Guide to SKOPJE

Multinational football team from Cyprus

This year, even the neutral football fans have a team to chear for in the eliminating part of the Champions League. That privilege goes to Apoel Nicosia, simply because of the fact that this is the weakest (on paper) and certainly the cheapest team who made through here, alongside with the ‘ big guns ‘ , Milan, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich.

The main figure in their attack is Ivan Trickovski, who is also an important part of the Macedonian national team. The whole team , by ‘ Transfermarkt ‘, is worth around thirteen milion euros, which is an amount that the big teams are easily ready to pay for only one player.

‘ The Cyprus wonder ‘, as the sports media call them, was founded in 1926, in a small baclava shop, with it’s owner and a few guests as founders. Today, this club represents a proof, that even with a small budget (compared to the others in this phase), you can make great results. They are aBabylontower, but one in which everyone understand eachother. Their main language, sport. A dousine players from Brasil, Paraguayan, Belgian, Portugese, Greeks, native players, led by Trickovski, are breaking the stereotype that a team composed by players of many nationalites, that are not key figures in their national teams, cannot compete with the greatest. On the countrary, in their case, thats something that gives them strength.

Their coach, Serbian Ivan Jovanovic, led the team from 2003-2005, then left to coach some smaller greek clubs, came back to build his dream. ‘ His wish ‘ , as he says, was to compose the strongest team he can, of course with players that Apoel could affort. – ‘ We have seventeen foreign players, and we own only three of them, amongs them Trickovski. The others, well, they we’re either free players, or we’ve borowed them ‘ – says Jovanovic.

According to the UEFA president, mr. Michel Platini, the new rule that changed the qualifying paths, a rule that he came up with, has shown to be righteous precisely in the case of Apoel. – ‘ Small team, but with a great heart ‘ – says Platini.

Apoel lost 1-0 to Olympic Lyon on Tuesday, but the rematch match to be held at the GSP Arena inNicosia, is the main toppic inCyprusand Greese already. Will the football David manage to beat Goliat, the time will show us. Jovanovic is announcing an offensive style pf play from the begginig, Trickovski hopes to score, and 20000 sold tickets are a good pointer, and an invitation for something that suposes to be great show.

Aleksandar Nikolovski