Notice
 

Dear visitors, in accordance with Bata's request, Zoran Bata Mirkovic's official website is to be closed down. Thanks to everyone who has visited it over the last five years. Please continue to support our dear Bata and his club Partizan. Maja, site webmaster


05/09/04
 

The Uefa Cup Draw was held in Nyon. Under UEFA's new format, today's draw divided forthy teams into eight five-team pools. Partizan will play Lazio, last year's semifinalists Villarreal, English League Cup winners Middlesbrough and Greek side Egaleo.

Group A:
Feyenoord, Schalke, Basel, Heart of Midlothian, Ferencvarosi

Group B:
Parma, Besiktas, Athletic Bilbao, Steaua Bucharesti, Standard Liege

Group C:
Club Brugge, Real Zaragoza, Utrecht, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, Austria Wien

Group D:
Newcastle, Sporting, Sochaux, Panionios, Dinamo Tblisi

Group E:
Lazio, Villarreal, Middlesbrough, Partizan Belgrade, Egaleo

Group F:
Rangers, Auxerre, Grazer, Amica Wronki, Alkmaar

Group G:
Stuttgart, Benfica, Dinamo Zagreb, Heerenveen, Beveren

Group H:
AEK, Lille, Sevilla, Aachen, Zenit

Partizan will play two matches at home and two away on the following dates: Partizan - Egaleo 04/11, Lazio - Partizan 25/11, Partizan - Villarreal 02/12 and Middlesbrough - Partizan 15/12.

Our Bata said he was satisfied with the draw. He added that he would have wished to play Lazio and Villarreal at home, but he was nevertheless confident that his side is capable of beating any of the opponents and progressing to the next stage.


03/09/04
 

Partizan tonight beat Zeleznik 2-1. Zeleznik started off well taking the lead in the 23rd minute thanks to Tasic, this came as no suprise as Zeleznik has always enjoyed playing well against Partizan. Soon afterwards captain Ilic was sent off and Partizan was left with ten men. Somehow black and white players held on until the half time whistle, after a team talk and formation alteration Partizan took the field more confident. Their early attack was rewarded as Radonjic finished off a Cirkovic cross in the 62nd minute. With the game close to an end it looked like only a miracle could bring Partizan three away points. And the miracle did happen. If you have to ask who the miracle worker was, then perhaps you are visiting this website by mistake. It was
our Bata's 88th minute goal that ensured Partizan held onto their lead in the Meridian Prva Liga ahead of the Belgrade derby against Crvena zvezda on 16/10. Bata's superb pefromance has been praised in all media and everybody agrees Bata is the player that every Serbia and Montenegro player should look up to.


30/09/04
 

Partizan moved through to the group stage of the UEFA Cup after a tight 0-0 draw against Dinamo Bucurest in Romania enabled them to progress 3-1 on aggregate.

Bata's team enjoyed the majority of early possession. However it was Dinamo who had the first chance on goal, striker Claudiu Niculescu heading into the side-netting at the near post from Constantin Semeghin's cross. With Simon Vukcevic looking impressive in midfield, Partizan continued to press forward and Pierre Boya tried his luck with a long-range shot in the 16th minute that went wide of Uladzimir Hayeu's goal. Although the Partizan defence stood firm in the face of a succession of deep crosses, Niculescu was looking increasingly more dangerous as the half went on, and went close for the home side six minutes from the interval with a diving header that flashed just wide of the Partizan goal. Two minutes later Partizan goalkeeper Ivica Kralj was called into action for the first time when Niculescu again beat the visiting defence in the area, only for Kralj to turn away his firm header.

The second half was only six minutes old when Partizan went close to taking the lead. Vukcevic's long-range free-kick took a wicked deflection off a Dinamo defender but, with goalkeeper Hayeu beaten, the ball bounced back off the post. The longer the game progressed, the more gaps Dinamo left in their defence, and Vukcevic should have won the game for Partizan when he raced on to Branimir Petrovic's through-ball, only for Hayeu to stand firm and make a good save.

The draw for the inaugural UEFA Cup group stage will take place at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland on Tuesday. Forty teams will await their fate as procedures get under way at 12.00 CET. The qualifiers have been divided into five groups of eight teams based on their UEFA coefficient. A team from each seeding pool will be assigned to a group, although clubs from the same national association cannot be drawn together.


25/09/04
 

Partizan maintained their lead at the top with a 4-1 win over city rivals Obilic. The first goal was scored by captain Sasa Ilic after penalty kick was awarded to black-whites. Pierre Boya and Nikola Grubjesic both continued their goalscoring exploits, the first scoring two goals and the later one.


21/09/04
 

Our Bata is today celebrating his 33rd birthday. In keeping with previous years we made a special birthday card for him, which features individual and personalized wishes from his fans.

The birthday card has been placed on the website for everyone to view, but especially for the birthday boy himself, so he can read all of the messages from his fans.

Happy birthday, Bata!

Click here to view the birthday card.


19/09/04
 

Serbia and Montenegro League leaders Partizan beat Buducnost 2-0 in Podgorica thanks to a Srdjan Radonjic 17th minute strike and a bizarre Goran Perisic own goal two minutes later.


16/09/04
 

Partizan beat Dinamo Bucharest 3-1 in their UEFA Cup first round first leg tie played in Belgrade tonight.

Daniel Danciulescu put the visitors ahead midway through the first half, but second-half strikes from Ivan Tomic, Pierre Boya and Nenad Brnovic turned the match around and put Bata's team in the driving seat ahead of the second leg in a fortnight's time.

Partizan, who defeated another Romanian club, Otelul Galati, in qualifying for the UEFA Cup, began well, but were stunned when Danciulescu outsmarted goalkeeper Ivica Kralj in a one-on-one situation to put Dinamo ahead.

Partizan had the opportunity to equalise eleven minutes before the break when Pierre Boya was fouled in the area, but Ivan Tomic saw his penalty saved by Vladimir Gaev.

The match was then turned on its head in a sixty-second spell eight minutes into the second half. Nikola Grubjesic found Pierre Boya, who in turn fed Ivan Tomic to fire home an equaliser. Then Pierre Boya latched onto another Nikola Grubjesic pass to put the hosts ahead.

Nikola Grubjesic, who has scored three goals in the last three domestic games for his Partizan, hit the post in the 73rd minute when he had only Gaev to beat. But then another Partizan substitute, Nenad Brnovic, did manage to give Bata's side a two-goal cushion. He fired in a long-range shot which hit first the post and then Gaev's head before nestling in the Romanians' net.

You can download all three Partizan goals from Partizan official website.
Click here and when the page loads, scroll it down where you will see video signs at the bottom.

Nebojsa Parausic from
MN Press Agency has sent us six pictures of Bata that he took during tonight's match. Click here to view them all.

MN Press


11/09/04
 

As champions Crvena zvezda continued their woeful run with a 1-1 draw at Zeta Golubovci, Partizan have extended their lead with a 1-0 win against city rivals Radnicki. Partizan struggled to break down a stubborn Radnicki defence and had to wait until the 70th minute, when second-half substitute Nikola Grubjesic rose above his markers to head home from ten metres. Our Bata continues to play superbly, even though he has been slightly injured and had to miss a couple of training sessions.


29/08/04
 

Striker Radonjic scored a hat-trick to keep leaders Partizan in pole position with a 3-1 win at Smederevo. Radonjic netted with a header, a crisp shot from inside the box and a clinical finish to give Partizan an unassailable 3-0 lead at Smederevo before Tadic salvaged some pride for the home team in the dying minutes. As in all previous matches, Bata's performance was remarkable.


27/08/04
 

The UEFA Cup draw took place today. Partizan were paired with Dinamo Bucharest. The first leg will be played on 16/09 in Belgrade, the second on 30/09 in Bucharest.


26/08/04
 

Partizan are one round from reaching the equivalent phase of the UEFA Cup, but Romanian visitors Otelul Galati made them work hard to secure their passage from the second qualifying round. Radonjic was the only goalscorer of the tie, which had been goalless after the first leg, but heavy rain made conditions tough for both teams. Our Bata continues to play superbly and Partizan's goal always remains empty when he is on the pitch.


21/08/04
 

Partizan beat Hajduk Kula 5-0 tonight. After a good start to the game that had given no rewards to the Partizan team in the first 78 minutes, goals just started coming. Two were scored by Grubjesic and one by Vukcevic, Djordjevic and Radonjic.


17/08/04
 

Borac have done it again. They have took three points from Crvena zvezda last week and two from Partizan this Sunday. All week long the players and the coach have been saying they would not allow an upset result happen again and all but promised they would beat Borac. However, their words proved to be false. Angry fans were calling for coach Vermezovic to quit and stoned the bus carrying players back to the camp. On Monday Bata went public saying he is in a state of shock and can't believe Partizan fans would be throwing stones at the bus carrying Partizan players.


12/08/04
 

Another poor performance by Partizan and only a draw against Romanian side Otelul. 0-0 is a good result for Partizan before the second leg in Belgrade at the Humska Stadium, but the performance leaves so much (or everything) to be desired.


08/08/04
 

Serbia and Montenegro's First Federal League competition resumed on Saturday, but Partizan played their first match on Sunday. Coach Vladimir Vermezovic was desperate to rediscover the winning habit.

"A season without trophies is not good enough for Partizan. Last season we were worn out by the UEFA Champions League and we forgot about the domestic league. I am expecting the experienced players to regain their old shine. Our aim is the title, but it would be good to win the cup too"
- said Vermezovic before Sunday's match with Sutjeska.

The winning habit he wanted, the winning habit he got. Partizan opened the season in a big way. They beat Sutjeska 4-1. Partizan's captain Sasa Ilic netted a hat-trick and teenager Miroslav Radovic added a fourth in their emphatic win, with Dejan Tucakovic scoring Sutjeska's consolation in the first half.

Partizan's bitter city rivals Crvena zvezda allowed themselves a shock 0-1 home defeat to Borac, giving Partizan the early advantage in their annual battle for supremacy. Partizan is now first in the standings, followed by Zemun, Hajduk and Zeta.

Partizan will play their next match in Romania, as they start off their UEFA Cup campaign against Otelul Galati. The match will take place on Thursday, 12/08/, at 19.00 CET.

Partizan players started the season wearing new jerseys. They are still Kappa made, but their general sponsor is now Imlek instead of Superfund. Bata is no longer wearing number 12 on his jersey. His new number is 4. Click here to see Bata's picture in the new Partizan jersey and a picture of Partizan team for the season 2004/2005.


05/08/04
 

Partizan beat Tottenham after penalty shootout and finished third in this years Kappa Cup. "It was unbelievable hot and the pitch wasn't good. Both proved to be extra opponents not only for us but also for Tottenham. It was very difficult to walk let alone play football. We have produced a good result. We didn't play that badly, however there were mistakes. National league starts this weekend and I am an optimist" - said our Bata after the Tottenham match.


03/08/04
 

Real Betis tonight beat Partizan and advanced to the final of the Kappa Cup. Partizan showed a poor performance and were no threat to the opponent's goal, even though they had a man extra after a Real Betis player got sent off in the 65th minute. Our Bata was no doubt the best Partizan player, or as one of Serbian newspapers wrote "Partizan should have more Mirkovics in the team". Partizan will on Thursday, 05/08, play Tottenham for the 3rd position as they lost to Feyenoord 2-1 earlier today.


02/08/04
 

Partizan today presented their new jerseys and new general sponsor Imlek. Imlek is the largest Serbian milk company and their trademark - the familiar image of a cow – is a symbol of quality and reliability. Imlek's milk, cheese, yoghurt, spread and furit drinks have found their way to nearly every household in Serbia. Click here to see Bata's picture in the new Partizan jersey.


30/07/04
 

Partizan will face Romanian club FC Otelul Galati in the UEFA Cup second qualifying round after the draw was made in Nyon, Switzerland.
The first match will be played on 12/08 in Romania, the second one on 24/08 in Serbia.


24/07/04
 

Partizan tonight lost against Galatasaray in front of some 10.000 spectators in Augsburg. Both of Galatasaray's goals (Hasan Sas in 48th minute and Umir Karan in 90th minute) came from Partizan mistakes. The team will now return to Belgrade, where they will prepare for the Kappa Cup in Seville.


22/07/04
 

Partizan won the Alpen Cup after beating Feyenoord 1-0 in the final. The only goal of the match was scored by young Vukcevic in 34th minute. Bata and his team mates will play their next friendly game against Galatasaray on 24/07.


21/07/04
 

Partizan is in the Alpen Cup final after beating Turkish side Besiktas in penalty shootout. Bata and his team mates played with a lot of determination and they proved to be the better team. Partizan was especially good in defence, with Bata doing his magic once again.

There were only two chances on goal in the first 45 minutes, one for each team. For Partizan Tomic had a good shot saved in the 17th minute after he tried to lob the keeper. Besiktas's shot by Panuk was also saved with ease. In the second half Partizan earned a penalty. The duty was given to the captain Ilic, however his mild shot to the right of goal was saved by Kordoba.

In the final Partizan will tonight at 20.00 CET take on Dutch team Feyenoord. You can watch the match LIVE on Eurosport.

Click here to view Bata's pictures taken during the match with Besiktas.


18/07/04
 

Partizan played its first game since the start of training camp in Germany, however our team lost to Hertha 2-1 in what was a hard fought game. Our Bata is unfortunately to blame for the first Hertha's goal. The ball he passed to the keeper Kralj was intercepted by Hertha's Hartman who had no problem scoring. The second Hertha's goal came from a lovely pass from Hartman to Vihnjarek. Partizan's pride was somewhat saved by young Rnic and his amazing goal in the second half.


31/05/04
 

Our Bata together with Nisa Saveljic and Predrag Mijatovic helped Hong Kong league side Kitchee beat Serie A champions AC Milan in the friendly match on Sunday. After a scoreless first half at the Hong Kong Stadium, Shevechenko broke the deadlock two minutes into the second half as he headed home a cross by Serginho. However, the home side hit back on 66 minutes when striker Rochi Putiray came off the bench to equalise for the Hong Kong league runners-up. With 10 minutes remaining, Putiray struck again to give Kitchee an unlikely victory in a match to help raise funds for Hong Kong's United Christian Medical Service. Click here to view Bata's pictures taken during and after the match.


23/05/04
 

Even though our Bata has many offers from clubs around Europe and there were speculations he might move, this will not happen. Bata stated he is flattered by those offers, but he has no plans of moving again. He wants to stay in Partizan and be successful with his favourite club.


13/05/04
 

After two seasons of Partizan glory, Crvena zvezda were crowned champions of Serbia and Montenegro on Saturday. Crvena zvezda beat Vojvodina at home while Partizan slipped up against Buducnost in Banatski Dvor. With only one match left to go, Partizan officials and fans aswell are thinking of the season ahead. Many quality players are suppposed to arrive and the best ones, including ÷ur Bata, are supposed to stay in our favourite club.


13/05/04
 

Our Bata's former club Fenerbahce won it's 15th Turkish league this weekend. Congratulations to all Fenerbahce fans!


16/04/04
 

As we hoped and expected, our Bata made a speedy recovery from his recent muscle injury and was able to help his team-mates in Golubovci on Wednesday. Partizan won 2-1 and currently lie only three points behind Crvena zvezda. The championship title could be decided in this Saturday's derby, which takes place at 17.00 at the Partizan stadium. Not surprisingly, Bata is very much looking forward to this derby and says he is experiencing a funk. He would not make any precise prediction on the outcome, but insisted that he has total confidence in himself and his team-mates.


14/04/04
 

Last week Bata joined up with a team from Tempo magazine to take a nostalgic walk through his local neighbourhood, Konjarnik. During this emotional and memory-provoking trip, Bata proudly showed Tempo readers where he went to the kindergarden, his old school, the places where he started playing football (and basketball) and much more. Please click here to view the pictures from that walk, and here to view Tempo magazine scans.


11/04/04
 

Despite the absence of our Bata, Partizan enjoyed a successful week by picking up maximum points with single goal victories over Napredak and Hajduk. Although neither game provided much in the way of entertainment, Partizan did just enough to keep the pressure on our old friends Crvena zvezda, who managed only draws in both of their latest matches. This means that we are now only three points behind Crvena zvezda. Partizan will play against Zeta on Wednesday and Crvena zvezda will be hosts to Obilic. Following the match with Zeta, Partizan will come face to face with Crvena zvezda twice. The first derby will be a crucial and no doubt passionate League game and will take place on Saturday. The following Wednesday will see a repeat fixture in the semi-final of the Cup.


05/04/04
 

The latest news is a mixture of good and bad. The bad news is that our Bata will be unable to travel to Krusevac tomorrow, ahead of Partizan's game with Napredak on Wednesday. The good news is that Bata's injury is definitely not as serious as some had feared. Today he announced that he expects to be fit within five or six days. As you probably already know, a painful muscle injury forced our Bata to leave the pitch just before the end of the first half of last Saturday's match.


03/04/04
 

Partizan overcame Sartid Smederevo in this eagerly awaited derby. The only goal of the game was scored by young Radovic following a superb pass from Drulovic. Overall, the match was disappointing in terms of quality, and the passion displayed by both teams did not remotely measure up to the expected competitive derby encounter. Second placed Partizan and third placed Sartid showed us little in the way of footballing beauty. Too many bad passes, very few scoring chances. Indeed it was so poor that the Partizan coach apologised to our fans for the team's lacklustre performance!  

Ominously, our Bata was forced to leave the pitch just before the end of the first half. He sustained a muscle injury during yesterday's training and was advised by doctors not to play. Bata, being such a competitor, wanted to give his best anyway. Fortunately, the injury is not believed to be serious and we expect to see him playing again very soon.

Please click here
to view Bata's pictures Nebojsa Parausic from MN Press agency took during today's derby.


31/03/04
 

Serbia and Montenegro players paid their respects to Football Association general secretary Branko Bulatovic, but were unable to mark the event with victory as they were defeated 1-0 by Norway in Belgrade. Bulatovic was shot in the head by an unknown gunman outside his office on Friday and died later in hospital. The weekend's games in the domestic championship were postponed as a mark of respect, meaning the clash with Norway took on extra significance. Serbia and Montenegro started well and Dejan Stankovic and Darko Kovacevic both hit the woodwork as the home side came close to taking the lead. Norway rode the storm although their task was made easier when Kovacevic was sent off for elbowing John Arne Riise on the hour mark. The man advantage eventually counted although the only goal did come from the penalty spot - Martin Andresen netting after an infringement by home keeper Vladimir Disljenkovic.


28/03/04
 

Serbia and Montenegro Football Association president Dragan Stojkovic has confirmed that all three international matches involving Serbo-Montenegrin teams will go ahead this week following the death of Association general secretary Branko Bulatovic on Friday. National team coach Ilija Petkovic has named a 20-man squad for Wednesday's friendly.

Goalkeepers:
Vladimir Disljenkovic, Zoran Banovic

Defenders and wingers:
Predrag Ocokoljic, Mladen Krstajic, Nenad Djordjevic, Milan Dudic, Goran Gavrancic, Ivica Dragutinovic

Midfielders:
Dejan Stankovic, Dragan Mladenovic, Ognjen Koroman, Sasa Ilic, Nenad Brnovic, Zvonimir Vukic, Vladimir Ivic

Attackers:
Savo Milosevic, Darko Kovacevic, Mateja Kezman, Nikola Zigic, Danijel Ljuboja


26/03/04
 

Serbia and Montenegro Football Association general secretary Branko Bulatovic was shot this morning outside the association's headquarters in central Belgrade. Bulatovic was transferred quickly to the emergency centre where doctors operated on him and fought for his life. His condition is still critical and there is a possibility that he will die. Police said a motive for the shooting was not immediately clear. However, they do have a detailed description of the attacker. In the wake of the shooting, all matches in the country have been postponed until further notice.


24/03/04
 

As expected, Partizan defeated Javor 2-0 to progress to the semi-finals of the domestic cup competition.  Partizan got off to the ideal start by scoring in the first minute through Radovic, thus denying Javor the option to defend and hope for a fluke goal or a penalty-shootout. Our second goal was scored in the 31st minute by Radonjic. Partizan had two more great chances to increase the lead in the first half, but both were squandered. In a largely uneventful second half, both teams had one half-chance each, but that was all. Our opponents in the semi-finals will be our dear old friends, Crvena zvezda!  

More good news arrived with the announcement that the Disciplinary Committee of the Serbia and Montenegro First division have reduced the ban imposed on our Bata from four games to three. This means that Bata will be available for Partizan's match with Sartid this Sunday.


21/03/04
 

For the third time during the current spring period of the season, Partizan returned home from an away game with only one point. Unable to score a goal, the black and whites only managed to draw with Vojvodina and again trail Red Star by seven points. Although coach Vladimir Verzmezovic and his players state that they haven't given up hope, reality suggests that it will now be very difficult for Partizan to retain their title. Our Bata is currently serving a four match suspension and was unable to help his team mates in Novi Sad today.


20/03/04
 

The players of Partizan football club collected a total of 100.000 dinars to assist the plight of displaced Serbs from the Serbian province of  Kosovo. In addition to the money collected, Bata and his team mates also brought other humanitarian aid articles to the Sava Center parking lot, where the Serbia Help humanitarian action was taking place. 

The players and their coach, Vladimir Vermezovic, asserted that the Kosovo Serbs were very much in their hearts and minds, and that they wished to show their support and solidarity. They also expressed their desire for the violence to be stopped as soon as possible, and that the politicians strive to find a solution that will finally bring peace.
Click here to view the pictures from this event.


18/03/04
 

The leading disciplinary official of the Serbia and Montenegro First Division, Nikola Latinovic of Red Star, gave our Bata a four match suspension arising from the controversial incidents during the OFK Beograd - Partizan match. This meant that Bata missed the match against Sutjeska yesterday, and will also miss the upcoming games against Vojvodina, Sartid and Napredak.  

Bata's team-mate Albert Nadj was given a three match suspension, yet the OFK Belgrade players who were principally involved in the unsavoury scenes (Boris Vaskovic and Dusko Tosic), each received only a one match suspension. 

Furthermore, Partizan's captain Vladimir Ivic was today charged with attempting to attack a linesman and will receive a disciplinary hearing next week.

Please click here
to view Bata's pictures from OFK Beograd - Partizan match.


17/03/04
 

Partizan easily overcame Sutjetska 3-0 even though coach Vermezovic was unable to field five of his leading players. The goals were scored by Iliev, Radovic and Grubjesic. At the end of the match, delighted Partizan fans were elated to hear that Red Star had only managed a draw against Radnicki from Obrenovac, reducing their lead on Partizan to only five points. This (long overdue) good news gave many of our fans new heart and encouraged many to start signing "We will not give them the title!".

Standings: 1. Crvena zvezda 50 points, 2. Partizan 45 points, 3. Zeleznik 37 points, 4. Sartid 36 points, 5. OFK Beograd 34 points...


15/03/04
 

Today, Bata commented on his reaction to the events that culminated in his sending-off in the controversial OFK Belgrade - Partizan match.

"I was always taught to compete chivalrously, and not to provoke rivals on the pitch. I haven't slept for two nights because of my stupidity in the last match. I don't know if the OFK Belgrade players involved in the trouble have been able to sleep, or perhaps they think this is the right way to behave on the pitch. I am not saying that all OFK Belgrade players were unfair. I applaude Kolakovic, Bakovic and Basa who are true professionals and model sportsmen. However, I feel that it is time that some of their team-mates start learning from them. Personally, I feel sick thinking of this match, although I am not sorry that I returned to play in Serbia. I accept that things are not as they were seven years ago and I will have to adapt."


13/03/04
 

After today's draw (1-1) against OFK Beograd, Partizan has virtually given up any hope of retaining the League title. It now seems almost inconceivable that Crvena Zvezda will surrender their seven point advantage. However, the Partizan players will remember today's match not only for dropping points, but also as a total travesty.

Referee Goran Mihajlovic, for reasons best known to himself, ensured that he was the star performer on the pitch. He simply lost control of the match within the first few minutes, and then proceeded to make one glaring mistake after another. In total he showed
fourteen yellow cards and four red cards, changing the disciplinary criteria by the minute. It became impossible for the players to distinguish what was fair play from what was not. There were players from both teams who could or should have been red-carded many times, yet somehow managed to stay on the pitch. Partizan's Radovic and Ivic spent more time on the grass than on their feet, as OFK Beograd's Stancic fauled them after every contact with the ball. But that was not all. Not to be outdone by the performance of the referee, the linesman also played a part in reducing this game to utter farce. On one notorious occassion, Ivic was ruled offside when he was alone in front of the goal. He would surely have scored, but the linesman chose to raise his flag and stop the attack. He then called Ivic over and said to him: "Sorry, it wasn't offside". Ivic was shocked (to say the least), as were the other Partizan players.

If the match didn't remind us of NHL hockey by then, this was surely the case in the last 20 minutes. In the 82nd minute Nadj was red-carded for no apparent reason, and that's when all hell broke loose! Fights were breaking out all over. Our Bata, not being one of the calmest of players, knocked out OFK Belgrade's Tosic and was promptly sent off. Tosic was also red-carded, but was very reluctant to join Nadj and Bata in the tunnel. It seemed that he was waiting for policemen to rescue/escort him to safety, but in vain. By this stage, some players had personal scores to settle and the police were of little help. There are numerous accounts of what happened next. Some claim a major fight took place, other say that all of the players eventually calmed down. Bata's site will not speculate further, but will wait to see if Bata decides to comment.

After the mayhem was over, the match was prolonged for ten minutes. In this ten minutes two goals were scored, one by each team.

In the subsequent press conference held after the match, Partizan's coach Vladimir Vermezovic was reluctant to comment on the referee's mistakes, but Partizan's captain Vladimir Ivic didn't hold back. He accused the referee of deliberately stopping all Partizans attacks, and of constantly ruling Partizan offside. He highlighted the incident where the linesman stopped Ivic, alone in front of the goal only to say he was wrong and apologize. Ivic also stated that he believes the Federation does not want Partizan to be champions for the third time in a row, and that it would do anything to prevent this from happening.

This match, because of the worst refereeing you would ever be able to see, will be talked over for days, weeks, probably months.

Please click here
to view Bata's pictures Nenad Negovanovic took during OFK Beograd - Partizan match.


06/03/04
 

Partizan, Serbia and Montenegro champion and Champions League contender, only managed to get embarassing 0-0 with the last placed team in domestic competition. Partizan played well against Kom and had at least seven chances that were impossible to miss. But black and white attackers and midfielders somehow managed to miss them all. This is a major setback for Partizan in their hope of remaining a champion.

Our Bata played superbly in Podgorica. Since he is in charge of Partizan's defence, Kralj has never been in danger and the black and white goal remains empty. Unfortunately for Bata and his team mates, the goal of today's rival also remained empty.


28/02/04
 

Partizan greeted Obilic, the team which beaten them in the first game this season, in the 17th
round of the Serbia Montenegro Championship. Our black and white heroes repaid their debt by 2-0 win.

We saw an all around excellent performance by Partizan. Many chances were created, but unfortunately only two were capitalized on. First goal was scored in the 55th minute after a funny looking cross from the edge of the box to Ivic who headed the ball behind Ristovic back for 1-0. It was Obilic's Pantic who made it 2-0 by scoring an own goal.

What was most impressive in today's game was Partizan's defense, which did not allow any chances in front of their goal. Our Bata, the leader of Partizan's defence, is playing like in his best years.
Click here to view Bata's pictures taken during the match with Obilic. Photographer Marko Metlas from MN Press agency was kind enough to share them with Bata's fans.

Standings: 1. Crvena zvezda 43 points, 2. Partizan 40 points, 3. Sartid 33 points, 4. Zeleznik 32 points, 5. OFK Beograd 30 points...


22/02/04
 

The 16th round of the Serbia Montenegro Championship was played this weekened. Partizan secured three points in a hard away match against Borac in Cacak. The match was played in very bad conditions, the pitch looked more like a potato field than anything else.

The only goal was scored in 68th minute by Pierre Boya, the young Partizan striker. Our Bata showed a brilliant performance. He was leading the Partizan defence with great confidence. You would have never noticed that he wasn't playing professional football for almost eight months.

Bata was very satisfied after the match, but had stated this was the toughest pitch he has ever played on.

Partizan will play their next match against Obilic on Saturday, 28/02.

Standings: 1. Crvena zvezda 40 points, 2. Partizan 37 points, 3. Zeleznik 32 points, 4. Sartid 32 points, 5. OFK Beograd 29 points...


20/02/04
 

In the final friendly match before the resumption of the League this weekend, Partizan thrashed third division BASK 9-0. The Partizan starting line-up was Kralj in front of the goal, Cirkovic, Djordjevic, our Bata, and Malbasa in defence, Radovic, Cakar, Ivic and Nadj in midfield and Drulovic and Boya in attack. During the course of the game Radakovic, Ognjanovic, Savic, Bajic, Miskovic, Vukcevic, Iliev, Radonjic, Brnovic and Stojicic also made appearances.

Perhaps the most encouraging feature of the match was the performance of young Radovic, who showed great promise and scored a hat-trick. Two goals were provided by Radonjic and one each from Ivic, Nadj, Cakar and Brnovic.

Although only a few hundred Partizan fans were present for this home match, Bata received a lot of their attention and many of their cheers. A low-key but welcoming start for the new number 12!

The announcement that Igor Duljaj was sold to Shakhtar Donetsk has left many fans feeling extremely angry. Duljaj's departure means that Partizan has now lost three key players during the latest transfer period, arguably the three players who contributed the most to Partizan's qualification and best performances in the Champions League.

Click here
to view Bata's pictures taken during the friendly match with BASK.


13/02/04
 

After twenty strenuous and demanding days of training in the heat of the United Arab Emirates, Partizan returned to Belgrade yesterday. Apparently the training regime was very tough, featuring two to three sessions each day. During their stay, Partizan participated in five friendly matches, winning only two of them. Although the results of these practice games are of little importance, what does matter is that the players are on-song for their first competitive match on the 22nd of February. On that day Partizan will take on Borac in Cacak.  

During the course of the next few days Bata will be assigned a shirt-number. Prior to leaving for the training camp in Dubai, Bata said that he did not care which number he wore on his shirt. It seems that the numbers still available are six, nine and numbers higher than twenty. Rest assured, as soon as Bata receives his number you will be informed, and pictures of Bata in his new shirt will be posted on the site.


29/01/04
 

Today our Bata signed a contract for two and a half years with the champions of Serbia and Montenegro, Partizan Belgrade. At the press conference Bata's first words were "I've come home".

Bata admitted that he had seriously contemplated retirement, but ultimately realized that he still had the hunger and desire to keep playing. At the press conference Bata confirmed that his playing options had included a choice to either return to his beloved Partizan or join Ljubisa Tumbakovic's club in China. Tumbakovic had coached Bata in his earlier years at Partizan and both men have a great mutual respect and liking for each other. Ultimately, this man who Bata considers to be his mentor and "second dad", advised him to return to Partizan.

Before posing in his new black and white jersey, Bata outlined his intentions:
"I will talk less and work more. My ambitions are the same as those of Partizan. I want to win both trophies, the league title and the cup. I am an optimist and believe that we have a quality side capable of attaining these goals. As far as the other players are concerned, there will be no problems in getting along as I personally know all of them".

The Partizan team is currently at their training camp in Dubai. Bata will be joining up with them almost immediately, adding that he will be training hard in order to be fit and ready for the upcoming league matches.

Click here
to view eleven pictures of Bata signing the contract. If you wish to view pictures of Bata posing in a black - white jersey, please click here.

If you want to wish Bata the best of luck in his new club, you can do that
by visiting his forum.


31/12/03
 

Dear fans, I wish you all a very happy holiday and the best of luck in the Year 2004. Your Bata Mirkovic


23/12/03
 

Our Bata is on the verge of signing a contract with his most loved club, Partizan Belgrade. This dramatic and exciting news has appeared in virtually all Serbian newspapers over recent days. The Director of Partizan, Nenad Bjekovic, confirmed that Bata has been his primary target during the winter transfer period and that talks have been ongoing with our favourite defender. Bjekovic also stated that a definite deal has not yet been reached. Bjekovic is convinced that Bata would be a great addition to the team that played in the Champions League this summer, adding that he wants Bata to be the team leader, citing the benefits that Bata's experience, professionalism and spirit will contribute to the younger players. As yet, Bata has not commented on his possible return to Partizan. Naturally, Partizan's fans are fervently hoping for, and anxiously awaiting Bata's return.


22/11/03
 

An interview with our Bata was published in today's Kurir daily newspaper. Bata told the journalist that he is training every day, and added that he will wait until December for what he thinks are serious offers. If no such offers arrive, he will consider ending his professional career even though he says he is still enjoying his football.


11/10/03
 

Serbia and Montenegro ended their Euro 2004 qualifying campaign on a high, as they beat Wales at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Mark Hughes' side, who still reached the play-offs after finishing second in Group 9 behind Italy, fell behind after just three minutes when Zvominir Vukic fired home a free-kick. John Hartson shot Wales level 22 minutes later when Goran Gavrancic pulled him back in the box and the Celtic FC striker converted the resultant penalty himself. The visitors added Goran Bunjevcevic, Dragan Sarac, Nenad Djordjevic and Branko Boskovic to the side that beat Wales 1-0 in August, but it was goalkeeper Dragoslav Jevric who caught the eye, making a string of superb saves from Rhys Weston, Bellamy, Barnard and Gabbidon. Those blocks paid dividends eight minutes from time when Serbo-Montenegrin substitute Savo Milosevic received Vukic's superb pass and send a left-footed shot past Welsh goalkeeper Paul Jones to make it 2-1. Five minutes later, another substitute Danijel Ljuboja virtually clinched the away win with a powerful shot. Robert Earnshaw headed in a well-worked corner in added time to pull one back for Wales.


24/09/03
 

BATA A BASKETBALL STAR!

Bata at charitable event; 20/09/03This weekend a charitable event, "Podignimo stupove", took place in Belgrade's Mali Kalemegdan. It was organised by Partizan Basketball Club, Crvena Zvezda Basketball Club, Ministry for Religion and Culture, and the "Organisation of the Friends of Djurdjevi Stupovi Church ". All of the proceeds from this event went towards the restoration of the church.  

Many of the top football and basketball stars of Serbia and Montenegro took part in a unique sporting contest. The novel part of this contest was that each star participated in the "other" sport, and our Bata became a basketball star! 

The spectactors, as well as the coach of the team, agreed that Bata was the top all-round performer on the basketball court. 
Please click here to view the pictures taken before the match.

Bata, being a religious person and a patriot, donated money towards the restoration of "Djurdjevi stupovi" and also developed a friendship with Jeremonah Gerasim, who pioneered this humanitarian event.
Please click here to view the picture of Bata and Jeremonah Gerasim.  

Please visit the
"Podignimo stupove" website.


22/09/03
 

MIRKOVIC SAID: NO!!!!!!  


Perhaps Zoran Bata Mirkovic would be perfect for Bolton Wanderers FC. At least that is what the English media seemed to think. Perhaps he would be ideal as cover for the injured player Leville. That is what the English media were writing. They already saw Serbia and Montenegro national team captain playing at Reebook stadium. They were sure Mirkovic would sign a contract. What can they say now? We asked Bata.
"There will be no deal. We went separate ways."  

He continued:
"Before I went to England everything seemed perfect and Bolton had agreed to all of my conditions. Unfortunately, problems started as soon as we made direct contact. They said: "We want to see you". That surprised me. And I surprised them by saying: "You are watching me. I imagine you can also see me". But the English didn't give up: "I was listening and could hardly believe how persistent they were. They continued saying: "We are playing on two goals in today's training. This would be perfect for you." It seems they didn't understand me so I repeated: "You are watching me, you can see me. And if you have a video recorder and a tape of the England - Serbia and Montenegro match, you can see me there too.  And I am not going to run away from the medical table either! Call the doctors and they can check me out."  

Mirkovic has achieved so much in his illustrious career, playing for some of Europe's finest clubs and playing 59 times for his country.  Zoran Mirkovic feels he does not have to prove his ability to anyone, even when a large sum of money is involved. But this struggling English club still hoped:
"They continued insisting. They told me that Ibrahim Ba was here on trial for three months before he signed.  I replied: "Good for Ibrahim, but I am Zoran Mirkovic. I have my principles and nobody will be walking all over me."    

Goodbye and farewell to BWFC! (Source: Sport daily newspaper)


21/09/03; Bata's birthday
 

Birthday card
Click on the birthday card to read best wishes sent to Bata by his devoted fans!


10/09/03
 

Serbia and Montenegro national team lost all hope to qualify for EURO 2004 after a 1-1 draw against Italy tonight. Selector Ilija Petkovic said:
"It was a brilliant game because we saw two great teams. But tonight we deserved to win and I am very unhappy. When you make about 15 chances and you miss 14 you cannot win, especially against Italy who have a very strong defence."


03/09/03
 

An interview with Bata was published in today's Kurir daily newspaper. Our favourite defender said that he is no longer thinking of quitting football. He is training very hard and is eager to play again. Asked where he will continue his career, Bata said that he will most likely go to England, but would not specify which clubs he is currently talking to.


01/09/03
 

Serbia and Montenegro coach Ilija Petkovic has named his squad to face Italy on 10th of September in Belgrade.

Goalkeepers:
Dragoslav Jevric (Vitesse), Dragan Zilic (Sartid)

Defenders and wingers:
Milivoje Cirkovic (Partizan), Slobodan Markovic (Zeleznik), Goran Gavrancic (Dinamo Kyiv), Nenad Djordjevic (Partizan), Mladen Krstajic (Werder), Dejan Stefanovic (Portsmouth), Ivica Dragutinovic (Standard)

Midfielders:
Dragan Mladenovic (Crvena Zvezda), Goran Bunjevcevic (Tottenham), Predrag Djordjevic (Olympiakos), Igor Duljaj (Partizan), Sasa Ilic (Partizan), Branko Boskovic (PSG), Nenad Brnovic (Zeta)

Attackers:
Savo Milosevic (Celta), Darko Kovacevic (Real Sociedad), Mateja Kezman (PSV), Danijel Ljuboja (Strasbourg)

Our Bata is not on Petkovic's list, because he is currently without a club.


20/08/03
 

Serbia and Montenegro defeated Wales with 1-0 in Belgrade tonight. Our side were on top throughout and largely controlled the game. The winning goal was scored by Mladenovic in 73rd minute of the match. Bata's national team, under new coach Ilija Petkovic, revitalised their hopes of reaching the finals. Wales lead Group 9 with twelve points from five games, with Italy on ten points. Serbia and Montenegro side are a further two points adrift, but have played a game more than the top two and must win both of their final two games – at home against Italy and away against Wales – to have a realistic chance of qualifying.

Serbia and Montenegro:
Jevric, Dragutinovic, Cirkovic, Krstajic, Mladenovic, Stefanovic, Gavrancic, Vukic (Sasa Ilic), Kezman (Milosevic), Stankovic (Predrag Djordjevic), Darko Kovacevic

Wales:
Paul Jones, Delaney, Speed, Gabbidon, Page, Pembridge, Savage, Bellamy, Blake (Earnshaw), Davies, Giggs

Our Bata wasn't called to play against Wales, because he is currently without a club.


15/08/03
 

Serbia and Montenegro coach Ilija Petkovic has named his squad to face Wales on 20th of August in Belgrade.

Goalkeepers:
Dragoslav Jevric (Vitesse), Dragan Zilic (Sartid)

Defenders and wingers:
Milivoje Cirkovic (Partizan), Slobodan Markovic (Zeleznik), Goran Gavrancic (Dinamo Kyiv), Nenad Djordjevic (Partizan), Mladen Krstajic (Werder), Dejan Stefanovic (Portsmouth), Ivica Dragutinovic (Standard)

Midfielders:
Dragan Mladenovic (Crvena Zvezda), Goran Bunjevcevic (Tottenham), Predrag Djordjevic (Olympiakos), Dejan Stankovic (Lazio), Zvonimir Vukic (Shakhtar), Sasa Ilic (Partizan), Branko Boskovic (Crvena Zvezda), Nenad Brnovic (Zeta)

Attackers:
Savo Milosevic (Celta), Darko Kovacevic (Real Sociedad), Mateja Kezman (PSV)

Our Bata is not on Petkovics list, because he is currently without a club.


14/07/03
 

Ilija Petkovic was named as Serbia-Montenegro's new national football team manager to replace Dejan Savicevic. Country's football federation chief Dragan Stojkovic announced the appointment of 58-year-old Petkovic, who was assistant to Slobodan Santrac for two years in Yugoslavia's 1998 World Cup campaign. From July 2000 to January 2001, he coached national team. As a coach he also worked in Japan and China. As a player he won 43 caps and scored six goals for the national team between 1968 and 1974. Petkovic is expected to coach Serbia and Montenegro till the end of the 2004 European championship qualifications.


11/06/03
 

Azerbaijan - Serbia and Montenegro; 11/06/03Serbia and Montenegro national team was defeated 2-1 by Azerbaijan tonight. Selector Dejan Savicevic left the dugout before the final whisle and later announced his resignation. "It is all over. I am quitting," said Savicevic. "The reason? Well, players from our national championship do not have strenght and stamina to run for 90 minutes, even against Azerbaijan, and most of our foreign-based players are of an age when it is not easy to play quality football matches."

Fans in the country and abroad are satisfied with Savicevic's resignation, as they blame him for ruining our team's hopes and reputation. The public also wants resignations of all leading people in Football Association of Serbia and Montenegro, but it's very unlikely that will happen.

Our Bata played the whole match against Azerbaijan. He made no mistakes, but was not able to give much either, as the team's perfomance in general was horrible. Foreign media claims Bata, as well as some other players, announced he will quit playing for the national media. This news is most likely not true, as it has not appeared in any media in Serbia or Montenegro.

Click here
to view Bata's pictures taken during the match.

NEWS UPDATE:

Dragan Stojkovic, the president of the Football Association of Serbia and Montenegro, has said that he hopes the country's new national coach will be installed in a month's time.
"Savicevic's departure was a moral gesture," Stojkovic started. "He understood that he could not succeed. Dejan Savicevic is a great man and he will continue helping us. We will begin a series of meetings in the FA immediately with the goal of analysing all that we achieved so far and finding a way to elect a new coach. Then we will put together a list of candidates and start interviews as soon as possible. In a month's time we should announce the name of the coach we will entrust the job," the president continued.

Azerbaijan - Serbia and Montenegro; 11/06/03"If necessary, we will also consider a foreign coach. The financial aspect is a problem, but we will find the means. The new coach will finish the group qualifiers with dignity, but his primary job will be to take Serbia and Montenegro to the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany," Stojkovic explained.

Stojkovic also said that the departure of older players from the squad was inevitable and that turning to youth was a strategic plan.
"At the moment we don't have the quality for Europe," he continued. "We have to be realistic about that. The domestic championship is weak. Our understanding of football is so different from the rest of Europe where style does not mean anything compared to strength, speed and endurance. When we understand that, we will be able to find our deserved place."

MN Press


07/06/03
 

It was a must-win game for Serbia and Montenegro tonight, but Sami Hyypia, Joonas Kolkka and Mikael Forssell took away almost all hope of our national team qualifying for the EURO 2004. Selector Dejan Savicevic said he was disappointed with his team's performance and stated he has no plans of resigning. His resignation is exactly what fans and all sports journalists in the country want.


03/06/03
 

Captain Bata; 03/06/03England earned a 2-1 victory against Serbia and Montenegro in the friendly international at the Walkers stadium in Leicester tonight.

Steven Gerrard opened the scoring after 35 minutes, Nenad Jestrovic levelled for Serbia and Montenegro in added time at the end of the first half but substitute Cole ensured victory for England with a superb free-kick in the 83rd minute.

Both sides made plenty of substitutions ahead of forthcoming qualifying fixtures; England will meet Slovakia on 11/06, while Serbia and Montengero will play Finland and Azerbaijan away on Saturday, 07/06, and Wednesday, 11/06.

Our Bata tonight again served as a captain of Serbia and Montenegro national team. This was the 57th time he was defending his country's colours. He only played in the first half, as the selector wanted to keep him fresh for the upcoming qualification matches.


Serbia and Montenegro:
Jevric (Zilic 67), Mirkovic (Nenad Brnovic 46), Vidic (Darko Kovacevic 82), Stefanovic (Krstajic 50), Markovic (Njegus 67), Duljaj (Boskovic 47), Nenad Kovacevic (Malbasa 46), Dmitrovic (Trobok 46), Sasa Ilic (Mijatovic 68), Vukic (Nenad Djordjevic 46), Jestrovic (Milosevic 74)

England:
James, Mills (Carragher 61), Southgate (Terry 45), Upson (Barry 85), Ashley Cole (Bridge 46), Phil Neville (Beattie 88), Gerrard (Jenas 46), Lampard (Joe Cole 61), Scholes (Hargreaves 46), Owen (Rooney 45), Heskey (Vassell 61)


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