Zvonimir Boban

Last updated

Zvonimir Boban
Zvonimir Boban.jpg
Boban in 2008
Personal information
Full name Zvonimir Boban
Date of birth (1968-10-08) 8 October 1968 (age 52)
Place of birth Imotski, SR Croatia,
SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Position(s) Attacking midfielder
Youth career
1978–1981 Mračaj Runović
1981–1982 Hajduk Split
1983–1985 Dinamo Zagreb
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
1985–1991 Dinamo Zagreb 109 (45)
1991–2001 Milan 178 (21)
1991–1992Bari (loan) 17 (2)
2001Celta Vigo (loan) 4 (0)
Total308(68)
National team
1987 Yugoslavia U20 6 (3)
1988–1991 Yugoslavia 7 (1)
1992–1999 Croatia 49 (12)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Zvonimir "Zvone" Boban (Croatian pronunciation:  [zʋônimiːr bǒban] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); born 8 October 1968) is a Croatian former footballer who currently works at UEFA as the Chief of Football. Boban played as a midfielder and was usually deployed as an attacking midfielder. He played most of his professional career for Italian club Milan with whom he won four Serie A titles and one UEFA Champions League title. He also captained the Croatia national team which won third place at the 1998 FIFA World Cup.

Contents

Before 1990 and the international recognition of Croatia's national team, Boban had played for the Yugoslavia under-20 team which won the 1987 World Youth Championship. Boban scored three times in this tournament, as well as scoring in the final (drawn 1–1 with West Germany) and then converting the decisive penalty in the shootout. Having made his debut for the senior Yugoslavia team in 1988, Boban switched to playing for Croatia after the national team's inception, debuting against Romania in December 1990. Having appeared seven times for Yugoslavia, scoring once, Boban was capped 49 times for Croatia, scoring 12 goals, between 1992 and 1999.

Since retiring from playing in 2002, Boban gained a history degree from the University of Zagreb. He has also become a football pundit on Croatian and Italian television, working most notably for Sky Italia and RTL Televizija. He has a reputation as an outspoken analyst.

Club career

Dinamo Zagreb

Born in Imotski, Boban started his career with Dinamo Zagreb. He made his debut for the team in the 1985–86 season, aged 16. He would play 109 games for the club over six seasons, scoring 45 goals and becoming club captain aged 19. [1]

Dinamo Zagreb–Red Star Belgrade riot

In a game against Red Star Belgrade on 13 May 1990, Boban attacked a policeman who was assaulting a Dinamo supporter after a riot had broken out in the stadium. This incident made Boban a nationalist icon in Croatia [1] [2] and is cited by some as the expression of Croatian discontent with the Yugoslav regime. [3] [4] It also earned him a suspension from the Yugoslav national team, causing him to miss the 1990 World Cup in Italy. In January 2011, the match (due to the incident) was named by CNN as one of "five football games that changed the world". [5]

Serie A

A.C. Milan signed Boban in 1991 in a deal worth £8 million. [1] Milan immediately loaned him to Bari, as they felt he needed time to settle in Italy without counting as one of the 3 non-Italian players the club was limited to at the time. Bari were relegated in this season, but Boban ably demonstrated his ability in the team and was recalled to Milan. He stayed in the club for nine seasons, and enjoyed great success with them, helping the team to the 1994 Champions League title and contributing to the 1995 campaign in which they ended as runners-up. Playing 251 games for Milan and scoring 30 goals, Boban won four Serie A titles, as well as three Italian Supercups. In the second leg of the 1994 UEFA Super Cup Final against Arsenal in Milan, he scored the opening goal in Milan's 2–0 aggregate victory. [6] In August 2001, with his role at Milan diminished due to the signing of Rui Costa, [1] he was loaned to La Liga side Celta Vigo [7] where he played in only four league matches. Unhappy with his role as a substitute, he retired in October 2001 and finished his last season earlier than he intended. [8] [9] [10]

International career

Yugoslavia

Boban played a big part in Yugoslavia's win in 1987 World Youth Championship. He scored three goals for Yugoslavia in this tournament, and also scored a decisive penalty in the final shootout. [11] At the full international level, he earned seven caps for Yugoslavia between 1988 and 1991, [12] debuting against the Republic of Ireland on 27 April 1988. He played his last game for Yugoslavia on 16 May 1991 against the Faroe Islands, during which he scored his only goal for Yugoslavia. [13]

Croatia

When the nation of Croatia declared its independence of Yugoslavia, Boban left Yugoslavia to play for Croatia. He played his first international match for Croatia against a Romanian side on 22 December 1990. The match was considered unofficial because Croatia at that time was not affiliated to FIFA. [14] [15] This match was only the second fixture Croatia had played as an independent nation since 1956. Boban played his last match for the national team in a friendly against France on 13 November 1999. He blamed back pain for his decision to quit international football, [16] but would go on to play in two more seasons of club football. In his career with the Croatian national team, Boban won 49 international caps and scored 12 goals.

1998 World Cup

Boban was a member of the Croatian team that finished third at the 1998 World Cup, captaining the squad at that tournament, as he had at the 1996 European Football Championship. A mistake he made in the semi-final allowed France to equalize immediately after Croatia had fought hard to earn a one-goal lead. [17] To make matters worse, Boban was injured and wanted to come off at half time [18] but stayed on until the 65th minute, when he was replaced by Silvio Maric. France won the match 2–1 and eventually won the tournament. Croatia went on to defeat the Netherlands, with Boban providing the pass to Davor Šuker to score the winner, [19] allowing Croatia to attain third place and receive the bronze medal.

Style of play

Nicknamed Zorro , Boban was a talented and creative yet tenacious and hard-working player, known for his use of feints to beat opponents. He was gifted with excellent vision, passing range, dribbling skills, technical ability, and an eye for the final ball; he mixed these attributes with a unique tactical versatility and intelligence, which enabled him to be deployed in several midfield and offensive positions throughout his career. Regarded as one of the best Croatian football players of all time. In addition to his preferred playmaking role behind the forwards as an attacking midfielder, he was also capable of playing on the wing, as a central midfielder, or even as a supporting striker, due to his powerful and accurate bending shots from distance; he was also effective from set-pieces. Throughout his career, he also became known for his vocal presence, determination and aggression on the pitch, as well as his strong character. [20] [21] [22]

Retirement

Boban officially retired from football in 2002 after receiving little pitch time at Celta Vigo. [10] On 7 October 2002, Boban organised and played in a farewell testimonial, with Croatia's 1998 World Cup team supported by tennis star Goran Ivanišević matching up against a World XI featuring such stars as Rivaldo, Marco van Basten and Lothar Matthäus. [23]

Since retiring from football, Boban, always known to be a literary man, completed his history degree at the University of Zagreb. He graduated from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb in 2004, with a thesis named "Christianity in the Roman Empire". [24] [25]

He also started a career in sports journalism, being the administration president for the Croatian daily sports newspaper Sportske novosti , a co-commentator during live broadcasts of the Croatian national team's away matches on the country's commercially-funded national TV station RTL Televizija as well as a commentator for SKY Italia and columnist for La Gazzetta dello Sport . Boban also owns a restaurant in Zagreb, called "Boban". [1]

Boban has always maintained that he will never become a coach.

Football has broadened my horizons. For a while, I will take a rest from it but one thing is certain. Never, never shall I become a coach. My nerves are not up to it.

Zvonimir Boban, interview after retirement [23]

FIFA

On 30 May 2016, Boban was appointed FIFA's Deputy Secretary-General, focusing on developing the game and the organization of competitions. He has been immediately among the endorsers of the implementation of technology on the field and played a fundamental role in the development of the video assistant referee. In fact, during the 2018 World Cup played in Russia, the first-ever with the VAR, he lived in Moscow alongside Pierluigi Collina, chairman of FIFA's Referees' Committee, and Massimo Busacca, head of FIFA's Refereeing Department, thus bringing referees' world closer to the Institutions. On 14 June 2019, after three years in office, he resigned. FIFA President Gianni Infantino had words of thanks for the Croatian: "I cannot thank Zvonimir enough for everything he has done for FIFA and for the game of football over the last three years by our side. Nobody embodies football better than he does and he has always worked for the good of the game. Many of the positive changes that we have made over the last three years could not have been achieved without Zvone. He has shown the same commitment, heart, and passion at FIFA that characterized his attitude on the pitch. We will miss him a lot at FIFA." One of Infantino's collaborators at FIFA said it was a massive loss, especially now that his work was beginning to make a difference for the whole organization. [26]

Milan

In June 2019, Boban resigned from his FIFA job to return to his former club A.C. Milan where he was hired as a Chief Football Officer, the closest cooperator of the club's technical director Paolo Maldini. [27] However, he was sacked on 7 March 2020, after he publicly criticized club owner Ivan Gazidis, who negotiated a possible job offer with German manager Ralf Rangnick for the 2020−21 season behind Boban and Maldini's backs. [28]

UEFA

In April 2021, Boban was hired by UEFA as the Chief of Football, first ever person to hold that position. [29] [30] [31]

Reputation

Boban made headlines, as the Dinamo Zagreb captain, by kicking a Yugoslav policeman in the face after the officer had attacked a Dinamo Zagreb supporter during an on-pitch riot. [32] For this act alone, Boban was proclaimed a national hero in Croatia at that time.

Here I was, a public face prepared to risk his life, career, and everything that fame could have brought, all because of one ideal, one cause; the Croatian cause.

Zvonimir Boban, after the incident

As a commentator and pundit, Boban has become known as a frank and outspoken analyst. [33]

Personal life

Boban married Leonarda Lončar, a fashion designer, in 1994. [34] They have five children: adopted children Marija, Gabrijel, Marta, Rafael, and a biological daughter Ruža (Rose). [35] In 2021, the couple separated. [36]

Boban is also a keen tennis player. [18] He is known to be close friends with Goran Ivanišević, [37] with whom he plays at his private indoor clay tennis court. [38]

Career statistics

Club

Sources: [39] [40] [41]
Club performanceLeagueCupContinentalTotal
SeasonClubLeagueAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
YugoslaviaLeague Yugoslav Cup League Cup Europe Intercontinental Cup Total
1985–86 Dinamo Zagreb First League 2000--00--20
1986–87 28800--00--288
1987–88 301311--00--3114
1988–89 0000--00--00
1989–90 26921--20--3010
1990–91 261520--21--3016
ItalyLeague Coppa Italia Supercoppa Italiana Europe Intercontinental Cup Total
1991–92 Bari Serie A 17200--00--172
1992–93 Milan Serie A 130300061--221
1993–94 20420108000314
1994–95 211301011210373
1995–96 133201053--217
1996–97 28130--51--362
1997–98 23261--00--293
1998–99 27240--00--312
1999–2000 176300020--226
2000–01 16231--70--263
SpainLeague Copa del Rey Supercopa de España Europe OtherTotal
2001–02 Celta Vigo La Liga 4000--20--60
TotalYugoslavia1124552--41--12148
Italy19523292304471027233
Spain4000--20--60
Career total31168344235081039881

International

TeamYearAppsGoals
Yugoslavia 198820
198910
199020
199121
Total71
Croatia 199210
199310
199450
199552
199692
199783
1998135
199970
Total4912

International goals

Results list Yugoslavia's and Croatia's goal tallies first.
#DateVenueCapOpponentScoreResultCompetition
Yugoslavia goals
116 May 1991 Red Star Stadium, Belgrade, Yugoslavia
7
Flag of the Faroe Islands.svg  Faroe Islands
5–0
7–0
Euro 1992 qualifying
Croatia goals
125 March 1995 Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb, Croatia
10
Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine
1–0
4–0
Euro 1996 qualifying
23 September 1995
13
Flag of Estonia.svg  Estonia
4–1
7–1
32 June 1996 Lansdowne Road, Dublin, Republic of Ireland
17
Flag of Ireland.svg  Republic of Ireland
2–1
2–2
Friendly
416 June 1996 Hillsborough, Sheffield, England
19
Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark
2–0
3–0
Euro 1996
52 April 1997 Stadion Poljud, Split, Croatia
25
Flag of Slovenia.svg  Slovenia
2–0
3–3
1998 World Cup qualification
6
3–1
76 September 1997Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb, Croatia
27
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992-1998).svg  Bosnia and Herzegovina
3–2
3–2
822 April 1998 Stadion Gradski vrt, Osijek, Croatia
32
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland
1–0
4–1
Friendly
96 June 1998Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb, Croatia
35
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia
4–0
7–0
10
7–0
1114 October 1998
44
Flag of North Macedonia.svg  Macedonia
2–1
3–2
Euro 2000 qualifying
12
3–2

Honours

Club

Milan [20]

International

Yugoslavia

Croatia

Individual

Orders

Related Research Articles

Davor Šuker Croatian footballer

Davor Šuker is a Croatian former professional footballer and the current president of the Croatian Football Federation, a position he has held since July 2012. During his playing career, Šuker featured as a striker. He began his footballing career in his hometown for local first division team NK Osijek as a 16-year-old. During his final season with the club, he became the league's top goal scorer. He made the move to sign for Dinamo Zagreb in 1989. The Croatian War of Independence halted a promising season for the 21-year-old, eventually resulting in Šuker's move to Spanish club Sevilla in 1991.

HNK Hajduk Split Croatian association football club

Hrvatski nogometni klub Hajduk Split, commonly referred to as Hajduk Split or simply Hajduk, is a Croatian professional football club based in Split. Since 1979, the club's home ground has been the 34,198-seat Poljud Stadium. The team's traditional home colours are white shirts with blue shorts and blue socks.

The Croatian First Football League, also known as Prva HNL or 1. HNL or, for sponsorship reasons, the Hrvatski Telekom Prva liga, is the top Croatian professional football league competition, established in 1992. The winners and second placed enter the qualifying stages of the UEFA Champions League. Dinamo Zagreb are the most successful club with 21 titles overall. They are followed by Hajduk Split with six titles. Rijeka and NK Zagreb each have won one title.

Zvonimir Soldo Croatian footballer and manager

Zvonimir Soldo is a Croatian football manager and a former player. During his playing career, he mostly played as defensive midfielder.

Zlatko Kranjčar Croatian association footballer and manager

Zlatko "Cico" Kranjčar was a Croatian professional football manager and player.

Dražan Jerković was a Yugoslav and Croatian professional football manager and player. His professional playing career spanned from 1954 to 1966, during which he played for Dinamo Zagreb and AA La Gantoise.

Football in Croatia Overview of association football in Croatia

Football in Croatia, called nogomet, is the most popular sport in the country and is led by the Croatian Football Federation. It is played in four official components; the domestic league consists of three hierarchical echelons, and a single national team represents the entire state.

Vlatko Marković Croatian footballer and manager

Vladimir "Vlatko" Marković was a Croatian professional football manager and player who served as the president of the Croatian Football Federation from 1998 to 2012.

Sammir Croatian former footballer

Jorge Sammir Cruz Campos, commonly known as Sammir, is a Brazilian-born Croatian former footballer who played as an attacking midfielder. Born in Brazil, Sammir became a naturalized Croatian citizen and has been capped seven times for the Croatia national football team. He was selected for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Milan Badelj is a Croatian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Genoa and the Croatia national team. He is a member of the Croatian squad that finished runners-up in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

On 17 October 1990 Croatia hosted the United States in an unofficial international friendly in Zagreb's Maksimir stadium. Held on the eve of the nation's independence from Yugoslavia, this was Croatia's first international match in the modern era.

Andrej Kramarić Croatian footballer

Andrej Kramarić is a Croatian professional footballer who plays as a forward or attacking midfielder for Bundesliga club 1899 Hoffenheim and the Croatia national team.

Igor Jovićević Croatian football manager

Igor Jovićević is a Croatian professional football manager and former player. He is the current manager of Ukrainian Premier League club SC Dnipro-1.

GNK Dinamo Zagreb Academy, also known as Hitrec-Kacian, are the youth team of Dinamo Zagreb. The academy was founded on 27 December 1967. There are a total of ten age categories within the meow, the oldest being the Junior Team (under-19) and youngest being the Zagići II Team (under-8). They have produced many of the Croatia national team stars including Luka Modrić, Vedran Ćorluka, Eduardo, Robert Prosinečki and Zvonimir Boban.

Mateo Kovačić Croatian association football player

Mateo Kovačić is a Croatian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Chelsea and the Croatia national team. Kovačić is usually deployed as a central midfielder or box to box midfielder, but he is considered to be a versatile midfielder who can play in deeper positions. He also adapted to playing either wide on the left or as an attacking midfielder earlier in his career.

Football in Yugoslavia had different levels of historical development depending on the geographical regions. Following the extreme popularity of the sport in Central Europe, it soon became the most popular sport in the territories of Yugoslavia as well.

GNK Dinamo Zagreb Croatian association football club

Građanski nogometni klub Dinamo Zagreb, commonly referred to as GNK Dinamo Zagreb or simply Dinamo Zagreb, is a Croatian professional football club based in Zagreb. The club is the successor of 1. HŠK Građanski, which had been founded in 1911, disbanded in 1945 and replaced by the newly founded Dinamo Zagreb. They play their home matches at Stadion Maksimir. They are the most successful club in Croatian football, having won twenty-two Prva HNL titles, sixteen Croatian Cups and six Croatian Super Cups. The club has spent its entire existence in top flight, having been members of the Yugoslav First League from 1946 to 1991, and then the Prva HNL since its foundation in 1993.

Marcelo Brozović Croatian footballer

Marcelo Brozović is a Croatian professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for Serie A club Inter Milan and the Croatia national team. He represented his nation at the 2014 and 2018 editions of FIFA World Cup, and also at UEFA Euro 2016 and 2020.

Gabrijel Boban is a Croatian professional footballer who plays for First Football League club Varaždin as a winger.

Croatia–Serbia football rivalry

The Croatia–Serbia football rivalry is a competitive sports rivalry that exists between the national football teams of the two countries and their respective sets of fans.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Schiavone, David. "Legend of Calcio: Zvonimir Boban". Archived from the original on 9 April 2010. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
  2. Podnar, Ozren. "The Day Yugoslav Soccer Died" . Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  3. machiavelli. "Arkan, Zvonimir Boban, football and the bloody end of Yugoslavia". Archived from the original on 16 August 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
  4. J-Rock. "May 13 – The Match That Started a War". Archived from the original on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  5. "Utakmica Dinamo-Crvena zvezda među pet koje su promijenile svijet". Sarajevo-x.com. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  6. Harris, Harry (9 February 1995). "Taking the pizza". Daily Mirror. London. pp. 36–37.
  7. Evans, Nic. "Boban agrees to Celta loan deal". Sky Sports. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  8. "Zvonimir Boban". acmilan-online.com. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  9. "Boban to call it a day". The Sunday Herald. 14 October 2001. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  10. 1 2 "Boban retires". BBC. 16 October 2001. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  11. "FIFA – Zvonimir Boban Stats". FIFA.com. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
  12. "Serbian National Team – Zvonimir Boban Stats" . Retrieved 6 June 2011.
  13. "Serbian National Team Statistics – Yugoslavia vs the Faroe Islands" . Retrieved 8 June 2011.
  14. "Croatia v Romania, 22 December 1990. The match was considered unofficial by FIFA". 11v11.com. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  15. "Sve o sportu". Sve o sportu. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  16. "Boban calls time on Croatia career" . Retrieved 6 June 2011.
  17. Oberjurge, Paul. "Thuram finds perfect time to finally find net" . Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  18. 1 2 Hale, Alex. "Zvonimir Boban". Trivela.co.uk. Archived from the original on 25 March 2012. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  19. "CROATIA – NETHERLANDS" . Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  20. 1 2 3 "A.C. Milan Hall of Fame: Zvonimir Boban". A.C. Milan. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  21. "Zvonimir BOBAN" (in Italian). Magliarossonera.it. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  22. Holiga, Aleksandar (29 April 2014). "Where Does Luka Modric Rank Among Croatia's Greatest Midfielders?". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  23. 1 2 Bach, Nenand. "Croatia's Boban leaves football with farewell match" . Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  24. "50 najbogatijih Hrvata" [50 richest Croats] (in Croatian). Nacional (weekly). 30 March 2004. Archived from the original on 1 July 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  25. Podnar, Ozren. "Zvonimir Boban: Next Croatian FA President, Or Deputy Minister Of Sports?" . Retrieved 6 June 2011.
  26. Homewood, Brian. "Former Croatia captain Boban given high-ranking FIFA role". Reuters UK. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
  27. HINA (14 June 2019). "Nije odolio pozivu: Zvonimir Boban napušta FIFA-u i stiže u Milan za šefa nogometnih operacija". Slobodna Dalmacija (in Croatian). Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  28. "Milan i službeno potvrdio ono o čemu se pričalo: Zvone Boban dobio otkaz!". Gol.hr (in Croatian). 7 March 2020. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  29. Rogulj, Daniela (17 April 2021). "Zvonimir Boban to Become First-Ever UEFA Head of Football". Total Croatia News. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  30. "Zvonimir Boban to be appointed UEFA role | Croatia Week". Croatia Week. 17 April 2021. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  31. Matteoni, Robert (16 April 2021). "Zvonimir Boban ima novi posao: Dobio funkciju koju još nitko nikad nije obnašao u povijesti nogometa!". Sportske novosti (in Croatian). Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  32. Haylett, Trevor (10 October 1995). "Boban the inspiration for Croatia". The Independent. London. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  33. Romao, Kevin. "Whatever happened to – Zvonimir Boban". The Graduate Times. Archived from the original on 4 October 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  34. "Zvonimir & Leonarda Boban". Story.Hr. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  35. "Zvonimir Boban becomes father for a fifth time". Croatian Times. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  36. "Razišli se Zvonimir i Leonarda Boban: 'Nadam se da će ljudi shvatiti delikatnost ove odluke'". Večernji list (in Croatian). 4 May 2021. Retrieved 5 May 2021.
  37. Staunton, Peter. "Top 10 – Roland Garros Special: When Football Meets Tennis" . Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  38. Law, David (1 January 2003). "Ivanisevic promises final display of fireworks". The Independent. London. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  39. "Boban, Zvonimir". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmermann. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  40. "Zvonimir Boban". FootballDatabase.eu. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  41. "Zvonimir Boban Dinamo Zagreb statistics". Povijest.gnkdinamo.hr. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  42. "AC Milan: The 20 Greatest Rossoneri of All-Time". Bleacher Report . Retrieved 24 November 2011.
  43. https://www.fifa.com/about-fifa/news/y=2017/m=7/news=boban-presented-with-fair-play-award-2900731.html
  44. "ODLUKU KOJOM SE ODLIKUJU REDOM DANICE HRVATSKE S LIKOM FRANJE BUČARA" (in Croatian). hrvatska.poslovniforum.hr.
  45. "PREDSJEDNIK TUDJMAN ODLIKOVAO HRVATSKU NOGOMETNU REPREZENTACIJU" (in Croatian). hrt.hr. Archived from the original on 8 November 2016.