Note: This weekly series will look for teams outside of the top flights of European football to find true underdog stories of clubs well below the radar. Clubs will be featured based on performance in the various tournaments that happen concurrently with the league seasons, or even strong runs in some of the leagues that dot the European football landscape. Chances are, these clubs will be years away from finding a home at the top flights of football – if they are ever able to get there – but it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve attention from time to time. If you happen upon a team that you think might qualify, feel free to drop me a line on Twitter @GuruEbby or @SportMuseNet!
Additionally, since there hasn’t been any matches played in the other tournaments I usually pull from for this series – though the FA Cup will play its first round this weekend – I’ve decided to revisit one of our previously featured teams in the series this week, due to their unexpected win in Champions League yesterday.
Red Star Belgrade (FK Crvena zvezda)
Nickname: The Red-Whites
Founded: 4 March 1945
Location: Belgrade, Serbia
Team Colors: Red & White
Ground: Rajko Mitić Stadium
Current League: Serbian SuperLiga (Tier 1 of Serbian Association)
Reason For Notice
Red Star started with a draw in the Champions League group stage, a result I covered in the recap of Matchday 1 in the tournament. That scoreless draw was followed up with two (expected) losses to Paris Saint-Germain (6-1) and Liverpool (4-0) that left them in last place in Group C after three matches. Nevertheless, they managed to overcome that same Liverpool team on Matchday 4, winning 2-0 at home behind two first half goals from Milan Pavkov. They are still in fourth place in the group, but their path to perhaps finishing third and moving on to Europa League has increased, with FiveThirtyEight giving them a 14% chance of finishing third in the group. They have to win at least one of two matches that remain, especially because they have a goal differential of -7, so they would most likely lose a tiebreaker should they end up tied with another club.