9 years have passed, but his goal is still present in the collective unconscious of Madridismo, and Pedja Mijatovic (Titogrado, Montenegro, 1969), the hero of the seventh Champions League, thinks that although the sextuple would be tough to achieve, it would be wonderful for Real Madrid .
An idol at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, he also played a final of the European Super Cup, a tournament he values.
Given the possibility of a full Madrid side, a challenge that starts on Tuesday night against Manchester United, makes him excited, but cautious.
Question: We start the official football season with a big duel; Real Madrid-Manchester United in Skopje. Is the match too soon or can you talk about favourites?
Answer: In those types of games, practically pre-season, we can’t talk about favourites. We recently saw a fun friendly between these two teams in the United States, but in pre-season I don’t think it serves as a reference point for what’s to come. Now we ready for the first great title of the season, the first great final. The two teams will want to start well, winning, because it is a very important title. Both will be very focused and looking forward to a serious game.
Q: How do you see Real Madrid? The pre-season results have not been as good as expected.
A: Yes, although Madrid may have the small advantage of being champion of Spain and the Champions League, this is a new season. Let’s see what happens, but we expect a very interesting game between two great teams.
Q: You played the European Super Cup but could not win it.
A: Yes, we played in 98 in Monaco against Chelsea and we could not win. We lost with a goal at the end from Poyet. But things have changed a lot since then, Madrid have won three European Super Cups and consider it an important title. More so in a final against Manchester United.
Q: Cristiano Ronaldo is in the squad after just three training sessions. Do you think Zidane will dare to start with the Portuguese?
A: Cristiano has just started the pre-season, but the final decision is from Zidane. It is clear that his presence would give more appeal to the final. Personally I think he will play, because he won’t want to miss a game like that for anything in the world.
Q: How do you value Zidane’s work in the first two years at the helm of the team?
A: Madrid won the league and the Champions League last season, that says it all. First of all he has a good relationship with the players, he knows what each one can give. He controls everything related to the team. The players respect and follow him, and that is the important thing. And also that, as a former player himself, he respects the players. His management is a huge success and he’s doing a great job.
Q: Madrid are aiming for six titles. A challenge?
A: Real Madrid always hopes to win everything. But we, who have played this sport very closely, know that it is very difficult. You have to go step by step, without promising many things. Last year was very good. The sextet would be a wonderful thing, but neither should we be so demanding. We must have priorities, which are always the league and the Champions League. And then if Super Cups, or Club World Cups come, great … But do not put too much pressure on the team, because others are sure to do the same. You have to be competitive, go game by game and if the opportunity to win everything presents itself, they will take advantage of it.
Q: Madrid does not usually lose in the finals …
A: It is clear that Madrid play very well in the finals and that is an advantage and a small factor in their favour. But United are also a very important team in the world and Mourinho knows Madrid very well, so he will look for solutions to stop them. It will be a great game for Macedonia and Skopje.
Q: 19 years have passed since the seventh. Can you go for a walk in Madrid?
A: The truth is that in recent years everything is a little quieter, but people still remember that goal and that title, and they value players who have made history. People recognise you, respect you and I feel very proud. It was my dream as a child and I was able to fulfill it.