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Our upcoming rival: The oldest club with variable success, rich history and following the path to the title

During the one-month training camp, Pyunik will hold the second friendly match. Tomorrow, our rival will be Borac Banja Luka from Bosina and Herzegovina, which is one of the oldest football clubs of the former Yugoslavia. Banja Luka has about 190,000 inhabitants, is located in the north of Bosnia and Herzegovina and is also the seat of the government of Republika Srpska.


The Borac football club was founded in 1926 and was originally named Radnički sportski klub Borac, which means workers' sports club Borac, and Borac is translated as fighter. The roots of this name are directly related to the Labor movement that became popular in the 20th century. The club was founded by a group of enthusiastic people: a poet, an activist, a football fan and others.

In 1961, after several unsuccessful attempts, Borac first gained the right to play in the Yugoslavia First League, which was the highest league in the region, but from the very first season they stepped back to the second league. Then it took the club almost a decade to return to the top league: that time they spent four consecutive seasons there, reaching the final of the Yugoslav Cup. As a result, as silver medalists, they qualified for the UEFA Winners' Cup, where they overcame Luxemburg's Rumelange 14:1 in both legs, in the second round they faced Belgium's Anderlecht. Despite winning the first leg, the Bosnians eventually lost to the future champions of the tournament, becoming the only team to beat the Belgians in the cup competition.

The Yugoslav Cup won in 1988 is also one of the significant pages in the history of Borac. Under the leadership of coach Husnij Fazlić, they became the second team in the history of Yugoslavia, which, being a participant in the country's second strongest league, registered such a result. In the match held in Belgrade, they gained a 1:0 advantage over the Yugoslav football giant Crvena Zvezda, and the historic goal was scored by Senad Lupić, one of the legends of Borac.

2000s dominance in the domestic championship

When the First League was still the main championship of the Republic of Serbia, our upcoming rivals managed to become champions three times (2001, 2006 and 2008), moreover, they also won the Republic Cup five times.

 A new era

In 2002, the Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina was created, which still represents the elite of local club football. At the same time, the Bosnia and Herzegovina Cup tournament was formed, where Borac won the main prize in 2010 and came third in the championship. However, the next season turned out to be historic for the "red and blues". For the first time, they won the main championship cup of the country and gained prestige. They suffered only 4 defeats and conceded 15 goals in 30 games.

In the 2015/2016 season, Borac retreated to the second league and returned to the competition of the best after one season. However, in the 2017/2018 season, he left the Premier League again due to a document problem and joined the elite again a season later, but this time with serious ambitions in the European Cups.

European tournaments

Although Borac has performed steadily in the national championship in recent years, constantly fighting for the champion title, the Bosnian club still has no significant success in UEFA tournaments, although it has had several opportunities to participate in the most prestigious club football tournaments.

In 2011 after winning the championship Borac got the right to participate in the Champions League 2011/12 season, where they were defeated by Maccabi Haifa in the first round. At the beginning of the first leg held in Israel, Borac unexpectedly managed to take the lead, but in the added time, the home team equalized the score, then Borac got a big gap in defense and conceded 4 goals in just three minutes, losing 1:5. In the second leg, the Bosnians showed great will and won 3:2, but the tournament was over for them.

Then, for about 8 years, Borac didn't participate in European tournaments, and in the 2019/20 season, after taking the prize place in the domestic championship, they got the right to play in the first round of the Europa League, where for the first time in their history they managed to overcome the round, winning Montenegrin Sutjeska in both legs, but losing to the Portuguese Rio Ave in the next round. Already in the next 2020/21 season they won the country's main championship cup and started the fight in the qualifying round of the Champions League, where they conceded 3 goals from the Romanian Cluj in the first leg, but won the second leg 2:1 with the support of their fans.

Physical condition and current lineup

Borac currently leads the Bosia and Herzegovina Premier League standings with 45 points earned in 18 games and has a seven-point advantage over the closest rival. In the current season, they suffered only one defeat, and the goal ratio is 38:11.

There are 11 legionnaires in the team, and the average age of the team is 26.7.

The most valuable player of the Bosnian team is the Serbian central forward Milan Makarić, whose transfer is estimated at 500 thousand euros. And the entire lineup is worth 6.05 million euros. The best scorer of the team at the moment is 25-year-old Jovo Lukić, who has scored 6 goals and 3 assists in 18 games.

Since 2022, the team has been headed by 52-year-old Bosnian specialist Viko Marinović, who once led Sarajevo and Zrinjski to the victory in the domestic championship. He has also been the head coach of the Bosnia and Herzegovina U21 team.

Marinović’s Borac likes playing with 4-2-3-1 tactics.

This will be the first match between Pyunik and Borac. The Yerevan team played only one match against Bosnian teams in 2013, again during the winter training. At that time, Pyunik missed four goals from Olympic Sarajevo.

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