Belodedici: “I asked for political asylum and went to offer myself to Red Star”

The European champion with Steaua and Red Star, protagonist of the documentary “Desertor”, talks at Thinking about the reasons that led him to leave Romania

The fifth day of Thinking Football featured Romanian defender Miodrag Belodedici (Socol, Romania, 1964). The European champion with Steaua Bucharest (1986) and Red Star Belgrade (1991) took part, together with producer Chris Peilow, in the colloquium following the screening of the documentary “Deserter”. In the film he points out the reasons that led him to leave Romania at the end of 1988. “I wanted to leave Romania, to visit other countries, to live in them, to progress, to do things, but the communist regime of Ceauşescu did not allow it. It was forbidden. I saw no future in Romania.” It was then that Belodedici took advantage of a trip to Yugoslavia with his mother and sister to seek political asylum and sign for the club of his heart, Red Star.

The Romanian regime found him guilty of treason and sentenced him to ten years in prison in absentia, although the charges were dropped after the fall of Ceauşescu. At Red Star he coincided with some of the country’s best footballers, such as Mihajlović, Savićević and Prosinečki. But he also experienced difficult moments, prior to the Balkan war, as was the clash between Red Star Belgrade and Dinamo Zagreb. “The fans invaded the field and we had to flee. We spent three hours in the locker room before they took us to the airport,” Belodedici recalled.

A second documentary in the ‘UEFA Extraordinary Stories’ series, entitled ‘Jimmy Hasty: the one-armed star’, was screened at the same 8 p.m. session. And before that, at 18:00, it was the turn of the Argentinean film ‘El hincha’, directed by Renzo Cozza. Representing Athletic Club, Jose Angel Iribar and Jon Ruigómez attended the Sala BBK today.