Degenek has starred for Red Star, known in Serbian as Crvena Zvezda, in an incredible climax to a historic season for the club, after the Socceroo was almost forced out the door in the previous offseason due to the club's insecure financial base.

Degenek came off the bench early in the encounter, after remaining in Belgrade for the match before he joins up with the Socceroos squad. Red Star won the Serbian Cup 4-3 on penalties over their eternal derby rivals Partizan, after the scores were locked at 0-0.

As is usually the case in the Serbian eternal derby, one of the most violent derbies in world football, there were fights on and off the pitch.

At one stage, Partizan goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic knocked Red Star striker Nikola Krstović to the ground after smashing the ball into his face.

It's only been two days since Degenek's side won the league title over Partizan with an incredible 35 wins, three draws and no losses the entire campaign.

Red Star's form has been so incredible that Degenek has played 46 games this season and only lost two of them.

One, in the Europa League's matchday one against Bundesliga club Hoffenheim and the second in Champions League qualification against Cypriot team Omonia Nikosia (on penalties).

Degenek's defensive line has only conceded 20 goals in 38 league matches, while Red Star have scored a whopping 114 at the other end.

Coached by former Inter Milan great Dejan Stankovic, Degenek's side scored a further 11 goals in four games to make the Cup final.

Degenek even starred in Red Star's Round of 32 progression in the Europa League against AC Milan, where Red Star, after storming through the group stage, drew both legs against the Italian giants but were eventually eliminated on away goals.


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The Socceroo has been monstrous at a personal level as well, playing 3,704 minutes of club football this season for the Serbian giants, which makes the second highest tally of any Australian this season after Stoke City's Harry Souttar, who has played 3,867.

It's the 27-year-old Australian's fifth career trophy, after winning his third Serbian league title, but it's Red Star's first domestic double in more than a decade.

Degenek, who is of Serbian heritage, grew up supporting Red Star and has said previously that it was his boyhood dream to play for and retire at the storied former European champions.

However, he's had to leave the club previously due to Red Star's reliance on Champions League broadcast revenue to pay their players' wages.


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