Thursday February 25 2021
Stankovic: 'I didn't play cricket before this'

Dejan Stankovic was more than proud of Red Star Belgrade, who pushed Milan all the way even down to 10 men. ‘It’s my first coaching experience, but I didn’t play cricket before this.’

The former Inter and Lazio midfielder is the coach of Crvena Zvezda, who only went out of the Europa League Round of 32 against Milan on away goals, 3-3 on aggregate.
“My lads showed courage, belief and even for 60 minutes over two legs against Milan down to 10 men, we did well. I do not cry, because I know how we are working, I know what we did over 180 minutes and to say I am proud of these lads is an understatement,” Stankovic told Sky Sport Italia.

“I will always be by their side and I am so proud of them. We worked on everything starting a year ago, every attitude, the little tweaks and changes, and the club believed in me. I am young and it’s my first coaching experience, but I didn’t play cricket before this. I played football for 25 years.

“We built a great team, a strong starting point for the new Red Star Belgrade. This is my club, my city, my colours, the place where I grew up.”

Red Star were furious at the final whistle, which was blown as they were preparing to take a corner.

“It’s natural we were annoyed, because it was our last chance at the last minute. Let us take the corner! I think Milan would’ve taken the corner, I said at least give these lads a reward for giving their lives on the pitch tonight! I don’t cry anyway, it just would’ve been nice.”

Stankovic embraced Zlatan Ibrahimovic midway through the interview.

“He is my brother. He lets everything slide off him, both on and off the pitch. I don’t know what Milan are doing at the moment, they’ve lost their way a bit over the last three weeks.

“With the squad at Antonio Conte’s disposal, it’s Inter’s title to lose now.”