Dušan Bajević

Dušan Bajević
Душан Бајевић
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-N0622-0030, Fußball-WM, Schottland - Jugoslawien 1-1.jpg
Personal information
Date of birth 10 December 1948 (1948-12-10) (age 62)
Place of birth Mostar, FPR Yugoslavia
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1966–1977 Velež Mostar[1] 277 (144)
1977–1981 AEK Athens[1] 106 (65)
1981–1983 Velež Mostar[1] 45 (22)
Total 429 (231)
National team
1970–1977 SFR Yugoslavia 37 (29)
Teams managed
Velež Mostar
PAOK Thessaloniki
Olympiacos Piraeus
AEK Athens
Red Star Belgrade
Aris Thessaloniki
AEK Athens
AC Omonia
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Dušan Bajević (Serbian Cyrillic: Душан Бајевић; Greek: Ντούσαν Μπάγεβιτς, Doúsan Báyevits; born 10 December 1948) is a Bosnian Serb football manager and former Yugoslav international.

Contents

Playing career

Bajević began his career with Velež Mostar. He played almost 400 games for Velež where he scored 170 goals. He stayed in Velež from 1966–1977 before going to AEK Athens, where he won the Greek championship twice. He is one of the most controversial figures in the history of the AEK Athens FC team. He was a successful player, loved by AEK's fans. He joined the team in 1977 along with other great players of the era and won two championships and one cup title. He was also the league's top scorer during the season 1979–1980.

He came back to Velež in 1981 and stayed to 1983 before retiring. During his career he was together with Slobodan Santrač the best goalscorer in the Yugoslav league season 1969/70 (20 goals). He also played for Yugoslavia in the 1974 FIFA World Cup where he scored three goals against Zaire. He scored 29 times in 37 games for Yugoslavia between 1970–1977.

Managerial career

Velež Mostar

After ending his football career in 1983 he took over as coach for Velež. He led the team to win the Kup Marsala Tita in 1986 by defeating Dinamo Zagreb 3–1 in the final. The next season Velež finished the league in second spot and Bajević went to Greece to coach AEK Athens.

AEK Athens

He took over AEK's managerial position in 1988. During his first season (1988–89), he managed to lead the team to an unexpected championship title after ten years. He then went to win three consecutive championships (1992, 1993, 1994), one Greek Super Cup (1989), one League Cup (1990), one Pre-Mediterranean Cup (1991) and one Greek Cup (1996). The club also had several notable campaigns in Europe under his management. Namely the reached the Champion's Cup last 16 twice (1990, 1993), the Champions League last 16 once (1995), the Cup Winners' Cup last 16 once (1996) and the UEFA Cup last 16 once (1992).

Olympiacos

In 1996, he moved to Olympiacos, bringing great fan hostility upon himself from AEK supporters. While he was Olympiacos' manager, Olympiacos won their first championship in 1997 after ten sterile years, and became champions for three consecutive times. In 1999, Olympiacos won the Double and, for the first and only time in their history, reached the UEFA Champions League quarter finals.

In the 1996–97 season Bajevic led Olympiacos to the championship after 10 years, putting an end to the "stone years'. This season, the team ended the League with a 12 points difference from AEK Athens, and 20 points difference from Panathinaikos.

The next season, 1997–98, Olympiacos participated for first time in the UEFA Champions League ending with a 3rd place in the group. In the Alpha Ethniki, Bajevic's team along with AEK and Panathinaikos were too close in the table, but finally Olympiacos made an important away win against Panathinaikos (0–2) and celebrated the second consecutive championship, with three points difference from Panathinaikos.

1998–99 was a very successful season. Olympiacos reached the UEFA Champions League quarter finals, losing to Juventus (1–2 loss in Italy and 1–1 in the Olympic Stadium). They also won the domestic double. In the league they ended with 10 points difference from AEK and 11 from Panathinaikos. In the Cup, Olympiacos won 2–0 the rival Panathinaikos.

The fans had great expectations for the 1999–00 season with the additions of Giovanni and Zlatko Zahovič to the squad, but Bajević's team only achieved a 3rd place in the Champions League group stage. The head coach was sacked on November 11, 1999, despite Olympiacos holding the top spot in the league at the time.

PAOK

Bajevic decided to move to Northern Greece, in the region of Makedonia and its capital Thessaloniki, where he had a successful stay at PAOK Thessaloniki FC considering the team's financial problems. During his stay at the club of PAOK FC, he won the Greek Cup in 2001 (after a near-thirty year wait) beating 2–4 Οlympiakos in Athens in a game in which his team delivered very high quality football.

AEK, second time

Fans were divided among those who accepted him and those who hated him for going to Olympiacos. The latter part of the fans made his life a living hell. On a match day against Iraklis, he decided he had enough and with no prior warning left the bench and resigned while the game was still in first half. As the AEK coach, in the 2002/2003 UEFA Champions League AEK became the first and only team to collect six ties out of six games in the group phase and ended up at third position. A notable match was the 3–3 draw against Real Madrid in the Nikos Goumas Stadium and another one the 2–2 draw against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in Madrid.

Olympiacos, second time

In 2004, he returned to Olympiacos, where he won the double again. Also, his team got very close to the second round of the Champions League by collecting ten points, however the defeat against Liverpool FC with 3–1 in the last game stopped them not making it to the next round. Olympiacos went as far as the fourth round of the UEFA Cup. Despite these good results, he quit, mainly due to the pressure from Gate 7 fans who were not satisfied with the team's way of playing, although the majority of the fans were on his side.

Red Star Belgrade

On May 25, 2006 Bajević became the coach of the former European Cup champion Red Star Belgrade. He was brought in by club president Dragan Stojković as replacement to recently departed Walter Zenga, with the appointment generally welcomed by club's fans due to Bajević's glowing reputation as an experienced coach with plenty of success from the Greek league.

The expectations were also plentiful as Red Star, Serbia-Montenegro league champion, was getting ready to start Champions League qualifying. After easily progressing from the initial stage versus Irish champions Cork City, they were drawn against powerhouse AC Milan in the final qualifying round, putting up decent resistance en route to 1–3 aggregate loss. Despite the failure to get into the Champions League, many still took some positives from the Milan clash, however things were different when Bajević's squad got eliminated from UEFA Cup in first round by Slovan Liberec with embarrassing ease (1–4 on aggregate, including the 1–2 loss at home) thus failing to reach the group stage.

In contrast to European failures, the domestic league form was satisfactory with Bajević leading the team to top of the league with 14 points in spare at the winter break. However, the second part of the season began with an inexplicable dip in form. The slide continued and on February 24, 2007 Red Star lost 4–2 to eternal rivals FK Partizan. A few days later on February 27, 2007, angry fans made damage to Bajević's club-issued Toyota SUV by slaming a brick through its side window while the car was parked at the Markana stadium parking lot during Bajević's guest appearance on SOS kanal TV station.[2]

The end of Bajević's stint with Red Star came in shocking fashion on March 10, 2007 during a league match versus FK Vojvodina. Red Star was down 0–2 at home, prompting the fans to start chanting "Dušan leave". Soon after the chant was picked up by the majority of the north stand where the club's most loyal supporters gather, Bajević decided to walk out on the team in the middle of the match, leaving the pitch in 70th minute.[3] The match finished 0–3, shrinking Red Star's lead at the top of the table to only 6 points. Bajević's overall league record at the helm of Red Star during 2006–07 season was 14 league wins, 3 draws, and 3 losses.

Aris

On September 7, 2007 Bajević signed a 3 year contract with Aris Thessaloniki.[4] During the 2007–08 season, when he was the head coach of Aris Thessaloniki, the team played superb football. Aris reached both a respectable 4th place in the Greek Super League and reaching the Greek Cup final, where the team was beaten by Greek champions Olympiacos F.C. with the score of 2–0. On July 1, 2008 he decided to resign, allegedly because Aris president Labros Skordas demanded that he bench star defender Avraam Papadopoulos, after the latter rejected a contract extension.

In the UEFA Cup, Aris made excellent performances, eliminating Real Zaragoza and beating 3–0 Bajevic's old club Red Star Beograd at home. Although, draws with Bolton and SC Braga and an 6–0 away loss to Bayern at Munich ended the team's dreams for qualification.

After his resignation, he was immediately related with Panathinaikos, while there were reports that there was a contract to be pented by the side of Bajević. But he finally decided not to join the team, which eventually appointed Henk ten Cate. By the end of October, when the team of Panathinaikos was totally under-performing, and while ten Cate was on the verge of being sacked, the football manager of Panathinaikos, Kostas Antoniou was said to have asked once again Bajević to become the coach of the greens, but both sides rejected this relation.

AEK, third time

On November 21, 2008, Bajević made his second return to AEK [5][6] together with two other former players of AEK, Stelios Manolas in the position of the technical director and Lysandros Georgamlis as assistant coach.

In his first interview since being re-appointed head coach of AEK, Bajević covered a range of issues including the squad he had inherited, his ambitions for the remainder of what has so far been a difficult season, the possibility of a return to the club's symbolic home ground—the Nikos Goumas Stadium at Nea Philadelphia—and about his well-documented relationship with the fans.

On a possible return of AEK returning to the Nikos Goumas Stadium, Bajević said: "It is my home because as a player and a manager I lived there", "I'm not the only one who wants a stadium at Nea Philadelphia – there are a lot of others who want it there." He then went on to discuss his relationship with the fans and Original 21, "I have said sorry to whoever I aggrieved and I say sorry again to everyone", "We can't afford to talk about it now though. We all love AEK. We need to forget the good and the bad and look forward".

His first game in charge was a 1–1 draw against OFI Crete in Crete on November 23, 2008. The first season in his third spell in-charge of "Dikefalos Aetos" brought ups and downs. AEK in the league, finished 4th, thus qualifying for the seasons annual play-offs in which AEK finished 2nd meaning qualification for next seasons Europa League. Bajević managed to get AEK to the Greek Cup Final where they come up short handed as they lost 16–15 on penalties to Olympiacos after the game finished 4–4 after extra time.

On August 7, 2010 Bajević faced one of his worst moments in football. A section of AEK fans physically assaulted him following a friendly-game loss against to second division side Kallithea F.C..[7] Bajević fell to the ground after being punched by the fans who surrounded the coach as he attempted to leave the pitch at the Gregoris Lambrakis Stadium following the 2–1 defeat.[8]

It was feared that the incidents in Kallithea would lead to Bajevic's resignation, but due to overwhelming support from AEK management, players, and the majority of AEK fans, Bajević was convinced to stay on with the club. The video of the attack caused a worldwide shock, with many foreign media sources commenting on the lack of progress in stamping-out hooliganism at Greek football matches.[9]

On September 26, 2010 Bajević resigned as head coach of AEK, following a 3–1 away defeat to Olympiakos Volou, for the Greek Superleague.

AC Omonia Nicosia

On October 13, 2010, Bajević signed a contract with Cyprus's club, AC Omonia Nicosia,[10] following the resignation of its predecessor Takis Lemonis. The managerial crew is also consisted of two training assistants, assistant coach Lysandros Georgamlis and physical fitness coach Dimitris Mpourouzikas. The first game with Bajević sitting on the club's bench was scheduled on Monday, October 18 against Olympiakos Nicosia.

Bosnian Football Federation

After the Bosnian Football Federation was suspended by FIFA and UEFA on April 1, 2011, Bajević became part of a normalization committee, whose aim was to have the Federation approve the changes required by FIFA for the suspension to be lifted.[11]

Honours

As a Player:

AEK Athens

Individual

  • Yugoslav First League Top Goalscorer: 1970
  • Yugoslavian Football Player of the year: 1972
  • Greek Superleague Top Goalscorer: 1980

As a coach

Velež Mostar

AEK Athens

Olympiacos

PAOK

References

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