The arrival of coach Robert Prosinečki at Red Star Belgrade (Crvena Zvezda) football club in December 2010 was accompanied by an unsurpassed amount of attention from both the Croatian and Serbian media.
Prosinečki, a former Croatian football player-cum-coach, has left indelible marks at Red Star as a player. He was somewhat surprised to find this out for himself when he decided to accept the invitation to return to the club as its coach.
Upon his arrival in Belgrade he was surrounded by the attention of his supporters, the media, sportsmen and, above all, his former team-mates.
"This time round my coming here is completely different from back in 1986. The one thing in common with both times is that I felt a kind of positive stage fright. This is why I also believe that, like the last time, things will turn out well, said Robert Prosinečki for Southeast Europe: People and Culture.
During his four seasons as a Red Star player, Prosinečki played 117 games and scored 24 goals. They won the European Cup Finals in 1991. Soon after, Prosinečki left Serbia because of the war..
"Red Star is my club. The most important thing for me is the support I have from my family,” said Prosinečki.
"I have not come to Serbia as an ambassador, a peacemaker or an intermediary. I came as a coach for my Red Star. My job is concerned only with the work on the pitch, even though I truly believe we should all be going forward," said the 42-year-old Prosinečki, who played for the Croatian team when it won the bronze medal at the World Cup in France in 1998.