November 19, 2019
Meet one of the Locals behind Homefans Belgrade Trips: Ivan
At Homefans, we view the world through our founding philosophy: Football, Place, and People. More often than not, it’s in that order. The nature of our trips makes us human-focused. It’s also the nature of who we are and what we do. We got into this business to bring people together to create football memories.
Each season, we bring about 25 people together in any number of our destinations around the world to experience football off the beaten path, explore new places, and build a global community of adventurists and fans.
They join Homefans in these locations, and they bring their full life to these trips: they eat, sleep, and breathe football. Yes, we are obsessed with football. And so is our team. Imagine for a minute the type of person who is behind trips like these. They are often experts in our destinations, support their local team and love football just like you.
In a word, they are family, to the travelers and to us at Homefans HQ. Today, we share with you two of our team leaders, Ivan Boricic, who lead our Eternal Belgrade experiences. Located in Belgrade, Ivan is our friendly face and mind behind all our trips to Serbia. He also guides some of the South American trips, speaks multiple languages and loves Rakija.
Q1: What do you think makes the Eternal Belgrade derby different and unique compared to other derbies? What attracts you to it?
One emblematic city, two vintage giants, east European flavor, old school prison-like stadiums, fanatic ultras, heavily polarised division in the whole country between black&white and red&white – all this gives the Eternal derby that specific and intense taste. On top of that, this rivalry exceeds football, it is present in all 5 sports of the Serbian big 5: football, basketball, water polo, volleyball, handball! This unique tension that you can feel in the air every day, in every sport is something that attracted me when I was a small boy and it keeps running through my veins.
Q2: The culture and hospitality in the city are extraordinary and it keeps getting better. Do you think that’s the general Serbian spirit?
Yes definitely! Serbian people are well known for their hospitality. You can make friends really easily and in no time, and when you have a Serbian friend, you can always count on good company, lots of laughs, and being offered delicious food and heavy alcohol! Thing is until 15-20 years ago the country was under sanctions and the government was not so open to tourism, so these lovely features of the Serbian people became prominent to foreigners only recently.
Q3: Please share your favorite highlight from last year’s Homefans experience in Belgrade. Something crazy? Fun?
It’s always lots of fun! The travelers usually go crazy with the massive pyro, especially when the ultras throw them onto the field and the game doesn’t stop at all, as if nothing happened. I’ve been going to Eternal Derbies since I was a kid, so these scenes are standard for me and I’m used to them.
I would also point out the reaction of the travelers when they saw the number of police forces around the stadium, all heavily equipped. The guys were literally shocked and soon started to film them and take photos, many of them even asked me for the permission xD. But still, the most bizarre thing even for me was, when the undercover intruders on the southern stand of Partizan Ultras were discovered, beaten up, and kicked out to the field completely naked.