Pedrag Spasic is remembered at Santiago Bernabeu as one of the worst centre-backs that have passed by the club. The Serbian arrived to Real Madrid in 1990 as one of the most promising defenders in the world. In fact, Los Blancos paid Partizan Belgrado 1.2 million euros, a big amount for that time.
The circumstances in which Spasic signed for Madrid were certainly strange. Alfredo di Stefano, the team’s manager back then, saw him in a match between Serbia and Spain in Italy 1990 World Cup. The defender had a good performance stopping Los Merengues star Emilio Butragueno, and Di Stefano was so impressed he requested his signing.
Ramon Mendoza, the president at that time, had his doubts over Spasic for a very curious reason: “Our first intention was to rule his signing out, since we thought he was older than 30 years, because of his baldness. When we found out his real age, we went for him,” he told Spanish newspaper El Pais.
The 25-year-old was nicknamed Agent Spasic at his arrival, as everyone expected him to become the leader of Real’s defence. Far from that, the Serbian became a historic failure that would be remembered for years.
Since his debut against Sevilla everybody started having doubts over his real skills. And the night of January 19th 1991 destroyed the Serbian’s hopes to triumph in La Liga. With a 1-1 in the scoreboard, Spasic broke the deadlock with a superb header… in his own goal. The Camp Nou chanted his name.
He stayed at Pamplona three seasons, where he was a bit more successful. He made 88 appearances scoring three goals. However, the team was relegated and he signed for Second Divison side Atletico Marbella. He only played five games that season before moving back to Serbia, to Radnicki Jugopetrol, where he retired at 31 after having appeared in only eight matches.
Spasic lives now in a small town in his home country, where he still remembers that terrible night at Nou. “It was a nightmare,” he confessed to Spanish daily As in an interview a couple of years ago.