Sister Cities Article

Sister Cities Cup

Paris Saint-Germain

Founded: August 12, 1970 with the merger of Paris FC and Stade Saint-Germain after an extended absence of top flight football in the French capital.
Nicknames: Les Parisiens, Les Rouge-et-Bleu
Stadium: Parc des Princes, (Cap. 48,713)
Manager: Antoine Kombouare (FRA)
Top Players:
goalkeeper Gregory Coupet (FRA), midfielder Claude Makelele (FRA), midfielder Ludovic Giuly (FRA), striker Mateja Kezman (SRB), striker Mevlut Erding (TUR)
Biggest Rival: Olympique Marseille – titled, “Le Classique”
-  Ligue 1: 2; 1986, ‘94
-  Coupe de France: 8; ‘82, ‘83, ‘93, ‘95, ‘98, ‘04, ‘06, ‘10
-  Coupe de la Ligue: 3; ‘95, ‘98, ‘08
-  Trophee des Champions (French Super Cup): 2; ‘95, ‘98
-  European Cup Winners Cup: 1; ‘96
Other info: Former Chicago Fire PDL striker Vedad Ibisevic got his professional start with PSG in 2004.

This Season:  

One of the biggest clubs in French football, PSG hasn’t always lived up to its billing. With two matches remaining this season, Les Rouge-et-Bleu currently sit 11th in Ligue 1 and could possibly climb all the way to eighth before the end of the season if all results go their way the next two weeks.

Though they haven’t won a league championship since 1994, PSG have found success in French Cup competitions, most recently winning the Coupe de France last Saturday with a 1-0 victory over AS Monaco.  The win marks PSG’s eighth French Cup championship, trailing only bitter rivals Olympique Marseille who have taken the Cup 10 times in their history.

Perhaps their proudest moment came in 1996 when they took their first and only European trophy, defeating Rapid Vienna 1-0 in the now defunct European Cup Winners Cup.

Red Star Belgrade

Founded: March 4, 1945 by the Serbian United Antifascist Youth League
Nicknames: Zvevda (Star), Crveno-beli (Red-whites)
Stadium: Stadion Crvena Zvevda (Cap. – 55,538)
Manager: Ratko Dostanic (SRB)
Top Players:
striker Aleksandar Jevtic (SRB), striker Dejan Lekic (SRB), goalkeeper Sasa Stamenkovic (SRB), defender Slavoljub Djordjevic (SRB), midfielder Savio (BRA)
Biggest Rival: Partizan Belgrade
-  League Championships: 25; 1951, ’53, ’56, ’57, ’59, ’60, ’64, ’68, ’69, ’70, ’73, ’77, ’80, ’81, ’84, ’88, ’90, ’91, ’92, ’95, ’00, ’01, ’04, ’06, ‘07
-  Cup Championships: 23; ’48, ’49, ’50, ’58, ’59, ’64, ’68, ’70, ’71, ’82, ’85, ’90, ’93, ’95, ’96, ’97, ’99, ’00, ’02, ’04, ’06, ’07, ‘10
-  European Cup/ Champions League: 1; 1991
Other info:  Red Star’s rivalry with Partizan is considered one of the most intense in world soccer. The two clubs have won a combined 46 league titles and 34 cup championships between them, with Red Star holding the record among Serbian clubs with 25 and 23 championships respectively. Red Star are considered the most popular club in Serbian football with an estimated 50% of the country considered supporters of Crvena Zvevda.

This Season: 

Though they’ve won more league championships than any other club in Serbian history, Red Star have failed to take the Superliga title since 2007, finishing 2nd and 3rd while Partizan won the title the last two seasons.

With three matches remaining in the 2009-10 Serbian Superliga, Red Star trails Partizan by one point. The title could be decided when the bitter rivals clash on Saturday, with the winner getting the leg up on the championship.

 Red Star will be bolstered by this Wednesday’s Serbian Cup championship which they won by downing Vojvodina 3-0. The title is the club’s first in team honor in three seasons.

Legia Warsaw

Founded: March 1916 as the football club of the Polish Legions
Nicknames:  “Wojskowi” (Militaries), “Legionisci” (Legionnaires)
Stadium: Stadion Wojska Polskiego (Cap. – 27,000)
Manager: Stefan Białas (POL)
Top Players:
defender Inaki Astiz (ESP), striker Bartlomiej Grzelak (POL), striker Marcin Mieciel (POL), Maciej Iwanski (POL), goalkeeper Jan Mucha (SLO)
Biggest Rival: Polonia Warsaw
-  League Championships: 8; 1955, ’56, ’69, ’70, ’94, ’95, ’02, ‘06
-  Cup Championships: 13; 1955, ’56, ’64, ’66, ’73, ’80, ’81, ’89, ’90, ’94, ’95, ’97, ‘08
-  League Cup: 1; 2002

-  Super Cup: 4; 1989, ’94, ’97, ‘08

Other info:  Formed after World War I as the Polish Army’ club and originally was made up almost entirely of soldiers from the Polish legion.

This Season:

Though not mathematically out of the hunt for a league championship, with three matches remaining fourth-place Legia will look to focus on qualification for the Europa League. Their hopes took a blow last Saturday when they were leap-frogged in the standings following their 1-0 loss to Ruch Chorzow. While the result put Legia two points behind Ruch and things won’t get easier this weekend when they take on Polish table-toppers Wisla Krakow. Three points for Wojskowi would go a long way to bringing the club back into Europa League contention as well as tightening the race for the Polish championship.