[ Zeljko Ljubenovic ]
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Birth date: 09.07.1981, Belgrade
Height: 174cm
Weight: 70kg
Position: left tie, half center
PARTIZAN Junior selection [1990-1995],
OFK BEOGRAD [1995-2001],

Željko started his professional career as a football player in little league of Partizan club.

After the little league he spent six years in Junior Football Club (OFK) Belgrade out of which he spent one season in town of Mladenovac in Serbia. For two and a half years he was the ‘spiritus movens’ of the club Mladost from Lukicevo.

In colors of Lukicevo he played over 67 matches, scored 12 goals and gave 22 assistances.

Speed, excellent balance, great dribbling and precise kick were enough of a reference about his play that had made his competitors assign him with a strict guard in each game. As a player in second league he was already too fast for the competitor’s defenses which made them assign even two guards to cover him. At the time he was one of the most wanted players of the ‘north’.

ProleteryrConsidering he was the best-rated player in the second league with refined technique, excellent and powerful center strike and kick, it was not long before he got offers from different top clubs in Serbia such as FC Vozdovac, FC Smederevo, FC Cukaricki, FC Spartac, FC Radnicki…etc, as well as from other foreign clubs such as South Korean and Hong Kong. Zeljko chose to wear the colors of Proleter for the following six months.

He was a huge asset to this club, at that point, where, as such, he had no difficulties in adapting considering that two and a half seasons earlier he had one of the top names in Serbian Football as a coach – Mr. Zarko Soldo.

HajdukAlthough Zeljko is not an unfair and rough player, as a mater of fact he is one of few players that got only several yellow cards in the career, still, there is one red card in his career he will definitely be remembered by. This, unusual, event for football playground took place in the second league match in Banjica when FC Proleter played as a guest against FC Rad. Guests had won the match in 84th minute; Zeljko made the last, decisive, score and in joy of victory took off the club’s jersey to show the t-shirt with an original marriage proposal to his girlfriend. The whole scenario, together with the engagement ring that waited on the bench, that t-shirt with a proposal and the final shot that decided the match, was in total an idea of his own. His certainty that he will decide this match showed that he is entirely self confident and certain of his gift in such a way that he could predict and plan the outcome of the match by his own evolvement. This was the point where he got his first red card but unlike others he left the field with a huge smile on his face. Needless to say the girl didn’t turn down this proposal!
As one of the main carriers of the matches, solving some of the hardest games, he quickly became popular among Proleter’s fans. In Proleter’s victories as well as in some defeats, Zeljko maintains an admirable level which opens the door for his entry to the premier league.

In 2005. he was defending the blue-white colors of FC Kula where he had continued with making good results. FC Hajduk becomes his opportunity for foreign engagements.

foto galerija

krivbassZeljko leaves for Ukraine, for a test play in FC Krivbass from Krvi Rog, a member of this country’s premier league. After having spent ten days with this club in preparations, he validates the expectations of club’s headquarters and signs a three year engagement contract.

It wasn’t easy for him to adapt to the new environment, different game style, new members in the team, full stadiums, let alone the foreign language. These were all obstacles he had to overcome, not to mention the pressure to prove himself.
Even though he had a rough start, Zeljko manages to fight his way in the first 11. Although the club was really well organized, they’ve held the 12th of 16th team positions in the premier league, with great desire to get the good placement in the list. The club had realistic possibilities to achieve this, but finally failed to accomplish this desire due to financial problems that have struck the club. Soon after Krivbass announces that due to lack of funds and sponsorships they will enter the next season with low ranking and that they will dismiss all the players.

tavZeljko didn’t have to wait long for the new offer. In short time he had spent with Krivbass he had managed to prove his quality and became an interesting asset to many clubs. FC Tavriya won the battle for him. Excellent conditions, club stability over the years, quality of team and organization are the qualities that kept FC Tavriya in the top until today. However, Zeljko had to face another new beginning; fighting his way through into the first line of Tavriya was maybe the hardest challenge of his career. In two control matches, having been assigned even a central shooter position in one – the headquarters decided to give him a chance and to keep Zeljko in the club. This is when the struggle begins for Zeljko. At first he only sat on the bench waiting for his opportunity among strong competition of other players who were also playing in double – support line of the club. In Ukraine each club has its own so-called ‘B’ league called ‘double’ and many players from this league do not get the chance to play.

In the middle of fall season, in 2006. the team enters a score crisis which brings them to the very bottom of team’s score list. Headquarters, together with Mr. Mihail Ivanovic Fomenk makes a decision to change the status of the club thus giving Zeljko a breakthrough chance. Ever since that moment, sitting in the bench in double becomes history for Zeljko. It was only by his own efforts that he had earned and reached the top. He had huge success in the first matches playing for Tavriya. During his debut in the 11th round he had accomplished 3 hits in 6 matches which made him have all the credit for bringing club Tavriya to the semifinals of the premiere Cup. Although his initial contract with this club was in duration of one year only, soon after he had signed another contract thus continuing the cooperation with Tavriya to mutual benefit. In addition to the fact that Zeljko’s play had not passed unnoticed are the results of surveys conducted by the club. Judging by the results of these surveys, which can be found on Tavriya website, Zeljko won the first place as the fan’s ‘most favorite player’ of the club. By numbers of his goals and assistances he is also one of the top players in Tavriya FC.

Zeljko’s comment to this was: “It is my greatest pleasure to have had this opportunity in life of playing in the packed stadium and hearing the supports of my fans”.

This year FC Tavriya will be participating in Inter Toto Cup.
More info on club status, players, scores and goals can be found in the official website of the club: www.sctavriya.com


Copyright © Zeljko Ljubenovic 2008.
All rights reserved.

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