FK Partizan team captain Sasa Ilic arranged a special Easter chat with media representatives.
Is there anything in your career you regret about? Which derby game is stuck in your memory particularly?
– I regret my move from Galatasaray to Salzburg and I believe that was the biggest professional mistake of my career. I remember well most of the derby game, almost all of them and I prefer those matches we won. Some of them were crucial in title battles, like the ones when Raca Petrovic or Jojic scored late winners. Back in time, I remember those with my name on the scoresheet.
Can you juggle with Easter egg? Do you ever relax over Easter with a drink or two?
– I never juggled with Easter egg but I believe I would be better than most of my teammates or our boss (laughs). I learned my trade from the age of nine and it makes no difference if I juggled with the egg or with the ball. As for relaxing, I had a drink or two before, now I rarely drink.
Can you compare Belgrade to Istanbul derby?
– They are both fanatical. Turks and Serbs are similar, they both live for those derby games. Naturally, I prefer Partizan v Crvena Zvezda to Galatasaray v Fenerbahce.
Messi or Ronaldo?
– It`s always Messi. Over the last decade, Messi is the best player in the world with all due respect for Ronaldo.
You were not one of the first five penalty takers in a famous penalty shoot-out against Newcastle United. Why?
– As far as I remember, that was bosses decision. We played extra-time and Mattheus picked up five penalty takers later on but I did take the sixth one.
Who would be your successor at Partizan?
– Tosic, I guess. He is younger than me anyway (laughs). Joking aside, I don`t like to talk about it as my previous hopes didn`t go according to plan. It might be that my words were burden for some so I`m not doing it any more. There are lots of talented Partizan youngsters and I`m sure someone will succeed me or anyone who departs the club.
Are you your son`s favourite player or he might favour someone else?
– I`m sure it`s me!
Can you solve one ongoing dilemma? Some believe football stars of 70s and 80s were much more technically gifted, a true football maestros, while others say that today`s pace and physique are a different world altogether.
– Football maestros can play great at any times. For example, Mattheus was my coach when he was in his early 40s and at some training sessions he was equal with us, even better at times. I`m convinced top football stars of the past would play great football today.
What are your memories of your Partizan debut from today`s perspective?
– I still remember it so well. After the game, I was the proudest boy alive. My dream came true, we won 10-0, what a great day it was!
When the day comes, do you have any special wishes for your testimonial?
– I really don`t think about it. It`s getting really close but I have no special wishes.
How are you going to spend your Easter holiday?
– As always, with my family. That`s what Easter is about.
Another derby day is approaching. Would you like to be selected?
– Derby is one specific game. We all live for that day and I was lucky to play them many. Partizan`s priority is to win it and if I`m needed, I`ll be there. If not, I`m not burdened about it. After all, It`s win that matters.