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Rade Zalad for Nogomania: 'The entire country stands behind the "Red Star" project, it will be hard to defend the leading position'

28. December 2023
Rade Zalad (foto: partizan.rs)
Former Partizan goalkeeper Rade Zalad praises Partizan's performance and criticizes the underestimation by rivals, highlighting goalkeeper Aleksandar Jovanović's crucial role in the team's success.

"The entire country stands behind the 'Red Star' project. Red Star is the Serbian team and so on... But what about us, who are we? Aren't we also a Serbian team? We're a team worth respecting, with tradition. We absolutely respect our eternal rivals, but we strive to be better than them," emphasizes former Partizan goalkeeper Rade Zalad.

Always loyal to Partizan, even after his career ended, Zalad regularly follows all teams, sometimes helping in their progress. Having retired since the nineties, besides Partizan, he played for Başakşehir, today's Podgorica-based Budućnost. He was also a goalkeeper coach for the Serbian national team in 2007 and last worked in Bangkok.

A family man with a heart belonging to the black-and-whites, Rade Zalad, at the traditional promotion of the calendar for Nogomania, summarized the impressions of the autumn part of the Superliga championship, with sharp comments about the eternal rival.

"It was an exceptionally nice occasion where we managed to finish the calendar year in first place, which was quite optimistic considering the results that ended last championship. I use this opportunity to congratulate the players, the coaching staff, and all of us on this beautiful success"

"This is only halfway, and it would be extremely important for Partizan to finish the 2023/24 competition season in first place," Zalad began for Nogomania.

Some Red Star players had inappropriate statements before the eternal derby, which might have given Partizan players extra motivation.

"I hoped so. Some statements before the derby by Red Star players were belittling and they awakened defiance in our players, and they gave the best response on the field. This victory is the crown of this half-season, if the clothes adorn us.

The negative trend where a lot of points were lost in the last few rounds has been stopped. It remains for us to prepare well for the continuation of the championship and to try to maintain this leading position until the end, I believe it will be extremely difficult."

The former goalkeeper believes there is a certain degree of underestimation of the black-and-whites, knowing they are not often in a position to be written about in superlatives.

"To achieve success, you have to believe in it. That belief must be based on some real facts and forecasts. The entire state stands behind the project called 'Red Star'. Red Star is the Serbian team and so on... But what about us, who are we? Aren't we also a Serbian team? We are also a team worth respecting, with tradition.

"We absolutely respect our eternal rival, but we try to be better than them. Fortunately, we succeeded this time, and we will see how it will be in the second part of the championship. I believe it will be much harder because they are relieved since they had a catastrophic episode in Europe and are now concentrated on the domestic championship and the Cup."

Goalkeeper Aleksandar Jovanović left a special impression on the former member of the black-and-whites.

"Nobody disappointed me; the result itself speaks about how they hit the mark with bringing in players. I would only single out Aleksandar Jovanović; I think he defended an extraordinary half-season and had the 'lion's share' in Partizan's first place in the first part of the championship," concluded Zalad for Nogomania.


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