Dec 22 2010

Why Kornel Salata should not move to Crvena Zvezda

Published by at 12:57 am under Domestic,European and tagged: , ,

This headline more than caught my attention this morning, and regardless of whether it carries substance or not, this story has been wrangling with me ever since.  I have really strong feelings about it, and I am posting here on the blog because I am looking for people to offer logical suggestions to help me understand why the only remaining home-based regular Slovak International footballer is considering a move to Crvena Zvezda (Red Star) of the Serbian League:

  • In these days of Europe-wide football blogging, there is plenty of chat about ‘ranking’ the European football leagues.  Each individual football fan’s choice will be based on different criteria and obviously Slovakia won’t feature in most people’s top 10. Does Serbia?  In terms of Champions League participants this season, both Slovakia and Serbia exceeded expectations as Zilina & Partizan qualified.  Both teams ended on 0 points, Zilina’s goal difference was slight worse, Partizan’s fans made a big mark, otherwise not much to shout about.  Is Salata seriously thinking about Champions League football with Zvezda???
  • Slovan Bratislava actually defeated Crvena Zvezda in the Europa League this season.  Looking back on that match as we enter the last 32 of the competition, it seems so insignificant, but for the fans of both clubs this was a massive emotional, political, passionate event.  A Kornel Salata inspired Slovan defeated Zvezda, only a tough draw against Stuttgart prevented them from qualifying for the Europa League proper.  To my [simple] mind, this means that Slovan are actually better than Zvezda.  Why is Salata considering a move to the losers????
  • I seriously question how a move to the Serbian league can be considered a move up the ladder for Salata.  Admittedly, I do not know much about Serbian football, but I do get the feeling that with the exception of Partizan & Crvena Zvezda and perhaps one or two other teams, there is not a great deal of strength in depth in the Serbian league.  This potential move for Salata is as hard to understand as the move of Jakob Sylverstr to Dinamo Zagreb, I really would be grateful if anyone can offer an explanation why moving to the Croatian or Serbian league is considered a step forward from Slovakia?
  • Salata is from a Slovak-Hungarian background, and played 3 years of football with Artmedia Petrzalka.  His background has been questioned from external followers of the game in Slovakia; would it would pose a problem to the right-wing element of Slovan’s support?  I personally have never seen any display of animosity towards Salata from the Slovan fans and I take the liberty of assuming most would be sad to see him leave.
  • Can Zvezda offer more money than Slovan?  Possibly, I have no idea, although I doubt it.  If money is the sole reason why Salata is leaving then once again I argue that the team from the capital of the Slovak Republic must do more to attempt to meet one of their best player’s demands.
  • Perhaps Salata is ‘testing the water’ with a move to Serbia in the thought that he will soon be moving to a more ‘foreign’ European country in the not too distant future.  Frantisek Kubik [who spoke no Dutch or English on arrival at Den Haag] please give him a call!!
  • If Kubik doesn’t call Salata, someone else please do.  I understand that each European football team employs scouts to look for decent players in the lesser regions of European football.  If you’re seriously telling me that no team in the Eredivisie, Bundesliga, Russian, Turkish, Greek or Italian league is willing to at least give a trial to Kornel Salata then why oh why is he even bothering leaving his own country????

I absolutely love Slovak football, and I have no problem to see players who are developed through youth systems in Slovakia leave for more fruitful pastures elsewhere in European football.  Anybody who saw Kornel Salata line up alongside Martin Skrtel in Slovakia’s 0-1 victory away against Russia cannot fail to have been impressed,  we are talking about a decent player here.  I just question why, oh why is he considering a move to Crvena Zvezda????

Answers below please …

13 responses so far

13 Responses to “Why Kornel Salata should not move to Crvena Zvezda”

  1.   footballfanon 22 Dec 2010 at 3:53 am

    First,Red Star is great club, much greater than Slovan and that is a fact.History is proving that.They were uefa and world champions in 91′ and champions of former SFRJ Yugoslavia,SR Yugoslavia and Serbia many many times. Many famous players trained from their childhood in this club and played Stankovic,Vidic,Jankovic,Stojkovic,Kovacevic,Savicevic………………… League is not weak ,maybe the same as in Slovakia by quality,maybe better.They have new trainer Robert Prosinecki,former legend of the club,and one of the best players ever.It is true that Slovan beat Red Star,but Red Star is now much stronger,they have much better players now.Club was in big financial problems ,maybe the biggest ever in his history,but new goverment of the club,made of former legends and players, made totaly new club which is now on the right track,and I am convinced that club will be better and better surely.People who know and watch football,know about Red Star.If the Red Star and Prosinecki are interested in signing Kornel Salata,than he is quality player and he should be proud of that.

  2.   onewhoknowson 22 Dec 2010 at 5:40 am

    Just one simple reason: Red Star can sell him to western Europe for 5-6 mill euro after 1,5 season and Slovan can never have a 30 percent of that money. With a good deal with Red Star, they can earn maybe half of his future price.

  3.   James Baxteron 22 Dec 2010 at 10:45 am

    Great post and I share your concerns – never like to see the best Slovak players move to leagues that are little or no better, though I’d stress that this move is by no means certain at this stage.

    But I suspect the answer to the question does not lie primarily in the fact that Red Star are ‘traditionally a bigger club’, ‘won the European Cup in ’91′ etc etc. They have no more chance of making a serious mark on Europe in the immediate/short-term (ie the course of Salata’s possible career with them) than Slovan do.

    I believe the answer might lie in recent form. I don’t know if clubs from Greece, Holland, Turkey etc etc were tracking him back in August/early September when, as you rightly suggest, he was in magnificent form, but it is known that a move to Zagreb broke down around then, probably because he himself backed out of it.

    But his form since then has been poor. He was awful for Slovakia in Armenia, shaky against Ireland and has been involved in various cock-ups in the Corgon Liga. Some commentators here have speculated that the dip is because, given the WC in summer, he hasn’t had a decent rest. I’m inclined to believe that might be true. Anyway, whatever the reasons, he hasn’t been playing well for a good two or three months now, a fact which might have put off clubs who would otherwise have been interested.

    So Red Star might be the best he can do right now and, as onewhoknows suggests, they’re probably a more likely future transit point for western Europe than Slovan, because, let’s face it, more players move to the ‘bigger’ leagues from Serbia than from Slovakia. If Red Star’s history, tradition and so on is relevant at all, it’s relevant in that sense.

  4.   britskibelasion 22 Dec 2010 at 11:29 am

    Thanks for the comments, I wanted to debate this before the deal was done. Although looking at this:áta
    Somebody seems to think it has already happened! I was hoping that it was just Mario Božič recommending his mate to his new employers.

    @footballfan I absolutely respect the history of Red Star. Equally I respect the strength of the youth systems in Serbia and the draw of Robert Prosinečki, an absolute legend. Trust me, I admire Serbian football, especially the colour, the passion, the fans.

    Obviously plenty of top quality players have come from both Red Star and Partizan youth set-ups, I am not disputing that either. However, there are also one or two Slovaks who are doing alright out there just now after having been developed through various quality youth academies in Slovakia. Football clubs in countries like Slovakia and Serbia need these strong youth systems to survive. The point raised by @onewhoknows and James Baxter is a valid one, if Slovan were able to recoup a percentage of a sell-on fee then obviously that would be of benefit. Maybe Serbia is a better stepping stone than Slovakia. Maybe that’s the reason. However I fail to see how they can guarantee that his value will increase after a couple of seasons there. If Zvezda are not even playing in Europe then how is Salata’s value in the eyes of the rest of European football going to increase?

    History is fine, and it’s very interesting to look back at the achievements of clubs like Red Star, Steaua Bucharest, Ajax etc but don’t tell me that a 23 year old Slovak footballer is considering this move purely to take a peek inside the trophy cabinet? Slovan also have a fairly decent history if you’re interested, Slovan beat Barcelona to win the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1969 and Slovan provided 7 players to the Czechoslovakia team which won the European Championships in 1976. The relevance of this? Zero. What is relevant is what the club are achieving right now and what they might realistically achieve in the short to medium-term future as mentioned by James. I’m not saying Slovan are in great shape at the moment (hence why they should try harder to keep their decent players) but with all due respect, Zvezda appear to be 5 points behind Partizan just now. I really do hope you’re right and that things are back on track, I just fail to see how a move there is a step forward for Salata.

    Jonathan Wilson agrees and considers this “at best a sideways move” and one that followers of Slovak football such as James and myself have a right to be concerned about.

  5.   britskibelasion 22 Dec 2010 at 11:33 am

    For the record, Slovakia is currently ranked 25th in the UEFA country ranking for clubs and Serbia 27th.

    In the FIFA international rankings, Slovakia is 20th and Serbia 23rd.

  6.   delijaon 26 Dec 2010 at 9:02 pm

    fuck you he is coming… :)

  7.   britskibelasion 27 Dec 2010 at 6:48 pm

    really? or is he going to Wisla Krakow instead?!

  8.   delijaon 28 Dec 2010 at 1:24 am

    o yes.. dont you worry… :)

  9.   Gidzion 28 Dec 2010 at 2:45 am

    Because we are a football nation, football is in Serbia the most popular sport. In Slovakia ice hockey holds the tron. Red star in the past half season had 13000 spectators avarege in every league game. How much people wached Slovan-DAC, for example? The averege number of spectators will rise to minimum 20000 in the spring half season, european games are story for it self. Simply, in Serbia there is football, two spots empty and then all other sports.

  10.   Veliki Delijaon 28 Dec 2010 at 2:59 am

    Budem odpovedať v slovenčine. Dôvod prečo Zvezda je celkom jednoduchý. A netreba tu rečniť o histórii, to je všetko známe. Bolo to tu už veľakrát spomenuté. Kornel môže na odchode do nejakej západnej ligy získať viac keď tam prestúpi zo Zvezdy, ako zo Slovana. Je to tak. Ak Zvezda skonsoliduje hru, vráti sa do Európy a jej káder bude hrať stabilné partie, Kornel môže odštartovať na západ s podstatne väčším finančným ohodnotením. O tom to je. A navyše, keď Mario Božić ide do Zvezdy a so Salátom sú kamoši, nevidím dôvod, prečo by mal Kornel Zvezdu v prípade adekvátnej ponuky odmietnuť. Určite je to lepšie ako drieť v Krakówe na dákom hosťovaní s opciou a byť ako na lane. To nie. Zvezda má meno, super support, je pod denným očkom všetkých domácich (a relatívne často aj zahraničných) médií, majú silného hlavného sponzora – jednoducho to sú všetky predpoklady na to, aby, pri obnovení hry – dobrého futbalu, tu boli predpoklady na veľký úspech, tržby z lístkov na zápasy, vysielacích práv. Ak Zvezda prelomí režimom uprednostňovaný Partizan a začne konečne hrať futbal, bude to supervýkonný stroj, to sa stavte.

  11.   James Baxteron 29 Dec 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Brief interview with Salata in Sport today. Very clear that he wants to leave Slovan as he believes he can play at a higher level than the Slovak League. Interest from Russia and Switzerland is mentioned. I still maintain that clubs from Serbia, Poland or Switzerland wouldn’t be in the running if he was in any sort of form. The speculation would be about Germany, France, Holland etc.

  12.   Slovaks On The Move … (?) | Britski Belasion 06 Jan 2011 at 2:41 pm

    [...] are not the only Slovak players likely to be on the move this month. This site has already covered Crvena Zvezda’s interest in central defender Kornel Saláta. Saláta could hardly have been more open about his wish to play [...]

  13.   Red Star fanon 12 Jan 2011 at 7:37 am

    I was impressed the way Salata played against Zvezda last year, and I hope he will come to Belgrade. I liked the way Bagayoko played these two matches as well.
    That defeat against Slovan was big disappointment for a half a nation here in Serbia. It was officially the worst European result for Crvena Zvezda in its history. Maybe not the result of the match, but it was the earliest relegation from European competition in the clubs history so I think that it couldn’t be worse than that, next season. The fact that the biggest club in the country was relegated from Europe before domestic league even started was a huge blow for everybody so I think that that game is not relevant reason why he Should not come to Zvezda.
    I don’t know how Slovan is rated in Slovakia, I mean as a club, not the league standings, but I think that Slovan need money from the transfer, but they don’t want to sell Salata to other Slovakian club so he will be send to some similar league as Slovakia, for more money. These things are happening for years here in Serbia. Serbian well rated clubs doesnt want to sell a player to Partizan or Crvena Zvezda, but they sell them to Romania, Bulgaria, Moldavia, Switzerland, Russia or China or something…. For example Dragan Mrdja, a player who was selected for WC is sold from Vojvodina to Switzerland club Sion, Milos Krasic (now Juventus player) was sold from OFK Beograd to CSK Moskow, Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea) was sold from OFK Beograd to lokomotiv Moskow…etcetc… There are a lot of players who moved from small Serbian clubs to mid quality clubs in Europe and after that they made careers in big clubs, but there are also a lot of players who are still on the benches of these mid quality europian clubs… The best option for him is to play for Zilina in Europe for example and if he proves good hell go to real big league.
    The point is that Kornel need to go to a club where he can play in any European competition and be a lead player, and I think that the Crvena Zvezda is a better option than a Rostov, Sion, Spartak Nalchik, Amkar, or some Turkish mid table club.
    Second thing is a money. He will get more in Crvena Zvezda than in any Slovakian club. As soon as he come to Crvena Zvezda his price will rise a double at least, so Slovan can benefit from a future transfer share. (example: Lee Ady A Ghana defence player, also played in WC was payed 300 000 Euros by Crvena Zvezda, and his price now is 2.5milon, and a lot of clubs want to buy him, same thing was with Cleo – Partizan player – CF his value is 4-5milions after 1,5seasons in Serbia… )

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