Boban Babunski: Vardar destroyed my World Cup dream

In 1987 Yugoslavia won the U20 FIFA World Cup in Chile without any Macedonian played on the team. It could have been different if Vardar was not that stubborn…

Former player and current coach Boban Babunski made a stunning revelation while doing an interview with Serbian newspaper Sportski žurnal. He revealed that he was selected by coach Mirko Jozić in the final squad of Yugoslavia for the U20 FIFA World Cup in Chile, but his club Vardar stopped him from going. Yugoslavia later won the World Cup and Babunski was left without the golden medal.

“I was ready to go, I had my visa and I was waiting for my flight. However, Vardar blocked my departure. It was a decision of the coach. Looking at that from today I can say that I learned a certain lesson from it. I wonder what I would change today if that didn’t happen. I would probably insist to the leaders of Vardar and the coach, to convince them that it is a big deal for both the club and me to travel to Chile. We all lost. If I went, I would be the only representative of Macedonian football at such a big competition. Vardar did not let me go because of certain interests, because of an international club match. From this perspective, I see it as a lesson for both the club and me. However, I have built a great career.” – said Babunski.

The tournament, however, did not go underway without a Macedonian as John Markovski made the Australian squad. Australia was in the group with Yugoslavia and lost 4:0 with Markovski coming from the bench in the second half.

The Yugoslav team won all matches up to the final where after 1:1 with West Germany won the title on penalties. In the knockouts eliminated Brazil and East Germany, while in the group stage defeated Australia, Togo and the host Chile.

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