Slovenia international midfielder MILENKO ACIMOVIC (left) of FK Austria Vienna races down the field during a Viennse Derby with arch-rival SK Rapid Vienna at the Fritz Horr Stadion in the southern section of the capital city. (APA/nachrichten.at photo)
Aside from the result, one of the piece of good news from the recently-played 294th Viennese Derby between FK AUSTRIA VIENNA and cross-town rival SK Rapid Vienna was the appearance on the Violets’ substitutes bench of Slovenia international midfielder MILENKO ACIMOVIC.
Acimovic, the team captain who led FK Austria Vienna with 10 Bundesliga goals last season, had been out of action with a knee injury since last April; although available against Die Gruen-Weissen, the 33-year-old did not play as The Violets won the derby match, 1-0.
Acimovic’s return, however, would be short-lived.
The Violets’ Slovenia international midfielder MILENKO ACIMOVIC (left) on the ball draws the attention of a pair of FC Wiener Neustadt players, midfielder MARIO REITER and defender DANIEL DUNST (right), during the Austrian Bundesliga match in August of a year ago at the Fritz Horr Stadion. (Robert Zoles/Reuters)
A few days after the derby, Acimovic announced to FK Austria Vienna team officials that, because of recurring pain with the knee, he had decided to retire immediately.
The Slovenia international (74 caps, 13 goals) confided in an article appearing in KRONEN ZEITUNG FUSSBALL that, after warming up following the break in the derby match with Rapid, his knee began to swell when he sat back down on the bench for the second half; it was there and then that decision to retire was made.
“I am not a profiteer,” stated the veteran midfielder, who appeared in all three of Slovenia’s matches and scored against Paraguay at the 2002 FIFA World Cup final tournament, explaining the decision to request for termination of his contract. “In 2007, I came to Austria with a serious injury – the club always believed in me and was fair to me. Now I could give back and dissolve the contract.”
FK Austria Vienna’s Slovenia international midfielder MILENKO ACIMOVIC (left) attempts to fend off the challenge of Uganda international defender IBRAHIM SEKAGYA of Red Bull Salzburg during the Bundesliga match of two Augusts ago at the Fritz Horr Stadion. (Robert Zoles/Reuters)
“I cannot help the team,” concluded The Violets’ captain, who added that he did not want to “leave the fans hoping for more.”
1995-1996 —— 26 ga —- 8 go — Zeleznicar Ljubljana – (Slovenia)
1996-1998 —— 34 ga —- 7 go — Olimpija Ljubljana – (Slovenia)
1998-2002 — 102 ga — 22 go — Red Star Belgrade – (Serbia)
2002-03 — 17 ga —- 0 go — Tottenham Hotspur – (England)
2003-04 —- 0 ga —- 0 go — Tottenham Hotspur – (England)
2003-04 — 16 ga —- 6 go — OSC Lille – (France)
2004-05 — 19 ga —- 4 go — OSC Lille – (France)
2005-06 — 12 ga —- 2 go — OSC Lille – (France)
2006-07 —————————- Al Ittihad – (Saudi Arabia)
2006-07 — 11 ga —- 3 go — FK Austria Vienna – (Austria)
2007-08 — 30 ga —- 3 go — FK Austria Vienna – (Austria)
2008-09 — 34 ga – 14 go — FK Austria Vienna – (Austria)
2009-10 — 26 ga – 10 go — FK Austria Vienna – (Austria)
Slovenia international midfielder and FK Austria Vienna captain MILENKO ACIMOVIC (30) has his spot kick stopped by Brazilian goalkeeper RAFAEL BRACALI of Portuguese side CD Nacional Madeira in the UEFA Europa League Group L match last October at the Fritz Horr Stadion. (AP photo)