First Division. Everybody bellow 6th place was practically concerned only with survival – 5 points was the difference between the last and the 7th at the end. The top 4 battled for the title, eventually the race was reduced to the familiar Belgrade rivalry between Crvena zvezda and Partizan. Perhaps not one of the memorable Yugoslav seasons, but there was young generation making its way up – a generation too young yet, but becoming very famous in the 1990s.
Pristina finished last with 27 points and was relegated. Standing from left: Abdul Belopoja, Zoran Lemajić, Muhamed Koljenović, Slavenko Kuzeljević, Gani Lapaštica, Isa Sadriju,
First row: Mensur Meqshipi, Sahit Keljmendi, Vladislav Đukić, Fadil Murići, Kujtim Šalja.
Sutjeska (Niksic) – 17th with 29 points and relegated. More or less, expected, like the relegation of Pristina – after all, it depends on players and both relegated had no way to employ best talent. Standing from left: Rakojević, Đukanović, Marušić, Šabotić, Kuzeljević, Radinović, Giljen.
Crouching: Medin, Dukić, Zirojević, Durgutović, Gospić.
Celik (Zenica) survived – 16th with 29 points. Just one goal better goal-difference than Sutjeska, but in their favour. Standing from left: Miodrag Đurđević, Milorad Ratković, Slavko Radović, Esad Kuhinja, Saša Štrbac, Emir Džinović.
Front: Ibrahim Zukanović, Rade Vešović, Darko Nestorović, Ivan Fileš, Mirza Golubica.
Rad (Belgrade) – 15th with 30 points. All relative… for a club only recently debuting in the top league the season was wonderful: they survived, they were going to play at least one more season in the First Division, and who knows – they may even get stronger. There was even a reward: they were going to represent Yugoslavia in the Intertoto Cup – at least some international football was coming their way.
FK Sarajevo – in the frost: 14th with 30 points. At least not relegated.
The troubles of Sarajevo were nothing compared to downfall of Hajduk (Split) – 13th with 30 points. Trying to escape relegation instead of trying to win the title? Unheard of… Then again this squad is very poor at least by Hajduk’s standards.
Very weak season for Sarajevo – not only FK Sarajevo, but Zeljeznicar too: 12th with 30 points. Standing from left: Jurišić, Baljić, Simić, Štilić, Komšić, Škrba.
Crouching: Pavlović, Gavrilović, Berjan, Baždarević, Slišković.
Osijek – 11th with 31 points. As usual, just happy to avoid relegation. Young and unknown yet Davor Suker here.
Vojvodina – nothing to brag about: 10th with 32 points. No relegation – that was all. Nothing to hint of what was coming very soon.
Buducnost (Titograd) – 9th with 32 points. No relegation and that was just fine.
Rijeka – 8th with 32 points. Not bad at all as far as final standing goes – if anything, Rijeka was keeping its place in the league quite well.
Radnicki (Nis) – 7th with 32 points. Their best days were gone. Yes, good final position, but only 3 more than relegated Sutjeska (Niksic).
Vardar (Skopje) – 6th with 37 points. Nothing to do with relegation, but perhaps the weird recent events – champions, not champions – took a tall on them.
Sloboda (Tuzla) – up, down, now up again: 5th with 38 points. Not quite a title contender, but solid and enjoying wonderful season. Top row form left: Nedžad Verlašević, Tomo Mrkić, Asmir Mehanović, Goran Miljanović, Ademović, Mile Stegnjajić, Samid Sabitović (masseur).
Middle row: assistant coach Mesud Nalić, Davor Mladina, Midhat Memisević, Cvijan Milosević, Mirza Hadzić, Mirko Mihić, Rade Tošić, Dr. Jovan Jelić.
Sitting: Nail Beširević, Muhamed Tahirović, Zoran Milosević, coach Đorđe Gerum, Munever Krajišnik, Senad Ibrić, Mitar Lukić, Dragoslav Kostić.
Dinamo (Zagreb) – 4th with 42 points. There is slight feeling that this squad was capable of more. True, they were competing for the title, but… could have been better, given the squads of those above them – far from perfect, may be even with less talent than the Dinamo boys.
Velez (Mostar) – recovered its leading position, back among the very best. 3rd with 42 points – ahead of Dinamo on better goal-difference. May be not as impressive as the their great team in the 1970s, but more than adequate for the current time.
Partizan (Belgrade) – 2nd with 44 points. Lost the title by a single point. Third row from left: Pantić, Belojević, Bogdanović, Vermezović, Đukanović, Katanec, ?;
Middle row: Đorđević, Radanović, Đurovski, Vučićević, Batrović, Smajić, V. Đukić,
Front row: Župić, Klinčarski, Stevanović, Šćepović, Bajović, Sredojević.
Good squad, strong squad, but perhaps having only one really great star – Katanec – was not enough for a title. Somehow, there was always little something missing.
Crvena zvezda (Belgrade) won… again. One point ahead of Partizan: 17 wins, 11 ties, 6 losses, 66-39 goal-difference, 45 points. Well, quite dramatic victory, prevailing over the arch-enemy. Great!
Top row from left: Radovanović, Milojević, Krdžević, Musemić, J. Nikolić, Joksimović, Krivokapić, Binić.
Middle row: Stojanović, Marović, Prosinečki, Punišić, Davidović, Lukić, Komadina, Simeunović
Sitting: Šabanadžović, Jurić, Đurović, Pavlović, Stojković, Mrkela, S. Janković, B.Cvetković.
What ends well… for years Crvena zvezda managed to recruit better players than Partizan and to make a well-rounded team and thus won more frequently than their rivals. Stojkovic was the top star of Yugoslav football at the time and Prosinecki was making great impressions. Yet, Crvena zvezda had much more famous teams in the past. For the record – 16th title.