington's goal could be seen as an answer, or at least the beginning, to many criticisms towards him for his performances. The Brazilian looked pleased and relieved with his goal, but he was to be even more pleased in the 15th minute when he doubled his tally and his team's lead. Ortega's corner from the left found Washington who headed powerfully and straight into the back of the net.
With a bit of luck, Serhat could have scored in the 36th minute should he got a lucky bounce off Denizli's keeper Suleyman, when Rustu kicked straight down the field towards the Denizlispor box. Suleyman came out to clear while Serhat chased, but Suleyman got the required touch the take the ball away from the young forward.
Washington was close to ending the first half with a hat-trick as he turned his marker on the inside left of the box before striking a hard lef foot shot at goal. This difficult shot was well saved by Suleyman who was pleased to see the rebound shot from Johnson go over his goal.
Denizlispor came out a lot more organised in the second half, immediately getting into a goalscoring chance through Kratochvil. The Denizli player had a free shot inside the box but couldn't get the ball on target to test Rustu. At the other end, latest transfer Stevic was close to converting a freekick as his long range driver went just over the stanchion. Ortega's night was ended in the 56th minute as Lorant replaced him with Yusuf.
Rustu was involved in a dangerous mix up as he tried to keep in Fatih's clearance for a corner. Rustu slid to keep the ball in play, in turn giving the ball to Denizlispor's Ali who squared for Kabat to shoot at a goal defended by outfield players. Luckily Kabat's shot went over the bar and Rustu was let off. Denizlispor's attacks were a lot more threatining in the second half and put our defence under pressure. On two consecutive occasions, Bata was the man to put an end to Denizli's attacks, first with a clearance before Kratochvil came face to face with Rustu and secondly by throwing himself in front of a free midfielder who was expecting his shot to travel towards Rustu's goal.
Washington completed his hat-trick in the 63rd minute with a free header in the box. Stevic's cross from a free kick on the left was curled towards Washington who headed into the bottom right hand corner of the goal. Washington could have been put down for an assist should Yusuf had done better in a one-on-one situation with the keeper. The substitute tried to take on Suleyman but couldn't free the ball from him and therefore lost the opportunity to convert Washington's accurate through ball. Stevic again tried his luck on goal, this time in open play from 35 metres. Suleyman was forced a save from the Yugoslav's shot.
With five minutes to go, Denizlispor began a series of last gasp attacks. Denizlispor's new transfer Bencik from Bratislava turned Bata with a chest control and hit a powerful half volley to the right of Rustu and into the back of the net. Two minutes later Kratochvil's cross into Ozkan at the back post was directed past Rustu's left to create a panic filled final few minutes for the supporters. However Denizlispor couldn't manage any more clear threats on goal and referee Selcuk Dereli ended the match when we were preparing to take a corner.
(by our Fenerbahce correspondent: Alp Ayhan)
The draw for the first round of the 2002/03 UEFA Cup has been made in Monaco. It has rewarded Fenerbahce with a tie against AIK Solna of Sweden. The first leg will be played at Rasunda Stadium just outside Stockholm on Thursday, 19/09. The return leg at the Fenerbahce Sukru Saracoglu Stadium will take place on Thursday, 03/10.
Fenerbahce 0 - 2 Feyenoord
Everyone was waiting for the home leg of the Champions League qualifier against Feyenoord in hope and enthusiasm. Feyenoord might have brought a 1-0 advantage with them but all the fans were certain that this could be turned around with the magic of Kadikoy, however things didn't quite turn out the way they were expected. Werner Lorant was certain to be under fire as he left out Johnson from the starting line up. Mirkovic, Ogun and Mustafa Dogan formed the three man defence in front of Rustu, while Fatih was moved to the right wing. Abdullah was given the left flank and Stevic, Ortega and Revivo created the midfield. Washington and Serhat were given the forward positions by Lorant.
Fenerbahce stormed into the game with attacks coming by the minute, firstly with Revivo's shot that was deflected wide for a corner in the fourth minute. The superb support by the fans urged the players more and more forward while Feyenoord barely got a look in. Ortega and Revivo's moves in and around the box created danger for Zoetebier in the Feyenoord goal. Revivo's one two with Stevic put him into a shooting position on his weaker right foot and the Israeli took the chance and unleashed a shot that was saved by Zoetebier's feet. Ortega found himself in a similar position as he was played in by Fatih, but the Argentine was left between two minds and hit a weak shot that floated over the bar.
Rustu was always going to be pivotal in this game and he showed his class in the 25th minute when Paauwe's shot wasn't kicked away by the defence, in particular Ogun, forcing Rustu to dive in the last second and palm away the shot. The biggest scare in front of our goal in the first half came in the 28th minute when Rustu saved Emerton's shot and got back up to defend the rebound, but was left helpless as a chip to Kalou at the back post left the Feyenoord player with keeperless goal to shoot at. Bata threw himself in front of Kalou to block the shot, injuring himself in the process, but possibly saving his team from conceding a goal. Feyenoord slowly put their emphasis on the game towards the end of the half as Kalou found free space around the box to shoot. Rustu wasn't troubled by the final shots at him as most missed the target. Serhat was very close to grabbing the needed goal just before half time as he met Fatih's cross with a header at the back post, but couldn't get the power on it to beat Zoetebier.
No changes were made at half time by Lorant. The fans continued their support in the second half too. Kick off for the second half was delayed as flares were lit up in the Migros Acik stand, creating a massive cloud of smoke across the Sukru Saracoglu pitch. However Ono spoiled the party with another long range goal against Rustu. The Japanese star was once again given too much space on the box perimeter. Feyenoord's coach Bert Van Marwijk was then sent off the technical area as he over demonstrated his thoughts about things being thrown on to the pitch. The game paused for a good four minutes round this time.
Ortega's dribbles and runs were always effective but Fenerbahce could never get a decent goal scoring chance, as Feyenoord were a lot better in the second half. However Ortega was steps away from a goal in the 60th minute when he tried to finish off substitute Oktay's header down in the six yard box. The Feyenoord defence scrambled away for a corner. The quiet Washington was replaced by Rapaic three minutes later to bolster the attack. Revivo got a few chances one after another after the 64th minute but wasn't given space to aim a good shot on goal, or he just wasn't clinical enough to beat Zoetebier.
As the minutes were ticking away, everything seemed to end with Feyenoord substitute Buffel's goal in the 88th minute. The fans protested with applause for the Dutch side. It could have been three in the dying seconds as we threw everyone forward in hope of a few miracles, leaving gaps back in the defence. Emerton was closed down by Rustu to prevent further embarrasment, but the damage was already done as Feyenoord secured their place in the Champions League with a 3-0 aggregate win.
Many fingers were pointed at Lorant at the end of the game as well as captain Ogun and striker Washington. The consolation for today's exit is a run in the UEFA Cup from the 1st Round. Hopefully Lorant and the squad can put together a winning performance to make these fans smile again.
(by our Fenerbahce correspondent: Alp Ayhan)
First-half goals from SV Werder Bremen defender Mladen Krstajic and Real Sociedad striker Darko Kovacevic earned Yugoslavia a 2-0 victory against Bosnia-Herzegovina in a friendly international played under heavy security tonight in Sarajevo. The Bosnian team started the match aggressively, dominating just for the first few minutes before Yugoslavia recovered with several excellent straight shots on the goal. Krstajic opened the scoring in the 34th minute off a pass from Sinisa Mihajlovic and Kovacevic, taking advantage of a defensive mistake, scored in the 41st minute from 10 meters to make it 2-0.
In the second half selector Dejan Savicevic made 11 substitutions to give all his players a chances to show their abilities and current form. Bata has been substituted with Nenad Djordjevic, Obilic player, in the 81st minute of the match. He left the field as a team captain after receiving a ribbon from Sinisa Mihajlovic who was substituted in the 66th minute.
Bosnian authorities deployed numerous police units because the match between the two countries bitter enemies during Bosnia's 1992-1995 war was considered to be a high security risk. No incidents occurred during the game, but several hundred Bosnian fans clashed with about 200 police officers after the Yugoslav fans had been escorted out of the stadium by police. The Bosnian fans threw stones at the officers, lightly injuring three. Five fans were also slightly injured during the clash. All injured were treated on the scene. Police dispersed the crowd after 10 minutes and detained at least eight fans.
"I am satisfied with our performance in the first half but in the second half we weren't that good. I am glad we won and I hope we will play even better in the upcoming matches" - said Bata after the match.
Jevric (Zilic), Mirkovic (N. Djordjevic), Dragutinovic (Gavrancic), Duljaj (Vaskovic), Krstajic (Stefanovic), Kovacevic ( Ivic), Lazetic (N. Brnovic), P. Djordjevic (Ilic), Milosevic, Kezman, D.Stankovic (Koroman), Mihajlovic (Dzodic)
Piplica (Tolja), Beslija, Miskovic (Papac), Konjic (Ikonovic), Hibic, Bajramovic (Skaric), Biscevic, Duro (Hota), Muratovic (Halilovic), Salihamidzic (Pelak), Krivic (Gredic)
Pictures were taken by Nenad Negovanovic at Surcin airport before the team boarded a flight to Sarajevo. Please click on them if you wish to see them in original size.
Yugoslavia coach Dejan Savicevic today named a squad for the friendly match against Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Goalkeepers: Jevric, Zilic
Defenders: Dragutinovic, Mirkovic, Mihajlovic, Krstajic, Dzodic, Gavrancic, Stefanovic, Nenad Djordjevic, Lazetic, Koroman
Midfielders: Stankovic, Predrag Djordjevic, Brnovic, Ilic, Ivic, Duljaj
Attackers: Milosevic, Kezman, Kovacevic
The match will be played on Wednesday, 21/08/ at 20.15 on the Kosevo stadium in Sarajevo. The players will gather in Belgrade's Hyatt hotel tomorrow at noon. They have two trainings scheduled in Belgrade, both on Partizan stadium. Bata already left for Belgrade this afternoon as he wasn't in Lorant's squad for this evening's match that was played on Sukru Saracoglu stadium in Istanbul. Fenerbahce beat Ankaragucu with 1-0. The only goal came from Washington in 41st minute.
Feyenoord 1 - 0 Fenerbahce
The first European test of the season for Fenerbahce was away against Feyenoord of Rotterdam. Werner Lorant surprisingly left out Ariel Ortega and included fresh buy Miroslav Stevic in midfield. Rustu, Ogun, Stevic, Fatih, Mustafa, Umit, Mirkovic, Johnson, Rapaic, Revivo and Washington earned their places in the starting lineup. Ogun and Stevic controlled the midfield with Johnson playing a deeper role close to the defence. Umit, Mirkovic and Mustafa Dogan formed the backline with support from Fatih on the right. Mustafa stuck to Van Hooijdonk throughout the game while Mirkovic and Umit controlled their zones.
Kalou's cross in the 15th minute caused the first real danger at our goal but no one got on the end of the delivery. Kalou's effectiveness continued as he this time launched a half volley towards goal, but missed the target in the 22nd minute. Revivo's freekick in the 28th minute was held by Zoetebier down low at his left hand post. This was a moment of real hope for the 2,500 Fenerbahce fans in the De Kuip Stadium. A freekick by the opposite specialist, Van Hooijdonk, went over the bar in the 37th minute. The posession was balanced in this half but it was obvious that a more defensive attitude was employed by our canaries. Mirkovic was involved in many crucial interceptions while new boy Stevic got involved in some unsportsmanlike battles with the Feyenoord players. In one instance Stevic was lucky to stay on the field as he seemed to strike a Feyenoord player with his studs on the by-line.
Rustu's significance was demonstrated in this game too, as he saved a hard shot by Emerton inside the box. Three minutes later Revivo was close to replying as Rapaic's cross travelled towards him at the back post. The Feyenoord defence managed to intervene and clear the danger for a corner. The decisive moment in the game came in the 65th minute as Van Hooijdonk set up Ono for a clear shot on goal outside the area. Ono's accurate left foot strike ended up in the back of the net. Serhat; introduction in place of Washington injected some pressing into our attack, as Feyenoord were looking to keep posession in the final 20 minutes.
Johnson's powerful header from Revivo's cross went straight to the keeper. Had it been directed to an extreme of the goal a goal would be inevitable. Ortega was finally subbed in with 16 minutes to go, replacing Milan Rapaic. Ortega immediately showed his skill by passing sweetly to bring in Revivo into the area from the left. Revivo's first time strike came back off the keeper. After this missed chance Feyenoord were denied a doubled lead thanks to Rustu, who saved Kalou's shot with his feet as the Ivory Coast player dribbled past Umit. Abdullah came on for Johnson with four minutes to go and nearly provided the equaliser as he struck Revivo's pull back with venome in the final seconds of the game, only to see the ball scream just wide of the goal.
The return leg at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium in two weeks time will be played under the pressure of scoring two goals to knock out Feyenoord. Should we not concede a goal, a 1-0 win will take the game to extra time, while any other number of goals we score will mean we qualify for the Champions League.
(by our Fenerbahce correspondent: Alp Ayhan)
Accompanied by president Aziz Yildirim and the directors, the 22 man Fenerbahce squad arrived in Rotterdam yesterday afternoon on a private plane. After a three hour journey, the travelling pack was greeted by many supporters at the airport. Preparations for Tuesday's Champions League 3rd Round Qualifier 1st leg tie against Feyenoord are taking place on the pitch near the hotel where the team is staying. All session have been closed to the press.
Feyenoord - Fenerbahce match will take place tomorrow, 13/08/ at 20.30. You can follow the result LIVE on antu.com. On Bata's site you will be able to read a full match report and view pictures taken during the match.
Trabzonspor 0 - 0 Fenerbahce
When the draw was made for the fixtures of the 2002-2003 season, the first game stood out immediately as a potential thriller. The Yellow Canaries faced the rejuvenated Trabzonspor under the management of Samet Aybaba at the Huseyin Avni Aker Stadium. With four days to the Feyenoord game Werner Lorant had the task of starting the league with three points going into the Champions League qualifier. The German coach started with the starting 11 of Rustu, Fatih, Umit Ozat, Mirkovic, Ogun, Ortega, Johnson, Abdulah, Revivo, Washington and Serhat in a 3-5-2 formation.
With the decision not to have away support in games between Fenerbahce, Galatasaray, Besiktas and Trabzonspor, the boys in yellow and navy weren't backed by any vocal support at the Huseyin Avni Aker. Despite partizan home support, the first real chance came from Washington in the 11th minute, who fumbled a cross from Revivo in the box before the danger was cleared by ex-Fenerbahce player Serkan. Mehmet Yilmaz replied with a shot in the 18th minute that missed the target. Washington's placement into the bottom right hand corner of the goal wasn't counted for an offside during this part of the game.
The biggest danger came in the 27th minute when Aurelio's deep header down the centre turned into a through ball for Mehmet Yilmaz with only Rustu to beat. Luckily he lost his footing and Rustu was able to intervene. Johnson came close with a header at Revivo's freekick two minutes later. The Ghanian couldn't keep his header low enough to test Australian keeper Petkovic. Gokdeniz's hard and low shot at Rustu on the half hour mark went wide for a corner as Rustu got a touch at his right hand post.
Revivo's expertise in dead balls was equalled by Trabzon's Petkovic in minute 36 as the Israeli hit a curler on target but was denied by the flying Australian. The home crowd continually showed their hatred for Abdullah and Ogun, two former Trabzonspor players, with boos every time they had posession of the ball. Many of our players were also struck by missiles as they came to take throw ins or corners. Some tough marking for Ortega reduced his effectivity. The first half ended as it started with few chances for both sides.
In the 51st minute Serhat's cross into the danger area caused a mix-up in the Trabzon defence as Petkovic came out to clear with Trabzon defenders having the same thing in mind. The ball rolled to Revivo, who shot straight at the defence. In the same minute, referee Kuddusi Muftuoglu asked for an announcement to be made in the stadium to call for a stop to the launching of missiles at Fenerbahce players.
In the 56th minute Aurelio's hard shot from a set piece was saved low down by Rustu. Gokdeniz tested Rustu even further in the 59th minute with a diving header at the near post, but was unable to direct his header at an extreme of Rustu's goal. A minut e later Trabzonspor's Mehmet Kahraman received his second yellow card as he fouled Ortega's replacement at half time, Ali Gunes. Serhat got his first booking in the same incident.
But possibly the turning point in the game was Rustu's excellent save in the 73rd minute. Gokdeniz's cross to Mehmet Yilmaz at the near post was struck first time by the forward towards Rustu's left, but Rustu showed his class once again by palming the ball away. As Trabzonspor played with 10 men, they took less risk in going forward and looked to score on the counter attack. Rapaic's introduction didn't make a difference and the score at the end of the game was 0-0.
(by our Fenerbahce correspondent: Alp Ayhan)
A spectacular ceremony marked the beginning of the 2002-2003 season for Fenerbahce. Singers Hande Yener and Gulben Ergen excited the fans with their songs before all the lights in the stadium were switched off for light shows and amazing fireworks. The players were then called out one by one, in squad number order, to the centre circle from the Maraton stand.
The 2002-2003 season opened with a 6-2 friendly win over Red Star, thanks to hat-tricks from Revivo and Washington. Boskovic scored both the Yugoslav side's two goals. Our Bata unfortunately could not play because of an injury he received during Tuesday's training.
Fenerbahce will on Friday, 2nd of August, play a friendly match against Red Star from Belgrade. As Red Star and Bata's former club Partizan are arch rivals, one can only assume Bata will be extremely motivated for this match. The match will be played on Fenerbahce Sukru Saracoglu stadium and will mark the beginning of the 2002-2003 season.
Fenerbahce will face Feyenoord, last season's UEFA Cup winners, in the 3rd Qualifying Round of the Champions League. The draw was made in Nyon, Switzerland this afternoon. The first leg will be played away on either the 13th or 14th of August. The return leg at the Fenerbahce Sukru Saracoglu Stadium will be played on either the 28th or 29th of August. Feyenoord are a very good team. It will not be an easy match. We were disappointing last season, but we have made the necessary transfers. It is a big advantage that we are away in the first leg. We are confident. Last season we missed the Turkish title by two points and this season we will fight even harder. Turkish football is rising and hopefully we will continue this." - said Fenerbahce vice-president Sadettin Saran.
The final friendly of the Austria camp ended on a high note, with an impressive 3-1 victory over RCD Mallorca. Coming from 1-0 behind, Fenerbahce won thanks to goals from Washington, Ortega and Revivo. Our Bata played the whole match showed a good performance.
The squad returned to Istanbul today. After an evening training session back at Samandira, the squad was dismissed for three days. Training will resume on Monday at the Samandira Facilities.
Champions League Qualifier Draw will take place tomorrow. Fenerbahce will face one of these teams:
AEK - Greece
Barcelona - Spain
Bayern München - Germany
Boavista - Portugal
Club Brugge - Belgium
Celtic - Scotland
Dinamo Kiev - Ukraine
Feyenoord - Netherlands
Inter - Italy
Lokomotiv Moscow - Russia
Manchester United - England
Milan - Italy
Newcastle United - England
Rosenborg - Norway
Sparta Prag - Czech Republic
Strum Graz - Austria
Fenerbahce drew 2-2 with Hertha Berlin in a friendly match played in Austria yesterday. A 2-0 lead was thrown away in the second half after Johnson then Revivo made the score 2-0 for the first 45 minutes. Werner Lorant started with Rustu, Ogun, our Bata, Umit, Johnson, Cem, Ali Gunes, Yusuf, Rapaic, Revivo and Washington.
Johnson scored in the 14th minute with a header and Revivo scored in the 41st minute, taking the ball past the entire Hertha Berlin defence and the keeper to slot into the empty net. Hertha Berlin scored through Alex Alves and Simunic in the second half to level the score.
Today another friendly was played. Fenerbahce beat SV Hall 9-1 in the Stadion Haller Stadium in Lend. The next friendly will be against Real Mallorca on Wednesday, 24th July.
Fenerbahce yesterday lost 2-0 to Hamburg in the final of the Alpen Cup 2002. Six pictures from the match can be viewed on the site! The next friendly in Austria is on Saturday 20th of July against Hertha Berlin. The game kicks off at 20.00 and will also be shown LIVE on Eurosport.
Bata and his Fenerbahce tonight beat Kaiserslautern with 6-2. Fenerbahce will be playing the winner of the Feyenoord - Hamburg game tomorrow at 21.15 to determine the winner of the 2002 Alpen Cup.
The Austria camp's first friendly against FC Traunstein saw a total of 17 goals, 16 of them from Fenerbahce. Volkan, Ogun, Mustafa, Umit, our Bata, Serhat, Revivo, Simao, Abdullah, Oktay and Ali Gunes started the game that saw many changes throughout. Goals came from Washington (4), Serhat (3), Semih (3), Tuncay, Ogun, Cem Karaca, Ceyhun, Oktay and Yusuf. Around 2500 fans watched the game who flooded the pitch with the final whistle to get signatures and any apparel that they could get their hands on. The next friendly will be against Kaiserslautern on the 17th of July.
Bata and his teammates arrived in Austria yesterday. For two weeks a small village in Alps will be a Fenerbahce base. Aside from numerous training sessions, a lot of friendly matches have been scheduled:
Sunday 14th July
Fenerbahce - Fc Traunstein
Time: 17:30 Venue: Triftstadion-Traunstein
TV Coverage: DSV Television
Wednesday 17th July
Fenerbahce - Fc Kaiserslautern
Time: 19:15 Venue: Trivoli Stadium-Innsbruck
Wednesday 17th July
Hamburg Sv - Feyenoord Rotterdam
Time: 21:15 Venue : Trivoli Stadium-Innsbruck
Thursday 18th July
Third Place Play Off
Time: 19:15 Venue: Trivoli Stadium-Innsbruck
Thursday 18th July
Time: 21:15 Venue: Trivoli Stadium-Innsbruck
Saturday 20th July
Fenerbahce - Herta BSC Berlin
Time: 20:00 Venue: Sportstadion-Worgl
TV Coverage: Eurosport
Sunday 21st July
Fenerbahce - Sv Hall
Time: 17:30 Venue: Stadion Haller-Lend
Wednesday 24th July
Fenerbahce - Real Mallorca
Time: 18:30 Venue: Grenzland Stadium-Kufstein
On Wednesday Bata and his teammates returned to Istanbul where they have two trainings scheduled every day. Today the players went through strength test and tomorrow speed and endurance tests will take place. "The camp will go ahead in accordance with the results from the tests. These tests are standard pre-season preparation for me" said coach Lorant at today's press conference. On 10/07 Fenerbahce squad will travel to Austria where they will train and play numerous friendly matches. They will return to Istanbul on 25/07.
Fenerbahce yesterday played the first pre-season match against amateur side TSV Dorfen. The match ended in a 15-0 win for Fenerbahce. Bata played the first half but was substituted in the second as coach Lorant wanted to give a chance to all his players. Today's morning training began with another jogging session before Lorant gave the players an afternoon off. Rustu, Fenerbahce and Turkey national team goalkeeper, rang the squad in Germany and spoke to his teammates. The players and coach Lorant congratulated Rustu for playing a vital part in making Turkey the 3rd best team in the World Cup.
Our Bata returned to Istanbul on Monday morning and joined his Fenerbahce teammates in Samandira. After a meeting with coach Lorant, the players had a short training. On Tuesday Bata went through a medical examinations at the Acibadem Hospital and took part in the afternoon training.
This morning the available Fenerbahce squad (Mustafa, Ogun, Revivo, Simao, Johnson, Oktay, Ismail, Ceyhun, Yusuf, Ali Gunes... and of course our Bata) took off for Germany. Rapaic and Washington will join the squad there. It's reported the players will watch the semi final between Brasil and Turkey and have a training later in the afternoon.
Bata and his teammates will stay in Germany one week and will return to Istanbul on Wednesday, 03/07. On 10/07 they will go to Austria where they will train and play numerous friendly matches.
Yugoslavia and Bosnia-Herzegovina are set to play each other in their first friendly meeting since the end of the war in the region. The match will be played in Sarajevo on 21/08/02. Yugoslavia have also agreed a friendly with the Czech Republic on 07/09/02 which will be their last warm-up game ahead of the start of their EURO 2004 qualification campaign. In their first competitive game, Yugoslavia will meet Italy on 12/10/02. Bata is expected to play all above mentioned matches.
Today's Fanatik newspaper published an interview with Bata. Our hero told the journalist he is very happy he will play for Fenerbahce next season. He stated Turkey is a paradise and praised Fenerbahce president Aziz Yildirim, saying he is like a father to him. Bata added it will be an honour for him to play with Ortega.
Bata on Saturday signed photograps for the fans who requested them. They will be mailed tomorrow and you can expect to receive them within a week or so. After he signed the photograps, I took few photograps of him that you can view by clicking here.
Bata will stay in Belgrade for few more days and will return to Istanbul on 24/06 when the pre-season trainings will begin.
Bata and his Fenerbahce teammates will travel to Germany on 26/06 where they will train until 03/07. One week later, on 10/07, they will go to Austria where they will train and play numerous friendly matches. They will return to Istanbul on 25/07.
Bata gave an interview for Dolce Vita magazine earlier this month. He answered questions about Croatia - Yugoslavia match that made him a legend. Bata again refused to reveal what Robert Jarni said to him before the indicent but has stated Croatian and Yugoslav players made a deal for the match to be fair and that deal wasn't kept. Bata didn't want to answer any questions about his personal life saying he wants to keep it private. He told the journalist he will stay in Fenerbahce and wants to end his career in Partizan.
Click here for the pictures from Dolce Vita magazine.
Yugoslavia beat Russia 6-5 on penalties. Darko Kovacevic gave Yugoslavia the lead in he 53rd minute. Sychev snatched the equaliser two minutes from time after beating the offside trap. The match went into penalty shootout. Djordjevic, Koroman, Milosevic, Sasa Ilic, Kezman and our Bata were successful, while Pjanovic missed.
The following players defended Yugoslav colours today: Jevric, Mirkovic, Dragutinovic, Brnovic (Gavracic 65), Djodic (Ilic 88), Mijatovic (Milosevic 74), Stankovic (Djordjevic 76), Ivic (Koroman 46), Kovacevic (Kezman 78), Markovic (Lazetic 46), Janovic, 89)
Today's match was the last for Bata this season. It has been a long and eventful season. Bata played 30 matches for Fenerbahce (27 in Turkish League and 3 in Champions League) and 8 matches in Yugoslav national team (4 in WC qualifications and 4 friendlies). On Bata's site you were able to read about all his matches and also view pictures and video clips. I hope you enjoyed the site this season and I promise it will be even better in the season to come.
While Bata is on holiday, the site will not be updated with news as often as you, the visitors, are used to. But make sure you check it out often as Bata and myself are preparing a lot of surprises for you. You can expect exclusive statements and commentaries, answers to the questions sent by fans and a lot of pictures of Bata that your webmaster will take in Belgrade. Fans, who requested Bata's signed photographs, can expect to receive them in the middle of June. Maja, webmaster
In today's LG Cup Ukraine beat Yugoslavia 2-0 and will meet Belarus in the final on Sunday, while Yugoslavia plays Russia for third place. Sergiy Popov scored for Ukraine on 28 minutes and Vladimir Masalatin confirmed the victory with ten minutes to go.
The following players defended Yugoslav colours today:
Jevric, Mirkovic, Mihajlovic, Krstajic, Lazetic (od 67. minuta Koroman), Dmitrovic (from 46. Dragutinovic), Gavrancic (from 46. N. Brnovic), Ilic (from 78. Markovic), Djordjevic (from 46. Ivic), Milosevic (from 46. Kovacevic), Kezman (from 78. Pjanovic)
This was a very special day for our Bata. Today he played his 50th match for Yugoslav national team. Bata debuted for Yugoslav national team on 31/01/1995 in the match against Hong Kong. In the 50 matches he has played so far, he played: 10 as Partizan player, 21 as Atalanta player, 8 as Juventus player and 11 as Fenerbahce player. He scored one goal. But the statistics can not tell how popular he has become among Yugoslav football public, especially after the match against Croatia. All Yugoslav media today call him Golden boy of Yugoslav football.
31 players have so far played 50 or more matches for Yugoslav national team. Those players are:
Dragan Dzajic 85, Dragan Stojkovic 84, Zlatko Vujovic 70, Branko Zebec and Predrag Mijatovic 65, Slavisa Jokanovic and Savo Milosevic 64, Stjepan Bobek 63, Branko Stankovic and Faruk Hadzibegic 61, Ivan Horvat 60, Vladimir Beara, Rajko Mitic and Bernard Vukas 59, Vujadin Boskov, Blagoje Marjanovic and Sinisa Mihajlovic 57, Dejan Savicevic 56, Jovan Acimovic, Zlatko Cajkovski and Fahrudin Jusufi 55, Mehmed Bazdarevic, Safet Susic and Ivan Surjak 54, Milorad Arsenijevic and Dragan Holver 52, Tomislav Crnkovic and Milan Galic 51, Vladimir Durkovic, Milutin Soskic and Aleksandar Tirnanic 50.
Yugoslav national team selector Dejan Savicevic announced the list of players for LG tournament in Moscow. The list is as following:
Goalkeepers: Jevric Dragoslav (Vitesse), Poleksic Vukasin (Sutjeska Niksic), Zilic Dragan (Sartid Smederevo)
Defenders: Lazetic Nikola (Fenerbahche), Mirkovic Zoran (Fenerbahche), Markovic Marjan (Red Star Belgrade), Koroman Ognjen (Dinamo Moscow), Dmitrovic Boban (GAK Graz), Dragutinovic Ivica (Standard), Mihajlovic Sinisa (Lazio), Krstajic Mladen (Werder), Dzodic Nenad (Montpellier), Gavrancic Goran (Dinamo Kyiv)
Midfielders: Jokanovic Sinisa (Chelsea), Stankovic Dejan (Lazio), Djordjevic Predrag (Olympiakos), Brnovic Nenad (Zeta Golubovci), Ilic Sasa (Partizan Belgrade), Ivic Vladimir (Partizan Belgrade)
Strikers: Mijatovic Predrag (Fiorentina), Milosevic Savo (Zaragoza), Kezman Mateja (PSV Eindhoven), Kovacevic Darko (Real Sociedad), Pjanovic Mihajlo (Red Star Belgrade)
Bata and his teammates will gather tomorrow at 13.00 and will stay in Partizan's training camp until they fly to Moscow on Thursday morning. They will have two trainings, one tomorrow and one on Wednesday. Both will start at 18.00. They will train in Moscow on Thursday and on Friday they will play their first match against Ukranie. If they win, they will play against the winner of Russia v Belorussia pair on Sunday. The winner receives 60.000 dollars.
Ecuador beat Yugoslavia with 1-0 in the friendly match that was played in New Jersey yesterday night. The only goal was scored by Agustin Delgado in 69th minute of the match. Yugoslavia showed a good performance but missed a lot of chances. Bata played the whole match and once again showed it's impossible to get pass him. Realising that, Ecuador players started using methods that have very little to do with sports. Delgado hit Bata directly in the eye but referee was to far away to see that. Few minutes later Guerron strongly fauled Bata and got a yellow card. After a short medical intervention Bata picked himself up and continued playing.
Ecuador: Cevallos, Porozo, Hurtado, de la Cruz, Obregon, Guerron, Aguinaga, Delgado, Chala (Tenorio 45), Mendez, Tenorio (Fernandez 61)
Yugoslavia: Jervic (Poleksic 90), Mirkovic, Stefanovic, Jokanovic, Krstrajic, Lazetic, Mijatovic (B Brnovic 89), Stankovic, Mihajlovic, Ilic (N Brnovic 62), Ivic (Dragutinovic 73)
View pictures that Bata's childhood friend Miki took in New Jersey.
The final game of the season was only a formality after last weeks results, but a win at home is always the motive for Fenerbahce. The celebrations of the clubs 95th year, the 84th anniversary of Ataturks visit and Kennet Anderssons last football match of his career gave this game spiritual importance. Coach Werner Lorant arrived back in Istanbul in the early hours of the morning and took charge of his team for the last time this season. The German didnt pick a different side to what he usually does, but he had to leave out Andersson due to a back problem. The Swede came on in the last 15 minutes of the game.
As Diyarbakirspor had guaranteed to stay up the game was played in a relaxed atmosphere. Ceyhun was the creative source in midfield and got a lot of backup from Umit who came up regularly to distribute passes. Serhat was marked very tightly at the beginning of the game but the youngsters energy was enough to leave his markers behind. The Turkey Under-21 international was left, right and centre looking for openings and looking to link-up with Revivo. Serhat was the one to break the deadlock in the 20th minute, as he capitalised on keeper Senols mistake to let the ball run loose and slotted in with his left foot. Ceyhun was launching his trademark long shots but didnt get them on target or didnt get the power when he did get them on target.
Diyarbakirspor were always looking to score on the counter attack but were well sussed by the defence of Bata, Umit Ozat and Fatih. Rustu was rarely troubled and gave little reason for the scout in the crowd for coming to watch him. The pretty dire first half nearly ended with a nice free kick goal by Revivo, but Senol equalled to the accurate curler and punched away into touch.
The second half began with Oktay coming on for Revivo, but the most rapidly effective substitution was by Diyarbakir, whos substitute Tuncay went round three players to go one on one with Rustu. The final shot however didnt match the run and the ball went wide. Rapaic also took his part in this testimonial style game but didnt have a great impact. Denizlispor got what they wanted with a counter attack, and scored in a quick move with Deniz who placed into the goal at Rustus bottom right corner. The perfect opportunity to take the lead again arose three minutes later in the 63rd minute to Bata. Rapaic was gearing up for a free kick and crossed in when everyone expected him to shoot. Bata placed high and wide of the goal and was clearly disappointed with his effort. But Oktay was the one to score our second goal. As everyone stood for offside, Serhat was already through on the left and had Oktay completely free in the centre, who he squared to and for the forward to score an easy goal.
As Andersson came on he was greeted with a huge reception from fans and everyone was dying to see the Swede finish his career with a goal. He did put the ball past the line with about 10 minutes to go, but the referee ruled it out for offside claiming that Andersson was closest to the keeper as he went up to head. Andersson was already celebrating but was distraught to see the referee rule it out, it clearly wasnt offside.
After the final whistle, the team toured each stand with Andersson, who threw his shirt and boots to adoring fans chanting his name. Next season theres expectations for a new figure up front, but nothing can replace the giant Swede. After the game Andersson said: "Its going to weird, because all my friends will be at training and I wont be." We wish Kennet good luck in his new life, he will surely be missed. Meanwhile the Turkish League and Champions League beckons next season for the Yellow Canaries. A bigger, better squad is promised for the fans, whichre eagerly awaiting new names to arrive at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium.
Turkish league standings
(by our Fenerbahce correspondent: Alp Ayhan)
Yugoslav national team selector Dejan Savicevic named the squad for friendly international against Ecuador that will be played on Wednesday, 08/05, in New Jersey.
Jevric Dragoslav (Vitesse), Poleksic Vukasin (Sutjeska Niksic)
Lazetic Nikola (Fenerbahche), Mirkovic Zoran (Fenerbahche), Dzodic Nenad (Montpellier), Djordjevic Nenad (Obilic Belgrade), Mihajlovic Sinisa (Lazio), Krstajic Mladen (Werder), Stefanovic Dejan (Vitesse), Dragutinovic Ivica (Standard)
Jokanovic Sinisa (Chelsea), Stankovic Dejan (Lazio), Brnovic Nenad (Zeta Golubovci), Ilic Sasa (Partizan Belgrade), Duljaj Igor (Partizan Belgrade), Ivic Vladimir (Partizan Belgrade)
Mijatovic Predrag (Fiorentina), Brnovic Bojan (Zeta Golubovci), Djuraskovic Zoran (Mladost Lucani)
The match will be broadcasted LIVE on Serbian national television aswell as on Croatian national television (Croatia and Ecuador are in the same group in World Cup 2002). On Bata's site you will be able to read a full match report. Bata's childhood friend Miki will take a lot of pictures of Bata during his stay in New Jersey. They will all be posted on the site.
Bursaspor 0 - 1 Fenerbahce
It was the penultimate game of the season. The tough away game against brought back memories. Last seasons second from last game was also against the same team, but at home and if results had gone right we could have been declared champions a week early. This time, if results had gone right, it would mean wed hang on to our hopes for another week.
To make sure of that you need your stars to be fit, and there was certainly worry about that. Rustus absence for two weeks and Revivos late injury scare caused some concern, but both made it before the squads were to be announced. In front of Rustu Bata, Umit Ozat and Fatih took their defensive positions, while Hakan and Ali Gunes kept their part on the right and left wings respectively. The centre saw Johnson, Ogun and Ceyhun who returned from suspension. The striking line up was composed of Revivo and Serhat.
Fatih Sen of Bursaspor had the first opportunity of the game with a header a few metres out of goal that eventually went over. It was a wake up call to the team and manager Lorant was furious on the bench. In a similar attack three minutes later, Hakan crossed to Serhat who headed wide. The clearest opportunity fell to Johnson, who won the ball half way through Bursas half, and went round the last man by hitting the ball past one side and running past the other, but his final touch let him down and a slow shot went straight to Slovakian keeper Kelemen. The rest of the half was played mostly in the midfield and failed to demonstrate the potential excitement of these two teams. At half time, the first goal at Kocaeli was scored which devastated the fans at the Bursa Ataturk Stadium.
The second half started a bit more promisingly as a lot more effort could be seen coming from the players. This resulted in a goal five minutes into the half as Ali Gunes crossed from the left neatly to the unmarked Revivo, who calmly headed into the back of the net. Ten minutes later Bursaspor had a goal disallowed for offside. Last seasons prolific scorer Okan had slotted the ball under Rustu but the linesman had his flag up. The unsatisfactory quality of the game resumed at around 60 minutes, as both teams werent creating the chances to score. Oktay had come on as a substitute just before half time to liven up things but he didnt feature too much in the game and had little support to him. The remainder of the game saw no further goals or near-goal action, and the game ended in a 1-0 victory for us.
We might not have won the league this year, but fans are already looking forward to next season. The final game at home against Diyarbakirspor might be a formality, but ending the league with a win at the Sukru Saracoglu is a must, despite its ineffectiveness towards the standings.
(by our Fenerbahce correspondent: Alp Ayhan)
UPDATE: View Bata's pictures from Trabzonspor match!!!
Fenerbahce 3 - 0 Trabzonspor
Over 50,000 supporters filled the Sukru Saracoglu hoping for two wins in Istanbul tonight. Firstly a win from their beloved Yellow Canaries over Trabzonspor and secondly from Ankaragucu over title rivals Galatasaray. Lorant fielded a side that included last week's successful Ali Gunes on the left, leaving Abdullah on the bench for the second week running. Lorant was forced some changes on him as sweeper Umit Ozat was banned for this game along with Ceyhun. Ogun was pulled back as sweeper with Bata and Fatih playing on either side of him. Hakan was on the right wing again, Johnson in the middle with Yusuf returning to the starting line up. Serhat, Revivo and Andersson played a triangle forward line up. As the team came onto the pitch there was one thing distinctly noticeable about them; the white away shirt was worn with stars printed all over. This was in protest of the Turkish Football Federation, who, along with a lot of other things, have turned the 'stars for every five championship's business into a farce.
The beginning of the game made a few things very clear to the fans; the game would be very tense, Yusuf would be a key player in midfield and Aurelio and Da Silva of Trabzon had to be closely marked. Johnson and Yusuf provided a perfect combination in midfield of flair and power. Their work provided the first opportunity for Fener, as Johnson's through ball to Revivo was controlled and brought into the danger area from the right and laid off to Andersson in the six-yard box. However Andersson placed the ball straight at the keeper from only a metre out and Trabzonspor cleared the danger. It was one-way traffic at the Sukru Saracoglu and the players looked confident of a win. Trabzon, who only hoped in getting a goal from a counter attack, smothered a few more half chances with Revivo and Serhat. Da Silva was their only man up front and was often left alone with no support. Johnson's contribution to the game increased by the minute. On the 19th he had a free header inside the box but keeper Bulent tipped away the bouncing shot. Trabzon's first chance was a minor one, with Aurelio shooting inside the box but the narrowing angle meant Oguz easily made a save. One of the best chances of the game fell to Serhat at the back post as he turned his defender while Andersson jumped to head Revivo's cross. But when the Swede didn't make a connection Serhat was left to finish but the oncoming Bulent got a touch on Serhat's shot and a corner was the result. Serhat struck the crossbar with his palm in frustration but was uplifted by the fans. Two minutes later in the 28th minute Johnson once again headed from a similar position as before, but this time launched a powerful high header towards goal. Unfortunately it was a little too high and Trabzon were let off once again. Andersson's header in the 34th minute went slightly wide and so did Serhat's shot three minutes later from an Ali Gunes pull back. One of the best opportunities fell to Andersson once again in the 39th minute with a completely free header being wasted. With all these chances wasted it would have been a bigger blow if Trabzon had scored just before half time. Many thought that was to be for a second, as Da Silva was one-on-one with Oguz. But the Brazilian missed the shot and the defensive mistake was forgiven.
Lorant made no changes at half time and the same eleven piled on the pressure to get that first goal to take off the nerves from the crowd. By this time Galatasaray was 1-0 up in their game on the other side of Istanbul.
The much awaited goal finally came in the 55th minute. Yusuf collected Fatih's pass and entered the danger area from the left with a chance to shoot. In typical Yusuf fashion he dribbled further and narrowed the angle, but he was looking for the assist all along and he did just that by crossing with the outside of his right foot to the oncoming Revivo who threw himself at the ball in mid air to score with a diving header. Revivo took his shirt off in delight to celebrate with his biggest fans. Revivo nearly doubled his tally four minutes later as he launched a power curler from the right hand corner of the box but the shot went slightly over. Mustafa was brought in for Hakan on the 61st minute to take care of Da Silva who was looking lively.
But luck was on our side in the 62nd minute and allowed Serhat to score his third goal in two weeks. Fatih's ball from the deep right wing bounced luckily off Gungor to Serhat in front of goal. Keeper Bulent palmed the youngster's shot but the ball didn't go out of play, instead it bounced very slowly past the goal line for a goal. Serhat didn't complain and neither did anyone else, 2-0. Yusuf's part in the game was over in the 66th minute as Simao came on for him. 10 minutes later Andersson came off for Abdullah. Clearly Lorant was trying to secure this win. But the real security was established through Fatih's persistence and Revivo's finishing. Fatih cut inside from the right wing and could have shot on goal to score his first goal for the club, but instead passed through a tight gap to the free Revivo, who placed under Bulent to score his second and Fenerbahce's third. Fatih celebrated as if he'd scored by kissing his shirt for the fans in a mini lap of honour. News of a second goal by Galatasaray didn't stop the crowd and the noise levels went up right till the end.
So Fenerbahce have to carry on hoping for another week to win the championship. Next week's Bursaspor game away will obviously have to be won and at least a draw must be the result at Kocaeli. The final league game will be at home against Diyarbakirspor while Galatasaray will be at home to already relegated Yimpas Yozgatspor. The chase continues.
(by our Fenerbahce correspondent: Alp Ayhan)
UPDATED: Pictures from the match against Lithuania were posted on the site. Our captain Bata was photographed by Nebojsa Parausic from MN PRESS agency.
Yugoslav national team beat Lithuania 4-1 in the friendly match that was played on Sartid's stadium in Smederevo. This was the first international match our Bata started and finished as a Yugoslav team captain. Sasa Ilic scored the first goal in 16th minute after he was assisted by Kezman and Pjanovic. Only four minutes later Lithuania equalised from the corner kick. In the 36th minute Sasa Ilic returned a favour to Kezman and assisted him for 2-1. In the second half selector Dejan Savicevic made eight substitutions but Yugoslavia continued to dominate. Vladimir Ivic, who entered the match in 58th minute, assisted Kezman with his second goal in 76th minute and debutant Brnovic in 87th minute. Vladimir Ivic had a chance to make it 5-1 but he missed a penalty.
Yugoslavia coach Dejan Savicevic was just as satisfied with the performance as he was with the result. "I'm happy with how we played. I wanted to give as many players from the Yugoslav championship a game as possible - they have shown that they can play well.
Goals: 1-0 Sasa Ilic 16', 1-1 Zutautas 20', 2-1 Kezman 36', 3-1 Kezman 76', 4-1 Bojan Brnovic 87'
Yugoslavia: Jevric (77' Zilic), Mirkovic, Dmitrovic (72' N. Djordjevic), Stefanovic, Krstajic, Duljaj (58' N. Brnovic), Lazetic (45' Koroman), Sasa Ilic (58' Vaskovic), Boskovic (58' Ivic), Kezman (82' B. Brnovic) and Pjanovic (58' Bogavac).
Lithuania: Kurskis, Robertas Poskus, Dainius Gleveckas, Aurelijus Skarbalius, Rolandas Dziaukstas, Barasa (76' Skerla), Semberas, Mindaugas Stankevicius, Tomas Razanauskas (89' Karolis), Nerijus Barasa ( 76' Andrius Skerla) and Saulius Mikalajunas.
As Mijatovic, Mihajlovic and Jokanovic were not called to play the friendly against Lithuania, our Bata will be Yugoslav team captain tomorrow. The match against Lithuania will be played at 16.30 on Sartid's stadium in Smederevo. On Bata's site you will be able to view exclusive pictures from the match. They will be taken by Nebojsa Parausic from MN PRESS agency.
UPDATE: Pictures of Bata taken during Besiktas derby were posted on the site.
Besiktas 0 - 2 Fenerbahce
The fourth from last game in the league saw Fenerbahce face arch rivals Besiktas at their place, with three points the only possible way to carry on championship credentials. From the first minute of the game it was apparent what roles were assigned to what players. Bata was given a man to man role with Ahmet Dursun while Mustafa Dogan was given the same role with Ilhan Mansiz. Along with Tumer this trio have demolished other teams in the league, but they played their toughest game against Fenerbahce on Sunday night. Bata didn't give any room to Ahmet at all. Ahmet's frustration showed so much as he frequently came back in hope of getting a decent touch on the ball, but these attempts would either result in him commiting a foul or simply having to walk around with Bata at his boots. Bata didn't just keep Ahmet at bay, but also made some vital interceptions, especially in the beginning of the game. With young keeper Oguz in goal, he knew along with Umit and Mustafa that extra care had to be taken with more concentration than ever before. Unlike the first game against Besiktas, Bata also kept his cool, most notably when he was crocked by Ahmet and Ilhan together as he was just about skilfully dodge both of them on the touch line. There were many attempts to shrug off Bata and Mustafa but to no avail. Both weren't provoked either and didn't react to attempts of getting them booked. Besiktas managed to get attacks on Fenerbahce but were blocked by these key men mentioned above. Young keeper Oguz barely had anything to do in his goal. Tumer's shot in the 19th minute was the closest so far but even that went wide.
The awaited goal came in the 45th minute with only seconds to go until the whistle. A superb movement in a lovely counter attack resulted in a much-needed goal. The counter attack started with Oguz who threw long to Ali Gunes who then 'passed and moved'. The recipient Revivo flicked the ball with the side of his foot first time and in turn was playing a wonderful through ball to Ali Gunes down the left wing. This sublime touch had to matched by Ali who did just that. As he bombed down the wing he looked up to find the incoming Serhat at the back post, and crossed perfectly to his feet. Serhat finished with the inside of his foot and was quick to put his finger on his lips to suggest silence.
Serhat once again was played in by some great passing as Revivo hit a first time ball over the defence and through to the youngster. Serhat took a touch on his chest and was bearing down on goal. Many thought he'd taken it too far and narrowed the angle for himself, but Mhyre didn't come out, leaving Serhat to coolly place the ball into the far right corner of the goal with his left foot in the 53rd minute.
The 2-0 victory is the second derby win under Lorant's management. With three games to go and three points between Fenerbahce and leaders Galatasaray everything is possible. A little help from Ankaragucu next week (just like last season) could make things a lot more realistic for Fenerbahce. In the event of the top two teams finishing first on same points the deciding factor will not be goal difference. The champion will be decided by the aggregate score from the two games those two clubs have played against each other. In the event of this situation Fenerbahce've already lost, as the aggregate score would be 2-1. Therefore Galatasaray must lose one and must draw another of their remaining three games while Fenerbahce have to win all three. This trilogy begins with Trabzonspor, who come to the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium.
(by our Fenerbahce correspondent: Alp Ayhan)
Selector Dejan Savicevic announced the list of players for the friendly against Lithuania.
Goalkeepers: Jevric (Vitesse Arhem), Zilic (Sartid Smederevo)
Defenders: Mirkovic (Fenerbahce), Dzodic (Montpellier), Krstajic (Werder Bremen), Stefanovic (Vitesse Arnhem), Dmitrovic (GAK), Lazetic (Fenerbahce), Koroman (Dinamo Moscow)
Midfielders: Ilic, Duljaj, Ivic (all Partizan Belgrade), Vaskovic (Sartid Smederevo), Boskovic (Red Star Belgrade), N Brnovic (Zeta Golubovci)
Attackers: Milosevic (Real Zaragoza), Kezman (PSV Eindhoven), Pjanovic (Red Star Belgrade) B Brnovic (Zeta Golubovci), Bogavac (Red Star Belgrade)
Bata will leave Istanbul early on Monday morning and will join his team mates in Belgrade, in the hotel Jugoslavija. There is a training scheduled in the afternoon and another one on Tuesday. The match against Lithuania will be played on Wednesday at 16.30 on Sartid's stadium in Smederevo. On Bata's site you will be able to view exclusive pictures from the match. They will be taken by Nebojsa Parausic from MN PRESS agency.
Bata answered all questions that were sent to him by the visitors of his website. If you have a question for Bata send it to the webmaster. Before you do that, please check out Bata's earlier answers so you don't send questions Bata has already answered.
1. Could you love a girl of different nationality?
2. Do you like girls with blond or dark hair?
3. What is your favourite movie?
4. Where did you spend summers as a child?
5. Are you a romantic person?
6. What are your favourite female names?
1. I don't judge people by their nationality, religion, colour of their skin. If we are talking about girls, I judge them by their personality. The goodness of their hearts. Love knows no bunderies.
2. The looks is not important, personality is.
3. Legends of the Fall.
4. Before 1989 and the war in Yugoslavia, we went to Tucete near Makarska with the family every summer.
6. Mila and Tamara. My brother has three children, two are girls. And their names are Mila and Tamara.
1. Will you return to Partizan as a player?
2. Would you play for Partizan if they qualified for Champions League?
3. Do you plan on ever getting married?
Mile, Slavica and Jelena
1. I have always wished for that to happen.
2. I would play for Partizan they the club qualified or not. I am with Partizan in good and bad.
3. Of course.
1. What goal is your favourite?
2. Do you have any nick names other than Bata?
3. Do you hang out with our basketball players?
1. If I have to name one, that it would be the goal I scored as a junior in Rad. We played the semi final of Yugoslav Cup. This was the match against Varez. I scored and the match ended with 2-2.
2. No, only Bata. People that don't know me usually call me by my name, so Zoran. Others call me Bata.
3. Our professional obligations don't allow us to hang out much. When we are on holiday in Belgrade and we meet, we go for a drink and talk. I mostly hang out with Sasa Obradovic, Trifunovic and Drobnjak.
1. Do you think people treat football players as Gods and because of that fame gets into their heads?
2. I know you are religious. What saint's day do you celebrate? (Note from the webmaster: In Serbia every religeous family has a saint that it celebrates.)
1. Clearly football is the most popular sport but I would not say football players are treated as Gods. Perhaps some get overwhelmed by fame but not many.
2. Our family saint is Sv. Vracevi. We celebrate it on 14th of November.
1. Do you go to the night clubs?
2. What club would you want to play when you leave Fenerbahce?
1. No. I don't like night clubs. I prefer coffee shops.
1. What do you think of the state called "Serbia and Montenegro"?
2. Is it possible that new jerseys will no longer be blue?
1. This is a very difficult questions. I was born and I grew up in Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia has been my country for 30 years. I don't think if this new name is a good solution. I would also like to add how sad I am to see bad things happening in my country.
2. From what I heard, jerseys will stay blue.
1, Who is the most likable player in Juventus?
2. Who is the leader in Italian national team?
3. What chances do you give Italy in WC 2002?
1. There are so many fine guys in Juventus it's impossible to name only one.
3. They have good chances. They know how to play to achieve a result. They also are a team that is good playing tournaments. I think they can be very successful.
Would you want your girlfriend to play football and do you think women football players are feminine?
No, because I know how tough football can be. If I have to work so hard I would not wish that upon her. Of course they are feminine. Women football is getting very popular and a lot of girls now play football.
Will you return to Partizan? If not for more, than just for one season?
Like I said, that is my wish and I really hope it will come true.
Will you play in Yugoslav League again?
I want to wear a Partizan jersey again.
1. Your national team has World class players. How come it had problems with less quality teams like Slovenia?
2. Do you think young generations will bring a new Savicevic, Jugovic, Mirkovic, Mihajlovic?
1. I would not say Slovenia is not as good as Yugoslavia. They qualified for EURO 2000 and World Cup 2002 and proved their quality. I think our team was a little unlucky in the last qualifications.
2. We have many talented players. It's not up to them to work very hard and make a name for themselves.
How would a girl have to look like for you to go out with her?
I don't judge girls by their looks. It's their personality I am interested in.
Do you think a player has a right to insult fans and show them the finger if they call him names during the match?
It' most certainly not nice if a player does that. I don't approve of such behaveour. But I also don't approve of fans being violent like it happend during Red Star training. Players and fans can't do without one another therefor we should stick together.
Best regards! Yours, Bata Mirkovic
Question marks were raised when Bata didn't train with the team at the Samandira training complex yesterday and today. Bata jogged on his own and didn't put too much pressure on his troubled foot. Fenerbahce doctor Ismail Basoz said for Fenerbahce's official website: "Mirkovic has pains in his foot after a knock in the previous game. But he can play against Besiktas." This piece of news has relieved Fener fans, especially in this critical time of the season, with a crucial game on Sunday against rivals Besiktas.
Bata has been called up to the Yugoslavia squad for their friendly match against Lithuania. The match will be played in Smederevo on Sartid's stadium on 17/04. Selector Dejan Savicevic will announce the list of players for this friendly next week.
Fenerbahce 3 - 0 Goztepe
Two factors made this game a must win, the draw against Genclerbirligi last week and the Besiktas derby next week. Lorant knew the importance of this game and didn't let any press members watch training sessions, to establish 'a quiet and calm atmosphere.' Another Friday game at home meant fans were rushed from their work to the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium. The players that joined them in the stands were Lazetic and Yusuf as Lorant chose to have Ceyhun on the subs bench. Rustu's injury in the final training session meant Oguz had to take his place in goal, while our Bata returned to the defensive lineup next to Fatih and Umit. Hakan kept his place on the right wing for the third week running. Johnson and Ogun were in the centre with Abdullah on the left, all of which had to supply Andersson and Serhat up front.
There must have been some strong words in the dressing room to motivate the players as they stormed out against Goztepe. The first opportunity came in the 7th minute when Revivo crossed in a freekick from the left into the danger area and Bata jumped and headed down towards the goal only to find Radoslav Majdan perform a reaction save for a corner. Bata was so unlucky to score as his header bounced off the ground and looked certain to be a goal before Majdan made a good save. The pressure continued in the 11th minute when a Revivo free kick got cought in the rumble in the box. Umit had the final shot but Majdan equalled to it once again. Andersson was itching to score a goal after a long drout and he came close in the 15th minute when he had a free header with supply once again from Revivo, but the Swede's header went wide of the goal.
A minute later the deadlock was broken. Serhat took the ball down from the right wing and looked for Revivo cutting in with a run. The youngster's cross fell short and was intercepted by Cumhur in the Goztepe defence, who took one touch too many and lost the ball to Revivo's pressure. The Israeli suddenly found himself in front of goal and hit a shot above Majdan to give the Canaries the lead. The pace of the game never seemed to stop and only three minutes later a penalty was awarded against Goztepe. Emre pulled down Serhat as he was jumping for a header and referee Kuddusi Muftugolu pointed directly to the spot. Revivo stepped up to take the penalty but Majdan parried it, Revivo followed to it but the ball was cleared quickly by the Goztepe defence.
Revivo had the chance to make up for the missed penalty with a clear header from Ogun's cross but he headed wide of the goal from a close distance. Revivo seemed to complain about the floodlight catching his eye as he tried to head the ball. Majdan continued to be Goztepe's 'only' player as he saved shots from Revivo and Andersson in the remainder of the half, most notably in the 42nd minute when Revivo hit a hard shot from the left edge of the box and the rebound from Majdan came to Andersson who's shot was parried once again and then cleared by the defence.
The second half brought with it a massive outburst of rain. The pitch was soon waterlogged and the ball would barely move across the surface. The thousands of supporters in the ground carried on their amazing support and protest against the FA despite the heavy showers. The lead was soon doubled with the help of the rain. Revivo burst down the right and crossed to the incoming Andersson. The striker was marked closely by a defender but both Andersson and the defender literally got caught in the water and lost their balance, but Andersson was the first to get up and get to the ball in a difficult situation. His back was turned to the goal and he had to make a quick shot so he back heeled the ball with the 'wrong' foot and squeezed the ball in from Majdan's near post. It was a truly sublime goal and made it all the more special coming from Andersson. Not many people expected a shot like that in that particular situation, 2-0. The rain didn't always help us though. Ogun's cross in the 60th minute could have been converted firstly by Revivo and then Serhat, but both couldn't touch the cross and the ball went out for a goal kick.
Ceyhun's introduction livened up the game. He was eager to prove himself in the game and began to launch his trademark long shots from the 65th minute onwards. In the 67th minute he got the goal he wanted thanks to superb play from Hakan Bayraktar on the right. Hakan dribbled passed two players on the right wing, nutmegging one of them, and looked up to find Revivo but the ball came to Ceyhun just inside the area who blasted into the top corner to make the score 3-0.
The 69th minute was again a story involving water. Fatih's cross to the far post came to Ogun who couldn't control the ball well and gave it away to the Goztepe defence. The captain also fell on the floor and was lying in front of the goal and as the clearance came to Ceyhun, a shot from him managed to hit Ogun. The ball was then cleared. Ceyhun's shots carried on but most were saved by Majdan who despite letting in three goals played a very good game. A nice piece of play was seen in the 77th minute when Andersson combined with Ceyhun as he headed down to the substitute who struck a shot immediately upon receiving the ball but once again Majdan saved the shot. The remainder of the game saw no further goals and we emerged victorious from this Goztepe game.
The result sets up an ever important Besiktas game next Sunday which will surely prove critical in the race for the title.
(by our Fenerbahce correspondent: Alp Ayhan)
The prestigious sponsorship agreement with the Yugoslav Football Association was made official today in Belgrade. With this partnership, for the next six years Lotto will be the Technical Sponsor of all the Yugoslavian football teams - from the A team to the youth and female teams - providing the team uniforms as well as the accessories and clothing for leisure time. Moreover, all the teams - except for the A team - will wear Lotto Stadio Elite, top footwear for football.
The original graphic that Lotto will add to the team uniforms is in keeping with the great tradition of Yugoslavias colours. Two new looks for home matches and for away matches: the first uniform shirt is all blue with the red-and-white double lozenge standing out on the sleeves, white shorts and red socks. The second uniform consists of a solid white shirt, with a red double lozenge and blue edging.
In addition to the agreement with the Yugoslav Football Association, Lotto Sport Italia has already drawn up contracts with four prominent Yugoslavian team players: forwards Darko Kovacevic from Real Sociedad and Savo Milosevic from Real Zaragoza, midfield player Slavisa Jokanovic from Chelsea FC and Zoran Mirkovic, currently with Fenerbahce. They all wear Lotto Stadio Elite football shoes.
Since the first international match in 1920, Yugoslavia has always exported great sporting talent, with a constant flow of first-rate players continuing ever since. Yugoslavia is currently ranked eleventh in FIFAs World classification and will play in Italys round for qualification in the 2004 European Championship. (source: www.fsj.co.yu)
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Yugoslav national team will play a friendly against Lithuania on 17/04. The match will be played in Smederevo on Sartid's stadium. Selector Dejan Savicevic will announce the list of players for this friendly next week. He said he will mostly call players from Yugoslav League but he will also include some internationals.
Genclerbirligi 1 - 1 Fenerbahce
Always one of the toughest away games on the calendar, the Genclerbirligi match gave an opportunity for the Yellow Canaries to go top of the league after both Besiktas and Galatasaray drew their games. Lorant had a full squad to choose from but didn't include Rapaic, Lazetic and Bata in the matchday squad because they were away on international duty all week. The starting line-up was Rustu, Fatih, Umit, Mustafa, Abdullah, Ogun, Hakan, Johnson, Revivo, Serhat and Andersson. Hakan kept his place on the right wing after a good game last week.
The first real opportunity in the game came from Nihat's free shot which was saved excellently by Rustu. The game began to be a battle in midfield with equal chances falling to both teams. Andersson's bring down to Revivo was hit hard but the shot went off target in the 26th minute. Andersson's participation was put to an end by Lorant a few minutes later when he brought on Yusuf in his place. Revivo hit another shot in the 35th minute but was denied by the post. We began to put our emphasis from then on with half chances from Serhat who was left alone up front. Mustafa Dogan was booked in the 41st minute for a foul on Youla which proved costly later on. The first half ended with the score at nil all.
The second half was both lucky and unlucky at times for Fenerbahce. At times our defence showed gaps and in the 58th minute Fatih made an important tackle as the last man to stop Cafer. A minute later Johnson's wicked shot beat Patrick but went inches wide of the post. This sparked the mostly Fenerbahce crowd even more to urge the team for a goal. A pivotal point in the game was the 63rd minute when Mustafa Dogan got his second booking for what seemed an effort to get the ball off Ismail. This changed Lorant's plans who was planning to bring on Ali Gunes in that minute. A few minutes later the gaps in defence began to show when Ahmed Hassan missed a clear opportunity to score in the area by striking the ball wide of Rustu's goal. But the clearest goal scoring opporunity came in the 70th minute when a cross from the left came to the unmarked Mbayo a metre in front of goal, but the Genclerbirligi player didn't even connect with the ball and relieved the thousands of Fenerbahce fans at the Ankara 19 Mayis Stadium. But this was shortlived when Cafer found himself on the edge of the area with a clear shot on goal, once again the shot was off target. A minute later Genclerbirligi were punished for their double miss as Serhat's shot was parried by Patrick and the rebound that fell to Yusuf was palmed on to the post by Patrick. The ball fell to Revivo and he volleyed from a difficult angle to give us the lead. Revivo was then subbed off for Mert Meric in a tactical move by Lorant. Mbayo hit another shot off target with 10 minutes to go as he left the field for Mehmet Ali. As the 4th official showed three added minutes, a stressful time began for Fenerbahce with Genclerbirligi piling on for an equaliser against 10 men. When we had possession these minutes we couldn't keep it, and paid for it when a foul was blown against Yusuf. The deep ball fell to the unmarked Ahmed Hassan who headed comfortably to score the last second equaliser. The Egyptian wasn't picked up by anyone and Rustu was left in a difficult situation.
The result means we threw away a chance to lead the league, but nothing was lost from last week either as the other title contenders failed to win and didn't lose. The race for the title continues.
(by our Fenerbahce correspondent: Alp Ayhan)
Nebojsa Parausic from MN PRESS agency has taken a lot of pictures of Bata during his stay in Brasil. Most of them have been posted exclusively on Bata's site.
Bata, Nikola Lazetic and Milan Rapaic did not travel to Ankara with the team. During yesterday's training coach Werner Lorant informed them of his decision. Lorant held a press conference today and he was asked to explain his decision. "As you know they couldn't be in training all week. Especially Lazetic and Mirkovic went long distances. They're tired after this game far away, that's why I saw it suitable to leave them in Istanbul this week. They'll be resting and recharhing themselves for training on Monday" - said Lorant.
Brasil beat Yugoslavia with 1-0. Judging by the result one would say this was a match played between equal opponents but that wasn't the case. Brasil was attacking and Yugoslavia was defending. The only goal came from Luisao in 70th minute. Bata showed an excellent performance and ended the match as captain. Yugoslav selector Dejan Savicevic said he was very satisfied with the team but that wasn't the case with journalists and fans. They are amazed how Yugoslavia wasn't able to organize a good attack and endanger Brasil goal. The only players who received good grades in Yugoslav media were goalkeeper Jevric, our Bata, Krstajic and Mihajlovic (all defenders).
Yugoslavia: Jevric, Mirkovic, Mihajlovic (Nenad Dzodic, 75), Krstajic, Lazetic (Krivokapic, 80), Djordjevic (Boskovic, 75), Jokanovic (Duljaj, 64), Dmitrovic, Mijatovic (Koroman, 54), Milosevic (Lazovic, 85), Kezman (Ilic, 80)
Brasil: Marcos, Anderson Polga (Denilson, 46), Roberto Carlos (Junior, 76), Lucio, Roque Junior, Gilberto Silva, Emerson (Kleberson, 67), Edilson (Djalminha, 70), Ronaldinho (Juninho, 80), Ronaldo (Luisao, 46), Cafu
Brasil - Yugoslavia friendly will be played today at 21.45 local time or tomorrow at 1.45 CET. Judging by yesterday's training selector Dejan Savicevic will play 4-3-2-1 formation. Jevric will no doubt be keeping Yugoslav goal. In front on him we expect Mihajlovic and Krstajic with Dmitrovic on the left and our Bata will on the right. In midfield we will most likely see Jokanovic, Djordjevic and Lazetic. In front of them will be Mijatovic and Kezman and finally Milosevic. The formation is of course a speculation as selector didn't reveal it during yesterday's press conference. Talking about today's match he said: "We didn't come all this way to defend our goal. My players wouldn't play defensive football even if I told them to. We will try to score and make a good result. We came here to play good football and I hope that is what we will do."
Many television stations around the world will be broadcasting this match. If you have a chance I strongly recommend you to watch it and admire all those football stars in actions. If that is not an option for you, you can click here and follow the result Live.
EXCLUSIVE: This weekend a photo-report from Brasil will be posted on Bata's site. Nebojsa Parausic, MN PRESS photographer, traveled to Brazil with Yugoslav national team. He has promised to take a lot of pictures of Bata both on and off the pitch and they will be available exclusively on Bata's site.
Bata and his team mates from Yugoslav national team arrived in Brasil this evening. Even though the trip took twelve hours, players weren't given time to rest. They had a training scheduled just one hour after their arrival. Upon their return to the hotel, selector had a meeting with the players and it is said he told them the starting eleven for the match but of course that list is not in public domain yet. Before leaving Belgrade Bata gave the following statement: "I can hardly wait for the match to begin. I will be playing against Brasil for the first time. Playing against football artists is more than just a match. It's also an adventure. Nobody can doubt we will all show our best. Selector will be given a chance to evaluate our abilities before forming a team for EURO 2004 qualifications."
The friendly match against Brasil will be played on Wednesday 27/03 at 21.45 local time or Thursday 28/03 at 1.45 CET (2.45 Turkish time). Nebojsa Parausic, MN PRESS photographer, traveled to Brazil with Yugoslav national team. He will take a lot of pictures of Bata. Not only during the match and trainings but also on the plane and in the hotel. All pictures will be posted exclusively on Bata's site upon Nebojsa's return from Brasil.
Bata's Fenerbahce yesterday beat Gaziantepspor with 4-1. Goals came from Johnson in the 20th minute, Revivo in the 45th, Ogun in the 59th and Johnson once again in the 67th minute. Gaziantepspor got a consolation goal in the final minute of the game. Please click here if you wish to view Bata's pictures from the Gaziantepspor match.
Bata left for Belgrade today. He will spend a Sunday in his home-town and will join his team mates on Monday morning when Yugoslav national team will fly to Brasil. The friendly match against Brasil will be played on Wednesday 27/03 at 21.45 local time or Thursday 28/03 at 1.45 CET (2.45 Turkish time).
Yugoslav national team selector Dejan Savicevic today announced the list of players for the friendly against Brasil.
Goalkeepers: Jevric Dragoslav (SBV Vitesse), Zilic Dragan (FK Sartid)
Defenders: Mirkovic Zoran (Fenebahce SK), Dzodic Nenad (Montpellier), Mihajlovic Sinisa (S.S. Lazio), Krstajic Mladen (SV Werder Bremen), Stefanovic Dejan (SBV Vitesse), Dmitrovic Boban (GAK)
Midfielders: Jokanovic Slavisa (Chelsea FC), Lazetic Nikola (Fenebahce SK), Djordjevic Predrag (Olympiakos FC), Koroman Ognjen (Dinamo Moscow), Krivokapic Radovan (FK Vojvodina), Duljaj Igor (FK Partizan), Ilic Sasa (FK Partizan), Boskovic Branko (FK Crvena zvezda)
Attackers: Mijatovic Predrag (AC Fiorentina), Milosevic Savo (Real Zaragoza), Kezman Mateja (PSV Eindhoven), Lazovic Danko (FK Partizan)
Today's Glas javnosti (Serbian daily newspaper) features an interview with our Bata.
Bata talked about the upcoming friendly match between Yugoslavia and Brasil: "After playing with them we will know what our team is capable of. This game presents a great experience for younger players who have just started playing for the national team aswell as for us who have been wearing the "blue jersey" for years. Brasil will most likely play with all of their stars and I expect a very tough match. For the past years we have been travelling around the world playing with different teams. Nobody wanted us as a sparing partner. All this has changed and we are again interesting to the best teams."
Bata answered questions about fixtures for EURO 2004 qualifications: "Perhaps it's for the best that we play against Italy first. We are free in September and we will be able to play one more friendly match and prepare ourselves better. Of course Italians are favourites but we also have a chance. I also have a lot of respect for Finland and Wales. They are good teams and will get a lot of points also. I just hope they won't get them from us. I am very optimistic. We have a good team consisted of young talented players and older experienced ones. It's up to us to prepare as best as we can and up to selector Savicevic to lead us to victories. I hope journalists will stop writing it will be easy because that is not the truth. We have a difficult group. Personaly I will also be satisfied with the second place in the group. The most important is to get to the EURO 2004. It doesn't really matter how you get there."
Bata also commented on latest developments in Turkish Super League: "We made a bad impression by drawing against Malatya on Sunday but we have one more home game coming up and I am sure we will be more successful and fans will be satisfied again. I predict a hard battle for the title and it will be fought till the last match. Galatasaray is now out of Champions League competition and they will be able to give full attention to the Turkish Super League. Besiktas also has a chance to win Turkish Cup. We will do our very best to defend the title. It will not be easy and "photo finish" will determine the champion."
Bata has been called by FSJ (Yugoslav football federation) to play a friendly match against Brasil next week. I called Bata while he was getting ready to watch Champions League match between Juventus and Arsenal and he gave the following statement: "Like always I am happy to have been called to play for my national team. It's an honor to play against a team like Brasil. For all of us that will be a great experience and we will surely learn a lot from it. I am also happy I will be able to meet with my team mates who I have not seen since October."
Fenerbahce 2 - 2 Malatyaspor
Fenerbahce had a chance to go to the top of the League providing Malatyaspor was beaten in front of the home crowd. Besiktas had drawn 2-2 on Saturday and Galatasaray's game got postponed to a later date, leaving everything at the hands of Lorant's army. The German coach decided to put Simao amongst the spectators and Lazetic on the bench for the second week running, alongside surprise exclusion of Revivo. This left Lorant with Rustu in goal, Bata, Umit and Fatih in defence, Abdullah, Ogun, Johnson, Rapaic in midfield with Serhat, Andersson and Oktay playing in a triangle forward line. The crowd was hyped up for the game with large-scale protests against the Turkish Football Federation before kick off.
The first half started rapidly as expected and a goal came in the 11th minute. Rapaic was fouled on the left wing, which gave the opportunity for the Croat to swing in a dangerous freekick into the box. That's exactly what happened, and with a little help from the Malatyaspor defence Serhat was able to find the ball in front of him at he back post to strike into the far bottom corner of the goal. Fatih rescued the team five minutes later with as he spotted a lack of marking in defence and ran across to pick up Sakiri who was just turning towards Rustu's goal. Malatyaspor were defending in numbers right from the start and despite throwing men forward we couldn't get the final ball to a unmarked player. Serhat broke free and entered the box from the right in the 34th minute, before attempting a pullback to Oktay. But Oktay was well marked and the ball was intercepted before Oktay could strike a shot on goal.
Malatyaspor's equaliser came in the 35th minute through Fazli. This particular incident was much talked about, as Selcuk seemed to bring it down with his arm for Fazli. Television replays showed that's exactly what happened but referee Serdar Tatli gave the goal.
The second half began promisingly with Rapaic hitting a hard and accurate volley towards goal but he was unlucky to have a defender in the way who deflected it for a corner. Andersson's minimal participation reached a peak in the 48th minute when he managed to get a header towards the goal but also right into Milosevski's arms. The eagerly awaited goal came through Ogun's head when he beat the keeper to substitute Lazetic's cross from the right. Once again the lead didn't last long and the crunch moment in the game arrived in the 55th minute. Bata found himself in the bottom left corner of the pitch with pressure from Fazli. He only had help from Abdullah who passed it back to him and once again left him in the corner. Bata couldn't go past Fazli and didn't kick it out either, and lost the ball to Fazli who squared it to Sakiri to tap in for an easy goal. Bata was appealing for a foul along with most of his team-mates.
Lorant attempted to untie the game just like the week before by introducing Yusuf for Rapaic in the 68th minute. Revivo's introduction came a couple of minutes later. Revivo instantly supplied some service into the box with a good cross but neither Serhat nor Yusuf could reach the ball and the Malatya defence cleared the danger. As the stressful final minutes approached, Revivo was once again involved, with a one on one situation in a difficult angle. Though he only had to keeper to beat the Israeli was restricted with what he can do, as other players had surrounded him and the keeper had closed the angle, so the shot came off Milosevski and got cleared. Johnson threw himself at Ogun's cross for a desperate header but he was a centimetre away from the ball at the near post. The final kick of the game came from Serhat who had a great chance in the area to turn and score, but his left foot shot wasn't good enough and couldn't beat Milosevski. The result makes the remaining games ever so important, with Gaziantepspor at home being the most urgent one.
(by our Fenerbahce correspondent: Alp Ayhan)
Turkish football is in a state of debate since the events that occurred at the Stadio Olimpico after Roma and Galatasaray drew 1-1. The fights involving players, police and staff have created a tense atmosphere between Italy and Turkey. The involvement of government officials has made the event into a 'crisis' both overseas and within borders.
The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) took the decision to postpone Galatasaray's away game against Trabzonspor, for no apparent reason. The reason was announced informally by TFF President Haluk Ulusoy at Istanbul Ataturk Airport upon arriving back from Rome with the Galatasaray squad. Ulusoy is a keen fan of Galatasaray and frequently watches their matches. Following this decision, Trabzonspor, Besiktas and Bata's Fenerbahce reacted angrily. Trabzonspor were distraught at hearing such news, as recently they've been doing well in the league and have been on a high. To add to that, the decision was made without consulting Trabzonspor, the home team in this particular fixture. Besiktas and Fenerbahce also publicly declared their shock at the decision, saying it creates 'unfair competition' and could lead to 'corruption' and 'conspiracy' in the so called Turkish Super League.
Fenerbahce were the ones to react in the most official and hardline way. President Aziz Yildirim called a press conference that was live on TV, and called Haluk Ulusoy to 'step down as president or to declare his impartiality'. In fact Yildirim's exact words were: "The Turkish Footbal Federation isn't just Galatasaray Sports Club's federation, and Haluk Ulusoy isn't Galatasaray's federation president. If it is like that then he'll keep the jersey he has on and carry on as president or he will take that jersey off if he wants to be fair and equal." The 'jersey' mentioned here is of course Galatasaray's. This conference by President Yildirim marked the beginning of a new attitude by Fenerbahce, as Aziz Yildirim describes: "In this situation we can't be acting in nice ways and as Fenerbahce we will do what is needed for a General Meeting." Yildirim also called for all other club's to boldly voice their opinion. He stated that the Trabzon - Galatasaray game is very important for both the bottom and the top end of the table.
Fenerbahce fans have declared their hatred for Haluk Ulusoy on many occasions throughout the past years. Since 1997 Ulusoy's visited Kadikoy on very few occasions, every time to a furious crowd. After Fener's amazing league success last season Ulusoy and his men insisted on not giving the championship trophy to Fenerbahce. The team had to celebrate in front of 42,000 fans with no trophy to parade for them. What reason did the TFF give for not handing over the cup? 'Administration reasons'. To add to this many decisions have clearly gone Galatasaray's way and justice has been much sought after. When Fenerbahce played Trabzonspor in 1998 then manager Otto Baric was hit on the head by a large stone thrown from Trabzonspor fans. Baric had to be taken away for medical treatment and everyone was expecting a hefty punishment for Trabzonspor. But Ulusoy didn't seem to make a big deal and said very publicly: "It wasn't like he was shot by a Magnum or something."
Meanwhile Fenerbahce fans are said to be preparing large scale protests against Ulusoy and his establishment both inside and outside the stadium. In Ulusoy's press release answer to Aziz Yildirim's statement he says: "How can I go to Fenerbahce's ground when I get treated so badly from the fans." The phrase, 'You don't get smoke from where there's no fire' springs to mind.
(by our Fenerbahce correspondent: Alp Ayhan)
The Yugoslav Football Federation (FSJ) have asked the new sponsor Lotto to stop production of their national football jerseys following news that Serbia and Montenegro are to create a new union to replace Yugoslav federation. The new state will most likely be called Serbia and Montenegro but that is still not official. And until the name and the new emblems of the new state are known, Bata and his teammates from national team will play in old blue jerseys with Yugoslav emblems. If you find all this unusual (and you might), you are welcome to read all about how and why Bata's country will have a new name.
Yugoslavia have reached agreement with Wales, Italy, Azerbaijan and Finland over the schedule of matches for the Euro 2004 qualification campaign.
September 7th 2002: Azerbaijan v Italy, Finland v Wales
October 12nd 2002: Italy v Yugoslavia, Finland v Azerbaijan
October 16th 2002: Wales v Italy, Finland v Yugoslavia
November 20th 2002: Azerbaijan v Wales
March 29th 2003: Wales v Azerbaijan, Italy v Finland
April 2nd 2003: Yugoslavia v Wales
April 30th 2003: Azerbaijan v Yugoslavia
June 7th 2003: Finland v Yugoslavia
June 11th 2003: Finland v Italy, Yugoslavia v Azerbaijan
September 6th 2003: Azerbaijan v Finland, Italy v Wales
September 10th 2003: Wales v Finland, Yugoslavia v Italy
October 11th 2003: Italy v Azerbaijan, Wales v Yugoslavia
Antalyaspor 0 - 1 Fenerbahce
This Sunday's game was crucial as Galatasaray had beaten Besiktas 1-0 the day before, ending any possibility that Fenerbahce could go top of the league but making it essential for keeping up in the title race. Lorant was without Revivo who failed a late fitness test and also had to form his defence without Umit Ozat who was suspended. Mustafa Dogan didn't get a recall from Lorant instead Ogun was pulled back to defence with Bata. Abdullah and Fatih played both attacking and defensive roles on the touchlines while Simao and Johnson were in the centre of the park. Rapaic played a roaming player supporting Serhat, Oktay and Andersson with the former 2 playing on wider positions.
It was obvious that Antalyaspor would be using the counter attack against our attacking line-up. The first shot on goal came from Antalya through Ugur in the 2nd minute but was a minor threat. A minute later Rapaic began his evening with a mazy run from the right before he picked out Simao in a short pass only to find he was offside. Antalya enjoyed a brief spell of pressure as they came with a dangerous counter attack from the right wing to find Bata heading out for a corner. The corner turned into another corner as Rustu tipped over the bar.
Oktay's eagerness to get back into his old form showed in this game. The experienced forward hit a shot in the 32nd minute that was straight at the keeper but he did well to get into that situation. As always Rustu was playing excellently and didn't need to find any sort of form. He made various saves throughout the game and was also to be part of some controversy in the second half. In the 36th minute Rustu came out to collect a loose ball with his hands and as he grabbed the ball he collided with the oncoming Senol who found the ball in front of him and struck a shot on goal. Rustu saved the shot but perhaps he shouldn't have had to make that save, as a foul on him was most definitely the decision that had to be made. Serhat was also in the action as he chested a cross from Fatih to the back post and hit it towards goal to find Kingston making a good save at his near post.
The first major incident in the 2nd half came in the 56th minute, when Rustu came out to make a tackle on Senol just outside the area. Rustu seemed to use his hands but the referee Erol Ersoy waved play on as he was surrounded by protesting Antalya players. Ogun came out of defence in the 62nd minute with a good long run and left it to Rapaic but the Croat hit a bad shot that went high and wide, much to the displeasure of his team-mates in the box. Abdullah's cross from the left picked out Oktay who headed down to Yusuf, but the skilful midfielder hit the side netting from a narrow angle, but should have done better after going past the keeper. Yusuf had done very well since coming on in the 2nd half as he brought life to our midfield. Bata was also very successful in defence and showed his adaptation by playing just as well alongside Ogun. Bata especially stood out throughout the game by cutting out Antalya passes and keeping a watchful eye on Atilla and Senol up front.
The goal came in the 72nd minute from Oktay. Fatih had crossed from the right towards Serhat who's volley hit the ground and then hit the post, falling to Oktay who hit a sweet shot into the roof of the net from a very tight angle. Oktay dedicated the goal to his wife after the game. Lazetic was also introduced which came as a surprise considering Lorant's decision to not even include him in the squad in recent games. The speedy midfielder dribbled into the box and was way too quick for the Antalya defenders. Burhan stuck his leg out to stop him and brought him down, but the referee waved play on as Lazetic was on the floor. Oktay scored a disallowed goal in the 87th minute after he latched onto a pass from Yusuf, but it was ruled out for offside. Oktay could have doubled his tally in the 88th minute when he again met a Yusuf pass, but Ghanaian keeper Kingston denied him. In the final minute of the game, Yusuf could have killed it off when he received a pass from Lazetic who did well to bring it into the box, but Yusuf wasted the opportunity placing his shot just wide of goal. The game ended 1-0, which set the basis for the next two games that will be at home for the Yellow Canaries. Turkish league standings
(by: Alp Ayhan)
I would like to congratulate all my lady fans on their International Women's Day.
Many rumours are surrounding Fenerbahce at the moment concerning changes to the squad for next season. A number of players have been linked mainly from Germany where Lorant has coached all of his career. 1860 Munchen, Lorant's previous club, seems to be the centre of all the claims. Australian Paul Agostino has been mentioned in both German and Turkish press as a possible buy for Bata's side. But many are finding that if Agostino really is a target then this move would contradict Lorant's ideas of making Fener into a 'World Class Club with World Class players'. Agostino doesn't get into the Munich side too often as he's in the shadow of Croatian star Davor Suker.
Meanwhile re-elected president Aziz Yildirim is doing his best to answer back at claims made in daily newspapers. The latest denial came about an alleged 'report' by Lorant submitted to the board, asking for 13 players to be sold at the end of the season, including the organisation for the retirement of some older players. Lorant has also reacted to this, and perhaps in a much more angry fashion. He banned the press from today's training session and announced that until the Antalyaspor game all training sessions will be behind closed doors. It seems the charismatic German is getting the taste of the Turkish press, and realising how much negative effect they can have.
President Yildirim has however promised the signing of top quality players and said recently that some players that will play in the World Cup will be bought 'before the competition starts so their price doesn't rise'. Yildirim also stated Fenerbahce scouts are still searching across Brazil for fresh, young talent.
The squad will travel to Antalya tomorrow afternoon by plane for Sunday's game against Antalyaspor. They will stay at the Arcadia Merit Hotel and will return to Istanbul at 22:30 on Sunday by plane once again. The game will be played at 19.00 Turkish Time or 18.00 CET. On Bata's site you will be able to read full match report and view pictures from the match.
(by: Alp Ayhan)
Fenerbahce 2 - 1 Rizespor
In the first home game since the derby Fenerbahce were welcomed back to the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium by a near full capacity crowd. Lorant made it clear during the week that he was going to play an attacking formation once again, with two forwards and two attacking midfielders forming a diamond up front. Andersson made his return from suspension and was partnered by Rapaic and Serhat on either side of him. Revivo played in front of Simao and Ogun in the centre of midfield, while Fatih was on the right touch line and Abdullah on the left. The two central defenders were Umit and our Bata once again in a partnership that is working well lately. So good in fact they're keeping out Lorant's early favourite Deniz and German international Mustafa Dogan.
The atmosphere was spectacular at the start of the game and it reflected on Lorant's army for everyone to see. Fenerbahce earned a corner within seconds of the start to pile on the pressure at Rizespor but the nearest anyone came to goal was Rize's Devran, who's shot hit the side netting in the 7th minute. But the pressure from Fener resulted in a goal in the 9th minute from Serhat. The youngster pounced on another mistake by the defence, just like last week, and made an easy finish at the back post when Revivo's corner was badly cleared by the Rizespor defence, 1-0. Ogun could have doubled the lead soon after when he was left clear in the box from Fatih's through ball, but the captain hit a bad shot and didn't even hit the target.
Rustu showed his class once again this week, and produced some difficult saves when needed. The cool headed hero saved at his feet when Emmanuel Tetteh suddenly was left in front of him in a goal scoring opportunity in the 25th minute. The second goal came through a penalty, won by Revivo who was brought down by Recep as he was preparing to find space to shoot. Rapaic took it with huge backing from the crowd and made no mistake as he blasted to the right hand side of the keeper to double the lead in the 36th minute. Rizespor's Nicolas persisted to argue with the referee and two successive yellow cards earned him a sending off in a double blow for Rizespor.
The second half wasn't as energetic and more threatening for the Yellow Canaries despite the opponents one man deficit. Tetteh was continually causing trouble for the defence along with Devran. Their efforts were mostly wide of Rustu's goal. Ogun came close to finishing Rizespor off in the 57th minute when he was played in by substitute Ceyhun in the 57th minute. But once again the captain wasn't showing an example of shooting with his effort, hitting it wide and into the side netting. Andersson could have wrapped it up too as Rapaic had done well to come down the left and cross to him in the box. The giant Swede's shot went out for a goal kick.
Tetteh's hassle on the Fenerbahce defence paid dividends for his team when he was brought down by Abdullah in the box. Referee Unsal Cimen, who was faced with fierce reaction from the crowd for some decisions, pointed to the spot for the visitors. Koray took the penalty and made the score 2-1. Magic was expected from Rapaic when he was gearing up to take a free kick in the 74th minute from his favoured area. The Croat's curler was palmed away by Oumar Dieng for a corner. Our Bata nearly scored a rare goal in the dying minutes of the game when he received a pass from Ogun just outside the area. Bata's shot went half a metre wide of goal but he was given credit from the fans with a round of applauds. The game ended with no further action and the result was achieve to put pressure on Besiktas and Galatasaray who are narrowly placed above Fenerbahce in the league. Turkish league standings
(match report by: Alp Ayhan)
VIEW BATA'S PICTURES TAKEN DURING RIZESPOR MATCH!!!
Tomorrow at 20.00 Turkish time (or 19.00 CET) Bata and his teammates will host Rizespor on Sukru Saracoglu stadium. In the first half of this season Fenerbahce beat Rizespor 2-1 with goals from Oktay and Ali Akdeniz.
Fenerbahce coach Werner Lorant held a press conference today answering questions from the press on what he thought about tomorrow's game against Rizespor and various other matters that have been surrounding the team lately. Lorant said he will field a team with four attacking players in tomorrow's game. He also said he's very happy to have a fully fit and unbanned squad to pick from. Lorant refused to reveal the foreigner that will be left out in tomorrow's game.
The coach is also thinking about transfers for next season, but is unwilling to disclose the names he has in mind at this early stage. Lorant did point out however that the new players must be 1st class quality.
View pictures from today's training in Samandira.
Denizlispor 1 - 2 Fenerbahce
The first game back after the derby win is always important to make the win worthwhile. The squad was very much aware of this and Lorant had especially asked his players to forget about last week's triumph. The players did exactly that and although it wasn't an easy ride by any means three points were put in the bag. Andersson was suspended so Oktay made his return to the starting eleven alongside Serhat upfront with support coming from Rapaic and Revivo. Abdullah and Fatih played the wingers while Simao returned to take his place in midfield next to Ogun. Last weeks solid defence of Umit Ozat, Bata and Fatih was unchanged.
The first opportunity of the game fell to Denizlispor in the 10th minute with Veysel's shot, which Rustu tipped away for a corner. The corner was taken and headed by Coulibaly but his shot went wide of goal. Fenerbahce's first real attack was close to a goal and it was Oktay who nearly got his comeback goal in the 14th minute. Oktay had pounced on the rebound in front of Souleyman but the attack was stopped for offside. The first goal was scored by Ilyas in the 16th minute from a freekick that deflected unluckily off Bata. This unlucky start to the game meant we had to work extra hard to equalise and that goal came in the 23rd minute through a fabulous freekick from Revivo. Another top corner curler from the Israeli star made the score even again. The two pacey forwards Serhat and Oktay had plenty quality service from Rapaic and Revivo and this nearly resulted in a goal in the 29th minute when Revivo crossed across the goal but neither forward could latch on to it.
Last week's star name Milan Rapaic was once again on his day and proved this by striking powerful and accurate long shots throughout the game. In the 37th minute Revivo's knock down to Rapaic was struck first time but the defence cleared for a corner. The first half ended one a piece.
Both teams began the second half with no changes from either team, but as Johnson was coming on for Abdullah in the 55th minute Ogun's long throw into the box was met by Serhat who capitalised on Denizli's lack of concentration and scored to take the lead. Oktay wasn't at his best in this game and was taken off in the 65th minute by Lorant for Mert Meric in a move to boost the defence.
This weeks star had to be Rustu though, as the Turkish international produced countless saves to secure the lead for Fener. In the space of two minutes Rustu made three superb saves from Tolunay twice and then Marek in the 68th minute. Rustu did cause everyone a scare when he was on the floor injured for a while, but he bravely carried on until the end of the game. Once again Rustu made an excellent save with 10 minutes to go when Coulibaly hit a close range shot. The final nervous minutes of the game were nearly ended by Rapaic's freekick that struck the stanchion and bounced back off into play. Rustu the hero was booked in the final minute for time wasting, but was he simply tired after so many super saves? No further goals came in the two added minutes and Lorant and his army earned a vital three points in a week where the other two title contenders also won.
(match report by: Alp Ayhan)
Bata answered all questions that were sent to him by the visitors of his website. If you have a question for Bata send it to the webmaster. Before you do that, please check out Bata's earlier answers so you don't send questions Bata has already answered.
Note from the webmaster: Some questions and therefore Bata's answers are related to events that happened in Serbia. Non-Serbian fans therefore, might not understand. For this reason you will be able to read a few comments within the answers from the webmaster to help you understand what Bata is talking about.
You did an excellent skill between two opponents - turning around your axis- [in Fenerbahce Vs Galatasaray Cup match (7-6)] . Fans love these movements. Why don't you always do these? Is it because they're risky?
I remember that tackle very well. You are right. I am a defender and such moves can be very dangerous. I don't do them often to avoid unnecessary risk. Such tackles should be performed by attackers and not defenders.
1. Do you have good memories of the days you spent in Radnicki Svilajnac? (Note from the webmaster: Bata played for Radnicki Svilajnac while he was in the army in Svilajnac.)
2. Why did you transfer from Rad to Partizan? Did they offer a lot of money or was Red Star too late?
3. Is Rizna the best player you ever played with?
Greetings from the group from Svilajnac
1. Yes, I have very good memories. I didn't stay long in your town but during my time there I made many good friends. When I have time I go to Svilajnac and visit them. I would like to take advantage of this opportunity and say HEY to all people from Svilajnac.
2. Sports motives determined my decision. At that time I wasn't thinking about money. I wanted to play for Partizan and my dream came true.
3. He surely is one of the best. Zoran Riznic didn't achieve everything he could but no doubt he is a great talent. There are not many like him.
1. What went through your head when you got a red card in the match against Croatia (when you were leaving the pitch and showed three fingers)?
2. What kind of relation do you have with Fenerbahce fans?
3. How much did the support from JUG (Note from the webmaster: JUG means south stands where Partizan fans are.) helped you in your career?
Desha, Novi Sad
1. In a split second I saw my whole life just like they show it in the movies. And then I blacked out. It was very difficult. I can't describe how I felt. I don't like remembering that match.
2. My relation with Fenerbahce fans is very good. I do my job as best as I can and they support me in that. Fenerbahce fans are exceptional. They are always with us. In good and bad. When talking about them I can only use superlatives.
3. It meant a lot to me. Grobari ( Note from the webmaster: Grobari are Partizan fans) made us feel like they are with us 90 minutes of the match. My wish is to play in front of them at least one more match.
1. Who is the funniest guy in Fenerbahce? Is it Samuel Johnson?
2. What Seria A match you will never forget?
1. Johnnie is very funny. He is a good friend and an exceptional player. He is one of the most positive players in the team.
2. Every match in Italy is something special. The one I remember the most is the first match I played after my father died (Atalanta 0 - 0 Parma). It was a very difficult match for me. I felt horrible but my heart was full when I saw fans and teammates sharing my pain.
Can you describe how you knocked out Ante Drobnjak? (Note from the webmaster: Ante Drobnjak was Red Star player Bata fought with during Yugoslav Cup final match.)
Those are boyish things. Unsportsmans gestures that should not happen. I don't like to remember that indicent. I am sure that you know I was suspended for three months because of it. Now if Drobnjak and myself see each other on the street or somewhere else, we talk like friends.
1. What do you need to become a successful football player?
2. How did you feel after you showed three fingers in the match against Croatia?
3. What did Robert Jarni say to you before you grabbed him by the balls?
Zoran, Adelaide - Australija
1. Luck, talent, persistence and discipline.
2. I can't really explain how I felt. It's very difficult to describe those feelings.
3. I never told that in public. Only people closest to me know. I don't want to tell that in public because it would sound like I want to find an excuse for what I did. But you can trust me when I tell you he didn't say anything nice.
1. Do you think that Yugoslavia will better their performance in years to come?
2. What was it like in Croatia in the middle of Zagreb with a full stadium of Croatians swearing at your generations? What was the team atmosphere like?
3. Do you think you deserved a red card when you touched Robert Jarni even though he fouled you and that he faked his pain by holding his groin? What did Robert Jarni say to you when he fouled you in that angry tone of voice?
4. What did you say to Asanovic when he elbowed you in the face.
1. I hope so. Soon we will see the change of generations and the burden will fall on younger players. I hope we will qualify for EURO 2004.
2. It wasn't pleasant. The atmosphere in our team was as other matches.
3. Yes. I deserved the red card I got. Even more. I deserved three match ban also. The punishment fit the crime. About Jarni's words... I never told that in public and I prefer not to do it.
4. That I don't remember. You can be sure he said something nasty too.
1. Are you ever sorry you are not an attacker?
2. Does it bother you when fans say Hey to you when they see you, for example in the stree?
1. Sometimes but I love my position even though it's not a popular one.
2. No. Not at all.
Thank you all for writing to me. YOURS SINCERELY BATA MIRKOVIC
This weeks's TEMPO magazine (most popular sports magazine in Serbia) features a story about Bata Mirkovic's website and an interview with Bata and the webmaster of this site. Milan Stojiljkovic was the journalist who talked to Bata and myself. This is the translation from TEMPO:
Computers are getting more and more popular and these days many football players have their own websites that help them get in contact with their fans. On their websites you can read news about their career and their personal life. Those of you who have already surfed the net have no doubt visited websites of football stars. Ronaldo, Vieri, Beckham, Zidane, Figo and many other players have their official websites. Among them, as one of the best, is an official website of our national team player who is now defending the colors of Turkish side Fenerbahce, Zoran Bata Mirkovic.
If you are searching for information about Bata, visit his official website. All it's content is posted in two languages, Serbian and English, and that gives football fans around the globe a chance to find out information about our football star and also our national team. Bata's site also received a Golden Web Award for creativity, integrity and excellence. To make everything even more amazing, Bata for a long time didn't even know this website existed. This is a beautiful story about the modern way of life. A story about a popular sportsman and a girl who has with a lot of hard work made something many fans would be envious of.
"To be honest I can't take credit for this creation", was the first thing Bata said when we praised his internet presentation. "My site has been on the web for a little more than two years. It wasn't opened on my initiative. I learned about it six months later. Lately I have activated myself. I answer questions that fans send to me and give back information. But all the work is done by a girl from Slovenija. Her name is Maja Kovac and the site was her idea."
Bata's site is in many ways different from the sites of other football players. Bata explains why:
"A year and a half ago I didn't even know how to visit my website. I was a begginer in the computer world. I am no better today. True, I have learnt some things but still I can't consider myself a computer expert."
Those who know Bata Mirkovic will be aware that he doesn't like to expose himself in public and rarely talks to the media. Because of that it's unusual he has one of the best internet presentations. "I never liked to expose myself. I always tried to be on the side and hide my private life. Even today giving interviews is a nightmare to me. When I give answers to the fans on my website, I always talk to Maja. I tell her everything that is required and then she puts some form in it. We talk on the phone. That's much easier for me. Writing e-mails is not my thing", admits Bata. He also explains computer terms are a big enigma for him.
Bata and Maja first talked on the phone a year and a half ago and first met in summer of 2001.
"Maja came to Belgrade and that's how we met. My congratulations to the girl. I would like to say all the compliments and praises about my internet presenentation should go to her. I am a parasite who got fame on account of somebody elses work", says Bata smilingly.
The heroine of this story is 25 year old Maja from Slovenija. She has recently finished studying law at university and for the past seven years been working as a translator with at the most viewed TV station in Slovenija called POP TV. Ever since she has started following football she has been Bata Mirkovic's fan. That's how an idea of making a website came about: "At the beggining I didn't know what I was doing. I had no idea what it takes to make a website. I had a lot of pictures of Bata and that is how it started. At first Bata's website only had one page. My friend posted a link on Serbiancafe and fans started coming. They wrote me their suggestions and step by step the site was getting bigger and bigger. It's become easier with time", says Maja.
There is another thing that differs Bata's site from any other. On it you can also find information about other Yugoslav players. Even though it's an official presentation of one player, some space is also given to others. "That came about very spontanously", explains Maja. "At the time Bata's site came on the web it was the only website of any Serbian football player. Fans who were visiting the site asked me to post pictures of other players and I did. I didn't see anything wrong with it. Pedja Mijatovic is a good friend of Bata. Why shouldn't there be his pictures on the site?"
The site was becoming richer and better. Today, when you're looking for information on any Yugoslav player, one of the first links you see on search engines is Bata's website. "I think it's okay that the site contains information about the Yugoslav national team. Yugoslavia played a friendly match against Mexico last week. Even though Bata stayed in Istanbul because of the derby I posted a complete match report. That's Bata's national team".
It's interesting that for the first year Bata's site was available in English only. Maja didn't write Serbian well but has managed with a help from her friends to solve that problem. "Now my Serbian is much better and I'm writing Serbian news myself. If I make any mistakes, I apologise", says the Slovenian girl. Slovenian? "Yes", says Maja and then corrects herself. "Actually I'm half Serbian. My mum is from Serbia." Miss Kovac says she supports the Yugoslav national team with all her heart. "I was very sad when the team didn't qualify for the World Cup. I felt a little better when Slovenia last week lost to Honduras 5-1", says Maja.
Maja has a boyfriend who is Slovenian. We had to ask her if her boyfriend is jealous when Maja spends so much time working on Bata's site. "No, he is not. He supports the Slovenian national team but he also likes Bata."
Maja says it now takes her much less time to update the site because she is always in contact with Bata and also has other fans helping her. " I remember the time when Bata transfered to Fenerbahce. I was worried how I will be able to continue working on the site. I didn't know one single Turkish word. It turned out Fenerbahce fans are really kind people and they are always willing to help you when their player is concerned. I remember when Bata played in Italy I had no help whatsoever and it was really difficult for me. Fenerbahce fans are different. We have an excellent cooperation. They send me news and pictures. Very often I can post exclusive news from Istanbul", says Maja.
Maja also told us she is working on Bata's site as an enthusiast and with no intention to profit from it. "Banners on the site are not paid. The sole purpose of the site is to bring Bata closer to the fans and fans closer to Bata."
No doubt the site has succeded. His teammates can truly be envious. And congratulations to Maja. She proved with a full heart you can achive what once seemed so distant.
Our Bata and Milan Rapaic gave encouraging messages today, both stating that Fenerbahce can win the league but Galatasaray and Besiktas have an equal chance too.
Rapaic believes the gap between Fenerbahce and Galatasaray isn't important, adding: "We've played really well in the last three games, if we carry on like this we can win the league again." When a journalist asked the question 'You seem to play better in important games, can't you concentrate in other games?' Rapaic duely answered: "Every game is the same for me. I'm preparing for the Denizlispor game as I was for the Galatasaray game. The fact that I'm playing isn't important, if everyone plays well we can win the championship. Everyone wants to play but only 11 can play at once. But I'm ready, if the manager gives me a chance I'll play." Rapaic was also asked what he felt after scoring that wonderful goal aginst Galatasaray. The Croatian star said with a smile on his face: "I can't descrive the happiness after the goal."
The hot topic of the referee was brought up in the press conference. Rapaic commented: "I don't like talking about referees but to be honest he had 80 minutes damage to us and only started giving cards out in the last 10 minutes. Out of at least 10 fould that were made on me not one card was shows. I wish there wasn't all these cards in the first place because that's all people are talking about."
Another reporter asked Rapaic why he plays for the Croatian national team when he claims he's injured and doesn't play for Fenerbahce. Rapaic answered: "I only played once for the national team and I got injured. I trained here 10 days after that but the media then claims that I don't want to play, that's why I don't want to talk to the media."
Rapaic also gave an honest opinion on why Fenerbahce never seems to win penalties; "We don't fall on the floor, with every contact that's why we don't get penalties." Rapaic also clarified the rumours at the start of the season that claimed he wanted to leave the club, and said: "I never wanted to leave, I'm happy at Fenerbahce."
Bata also gave his opinions on the league situation, and said: "We've still got 11 games ahead of us. Galatasaray, Besiktas and Fenerbahce all have equal chances of winning the league." Bata also answered criticisms that the defence passes back to Rustu too much by saying: "When we see Rustu is free we sometimes pass it back to him if we have to, it can be risky though." Bata also said the defence 'doesn't give away easy chances to the opposition.'
When asked about Simao's arrival and the number of foreign players going up to seven, Bata said: "This doesn't concern me, I just concentrate on my own football and work hard. It's all up to the manager in the end." Bata also commented on his temper: "I get passionate in games and when someone contacts me I can react in a hard way." Bata also reminded everyone that his contract ends in 2003.
Both players were interpreted by Mert Meric, who was asked if his age worries him. Mert said: "It doesn't concern me at all. In top European leagues the shirt is given to the players who work the hardest and are the best, age doesn't come into it."
EXCLUSIVE: Seven beautiful pictures from the debry were added to the site. All sent by Ilkay!
This game was a certainty to be one that won't be forgotten for years. It definately lived up to it's hype in full. A 52,000 record breaking crowd in the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium with it's new Maraton stand set the stage for a thrilling match. As always, it was going to be the day of the stars, where one of them would shine. Lorant's starting line-up gave limitless possibility to whom that star may be. He started with a very attacking team, pulling Ogun back into defence while having Bata and Mert Meric alongside him. Fatih and Abdullah took the wings, while Johnson was in the centre with Rapaic and Revivo playing a roaming role in midfield. Andersson and Serhat were the usual partnership up front. This line up was confronted by an equally attacking Galatasaray side, who had Arif, Umit Karan and Hasan Sas in attacking roles.
The game began in typical derby fashion; fast and furious. The Yellow Canaries attacked and established in the Galatasaray half, where Rapaic, Revivo and Abdullah looked impressive early on. Abdullah's cross from a free kick in the 8th minute was nearly converted by Andersson who leaped for a header with keeper Mondragon and a Galatasaray defender but he couldn't direct it towards the goal. The first scare on our goal was from Umit Karan, who was left free with his back to goal when Arif crossed the ball in to the edge of the half. However Umit Karan's overhead kick attempt went high and over the bar. In the 15th minute, Umit once again got into a goalscoring position with a placed shot that deflected off our defence for a corner. Two minutes later Fenerbahce's organised attack with Revivo brought Andersson in to the box, but the Swede's hard shot came off the defence and went over the bar for a corner.
The deadlock was broken in the 27th minute with a missile shot by Rapaic. Ogun's low corner layed off to Rapaic on the edge of the box was hit first time with the outside of his left foot and the ball flew into the top right hand corner of the goal. Rapaic's return into the limelight was a spectacular one, and he looked delighted, sharing his joy with the erupting fans. Only a few minutes later Rapaic nearly doubled the lead and his tally. A free kick from 30 metres away from the goal in a position where you'd expect a right footer to shoot, the Croatian blasted a curler towards the top left hand corner only to see it tipped away by Mondragon. The first half was coming to an end but Galatasaray were nearly ending it on equal terms when a goalmouth scramble after Hasan's cross was failed to be cleared for some time. The half ended with the score 1-0.
Umit Karan once again came close straight into the second half with an agonising shot that went across the goal. The usual derby aggression began in the 49th minute when Emre and Andersson were both on the floor after a tackle. Emre Asik kicked Andersson with the studs of his boots and Andersson got up and reacted in fury but with no physical violence. However Ali Aydin booked both players after both it took some time calming both teams down. Emre was off in the 64th minute, with a straight red card for bringing down Rapaic. The Croat had gone past him but Emre had brought him down from behind. Oktay came on for Andersson in the 70th minute in an expected substitution as the Swede worked hard but couldn't supply the quickness needed when the team was braking on an attack.
An unbelieveable final 15 minutes saw a shower of cards being shown from Ali Aydin who made his first derby appearance. Berkant headbutted Serhat in what started as a small argument but grew into something much bigger. While Serhat was on the floor many other players got involved with eachother, especially Fatih Akyel who made his first appearance against his old club Galatasaray. Fatih was obviously very angry at something done by his former teammates and was furiously shouting at them. In the end the culprit was found and Ali Aydin sent off Hasan Sas along with Batista. This practically ended Galatasaray's hopes of an equaliser as they were left with 8 men on the field. Five minutes later, another red card was shown to a Galatasaray player. Captain Bulent Korkmaz was booked twice in quick succession when he sarchastically applauded the referee for a decision and for some reason insisted on carrying on and therefore earnt his second booking. This made it 11 Vs 7 and many were wondering if the game was to be a forfeit with unsureness of how many had to be sent off for such a decision. The game did carry on, though it was mostly in Galatasaray's half.
Oktay could have virtually ended the game with a goal in the 85th mintue, but it wasn't to be, as his placed shot came off Mondragon and hit the crossbar. Oktay should have done better with this chance as he had time and space to pick his spot, though he did very well to get into that position in the first place. Another opportunity a couple of minutes later came to Oktay who once again wasted it with a bad shot in the area that went off target. Serhat also had a chance to seal it when he found himself in the box in the 88th minute with a whole goal to shoot at. The youngster rushed into it and struck immediately, therefore not being able to control his shot and watching it go over the goal.
The game ended with the score 1-0. A deserved win for Fenerbahce with a spectacular goal in an unforgettable atmosphere. The record braking crowd of 52,000 can prowdly boast of this amazing game for years along with millions who watched at home. Bata played his part in a different defensive line-up and showed what he's all about. He regularly came up for corners and looked aggressive and passionate. He really wanted this win and worked extremely hard in seeing off the threat from Umit Karan, well done BATA!
(match report by: Alp Ayhan)
FENERBAHCE: 1 Rustu (**), 22 Fatih (***), 16 Umit (***), 6 Z.Mirkovic (***), 18 Abdullah (***), 3 Ogun (***), 7 ( from 85th minute Hakan), 28 Johnson (**), 10 Revivo (**), 8 Rapaic (***), 19 Andersson (**), 29 (from 70th minute Oktay **), 9 Serhat (**), 14 (from 89th minute Ceyhun)
Grades were taken from Hurriyet newspaper.
GALATASARAY: 1 Mondragon (**), 35 Capone (**), 5 Emre (*), 3 Bülent (*), 14 Victoria (*), 12 Bulent Akin (*), 4 Batista (*), 67 Ergün (**), 25 (from 88th minute Murat), 9 Umit Karan (*), 23 (from 83rd minute Fleorqin *), 11 Hasan Sas (*), 6 Arif (*), 7 (from 67th minute Berkant *)
Grades were taken from Hurriyet newspaper.
GOAL: Rapaic (27. minute)
YELLOW CARDS: Rapaic, Bulent Akin, Z.Mirkovic, Andersson, Arif, Berkant
RED CARDS: Emre, Batista, Hasan Sas, Bulent Korkmaz
Tomorrow at 19.00 local time (or 18.00 CET) life in Turkey will come to halt. An eerie quiet will descend on the streets as the nation will glue itself to the television for the latest episode of Fenerbahce v Galatasaray, Turkey's longest-running football soap opera.
Tomorrows eagerly awaited derby against Galatasaray will be the 343rd game between the two sides. Out of the 342 games played, Fenerbahce've won 125 times, lost 110 and drawn 107 times, scored a total of 474 goals and conceded 441.
Coach Werner Lorant held a press conference today but kept everyone guessing on how the team will line up in tomorrows game. He said: "Everyone will find out tomorrow." Bata will surely be in the first eleven. In the conversation I had with him on Monday he promised he will do his very best for Fenerbahce's victory.
Lorant also stated the team is ready and he hopes his players will play with the same agression as the past two home games. He added: "I want the players to play with total concentration from the very start right up to the end of the game. I hope with the fans they can play even better tomorrow."
Tomorrow after the match you will be able to read the full match report, view pictures and download goals. All Turkish speaking fans are welcome to follow the LIVE textual broadcast on www.antu.com!!!
Next week Serbian most popular sports magazine TEMPO will feature an interview with Bata and webmaster of this website. On the cover of the magazine will be Bata in Fenerbahce jersey and the title says: SUPER BATA! Good luck tomorrow, Bata. Show everybody how SUPER you are.
Yugoslavia tonight won a friendly match against Mexico with 2-1. Yugoslav players showed an exceptional performance in the first half. Kezman scored a beautiful goal in 37th minute and in the 44th minute Milosevic was succesful to make it 2-0. Mexicans were given some hope in 74th minute when Mendoza beat goalkeeper Jevric. In 80th minute Stankovic was showed a red card. Even with ten players Yugoslavia didn't give the victory away.
Bata was excused from playing the friendly against Mexico after Fenerbahce asked for him to stay in Istanbul so he wouldn't be tired for Saturday's derby against Galatasaray.
Next Wednesday the most popular sports magazine in Yugoslavia called TEMPO will feature an interview with Bata and the webmaster of his official website; my humble self. Bata's website is reviewed as one of the best in the "online football community". You will be able to read more about the interview next week.
The first team trained this morning without the international players and injured Serkan. The youth team played the first team in a training match where Oktay and Yusuf particularly impressed. Preparations for the derby will continue tomorrow when the single playes (Bata being one of them) will be taken into camp at Samandira. (View pictures from today's training!!!)
Coach Werner Lorant gave a press conference yesterday to talk about the upcoming Galatasaray game. Lorant said the team is ready and waiting to play a good game for the fans on Saturday. On the issue of players away on International duty, Lorant said: "Both us and Galatasaray have equal number of players on International duty so we haven't got a disadvantage."
When asked about the considerable number of injured players in the opposition Lorant said: "What concerns me is the status of my own players, not the opposition's. They'll be playing with 11 men on the field at the end of it". Lorant then added that the team is 'not even thinking about' a defeat or a draw.
Lorant also expressed his excitement at the opening of the new stand and said the team will have 'amazing backing' in this derby. Lorant signified the importance of the game and said the result 'will affect the championship race a great deal'. Lorant finished his words by saying: "I might not be able make use of tired players coming back from international duty, therefore I'm trying to keep the players who're here on the top of their form".
(by: Alp Ayhan)
Fenerbahce today beat Yimpas Yozgatspor with 2-1. There was a late change in the team with Deniz having to be left out due to illness. Mert Meric stepped in his place alongside Mirkovic and Umit Ozat. The midfield was also a question mark, as Lorant didnt give away whom hed play in the centre, with Johnson, Ogun and new transfer Simao all fit enough to play. The German coach put Johnson on the bench and played Ogun and Simao in the centre with Revivo just in front, while Fatih and Abdullah played on the wings. Andersson and Serhat played up front to grab the goals.
Ogun had the first chance of the game in the 9th minute when he was played in by Andersson to be left one on one with Yozgat keeper Diallo. The midfielder didnt react well enough and Diallo went down to save. Preko took his first shot on behalf of Yozgat in the 13th minute which failed to hit the target. Andersson came the closest two minutes later when he headed a Revivo cross just over the bar. Yozgatspor once again tried their luck with a long shot through Ilker in the 18th minute; this effort was closer to that of Prekos. Rustu was called upon to make a difficult save in the 21st minute from Cengizhans free kick five metres outside the box.
There were calls for a penalty from our players in the 32nd minute when Revivo crossed towards Andersson only to find Timo intercept with what looked like a handball. Referee Metin Tokat waved play on. 10 minutes later the first goal came through Revivo whos initial shot had been saved by Diallo but the rebound came straight back to the Israeli international who made no mistake in finishing it off. The first half ended with the score 1-0 in a frustrating time for both teams considering the bad condition of the pitch at the Yozgat Sehir Stadium.
Lorant coming into the second half made no changes to the starting eleven. Murats deflected shot caused a scare in the 48th minute when Rustu was left wrong footed, but luckily the ball went wide of the goal. Revivo had a go in the 49th minute with a powerful shot but Diallo saved. The Yozgat keeper looked very sharp in goal throughout the game but Rustu was no less good, as he saved a goal bound header from Mehmet in the 51st minute. The first change for the Yellow Canaries came with Johnson coming on for Serhat few minutes later. Umit Ozat did well in the 58th minute to head away for a corner when a dangerous ball was played over the top of the defence. Diallo saved once again from Andersson in the 66th minute after Revivo had done well to cross. It wasnt Anderssons day in front of goal. This was further proven in the 68th minute when he missed a golden chance again in front of goal. Rapaic came on in the 73rd minute for the goalscorer Revivo. Rapaic made an instant impact as he hit a hard ball into the box which Diallo came out to collect but fumbled and ended up redirecting the ball into his own net, 2-0.
With 10 minutes to go Ceyhun came on for Ogun. Mehmet gave Yozgat some hope in the 86th minute with a free kick goal to make the score 2-1. No further goals came in the three minutes of added time, though Andersson should have changed that in the final seconds with another golden chance in front goal via a Rapaic pass. The giant Swede put the finishing touch on a frustrating performance and hit the ball off target. But the vital win prior to the Galatasaray derby was achieved and now all eyes will be at the Sukru Saracoglu stadium on Saturday the 16th February.
Werner Lorant gave his opinion on his first away win with Fenerbahce. Lorant said he was happy with the way the team battled and said "It was good to score an early goal and we got a bit more comfortable with the second one. Considering the state of the pitch I'm happy with the way we played".
(match report by: Alp Ayhan)
Bata showed an excellent performance today. Unfortunately he received a yellow card. As fans report, he got kicked in the head by Yozgat attacker and he was bleeding from his nose. He wanted Yozgat player to be punished so he protested with the referee only to be given a yellow card himself.
Yugoslav national coach Dejan Savicevic today named a new squad for a friendly against Mexico that will be played on 13/02 in Phoenix, Arizona. On this new list Bata's name is missing and Nikola Lazetic's also. Aksam journalist informed me about his conversation with Fenerbahce officials. They confirmed receiving a fax from Yugoslav football federation. In the fax Yugoslav officials excused Bata and Laza of their duty to travel to US and play the friendly match.
The Fenerbahce directors have been working to get Bata and Laza excused for a week. They didn't want the two to risk injury just before the Galatasaray derby.
The new list is as following:
Goalkeepers: Dragoslav Jevric, Dragan Zilic, Vukasin Poleksic
Defenders: Nenad Dzodic, Goran Gavrancic, Sinisa Mihajlovic, Mladen Krstajic, Dejan Stefanovic, Boban Dmitrovic
Midfielders: Slavisa Jokanovic, Vladimir Jugovic, Dejan Stankovic, Ognjen Koroman, Radovan Krivokapic, Nenad Brnovic, Veljko Paunovic
Attackers: Predrag Mijatovic, Savo Milosevic, Mateja Kezman, Nenad Mladenovic
Fenerbahce players have arrived in Ankara this afternoon and had lunch before they set off to Yozgat by coach. Rustu, Mert, Ogun, Deniz, Mirkovic, Rapaic, Serhat, Revivo, Ali Akdeniz, Oguz, Ceyhun, Umit, Abdullah, Andersson, Fatih, Simao, Johnson, Oktay and Ali Gunes are in the travelling squad.
Fenerbahce will play against Yimpas Yozgatspor tomorrow at 13.30 local time or 12.30 CET. The team will stay at the Camlik Hotel in Yozgat and will return on the matchday with a 19:50 flight from Ankara
Bata took advantage of his day off on Sunday and went to Antalya to visit Partizan training camp (on the picture).
While Bata was visiting his former club, some of his teammates from Fenerbahce went to the opening of the Fenerium shop in Turkey's biggest shopping centre Akmerkez in Istanbul. Footballers Fatih, Ogun, Revivo, Serhat, Johnson and Abdullah were all present at the opening. Chairman Aziz Yildirim, directors Atilla Kiyat, Murat Ozaydinli, Zeynep Sabanci, Osman Yalcin, Nihat Ozbagi and members Cemil Turan, Ali Yildirim and Serkan Acar officially opened Fenerium Akmerkez. Numerous Fenerbahce fans fled to Akmerkez to cheer the players and race for autographs. The fans erupted with delight as Chairman Aziz Yildirim arrived at the opening.
Bata and his teammates have resumed their preparations for Saturday's clash away to Yimpas Yozgatspor. Coach Werner Lorant is in Germany which meant Oguz Cetin took charge. The team will carry on tomorrow with two training sessions.
The squad will fly out to Ankara at 10:20 on Friday before travelling to Yozgat by coach. The team will stay at the Camlik Hotel and will return on the matchday with a 19:50 flight from Ankara.
The next day Bata has to travel to London where he will meet his teammates from Yugoslav national team. Players will meet the selector and other stuff and together they will fly to America. The friendly match against Mexico will be played on Wednesday, 13/02, in Arizona.
Our Bata and Nikola Lazetic have been called up to the Yugoslavia National Team for a friendly against Mexico on 13/02. The Fenerbahce directors are said to be asking for the excuse of these two players so they don't risk injury for the Galatasaray derby three days later.
Yugoslav selector Dejan Savicevic will announce the team at the press conference scheduled for Thursday, 07/02. It's widely expected he will mostly call international players as Yugoslav teams are in training camps (Partizan in Antalya - in the same hotel as Fenerbahce was less than a month ago - and Red Star in Cyprus). Yugoslav coaches asked Savicevic not to call their players, and to be completely honest, there are not many home players Savicevic can call.
International players will not travel to Belgrade and will meet with the selector in London on Sunday, 10/02, and will fly to US on Monday. More details about Mexico friendly will be known on Thursday and you will be able to read all about them on Bata's website.
Fenerbahce 3 - 0 Kocaelispor
A passionate crowd and a new transfer gave Fenerbahce the edge in this Super League game against Kocaelispor. Simao, who signed for Fenerbahce just yesterday, surprisingly started the game in the midfield alongside Revivo and Ogun with Lazetic and Ali Akdeniz controlling the wings. Lorant composed the defence out of Umit Ozat, Deniz and Fatih due to Mustafa and Bata's absences. As you know, Bata had to pause because of four yellow cards. Andersson and Serhat made up the forward line. Kick off had to be delayed as our fans showered the pitch with confetti twice.
The game started with a boom as Andersson struck a very powerful 35 meters shot from Simaos pass only to see it go just wide in the 13th minute. A minute later Serhat also hit a hard shot from outside the area but keeper Ahmet Sahin tipped away and the defence cleared. The pair combined in the 16th minute when Serhat crossed to Andersson on the penalty spot whos shot went wide from the goal. However, the Swedish giant was to be the man who scored the first goal. In a similar situation, Serhat crossed to Andersson who made no mistake and struck a hard shot that flew into the net from Ahmets left side to make it 1-0 in the 18th minute. Deniz came close three minutes later when his header went just over the bar from a Revivo corner. Andersson nearly scored his second goal with another hard shot in the 32nd minute. The Swede had hit a shot that came off the keeper before the Kocaeli defence cleared for a corner.
Denizs timely runs to help the forwards paid off as he was played in by Simao into the box and the veteran scored with a placed shot to double the lead. As the half looked like ending with that score, Deniz surprised once again, as he was heavily involved in a goalmouth scramble that started with a cross from Revivo. After the ball had hit the post and Kocaeli failed to clear, Deniz finished it off from a short distance to score his second and the teams third goal. Kocaelispor rarely challenged our defence and Rustu wasnt called upon at all. An early substitution made no difference for Hikmet Karamans side.
The second half started with a substitution from each side, Hakan replaced Ogun while Kocaelispor put on Cem Sinan on for Faruk. Andersson carried on his lively performance as he struck another shot in the 48th minute that was saved well by Ahmet Sahin. A small scare for our defence in the 51st minute as Umit cleared Nuris shot off the line that looked destined for our goal. Anderssons header in the 53rd minute was only just saved by Ahmet, the Swede was getting ever closer to his second goal but was denied by the keeper each time.
Kocaelispors chances of scoring were dented more in the 55th minute, as Kwame Ayew had to come off with an injury. Three minutes later Revivos shot from outside the area went only just over, one of many long shots by our players to have nearly hit the target. Oktay made his comeback in the 64th minute as he came on for Andersson; the crowd heralded both players as they swapped to a massive round of applause. With 15 minutes to go Ali Gunes came on for Revivo who showed a stable performance on his comeback from injury. Oktay almost marked his comeback with a goal in the 83rd minute as he slid to hit a ball from Simao but the Turkish international missed the target. Simao nearly marked a dream debut performance with a goal when he bulleted a strike from outside the area in the 87th minute but again the shot went narrowly wide. The remainder of the game brought no goals and ended with a 3-0 victory for the Yellow Canaries.
(by Alp Ayhan)
Ankaragucu 3 - 2 Fenerbahce
This heated affair ended in huge dissapointment as not only did we lose 3-2 but also had Yusuf and Abdullah sent off. Revivo didn't pass a late fitness test so Yusuf took his place in midfield alongside Ogun and Abdullah. Ali Akdeniz was left and Fatih was right wing back. Deniz, Bata and Mustafa Dogan formed the defence while Andersson and Serhat were up front.
Hakan of Ankaragucu saw a yellow card for bringing down Serhat and five minutes later Abdullah saw yellow for fouling Agustine. The first goal came through Niyazi in the 22nd minute, when he was trying to clear a cross to Yusuf but not getting the direction he wanted and unwillingly rolling the ball into his own goal. Within minutes, Yusuf had a superb chance to score for real when he entered the box from the right channel but placed his shot wide of goal when he could have passed to the completely unmarked Andersson.
We paid for that mistake soon after when Faruk struck the ball he received from Agustine accurately and powerfully into the top right hand corner. Hakan Keles made it 2-1 in the 38th minute when the defence stopped for offside but he didn't and he was left to place a low cross from Niyazi into the empty net. Ankaragucu doubled their lead three minutes later with a similar goal this time scored by Ismet. Two minutes before half time Andersson got one back with an easy header to Serhat's cross. The half ended with the score already 3-2 to Ankaragucu.
The second half started aggresively as Hakan Keles got booked in the 48th and Burak in the 49th. Bata got booked in the 56th for arguing with the referee. This made him banned for next week's match. Andersson's lame header in the 57th minute gave Fenerbahce fans in the stadium little hope. But the real downer of the game came in the 74th minute when Abdullah got booked for the second time and was sent off for pushing an opponent. Five minutes later another blow from referee Ali Aydin, as Yusuf was sent off for what was physically nothing, but after his consultation to the assistant referee Yusuf was found guilty of misconduct and sent off. Yusuf was disgraced at not being given a foul when he was bundled off the ball by Ankaragucu players. A 9 man Fenerbahce were finding it tough to turn this game around. Defenders were pushing up and taking the risk but to no avail, as Bata had some space just inside the area with the goal in front of him but his shot was high over the bar.
Ankaragucu were reduced to 10 men in the 82nd minute when Ozgur fouled Serhat from behind and got his second card. Veteran defender Deniz pushed up front and had a claim for a penalty in the 84th minute when he fell in the area but the referee continued his controvertial decision making and waved play on. Despite a six minute stoppage period, 9 man Fenerbahce weren't enough to beat a defensive Ankaragucu and the game ended in a bad loss.
(by Alp Ayhan)
I called Bata in Ankara and asked him to comment today's draw. This is what he had to say:
"EURO draw was not kind to us. We got a very difficult group. Italy are absolute favourites. We are not giving up all hopes to finish first in the group but it will be very difficult. Finland and Wales are also very good teams. It won't be easy."
Yugoslavia have been paired with Italy, Finland, Wales and Azerbaidjan for the qualifying tournament of the 2004 European championship.
Group1: France, Slovenia, Israel, Cyprus, Malta
Group 2: Romania, Denmark, Norway, Bosnia, Luxembourg
Group 3: Czech Republic, Holland, Austria, Belarus, Moldova
Group 4: Sweden, Poland, Hungary, Latvia, San Marino
Group 5: Germany, Scotland, Iceland, Lithuania, Faroe Islands
Group 6: Spain, Ukraine, Greece, Northern Ireland, Armenia
Group 7: Turkey, England, Slovakia, F.Y.R Macedonia, Liechtenstein
Group 8: Belgium, Croatia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Andorra
Group 9: Italy, Yugoslavia, Finland, Wales, Azerbaidjan
Group 10: Ireland, Russia, Switzerland, Georgia, Albania
The draw for the EURO 2004 qualifying competition will take place on Friday.
The 50 associations have been divided into five different pots (A to E), each containing ten teams. Starting with pot E and ending with pot A, the competing teams will be divided into Groups 1 to 10 in the order in which they are drawn. The ten teams in pot E will be the first drawn into the ten groups, the ten teams in pot D will be the next allocated a group, and so forth.
The countries taking part in the qualifying competition have been allocated to the following pots:
Pot A: France (reigning champions), Sweden, Spain, Czech Republic, Germany, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Italy, Belgium, Turkey
Pot B: Russia, Croatia, Denmark, Netherlands, Yugoslavia, Poland, England, Slovenia, Ukraine, Scotland
Pot C: Austria, Norway, Slovakia, Israel, Switzerland, Iceland, Bulgaria, Finland, Greece, Hungary
Pot D: Cyprus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Belarus, Wales, Estonia, Latvia, Northern Ireland, Georgia, FYR Macedonia, Lithuania
Pot E: Armenia, Moldova, Albania, Faroe Islands, Azerbaijan, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Malta, Luxembourg, Andorra
EURO 2004 qualifying competition matches must be played on the ten international match dates between September 2002 and October 2003. In the event where associations are unable to agree on the order of their matches within 60 days of the draw, matches will be staged according to a standard fixture list drawn up by UEFA.
The EURO 2004 final round, which takes place in Portugal between 12 June and 4 July 2004, will feature 16 teams. The Portuguese hosts will be joined by 15 associations from the qualifying competition - the ten group winners, who will qualify directly, and five other teams from among the ten group runners-up, who will contest play-offs on a two-leg home-and-away basis in November 2003.
Tomorrow evening you will be able to read Bata's comment about the EURO 2004 draw.
After picking up a few knocks in the Istanbulspor game Bata was being rested for today's training. He was being treated for these injuries he got being kicked and fauled by Istanbulspor players.
Fenerbahce's first training session prior to the Ankaragucu game took place this morning. The Fenerbahce squad will fly to Ankara tomorrow at 12:45. The 22 man squad includes: Rustu, Oguz, Mustafa, Serkan, Umit, Fatih, Mirkovic, Mert, Deniz, Abdullah, Ali Akdeniz, Ali Gunes, Ogun, Lazetic, Yusuf, Ceyhun, Hakan, Oktay, Andersson, Revivo, Serhat and Rapaic. The squad will return to Istanbul on Sunday.
(by Alp Ayhan)
Fenerbahce played with a new home kit today that marked the beginning of hopefully, a new and successful era under Werner Lorant. The stadium wasnt completely full but the fans that were there did amazingly well and produced the noise of twice their capacity.
The game started with a quick goal for Fener as Abdullah dribbled from the left wing and crossed to Serhat who finished emphatically in the 6th minute to make it 1-0. Bata was fouled badly by Cenk who was rightly booked in the 20th minute. Thankfully Bata was able to carry on with the game. Two minutes later Serhats chipped pass to Andersson put him in front of goal but the referee stopped the game as he decided that Andersson had fouled to get him there. Selcuk and Umit collided in the 23rd minute which looked very bad at first but both players were able to carry on. Umit was booked for re-entering the game without the referees permission despite the assistant letting him on.
A counter attack from Fener resulted in a goal as Revivos accurate pass to Andersson was brought down to the goalscorer Serhat to double his tally, 2-0. Istanbulspor didnt cause much danger in the first half but a scare was given int he 34th minute with a shot by Mehmet going just over the bar. After Serhat was fouled in the 40th minute by Niyazi, the youngster couldnt control his temper and reacted angrily which cost him a yellow card. Niyazi was also booked for the initial offence.
The second half began with Yusuf replacing Revivo. Former Fenerbahce player Ilker crossed from the right wing only for Umit to get a vital touch to clear the ball. This marked the beginning of a series of attacks by Istanbulspor in the start of the second half. Rustu played his part in the 52nd minute by saving a hard shot by Selcuk.
The rest of the game was played at a slow pace which suggested the two teams were contempt with the score. But Serhat nearly scored a hat trick two minutes before time as the struck a ball he received from substitute Rapaic only to find it tipped away for a corner by Zdravkov. As the corner came to no result the game ended 2-0 which gave some encouragement to the fans.
Coach Werner Lorant held a press conference after the match. He said he was pleased with the performance of the team and showed a great admiration for Fenerbahce fans.
(by Alp Ayhan)
Today's Fotomac claims Bata will be playing on Johnson's position (midfield) tomorrow in the match against Istanbulspor. Johnson is injured and coach Werner Lorant thinks Bata will be the most successful if he takes his place. Lorant, says Fotomac, admires Bata because of his discipline and good passes. Mustafa Dogan is supposed to take Bata's place in defence.
Coach Werner Lorant said the team will be 100% ready for the Samsunspor game but unfortunately the match ended in defeat for Fenerbahce as our players failed to comeback from a goal by Muslim in the 30th minute. Fenerbahce had few good chances that came from Revivo, Johnson and Ceyhun but nobody could beat Samsuns's keeper Goksel. Bata played all 90 mintues of the match. Hurriyet daily newspaper gave him and his teammates the following grades:
1 Rustu (**), 5 Uche (**), 16 Umit (**), 6 Z.Mirkovic (**), 30 Ali Gunes (*), 9 (Dk.62 Serhat *), 17 Lazetic (*), 8 (Dk.46 Ceyhun *), 28 Johnson (*), 3 Ogun (**), 18 Abdullah (**), 8 (Dk.66 Rapaic *), 10 Revivo (*), 19 Andersson (*)
Fenerbahce players returned to Istanbul around midnight. Players will not get a day off as Lorant scheduled the next training for this morning.
Fenerbahce will play the next League match on Tuesday. If Galatarasay and Besiktas are successful this weekend, Fenerbahce will be faced with a huge gap to close. And Tuesday's match against Istanbul could prove to be crucial.
View Turkish league standings!!!
Fenerbahces last training session in Antalya had been completed. Even though Lorant insisted it wasn't his first eleven, the team of Rustu, Uche, our Bata, Umit, Ali Gunes, Lazetic, Johnson, Ogun, Abdullah, Andersson and Revivo beat the rest of the players 4-2. Revivo scored twice while Andersson and Ogun each got a goal. The opponents goals came from Rapaic and Ali Akdeniz. Fatih (ineligible), Yusuf (banned) and Recep (demoted) trained seperately while Mustafa was carrying out light training sessions mostly involving jogging.
The squad arrived at Samsun after an hour delay to the plane. The team was welcomed by a group of chanting Fenerbahce supporters. Werner Lorant was the focus of attention as he received a bouqet of flowers and a Fenerbahce scarf. The team is staying at Omtel Hotel.
Tomorrows game against Samsunspor will be the 50th time the two sides have faced each other. The 49 games that were played have ended in 30 wins, 11 losses and 8 draws for us. Weve scored 87 goals whilst conceded 57. Our away record in Samsun is very good. Out of 24 games there weve won 10 times, lost 8 and drawn 6 times whilst scoring 34 goals and conceding 30.
(by Alp Ayhan)
Fenerbahce coach Werner Lorant gave a press conference today. Lorant said he was happy with how the training camp is going and promised: "We will be 100% ready for the Samsunspor game."
The German coach stated he keeps no secrets and the game plan he implies might not necessarily include the players that hes playing in that formation during training.
The disciplinarian also said the transfers of Besiktas and Galatasaray dont concern him and that team's only aim at the moment is to beat Samsunspor.
(by Alp Ayhan)
Yugoslav selector Dejan Savicevic announced at a press conference that the national team is going to undergo a number of changes. The national team boss also stated the initiated changes would not influence the teams veterans, Bata being one of them
Yugoslav national team will play a friendly with Mexico in February, which is going to be the first friendly out of 6 preparation matches in line for European Championship qualifications. Norway, England and Italy were named to be the possible rivals for the matches, while the final decision is still going to be announced.
Savicevic revealed in his statement, he has real intentions to call up mainly home championships players for the friendly match to be held in February. Yugoslav manager stated the players from Red Star, Partizan and Obilic do not seem to be fit for the matches, as at the time the home clubs will just start their tactical preparations. Savicevic informed that the team will mainly include international players, Bata probably being one of them.
After spending yesterday afternoon resting, the squad have trained this morning on a large pitch. Lorant emphasised on pressing and wing play and interrupted the training very frequently to warn the players of their mistakes. The players looked very willing and passionate and they continually motivated each other throughout the session. Lorant warned the defenders to make sure theyre marking their zones.
The squad enjoyed a refreshing time by the sea this afternoon with director Sadettin Saran organising a barbecue. The players took the opportunity to take a break whilst enjoying world famous Turkish barbecue food. Coach Werner Lorant has cancelled this evenings training session so the players are re-charging this evening.
Spartak Moscow beat Fenerbahce 6-5 and won Antalya Cup: Efes Pilsen football tournament. It was 1-1 after 90 minutes and the match went into penalties. Rapaic, Andersson, Ogun, Yusuf were successful in penalty shoutout but Revivo and our Bata weren't. Bata showed a great performance but of course was sad because he missed a penalty.
Fenerbahce will stay in Antalya for few more days and then they will travel to Samsun for the match against Samsunspor.
Serbian daily newspaper Glas javnosti today wrote that Partizan (former Bata's club) will come to Antalya in February. Glas javnosti states it was Bata that recommended Antalya and Fenerbahce gave Partizan all guarantees their training camp will be successful.
Fenerbahce will today play the final match of Antalya Cup: Efes Pilsen football tournament. Their rival will be Spartak from Moscow. The match will be played at 19.30 CET and will be broadcasted LIVE on Eurosport. I highly recommend you to watch them match as it is supposed to be an exciting one. Bata is still slightly injured and Fenerbahce doctors will decided if he can play.
Fenerbahce qualified for the final of Antalya Cup: Efes Pilsen football tournament by winning 3-0 against IFK Goteborg. Fenerbahce's goals were scored by Nikola Lazetic in 39th minute and Haim Revivo in 49th and 90th minute but the last goal could have also been an own goal by Henriksson. Bata didn't play because he is slightly injured and he watched the match on the stands.
On Sunday at 18.30 CET you can watch the final on Eurosport television.
In this morning's press conference, Werner Lorant stated that he felt no need for transfers and believed that his players are valuable. Lorant has spoken to the Board and said that he wishes for no transfers to be made whilst saying that maybe in the future, depending on the performances of the players, he could consider dipping into the transfer market. However, Lorant emphasised that he is happy with all his players at the moment.
Lorant touched on the importance of the League saying that it's the priority of the club and added that Andersson is a player he rates very highly. The new boss said that a lot of things will change in the second half of the season where we will battle against Galatasaray and Besiktas, therefore he is implementing disciplined and tough training sessions for the team. Lorant believes that the points gap will be closed with hard work and commitment.
Lorant also briefed on what tactics he will play, saying: "We will play a 3-5-2 system. With this layout, we will be able to attack more easily and put more pressure on the opponent. These factors have made me choose 3-5-2 as supposed to 4-4-2". Lorant added: "The system depends on the the performance of the players, " but he also said: "Changes could be made in the future." Lorant further emphasised his admiration for Kennet Andersson and said: "We will make good use of Andersson in the 3-5-2 system". "I'm very happy with his performance last night and the goal he scored" added Lorant.
Talking about the Sturm Graz game, Lorant said that Fenerbahce played better in the second half but we couldn't use the wings very well and that this will be a focus in the next training sessions. Lorant also said: "I'm happy with the team's fitness, the Sturm Graz game was a good opportunity". Lorant then congratulated his players for the 3-0 win.
The first match lead by Werner Lorant brought Fenerbahce a victory and we can only hope that is a good sign for the future. Fenerbahce beat Sturm Graz with 3-0. Goals were scored by Uche 57, Andersson 62 and Ogun 74. Fenerbahce dominated the field throughout the match. Bata played all 90 minutes of the match and showed a very good performance. Or as Eurosport reporter said "he proved he is a first class defender". Turskih sport daily newspaper Fotomac graded the players as following: Rustu 7, Mirkovic 7,5, Uche 8, Dogan 7,5, Fatih 7, Johnson 6, Ogun 5,5, Abdullah 6,5, Revivo 6,5, Rapaic 7, Andersson 7,5
Fenerbahce will play their next Efes Pilsen tournament match on Friday.
Galatasaray 1 - 2 Spartak (08/01)
Galatasaray - Werder (10/01)
Spartak - Werder (12/01)
1. Spartak 1 1 0 0 2-1 3
2. Werder 0 0 0 0 0-0 0
3. Galatasaray 1 0 0 1 1-2 0
Goteborg 3 - 2 Sturm (07/01)
Fenerbahce 3 - 0 Sturm (played tonight)
Fenerbahce - IFK Goteborg (11/01)
1. Fenerbahce 1 1 0 0 3-0 3
2. IFK Goteborg 1 1 0 0 3-2 3
3. Sturm 2 0 0 2 2-6 0
Today at 18.30 CET Fenerbahce will play their first Antalya Cup 2002 match. You can watch the match LIVE on Eurosport television. As this is the first match played under new coach, Werner Lorant, it's hard to predict the line-up but there is no doubt our Bata will be playing.
Antalya Cup 2002 started on Monday. Two matches have already been played and ended with following results:
07/01/02 Strum Graz 2 - 3 Göteburg
08/01/02 Galatasaray 1 - 2 Spartag Moscow
Four more matches will be played untill the end of the week and all can be viewed LIVE on Eurosport:
10/01/02 Galatasaray - Werder Bremen
11/01/02 Fenerbahçe - Göteburg
12/01/02 Werder Bremen - Spartag Moscow
Fenerbahce arrived in Antalya yesterday afternoon after sharing the plane with their bitter rivals, Galatasaray players. Bata and his teammates are staying in Arcadia Hotel in Belek resort and were joined by the new coach Werner Lorant (who arrived from Germany) later today. Players are training very hard, either on the pitch or running in nearby woods.
Tomorrow will start Efes Pilsen Cup 2002, a tournament Fenerbahce will play during their training camp in Antalya. Other teams playing the tournament are: Strum Graz, Göteburg, Galatasaray, Spartag Moscow and Werder Bremen. All matches will be broadcasted LIVE ON EUROSPORT (view their TV SCHEDULE) and I recommend you to view them if you wish to watch Bata in action.
07/01/02 Strum Graz - Göteburg
08/01/02 Galatasaray - Spartag Moscow
09/01/02 Fenerbahçe - Strum Graz
10/01/02 Galatasaray - Werder Bremen
11/01/02 Fenerbahçe - Göteburg
12/01/02 Werder Bremen - Spartag Moscow
Snow storms today paralyzed traffic in Istanbul. Hundreds of people were forced to abandon cars and buses and walk to work. Ferry services across the Bosporus, the waterway bisecting the city, were severely disrupted and the airport temporarily suspended flights. One of the suspended flights was supposed to take Bata and his teammates to Antalya. Players spent an hour waiting at the airport (television cameras showed Bata reading a newspaper) and later went to the nearby Holiday Inn Hotel where they will spend the night. They will try to fly to Antalya again tomorrow.
New Fenerbahce coach Werner Lorant has admitted he was stunned by the reception he got from the fans after flying into Istanbul. "It was amazing. I have never received such a warm welcome. I flew in from Frankfurt in the evening and did not expect there to be anyone at the airport waiting for me. But when I landed, I saw that there were fans all over the place. They chanted my name and handed me Fenerbahce flags. I really wasn't expecting that. It was fantastic and I am extremely flattered." Of course not all Fenerbahce fans were excited. Many have expected the club will bring "a bigger name" coach and are accusing Fenerbahce president Aziz Yildirim of signing a "second-class" coach. Lorant yesterday visited training camp Samandira where he was introduced to the players and had the first meeting with them. As Lorant is known for his disciplinarian approach, Turkish newspapers are saying "the lazy ones" are already trembling. "We have to work, work and work then see how we go. That's all we can do. But the next two weeks at the training camp in Belek, Antalya, will be important both for me and the players," said Lorant. He claimed earlier in the week that he had joined Fenerbahce with the sole aim of winning the title and he reiterated those words on Thursday night.
During the two weeks training camp in Antalya, Fenerbahce will be playing Antalya Cup 2002 tournament which will be broadcasted LIVE on Eurosport. Strum Graz, Göteburg, Galatasaray, Spartag Moscow and Werder Bremen will also be playing the tournament. Fenerbahce will play the first match on 09/01 at 18.30. LIVE on Eurosport.
Werner Lorant arrived in Istanbul last night and signed 2,5 year contract with Fenerbahce this morning. Lorant yesterday pledged: "I want to win the championship with Fenerbahce. I won't go to Istanbul to say that I want to end up fifth." He also added: "I know Turkish football and the incredible enthusiasm there suits me."
Lorant will meet with Fenerbahce players along with assistant coach Oguz Cetin and will travel to Antalya for pre-season training camp.
Fenerbahce have confirmed that former 1860 Munich coach Werner Lorant will take over as coach. Lorant emerged as the favourite to take over from Mustafa Denizli after Hertha Berlin put a block on Jurgen Rober's move. Lorant, who led Bundesliga club 1860 Munich from obscurity to the Champions League in his nine seasons in Bavaria before being sacked in October, is expected in Istanbul on Thursday to sign a contract of two and a half years. "I haven't signed anything yet, but I have reached agreement with Fenerbahce's vice-president Sadettin Saran and the club president will come to Frankfurt later on Wednesday," Lorant revealed. Lorant will travel to Istanbul on Thursday to put pen to paper on a two-and-a-half year deal that will earn him L350,000 a year, a salary three times less than the one his predecessor received. Lorant explained that the negotiations with Fener started a week ago in Estepona, an area in Spain where he owns a small farm. "Last night we finally reached agreement," he added. The coach, known for his tough disciplinarian approach, Lorant will lead the team in Antalya pre-season training camp for the second half of the league.
Bata returned to Istanbul this afternoon after spending a day and a half in Belgrade and will join trainings.
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