With 16 played matches in row without a defeat for Ukrainian club Vorskla Poltava, Macedonian midfielder Filip Despotovski is a real phenomenon in Ukraine. But the bigger phenomenon is the Macedonian national team coach Srečko Katanec who still underrates the Ukrainian league and doesn't include him in the national team.
Born on November, 18th 1982 in Skopje, Filip Despotovski started his career in Vardar’s youth school SSK Mladinec. Later he moves to Cementarnica 55 where he signs his first professional contract. In 2002 he starts his international career when he moved to OFK Beograd in Serbia. After more then 70 matches and 5 scored goals in Serbia for OFK Beograd, Beanija and Mačva, the Macedonian midfielder moves to Greece in Ethnikos. At age of 19 he has been called up in the Macedonian national team by Nikola Ilievski Dzidzi and made 10 successful appearances. In 2007 he moves back to Macedonia where after the impressive matches in the first half of the season when he was noted as Vardar’s best player, he moves abroad again, this time in Vorskla Poltava in Ukraine.
After he settled in the 2007/08 season, Filip Despotovski became a real phenomenon in the new 2008/09 season. In the first 20 rounds of the Ukrainian Premier Liga, Despotovski played on 16 matches and scored 1 goal, but what’s worth for mentioning is that when he appeared in the squad in those 16 matches, his team Vorskla was not defeated. After his fantastic row of matches without a defeat, Vorskla surrendered with the 1:0 defeat in the last round away to famous Shakhtar Donetsk.
After the good performances and results, Vorskla Poltava are currently ranked on the fifth position behind Dynamo Kiev, Shakhtar, Metalist and Metalurh. What are the ambitions of your team in this season?
– Our ambitions are to climb in the top of the table and gain a position which will take us in some European competition. So far we did a lot to fulfill our ambitions. From the bottom of the table we climbed up in the top five, said Filip Despotovski for MacedonianFootball.com when we contacted him during the mini preparations in Yalta with his team Vorskla.
In the past years, the Macedonian football fans followed the successes of Dynamo Kiev, Shakhtar Donetsk and this season the successes of Metalist Kharkiv in the European competitions. It’s obvious that the football in Ukraine is on very high level. Tell us something more about the Ukrainian football.
– I can say that the Ukrainian league is one of the toughest leagues in Europe. That can be confirmed with the facts that some famous football players who have played in the Top 5 leagues in Europe, have quit very soon after arriving in Ukraine. Defensive, but fast football with a lot of running and maximum effort is played here. That’s why football is very popular here in Ukraine and the stadiums are full, especially for the big teams like Shakhtar and Dynamo. There are many famous and talented players in the Ukrainian league because a lot has been invested in the football. Some of the teams have yearly budget over 50 million Euros.
Despite your continuous good performances for Vorskla in one of the better leagues in Europe, you still haven’t got a call by the Macedonian national team coach Srečko Katanec. There are players from a lot weaker clubs and leagues in the squad and players who haven’t played for months in their clubs and are totally out of form. Do you think that you are not noted on Katanec’s radar and your name will not be on his list which is always composed of the same players?
– About the questions for Katanec’s thoughts, his ideas, aims, squad lists and the successfulness of the national team under his direction, you can get the answers only by Katanec. I can only say that we, as players, are always sanctioned because of the failures. About me, same as every football player, the greatest honor and reward is to be part of the national team and I hope that very soon I will get the chance to wear the red and yellow Macedonian shirt.