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Olimpija Ljubljana

Ground: Stadion Stožice

Visits: 1

Date: 26th July 2018

Match: Olimpija Ljubljana - Crusaders  5-1  (UEFA Europa League)

Attendance: 2 980

In the 1980s I was on holiday in Yugoslavia with my parents eight times. During those trips we always stayed a few nights in Bled and Bovec and on the way to the Adriatic Sea we always went pass Ljubljana. I was back in Slovenia in 2000 but when it comes to football Slovenia has not yet been visited by me. As I went to Russia for the World Cup earlier in the summer that was my 40th country for football. Wanting to visit one more new country this summer I looked at the Balkans. In Slovenia I had the chance to attend games Thursday to Sunday and that made up my mind. I decided to attend three games and first up was Olimpija Ljubljana vs Crusaders in the Europa League on Thursday evening. From Copenhagen there is a daily flight to Ljubljana and at 09.35 my Adria Airways flight left Kastrup. We landed 11.20 and with Ljubljana Brnik being a small airport I actually made the 11.35 bus to central Ljubljana! My hotel was only 10 minutes by foot from the bus/train station and after a short rest I had a late lunch before heading towards the city centre.

Ljubljana has a population of around 280 000 and when Slovenia became independent from Yugoslavia in 1991 the city became the capital city of the new country. The main attraction is probably the castle, situated near the Preseran Square. It was around 25 degrees in Ljubljana this Thursday afternoon. Warm but still much cooler than the Africa temperatures back home. I used the funicular to get to the castle and once I had climbed the viewing tower I had a nice view of the Slovenian capital. I spent an hour at the castle before walking down the steep hill. Once back at my hotel I relaxed for a few hours.

From my hotel I only had to walk 200 metres to reach the bus stop for bus number 20. This was has Stožice as its final stop and Stožice is of course the name of Olimpija Ljubljana´s ground. Stadion Stožice has a capacity of around 16 000 and was opened in 2010. It also serves as the home the Slovenian national team. I was outside the ground 90 minutes before kick-off but it was I was more or less alone. The clouds were looking black and I could hear thunder. In the end no thunder storms arrived at Stadion Stožice though but to avoid getting soaked I entered the ground quite early. Olimpija Ljubljana and Crusaders both played in the 1st qualifying round of the Champions League and were knocked out. This season those clubs get a new chance in the Europa League though. This new rule also means there are a lot of ifs and buts and it is not easy to plan trips. Crusaders brought 30 fans to Slovenia tonight. Olimpija were backed by 150 or so active fans behind the goal and the official attendance was given as 2 980 (but I have my doubts about that figure). In the end Olimpija Ljubljana won 5-1 and should have no problems to qualify for the next round. I was back at my hotel around 22.30 and after a long day I quickly fell asleep.

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View of Ljubljana

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View of Ljubljana

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View of the castle (from Presernov Trg)

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Ljubljanica

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Castle

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Two of the Three bridges with the Franzikaner church in the background

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Information, Stadion Stožice

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​Stadion Stožice

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Rear of the East Stand

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Turnstiles

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Fans entering

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South Stand

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West Stand

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North Stand

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Teams entering

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Kick-off

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View of play

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Crusaders fans

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West Stand

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Olimpija fans

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Olimpija fans

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East Stand

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East Stand

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Fans standing up

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Scarf is out

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5-1

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​​Stadion Stožice at night

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Pano

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Pano