Latest edition of Partizan Podcast saw legendary 70s midfielder Ilija Zavisic taking part. His Partizan career was a rollercoaster of emotions, years of incredible success and painful defeats. Zavisic arrived to Partizan at the time of 6-year title drought and it took five more for our club to get the coveted prize.
”We had excellent players, some great names but we were not a team. Therefore, we had the same thing over and over – good players, no results. We waited eleven years to finally win the title and replicate the success of Partizan legends Soskic, Jusufi, Galic and all those Partizan 1966 Babes”, said 71-year-old Zavisic.
In a famous 1975/76 season everything was smooth with only Hajduk Split challenging Partizan for the title. Our team had an opportunity to secure the title in a home clash with Hajduk few rounds before the end of the season with packed stands ready for full celebration. But, Partizan lost 6-1 with our supporters turning this historic defeat into a historic win, at least on the terraces, singing and chanting deep into the night.
”That game was almost like a cup final, we would secure the title with a win. We were in a great form with good results behind us and then this legendary match happens. We lost 6-1 but everyone will remember it for Partizan fans, their chants and general behavior. When you lose 6-1, you would expect fans to enter the pitch and attack the players but we received standing ovations as if we won it 6-1. Those were the days when fans carried the team, time of ovations and true support”.
Fans were rewarded in a final matchday when Partizan won the title away in Ljubljana with a single goal of the game scored in injury time. Eleven year wait was over.
”I got my second booking in a penultimate round of the season so I was suspended but I was in Ljubljana, naturally. Around 70% of fans on the stands were Partizan supporters. You can`t replicate it, it needed to be seen. Bjekovic scored deep in injury time and I think game was terminated there and then with fans storming onto the pitch. We also didn`t expect so many fans to greet us at Belgrade`s airport, you couldn`t more around, fans carried us on their shoulders all the way to the club bus, I think there were more fans on the airport than at actual Ljubljana game”, said Zavisic