Andrej Kramarić (Croatian pronunciation: [ǎndrej krǎmaritɕ]; born 19 June 1991) is a Croatian professional footballer who plays as a forward or attacking midfielder for German club 1899 Hoffenheim and the Croatia national team.
Kramarić with Croatia in 2018
|Date of birth||19 June 1991|
|Place of birth||Zagreb, Croatia|
|Height||1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|2012–2013||→ Lokomotiva (loan)||44||(20)|
|2015–2016||→ 1899 Hoffenheim (loan)||15||(5)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19 May 2019|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 21:00, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
Kramarić started his football career in his hometown club Dinamo Zagreb and holds the record as the top youth goalscorer in the club's history. Hailed as one of the club's biggest talents, he made his first official appearance for Dinamo at the age of 17. In 2013, after he had a dispute with the Dinamo board of directors, Kramarić was transferred to HNK Rijeka, where he scored 37 times in 42 league games prior to his move to Leicester City for a record £9 million. He played a year-and-a-half there, spending time on loan at 1899 Hoffenheim before moving there permanently.
Kramarić was capped 53 times at various youth levels for Croatia, scoring 22 goals in total. He took part at the 2010 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship, making four appearances for a Croatian team that reached the tournament semi-finals. He made his debut for the senior team in 2014, and later took part at UEFA Euro 2016 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup, helping Croatia to reach the final of the latter tournament.
Kramarić made his debut for the Dinamo senior squad on 24 May 2009 in a league match against NK Zagreb. He made an appearance as a 69th-minute substitute for Josip Tadić. It was also his only match for the Dinamo first-team during the 2008–09 season.
Kramarić was promoted to the first-team squad the following season. He made his first appearance of the season and also debuted in the UEFA Champions League on 15 July in an away match against Pyunik, which finished in a goalless draw. Later that year, Kramarić won his first league title with Dinamo, scoring seven goals in 24 appearances en route. He also made five appearances in the 2009–10 Croatian Cup and scored four goals, and made five appearances in UEFA competitions. The following season turned out to be disappointing for Kramarić, however. With the arrival of new coach Vahid Halilhodžić, Kramarić was mostly used as a late substitute, rarely being used as a match starter. He managed to collect less than 600 minutes of playing time in 17 appearances he made throughout the 2010–11 season, scoring five goals in process. Despite the personal struggle, he won the league and cup double with his team.
In the first half of the 2011–12 season, Kramarić's status in the club did not change, as he collected only three appearances before the winter break, and the speculations about him leaving the club started to rise. In February 2012, it was announced that Kramarić would be loaned to Prva HNL team NK Lokomotiva.
In February 2012, Kramarić was loaned to Lokomotiva until the end of the season. At Lokomotiva, he became one of the most proficient strikers in Southeastern Europe, scoring 20 goals in 44 league appearances in the season-and-a-half he spent with the Lokosi. In his first full season with Lokomotiva, he finished runner up to Leon Benko in the Prva HNL top goalscorer race with 15 goals. He also helped his team reach the Croatian Cup final in which they were defeated by Hajduk Split.
Return to Dinamo ZagrebEdit
There was great excitement when Kramarić returned to Dinamo Zagreb at the start of the 2013–14 season, with many pundits predicting that he would become the ruthless striker Dinamo had been lacking in recent years. He started his returning season coming on as a late substitute in a Croatian Supercup match where Dinamo secured their first trophy of the season by defeating Hajduk Split on penalties. But things for Kramarić did not go very well, as he found himself once again on the bench. He quickly became discouraged and complained to the press about his lack of playing time. This did not bode well with club Director Zoran Mamić, who decided to put the young star on the transfer list.
Rijeka were the quickest to react to the falling out between Kramarić and Dinamo, securing his services on 31 August 2013. Kramarić debuted for the team on 15 September, playing in the starting line-up in a Prva HNL league match against Slaven Belupo, in which he also scored his first goal for the team in the 15th minute, the match's only goal. During a Croatian Cup match, Kramarić scored eight goals against BŠK Zmaj. In November 2013, he scored an astonishing goal against Lyon in the Europa League group stage. He scored his first hat-trick of the season against Istra 1961 in a match that ended 3–3, with Kramarić also missing a penalty. He then netted another goal against Rijeka's arch rivals Hajduk Split at the Stadion Poljud. Kramarić finished his first season with Rijeka by winning the Croatian Cup, and scoring 27 goals in all competitions. In July 2014, just before the start of the new season, Kramarić won the Croatian Supercup when Rijeka defeated his former club and reigning champions Dinamo Zagreb.
Kramarić opened the new season of the Prva HNL by scoring five goals in the opening two matches, including a hat-trick against Hajduk Split. By the end of October 2014, he had already scored more than 20 goals in all competitions, including a hat-trick in a Europa League match against Feyenoord. On 9 November, Kramarić scored five goals against Lokomotiva in a home match that ended 6–0, a feat that was entered into league annals—for 14 years, no player had scored more than four goals in one match, and in history only two other players have managed to score that number.
On 8 January 2015, Premier League club Leicester City announced that they had agreed a deal to sign Kramarić on a three-and-a-half-year contract, confirming an earlier announcement by Rijeka. The transfer, however, was dependent on Kramarić being awarded a work permit on appeal, as he did not meet the requirements for one to be automatically granted. Four days after Leicester's announcement, an FA Panel recommended the approval of work permit, clearing the way for Leicester to apply to the UK Border Agency.
On 16 January, Leicester announced Kramarić had officially joined the club after being granted a UK work permit and that he would wear the number 40. His transfer fee was £9 million, a club record for Leicester. He made his debut the day after signing, replacing striker Jamie Vardy for the last 25 minutes of a 0–1 home defeat against Stoke City. On 10 February, Kramarić scored his first goal for the club in 2–1 away defeat against Arsenal.
Kramarić failed to establish a spot in the starting XI for the early stages of the 2015–16 season. He played only two league games when Leicester became Premier League champions, making him ineligible for a winner's medal (minimum five league games required).
On 20 January 2016, Kramarić was loaned to Bundesliga club 1899 Hoffenheim. He made his debut against Bayern Munich on 31 January, then scored his first goal in a draw with Werder Bremen, where he also was sent off in the 77th minute for accumulating two yellow cards. On 30 April he missed a penalty against FC Ingolstadt 04, however Hoffenheim won 2:1. On 25 May 2016, Kramarić signed for 1899 Hoffenheim on a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee.
In his debut season, he was Hoffenheim's 2016–17 season top-scorer with 18 goals (15 league goals). On 4 April, Kramarić scored a 21st-minute goal to give Hoffenheim the lead against German champions Bayern Munich, a game which Hoffenheim won 1–0. Kramarić was considered as one of Hoffenheim's key players in their 2016–17 campaign in which they finished 4th, alongside Niklas Süle, Sandro Wagner, Ádám Szalai and Sebastian Rudy.
On 29 March 2019, after scoring his 47th goal for Hoffenheim in a 4-1 league victory over Bayer Leverkusen, Kramarić became the club's all-time Bundesliga top goalscorer, surpassing Sejad Salihović who scored 46. On 28 April he missed a penalty against Wolfsburg at result 1:0 for Hoffenheim and Wolfsburg turned the match over 4:1 victory, which made Hoffenheim 4 points behind 4th position, the last one which gives a chance to compete in Champions League. It was his second league penalty miss for Hoffenheim, and third in total.
Kramarić was capped a total of 53 times for various Croatian youth teams and scored 22 goals in return. His first national team appearance came against Bavaria national team on 31 March 2005. He was then playing for the under-14 team and was capped a total of two times. Kramarić then started competing at the under-16 and under-17 levels. He made a total of seven appearances in friendly matches for the under-16 team and scored four goals. For the under-17 team, he was capped 12 times and scored six goals. He also participated in all of under–17 team's qualifiers for the 2008 European U–17 Championship. At the under-18 level, Kramarić was capped nine times and scored three goals.
In 2008, he started playing for the under-19 team, with whom he reached he semi-finals of the 2010 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship. He debuted and scored his first goal at under-21 level on 5 September 2009 in a European Championship qualifier against Norway, aged just 18 years and 81 days.
On 20 August 2014, Kramarić received his first call-up for the senior team under coach Niko Kovač for the friendly match against Cyprus and UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match against Malta. He made his debut for Croatia on 4 September 2014 in a friendly match against Cyprus and provided an assist for Mario Mandžukić in 18th minute, receiving positive reviews from both critics and national team coach for his debut performance. Kramarić scored his first goal for Croatia in his competitive debut in the qualifying match against Malta. His second goal was scored against Azerbaijan.
On 9 October 2017, he scored two goals in a crucial 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Ukraine, securing Croatia's qualification to playoffs. On 4 June 2018, Kramarić was included in Croatia's final World Cup squad. On 7 July, in the 2018 FIFA World Cup quarter-final match against hosts Russia, he scored Croatia's equaliser in the first half of regulation time. A 1–1 draw after 90 minutes saw the match go into extra-time, and following a 2–2 draw after 120 minutes of play, Croatia once again progressed to the next round in the ensuing shoot-out, winning 4–3 on penalties.
Style of playEdit
Kramarić has been described as versatile striker who is mobile enough to run behind defences and rather than waiting for crosses or ball to come to him, tends to run towards the ball, engulfing his opposition with an air of unpredictability about his play. Although naturally a lone striker, his versatility makes him able to play well as a winger or second striker. His former national team coach Niko Kovač compared him with Croatian legendary striker Davor Šuker.
|Dinamo Zagreb||2008–09||Prva HNL||1||0||–||–||–||1||0|
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|Leicester City||2014–15||Premier League||13||2||2||1||–||–||15||3|
|1899 Hoffenheim (loan)||2015–16||Bundesliga||15||5||–||–||–||15||5|
- Includes cup competitions such as the Croatian Football Cup and FA Cup
- Two appearances in UEFA Champions League and three appearances in UEFA Europa League
- All appearances in UEFA Europa League
- Appearance in Croatian Football Super Cup
- All appearances in UEFA Champions League
- Two appearances in UEFA Champions League and four appearances in UEFA Europa League
- As of 11 June 2019
- As of match played 21 March 2019. Croatia score listed first, score column indicates score after each Kramarić goal.
|1||9 September 2014||Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb, Croatia||2||Malta||UEFA Euro 2016 qualification|
|2||13 October 2014||Stadion Gradski vrt, Osijek, Croatia||3||Azerbaijan|
|3||7 June 2015||Stadion Anđelko Herjavec, Varaždin, Croatia||6||Gibraltar||Friendly|
|4||27 May 2016||Stadion Koprivnica, Koprivnica, Croatia||10||Moldova|
|5||15 November 2016||Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland||18||Northern Ireland|
|6||9 October 2017||Olympic Stadium, Kiev, Ukraine||25||Ukraine||2018 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|8||9 November 2017||Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb, Croatia||26||Greece|
|9||8 June 2018||Stadion Gradski vrt, Osijek, Croatia||31||Senegal||Friendly|
|10||7 July 2018||Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi, Russia||36||Russia||2018 FIFA World Cup|
|11||15 November 2018||Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb, Croatia||41||Spain||2018–19 UEFA Nations League A|
|12||18 November 2018||Wembley Stadium, London, England||42||England|
|13||21 March 2019||Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb, Croatia||43||Azerbaijan||UEFA Euro 2020 qualification|
- Prva HNL Player of the Year: 2014
- Football Oscar Team of the Year: 2013, 2014
- Ivica Jobo Kurtini Award: 2014
- Croatian First League Top Scorer: 2014–15
- Hoffenheim Player of the Season: 2016–17
- "2018 FIFA World Cup: List of players" (PDF). FIFA. 21 June 2018. p. 7.
- "Àndrija". Hrvatski jezični portal (in Serbo-Croatian). Retrieved 17 March 2018.
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- "Odlazak iz modre svlačionice! Andrej Kramarić do ljeta na posudbi u Lokomotivi!". sportske.jutarnji.hr. Sportske novosti. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
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- "Rijeka uzela sve što je Hajduk ponudio i uz hat-trick Kramarića razbila Splićane!". index.hr. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
- "Europa ima novu zvijezdu: nezaustavljivi Kramarić u 23 utakmice zabio 22 gola". index.hr. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
- "Kantrida u deliriju: Veličanstvena partija Andreja Kramarića!". gol.hr. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
- "Rijeka 'šesticom' razbila Lokose! Čudesni Andrej Kramarić zabio pet pogodaka!" (in Croatian). Večernji List. 9 November 2014. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
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- Canavan, Steve (17 January 2015). "Leicester 0–1 Stoke". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- Reddy, Luke (11 February 2015). "Arsenal hold on the beat battling. On May 24 2015, the final day of the season, Kramaric came on as a 65th minute sub for Jamie Vardy who had already scored. In the 86th minute he scored the final goal of the game to give the Foxes a 5–1 home victory vs QPR. Leicester". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- Which Leicester players get a Premier League winners' medal?, Sky Sports, 7 May 2016, retrieved 9 May 2016
- "Andrej Kramaric wechselt auf Leihbasis zur TSG" [Andrej Kramaric on loan to TSG] (in German). TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. 20 January 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
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- "Andrej Kramarić creates history as he passes Hoffenheim's goalscoring record". croatiaweek.com. 29 March 2019. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
- "Statistike – Nastupi: Andrej Kramarić". Croatian Football Federation. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
- "Kramarić: Golom se zahvaljujem i izborniku Ladiću". Dinamo Zagreb. 7 September 2009. Archived from the original on 9 September 2009. Retrieved 7 September 2009.
- "Kramarić je igrao kao "Novi Eduardo", a Halilović pokazao da je klasa i egoist". index.hr. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
- "Niko Kovač: Kramarić me podsjetio na Šukera". Večernji list. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
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- Andrej Kramarić at Soccerway
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- "Kramarić nogometaš godine MAXtv Prve lige!". Tportal. 16 December 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
- "NAPADAČ RIJEKE DOBIO I PLES DELFINA ANDREJ KRAMARIĆ NAJBOLJI PO IZBORU KAPETANA" (in Croatian). HNS. 13 December 2012.
- "News: President Decorates Croatian National Football Team Players and Coaching Staff". Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia. 13 November 2018. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
the Order of Prince Branimir with Ribbon was awarded to Mr. Andrej Kramarić...