“‘Twice we lost everything and had to start life again. I’m from here but technically I’m not from here either.’

Milos Degenek’s path to play for his beloved Red Star Belgrade has hardly been a smooth one as he prepares for their Champions League away game with Liverpool on Wednesday.

His family had to leave Croatia, and then Serbia, before he turned six – both times as a refugee – and they eventually settled in Australia.

The 24-year-old defender, who plays for his adopted country Australia, told the BBC World Football Show his remarkable story.” (fully story at BBC News)


“As Juventus prepare to face Manchester United in the Champions League, the midfielder tells of how his tears as a baby helped his family flee war in Bosnia

Fahrudin Pjanic knew war was coming. As a footballer for FK Drina Zvornik in the Yugoslavian third division, he travelled around the country enough to see the social and political tensions that were building in the early 1990s. As the father of a newborn son, Miralem, his instinct was to get his family out before the worst happened.

Friends in Luxembourg put him in touch with a semi-professional club, Schifflange, who offered him a part-time contract and help finding a job to pay the bills. To take up that opportunity, however, Fahrudin would need Zvornik to release him and provide the paperwork required to travel.” (The Guardian)