Today there are more then 650 registered sport clubs and associations in Montenegro with around 35,000 members, professional athletes and sport enthusiasts. As the country has a population of just about 650.000, the numbers show the keen interest that Montenegrins take in sport. Many Olympic medallists and successful athletes competing internationally have come from Montenegro (such as Žarko Paspalj, who won a silver medal with the Yugoslavian basketball Team in Seoul 1998, water polo players Milorad Krivokapić and Veljko Uskoković, as well as volleyball player Petar Kapisoda).
But along with the global trend, one sport dominates the interest of many Montenegrins: football. On any of the many football fields in the capital city Podgorica, you can see groups of boys doing what they enjoy best every day: playing football and day-dreaming. They dream, like many other boys world-wide, of becoming superstars and even playing in the UEFA Cup or the Champions’ League. Their dreams may actually come true to a certain extent, at least if they manage to join one of the teams in the Premier League of Montenegro. They know, however, that even with success in this league it would still not be good enough to achieve the European heights.
There are many reasons for this, including poor infrastructure of stadiums and the lack of investment in the next generation of footballers by national football clubs. But times are changing.
Although the current national champion “Budućnost FC" failed to qualify for the Champions League last year, they have every right to be optimistic this season – at least if you trust the numerous football aficionados in Montenegro.
In January last year in Turkey, the club won against Partizan FC (Belgrade), which is one of the major clubs in the region. This victory inspired new hope in the coach and fans alike. For the rest of the season, FC „Partizan” Belgrade had a particularly large following in Montenegro. It is currently in the lead in the Serbian national championship.
”This victory has proven that when each player gives his best we stand good chances no matter who we play against. 'Partizan' is truly a great competitor”, coach Miodrag Ješić said at the press conference after the match.