The famous Red Star of Belgrade, once Champions of Europe*, recorded their first ever Champions League (proper) victory, and their first victory in Europe’s top competition for 26 years, as they put Liverpool to the proverbial Master Sword last night, 2-0.
A seven-minute first-half brace from striker Marko Pavkov was enough to see off Klopp’s “mojo-less” Reds, who were played off the park in the first-half and then got unlucky a couple times in the second-half.
But the star of the night, certainly as far as we’re concerned, was none of other than bicycling enthusiast Marko Marin, the German Messi, the Ultimate Plan B, the Most Eligible Bachelor of Seville, the walking (hamstring) injury, the man who looked better in the 2012 preseason than Eden Hazard, Oscar, and Kevin De Bruyne combined.
Marin, who signed with Red Star on transfer deadline day from Olympiakos, collected the assist on both of Pavkov’s goals, the first with a well-flighted corner kick, and the other with a nothing pass that Pavkov turned into a blockbuster of a strike from 25 yards out. They all count!
All hail Marko Marin!
*That 1991 team, which won the European Cup on penalties against Jean-Pierre Papin’s Marseille, featured such (future) stars as Real Madrid-bound Robert Prosinečki, Serie A-bound (the following year) Siniša Mihajlović, Ballon d’Or runner-up Dejan Savićević, and a 21-year-old Vladimir Jugović, who never quite found a team to settle with despite his supreme talent. Geopolitical considerations aside, it’s always fun to image what a combined Yugoslavia team could’ve achieved in the ‘90s and beyond.