Fudbalski klub Borac Banja Luka (Serbian Cyrillic: ????????? ???? ?opa? ???? ????, pronounced [b??rat?s]) is a Bosnian professional association football club, based in the city of Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is the major part of the Borac Banja Luka Sports Society. Borac Banja Luka is one of the most popular football clubs in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The name Borac means "Fighter".
Currently, Borac is a part of the Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina and plays its home matches at the Banja Luka City Stadium, which has a capacity of 10,030 seats.
The football club Borac Banja Luka was founded on 4 July 1926. Originally it was named Radni?ki sportski klub Borac, which means Labour Sports Club Borac, Borac meaning "Fighter", and its roots come from the relation the club had with local labour movements during the first half of the 20th century. The club was founded by a group of football enthusiasts including the writer, activist and People's Hero of Yugoslavia Veselin Masleša, Rudolf "Rudi" Hiter, Savo Novakovi?, Nikola Pucar, Brane Pucar, Mustafa Softi?, Nikola Kukovi?, Žarko Vranješevi?, Mile Stefanovi? and Brane Stefanovi? among others. They financed the club believing that by backing and supporting it, they would directly help promote the labour movements struggle that was underway. The name "Borac" was given by Masleša who said: "If you are going to fight for workers' rights, why don't you give the club name Borac?".
The club's first president was Rudolf Hiter, and Savo Novakovi? was named vice president, with a supervisory board headed by ?oko Jovanovi?. As football attracted more and more attention in the city on the Vrbas river, Banja Luka got the right to organise its own sub-association gathering the clubs of the entire Krajina region, a new, bigger and modern stadium was built. The opening ceremony took place on September 5, 1937, on the ground of the present-day Banja Luka City Stadium.
The club's first success in this early period came in 1928 when RSK Borac won a tournament played in Sarajevo. Before World War II, the major club in Banja Luka was ŠK Krajišnik, however, after 1945, it was disbanded, and Borac replaced Krajišnik as the city’s main club. Borac played conference leagues in order to qualify for the re-established Yugoslav First League were defeated Sloboda Novi Grad 14–3 on aggregate, FK Kozara from Banja Luka with 8–4 on aggregate and Borac Kozarska Dubica 7–0 on aggregate and became Banja Luka district champions. In 1945, RSK Borac has renamed FK Borac Banja Luka and played for two years in the Yugoslav Third League, before it was promoted to the Yugoslav Second League in 1948.
In 1961, Borac was promoted to the Yugoslav First League for the first time but was instantly dropped back down at the end of the season. The club had to wait for almost a decade to the return to the top flight. It was in the 1970–71 season, and the club stayed in the top league for four consecutive seasons. In this period, precisely in 1974, Borac achieved the Yugoslav Cup final. They were defeated by Hajduk Split in Belgrade, and as the runner-up, they have provided placement for the 1975–76 European Cup Winners' Cup season. In the first round of Cup Winners' Cup, Borac played against US Rumelange from Luxembourg. The first leg was played in Banja Luka where Borac recorded a record win in European competitions by a 9–0.
The second leg was won by Borac by 1–5, meaning 14–1 on aggregate, and played in the second round against R.S.C. Anderlecht. The "Red-Blues" won the home match but it was 1–3 on aggregate at the end for the Belgians, who became winners of the European Cup Winners' Cup that season. Borac Banja Luka was the only team who beat R.S.C Anderlecht in one match (at home by 1–0) during the cup season. In the 1974–75 season, Borac played in the second league, but the club achieved a quick promotion and thus ensured the beginning of a new 5-year first league period that lasted until 1980. The following nine seasons, Borac spent in the second League, before a final top league period between 1989 and 1992. Borac's best placement in the first League was in 1992, when it finished the season as 4th. In total, Borac played 487 matches in Yugoslav First League during a 46 years long period.
From 1988 to 1992, Borac enjoyed the best period in its long history. In 1988, Borac achieved its biggest success. Under coach Husnija Fazli? Borac won the Yugoslav Cup, the second major football competition in former Yugoslav football and became the only second league club that ever achieved this. In the final, Borac defeated Yugoslav football giant Red Star by 0–1 at JNA stadium in Belgrade. The historic goal was scored by Senad Lupi?, one of the Borac's legends. At the ceremony, the president of Yugoslav Football Association Antun ?ili? gave the golden plaques to Borac players and the head coach. The next day, tens of thousands of Borac supporters gathered at Krajina square in Banja Luka and gave their team a hero's welcome.
In 1992, Borac won its first international trophy, the Mitropa Cup. The club won the cup in the Italian city Foggia.
At that time there was an ongoing civil war in Yugoslavia, but despite that, they travelled to Italy in the hope to write history. After the elimination of U.S. Foggia in front of 30,000 spectators, Borac met in the final BVSC Budapest at Pino Zaccheria Stadium. Filipovi? scored but gave only a temporary advantage to Borac because the Hungarians were equalized by Tuboly. That was the result of regular time, so the winner was decided by penalties. Borac won 5–3 from the white spot and got the trophy. Sašivarevi?, Stavljanin, Filipovi?, Bilbija, and Simeunovi? scored for Borac, and goalkeeper Simeunovi? saved his goal twice. Borac head coach was Smilevski, who was recently named the member of Borac's "Best Eleven" squad in its history. Borac played a total of twelve games in UEFA competitions and has never lost a European match at its home ground. Also, seven Borac players have participated in the Yugoslav national football team in its history.
The First League of the Republika Srpska was the top flight of the Republika Srpska before 2002. Borac won the Republika Srpska championship three times (2001, 2006 and 2008). Their 2008 title was won dominantly with 14 points ahead of Sloga Doboj. Borac has won five Republika Srpska Cups, in 1995 against Rudar Prijedor, 1996 against Jedinstvo Br?ko, 2009 against Radnik Bijeljina, 2011 again against the club from Bijeljina and in 2012 against Sloboda Mrkonji? Grad. In 2002, the Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina was created as three national competitions were merged in one.
It became the country's most prestigious level of football competition. Also, since 2002, the clubs from the entire country are competing in the Bosnia and Herzegovina Football Cup. In 2010, Borac won the Bosnia and Herzegovina Cup and finished third in the national championship. During the 2010–11 UEFA Europa League season, they played in the second round against FC Lausanne-Sport but were knocked out in front of sold-out Banja Luka City Stadium with 1–2 on aggregate for the Swiss club. In 2011, Borac became the football champion of Bosnia and Herzegovina with only 4 defeats and 15 conceded goals during 30 matches. The club won also the Republika Srpska Cup. In the following 2011–12 UEFA Champions League season, Borac starts the qualifying matches against Maccabi Haifa. The first match was played in Haifa, where Borac got the lead by the goal from Raspudi?, a goal that surprised Maccabi Haifa as they were controlling the game. A minute into the first half's extra time, Amasha equalized for Maccabi Haifa. But then, an inexplicable black hole[clarification needed] occurred at Borac performance and they conceded three goals in only three minutes and Borac lost by 5–1. In the second leg, Borac showed great performance and won 3–2 by two goals from Kruni? and one from Vidakovi?, however, the tournament was over for them. In 2012, Borac finished the national championship third and qualified for the European football competition season. Borac got ?elik Nikši? from Montenegro as their opponent. Borac was knocked out by the away goal rule (3-3a).
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