North Macedonia football: How did Italy’s nightmare come about?

2022-07-02 0 By

For a long time, the name North Macedonia will be a nightmare symbol for Italian football.After the qualifying play-offs, Italians might not be able to enjoy a different kind of “Macedonia” in contemporary Italian, which usually means a fruit salad.On the other side, the referee blew the final whistle and the 1,600 north Macedonian fans who arrived in Palermo celebrated wildly and deserved their surprise.Although they may not be able to go on to produce a miracle against mighty Portugal in the play-off final, they have never been closer to the World Cup.After qualifying for last year’s European Championship, the small Balkan nation continues to write its own football history.”We no longer have to explain to people that North Macedonia is a country that borders Serbia, Albania, Bulgaria and Greece.”The president of the North Macedonian football Association, Alvaro Sedini, after his historic qualification for the European Championship.North between Macedonia and powerful southern neighbor, has a complicated relationship: after independence in 1991, the republic of Macedonia’s name has been the Greek grave doubts, they think “Macedonia” represents part of Greek culture, rather than the Slavic culture, and accused into neighbouring Greece culture icon are your own, such as Alexander the great.In February 2019, after more than 20 years of negotiations, the two sides finally reached a settlement.The republic of Macedonia changed its name to North Macedonia in exchange for an alliance with Greece and renewed talks to join NATO and the European Union.As a young country, north Macedonia is a blank spot in the south-western Balkans on many people’s cognitive map, but football can sometimes be a marker.”From now on, the whole world will know where our country is,” Sedini said.Football is often mixed with strong national feelings in the Balkans, and northern Macedonia is perhaps the country with the vaguest sense of identity.Ethnic Albanians make up a quarter of the country’s population of less than 2m, and more of them support Albania’s national team than north Macedonia.Interestingly, the underachievers joined Croatia as the only other Balkan team to qualify for last year’s European Championship.North Macedonia is in some ways the first beneficiary of uefa’s new national league format.Goran Pandev’s side were unable to stop Poland and Austria finishing top two in their group, but their league four wins allowed them to compete for a play-off place with Georgia, Belarus and Kosovo.When pandev, 37, scored the winning goal in the 56th minute of the play-off final against Georgia, he lay face down on the tbilisi turf and began to cry.”We have won a great victory for the people of this country.””Pandev said in an interview after qualifying for the European Championship, a phrase that has been uttered on many occasions in the world of football, but rarely as apt as it was at the moment.Pandev’s international career came to an end when he was substituted in the 69th minute against Holland in front of a huge ovation at the Johan Cruyff Arena.With 39 goals in 122 appearances, goran Pandev has been everything to north Macedonian football.Of course, if the pre-independence history of north Macedonia is taken into account, legendary Striker Darko Pansev of Skopri-born Red Star might also be vying for the title of “best ever” in North Macedonian football.Sadly, his career took a turn for the worse when he joined Inter milan in 1992, leaving the national team to shine for Yugoslavia.Elmas will be next in line after the end of the Pandev era. The 22-year-old Napoli midfielder missed out on the away win over Italy because of a yellow card suspension, but he has scored nine goals in 37 appearances for his country and still has a chance to chase Goran pandev’s record.Elmas came from labotniki’s youth team in north Macedonia and was promoted by the club’s sporting director At the time, Andrei Angorowski.Angorowski took over north Macedonia’s national team in 2015, while Elmas made his international debut two years later at the age of 18.In Anglovsky’s 352 system, Elmas was indispensable.The North Macedonians won a historic 2-1 away win over Germany in duisburg, with Elmas scoring the winning goal in the 85th minute.After the European Cup, the exploits of the coach Angorovsky chose to leave, his successor is the previous cultivation of the youth team Milevsky.The new coach changed to 4-2-3-1, which has also been effective, and the only defeat on his watch came in the second leg of a World Cup qualifying group match against Germany.His team earned a win and a draw against Iceland, thumped Armenia 5-0 and worked wonders in Palermo on Thursday night.On the other hand, although the national team is on a roll, the state of north Macedonian football remains problematic.Due to the underdeveloped national economy and football industry, mid-table teams in north Macedonia’s top league have an annual budget of around 300,000 euros, while many players in the first division earn around 3,000 euros a month.At the same time, the football infrastructure is so poor that even top-league pitches can only be used for amateur games in Italy.The youth system is also a problem, with many young players choosing to leave the country early and few real new stars appearing in the domestic league.To this end, the North Macedonian Football Association has introduced a measure requiring clubs to exclude a player under 21 from their starting line-up and keep him on the pitch for at least 45 minutes.Pandev Football Academy.In 2010, pandev, who had just joined Inter milan, founded the Pandev Academy in his home city of Strumica.The institution was originally set up to train young footballers in north Macedonia, but as it grew, pandev academy formed an adult first team in 2014.Starting from the fourth division, the team immediately completed the triple jump and reached the first division in 2017.Goran Pandev’s younger brother, Sashko, is currently the captain of pandev’s academy team, while striker Radeski, who came from there, played with Goran Pandev at the European Championships.In this season’s North Macedonia First Division, Pandev Academy is currently second in the standings with 48 points after 24 matches.”The domestic league is a complete mess,” pandev told Corriere Della Sera ahead of the Italy game. “The infrastructure is 30 years old and talent will leave as soon as they get an opportunity from abroad.I started this football academy to make a difference, but no one helped us.”At club level in Europe, the North Macedonians have not shown the same ability to create miracles as the national team.In independent North Macedonian football, no team reached the Champions League.Varda, the country’s most successful club in history, competed in the Europa League group stage in 2017-18, collecting just one point from six matches.This season’s Uefa Cup, which was launched to give clubs from smaller countries a chance to compete, saw four north Macedonian teams all fail in the qualifying stages.Varda.The high point of North Macedonian football at the club level occurred during the 1986-87 season.Ten teams, including Partizan and Red Star, started the season with minus six points due to match-fixing suspicions in the last round of the Yugoslav first division. Varda, which was not punished, won the championship.Varda ended up enjoying championship status for only one month: the former South Football Association decided in July 1987 to cancel the previous penalty points and the title was awarded to Partizan.Varda has been the most popular club in north Macedonia since the country became independent, but the team, which won the national championship 11 times before, was relegated to second division for the first time at the end of last season.Varda’s arch-rivals Skundia, who play in the first division in the Albanian region of north Macedonia, also play in the red and black colours of Albania’s national flag.In 1979, scundia had just been formed and did not have an official shirt. What to do?The team imported a batch of AC Milan rossoneri jerseys directly from Italy.In the summer of 2017, Scundia made it through three stages of the Europa League qualifiers and ended up in front of the Rossoneri, who lost 7-0 over two legs to repay the shirt they had borrowed nearly 40 years earlier.Article | Shen Tianhao edit | hu hot soup