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Rajko Mitić

The legendary Red Star footballer, Rajko Mitić, was born in the village Dolac, near Bela Palanka on the 19th of November 1922. He played 572 matches for the most successful Serbian club where he got famous and gained the status of the first Red Star’s Star, in the position of the right “half” and he scored 262 goals. Due to his reputation of a true gentleman, on and off the field, he was considered to be one of the most adored players.

Rajko started playing football in the grass fields of the Belgrade settlement Košutnjak, and then in 1940 he played for the first time for the senior team of BSK in the game against Vitezovi from Zemun scoring five goals. The following year the outbreak of World War II in Serbia, put his sports development into stagnation until 1944, when he continues to play football along with Đajić and Jezerkić. He wore the red and white uniform during full fourteen seasons, from the club’s foundation on March 4th 1945, until November 1958, when he said good-bye to the cherished uniform in the Cup final against Velež Mostar (4:0). He was the first Red Star captain and he led the team on their way to five Serbian Champion titles (in 1951, 1953, 1956, 1957, and 1959), while he gained a trophy less in the National Cup. A great sportsman and the first star in our "constellation" did on the 7th of April 1958 something that people still talk about to this day. In the championship match against Split, twenty minutes before the end, a stone, which came from the stands and fell in the field hit Bora Kostić on the head. After this event the Great Rajko pulled the team off the pitch. The Disciplinary Tribunal of the Yugoslavian Football Association punished all the players on our team except for Beara and Kostić with a one-month suspension because of this act.

After ending his career in 1960, Mitić was the head coach of the Red Star team for six years, and after that he went on to become the member of the committee for national team selection in the Football Association of Yugoslavia.

His great passion, besides football, was journalism. While still an active player, he also became commenter for Belgrade’s "Sport" magazine, and later he completely dedicated his life to journalism, working in the magazine "Tempo", where he remained active until his retirement in 1983.

The grandmaster of football left the stage of life on March 29th 2008, leaving behind an indelible trace in our club and in our country.

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