Now they're back and after an historic opening group stage home draw against Napoli, they go into next week's clash full of pride and optimism against PSG in Paris.

“It’s something that gives us a nation, us as a club, us as a people, a big boost," Degenek told the BBC World Service. 

"It shows the world that Serbian football is not dead, that Red Star is still alive and kicking about really well.

“I wasn’t even born the last time they played Champions League so it was a dream come true for me and a dream come true for the 52,000 people that were in the stadium.

"Some of them witnessed what happened 26 years ago, most part maybe didn’t, so it’s a dream come true for us."

In 1990/91 Red Star won the European Cup (as the competition was known then) and went on to win the Intercontinental Cup (now Club World Cup) too - but their defence of the Euro title in 1991/92 was the last time they qualified... until this year.

The country was plunged into the Balkan civil war as Yugoslavia broke up – and in the midst of it Degenek was born in modern-day Serbia, only to be a refugee twice.

His family first fled to Croatia before returning to Serbia, only to leave once more in 2000 when they emigrated to a new life in Australia.

"Twice you lose everything," he said. "Twice you start life again. Now I'm back here and it's home...but it's away from home. It's kind of mixed feelings in all sorts of ways.

“I was 18 months old. I don’t like to look at it that much, but it was just a war between two religions, two people, for no reason. Political reasons and I don’t get into that I don’t like that.

"I don't like politics."