Boskovic sees similarities between DC-Philadelphia rivalry and 'Eternal Derby'
In the 89th minute of Sunday’s 1-1 draw with thePhiladelphia Union, D.C. United midfielder Branko Boskovic lost his cool. As he and Union midfielder Roger Torreswrestled for the ball in the chaotic moments following Dwayne De Rosario’sdisallowed penalty kick, Boskovic shoved Torres to the ground. Referee Mark Geiger produced a redcard, the Montenegrin’s first in over two years in MLS. It was a rare lapse in composure for aplayer whose calming influence on United’s midfield had helped the Black-and-Redregain control of Sunday’s match.
But that’s what rivalries tend to do. Bring out the best - and at times theworst - in those involved.
“It’s starting to feel like a derby because we are so closeand the rivalry is so real,” said Boskovic from United’s locker room on Sunday. “It’s like Boca-River or Barca-Real. I feel like this every time we playthem.”
Boskovic knows a thing or two about rivalries. At 18, he signed with Red StarBelgrade, then of the Yugoslavian First Division. Red Star and its arch-nemesis - Partizan Belgrade – make upwhat has been called the ‘Eternal Derby’ since it was first contested in thelate 1940’s.
In a 2009 list of the top 50 rivalries in global football,British paper the Daily Mail ranked the‘Eternal Derby’ fourth. It came inahead of both Liverpool-Manchester United and Barcelona-Real Madrid.
Boskovic has previously described the Belgrade rivalry as ‘the mostserious game I have ever played’. Now, the 31-year-old says he sees somesimilarities between Red Star-Partizan and D.C.-Philadelphia.
“I’m glad to see the fans of Philadelphia come because theymake the atmosphere more intense,” Boskovic added. “Our fans are always with us. This ambience, it should be like this every game.”
D.C. United hosts the Chicago Fire this Wednesday, August 22 at 7:30 PM - PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE