Prosinecki, though, has preferred not to pay attention to this in recent months, searching for normality in a place that did not experience such a thing for too long. "I have no problems in Belgrade," he said in a recent interview. "Things are improving, in truth we cannot live without each other, even economically".
Both Croatia and Serbia are candidates to enter the European Union, and are therefore ready to sit at the same table as continental institutions, following the arrests of war criminals in recent years that have brought Belgrade much closer to Brussels. It is clear, however, that the scars remain. "Those who lost brothers, fathers and mothers cannot forget. And that is right.
But things are changing," Prosinecki said recently. The coach is himself playing a role in the change, bringing Red Star back into the limelight after years of unchallenged dominance by Partizan, the other Belgrade side, which has won the last five Serbian titles. This includes this season's championship, which Partizan are already mathematically sure of winning, even with a round of fixtures left to play this Sunday. Their dominance, however, ended in the semi-final of the Cup, with Prosinecki's Red Star winning 2-0 in both legs against their arch-rivals. The double victory paved the way for victory in Wednesday's final against lowly Borac Cacak, who were dispatched 2-0. At the end of the game, Red Star's fans, who gained notoriety in the 1990s for including the war criminal Arkan among their number, invaded the pitch and feted their players and Croatian coach. "This Cup will be an important springboard for next season, when we will be looking to win the title with a squad full of young talent," said Prosinecki, who is sure to remain in charge. Across the city, meanwhile, Avram Grant, the Israeli coach who led Partizan to this year's title, has announced that he will leave at the end of the season. A Serbian and Croatian wind in Belgrade is helping to fly a single flag: that of Red Star.(ANSAmed).