Guide to SKOPJE

We are also watching the FIFA World Cup

I sat down to write this article whileArgentina and Bosnia and Herzegovina were playing a match on the television set opposite me. It was after midnight. No time is bad time for watching the Football World Cup. A few sleepless hours are a small price for the pleasure of sharing the excitement and feeling the football magic with billions of people on all continents. Some chose to have a beer with friends, some opt to stay home with their family and some watch the matches at work with their colleagues.


Everybody is watching the World Cup, even those who do not like football. When I come to think about it, of all events with the title World before their name, the football cup definitely deserves it the most.

The world on Balkon 3 revolves around four countries and only one of them, Greece, has qualified to take part in the 20th FIFA World Cup held in Brazil, the only country that has raised the Jules Rimet Trophy five times so far.

Greek fans in Rio

This is the third time that Greece has taken part in In the World Cup, the first time being in 1994 and then in 2010. The Greek national football team has not been very successful in these competitions, as they have played 6 matches and only won one: 2-1 against Nigeria in 2010. However, we must not forget the historical success of the Greek footballers who climbed to the European throne ten years ago.

The football history of Turkey is a bit more interesting and filled with fascinating details. Turkey qualified for the World Cup in 1950, but due to financial problems canceled its participation. In the next championship in 1954, after playing three qualifying matches against Spain and not being able to decide which team will play in the World Cup in Switzerland, Turkey was chosen to take part by a coin toss. Turkey had their biggest success in world championshipsin 2002 when they returned home with bronze medals on their chest from Japan and South Korea. In the match for third place and the bronze Hakan Sukur scored the fastest goal in World Cup history when he shook the South Korean net after only 10.89 seconds of play.

hakan sukur_balkon3

Albanian and Macedonian national teams have not succeeded to qualify for the World Cup yet. However, several Macedonian footballers were part of the Yugoslav national team and had the chance to feel what it is like to be part of the most important sporting event on the planet.


The Olympic rule of “the important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part” is just an empty phrase in this case. You do not have to participate to enjoy yourself. The best evidence to prove this are the packed restaurants, cafes and pubs in Skopje where people come to cheer for their favorite team in very good company.

navivaci1_balkon3 navivaci2_balkon3

Watch the World Cup and may our team win!

Mirko Trajanovski