‘No feeling like it in club football’: Degenek living out Red Star dreams

Socceroos defender Miloš Degenek gave fans an insight into just what it's like to live out his boyhood dream in front of one of the greatest footballing atmospheres in Europe. 

Having grown up in Serbia as a child, Degenek always dreamt of hearing Red Star fans chant his name at the Marakana in Belgrade. 

Now with over 100 appearances for his boyhood club, the 27-year-old knows just how much it means to represent one of Europe's most historic clubs. 

“The feeling is unreal,” Degenek explained on Socceroos Insider.

“When you have 55 to 60,000 people in Belgrade and when you’re playing for Red Star Belgrade which is the biggest in Serbia, there's no feeling like it in club football. 

It doesn't get better. The atmosphere is unreal and no one wants to play us at home.

“When the stadium is full, it's a different world. It's probably one of those things that when you walk out onto the pitch, you feel 12 feet tall and you feel like nothing can go wrong.” 

Degenek 100
Milos Degenek was recognised for 100 FK Crvena Zvezda appearances earlier in the year

Since Degenek joined Red Star in 2018, he has played in the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League, and become an established member of the Socceroos squad.

His time in Belgrade has been hugely successful and he has played his part in helping the former European champions win the Serbian Superliga for the last four consecutive seasons. 

As a mainstay in the heart of Red Star’s defence, Degenek has also come up against some of the world's best footballers.  

But despite plying his trade against the likes of Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain, Tottenham and AC Milan, Degenek finds it hard to single out one player as his toughest opponent.  

“Harry Kane, Lewandowski, Neymar, Mbappé, Salah, Douglas Costa, I’ve had too many to count that are world class,” he said. 

“Ibrahimović is another one and he is probably one of the best number nines of all time.”

Milos Degenek facing off against Harry Kane's Tottenham in the UEFA Champions League in 2019

And while he has faced off against the who’s who of world football, when asked who his dream centre-back partner would be - there is one who stands out.

“Without a doubt it would be Sergio Ramos," he answered.

“I’ve always had a dream of playing against him but playing with him would be something different.

“It’s probably never going to happen but I guess we have the right to dream and the right to believe in things.”

While Red Star are not in the Champions League this time around, Degenek will come up against a familiar face in the Europa League when his side faces Awer Mabil’s FC Midtjylland. 

Awer Mabil
Degenek and Awer Mabil will face off in this season's UEFA Europa League

The Socceroos teammates have already discussed the encounter and what to expect from Red Star’s famous Rajko Mitić Stadium. 

“I’m very excited about the draw and to come up against Awer,” Degenek explained.

“We had a bit of a chat about the game and about the atmosphere at our stadium. 

“It’s a decent group, I think we should be able to get out of the group and I hope he gets out of the group as well.

“It would be good for both of us and the Socceroos as well so I'm looking forward to the games and the next couple of months in the Europa League.”