Can Vardar reach the group stage of the UEFA Champions League?


By far the biggest surprise of the current summer qualifications of the UEFA Champions League which the new edition will start in autumn comes from the southern Yugoslav country of Macedonia which in its football history never had a representative in Europe’s elite competition and that is FK Vardar.The red-blacks from Skopje are an apsolute surprise and sensation of the current qualification stage for the UEFA Champions League and if they score another win against FC Copenhagen in the return leg in Denmark,only sky would be the limit for Goce Sedloski’s men and they would be the first ever club from Macedonia to reach the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.Founded in 1947 with the merger of FK Pobeda and FK Makedonija,FK Vardar was Macedonia’s top club in Yugoslavia where they won the Yugoslav Cup in 1961 by beating NK Varteks in the final and then in 1986 they won their first ever Yugoslav First League title in 1987 but they were stripped of it and it was given to Partizan Belgrade besides they had players like Darko Pančev who later with Red Star Belgrade would win the European Champions Cup,Ilija Nadojski,Dragi Kanatlarovski and Vujadin Stanojković.After the Yugoslav era the red-blacks from Skopje became the most dominant team in Macedonian football with a record of 10 Macedonian Football League titles and in the least three seasons they are the most dominate side in Macedonia with three titles in a row.However European competitions are a different story and the red-blacks have been more or less a less then decent opponent for bigger and stronger clubs from the West and never qualified to a major European club competition,but that might be changing this year and that it by a couple of factors.First it is the bench which under the leadership of former Hajduk Split and Dinamo Zagreb defender Goce Sedloski who took over Vardar’s bench two years ago and made it the club to beat in Macedonia,but this summer made a huge breakthrough by leading the club to its biggest results in Europe,the red-blacks under Sedloski beat Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s former club Malmo in the 2nd qualifying round of the qualifications of the UEFA Champions League in two legs (1-1,3-1) and with that they shocked Europe by knocking out the skyblues from Scania.Another reason is the club management,Russian businessman Sergey Samsonenko bought FK Varder as well the Hnadball Club Vardar (both male and female teams) and after the handball sections reached the top of Europe,Samsonenko is ready to make another wonder with the football section besides the roster of the red-blacks when it comes to the football section is made of domestic players from Macedonia.Samsonenko is the owner of BetCity which is a sport betting shop entered Varder in  January 2014 when it bought the club for a just mere 80 thousand Euros.Yes you heard it for only 80 thousand Euros but Samsonenko is obliged to invest a minimum of 1.5 million Euros a year into the club and the return of investment is becoming tremendous.Macedonia was never a serious player in European football even during the times of former Yugoslavia,but thanks to Samsonenko,it can become a though place to play and with the results which the red-blacks of Vardar achieved,Macedonia could place itself in the European football map.After they defeated FC Copenhagen at home by a single goal,it all comes to the match in the return leg in Copenhagen on Wednesday night between the red-blacks from Skopje and the home team and if Vardar makes it would be the biggest success of Macedonian football since the independence of the country in 1991.But the biggest question looms can Vardar write history and become the first Macedonian representative in the UEFA Champions League?The answer we might get on Wednesday night in Copenhagen.


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