Boško Balaban

Boško Balaban (born 15 October 1978) is a Croatian former footballer who played as a striker.

Boško Balaban
Boško Balaban 10052008.jpg
Balaban playing for Dinamo Zagreb in 2008
Personal information
Full name Boško Balaban[1]
Date of birth (1978-10-15) 15 October 1978 (age 41)
Place of birth Rijeka, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position(s) Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1995–2000 Rijeka 97 (21)
2000–2001 Dinamo Zagreb 27 (14)
2001–2003 Aston Villa 8 (0)
2002–2003Dinamo Zagreb (loan) 24 (15)
2003–2007 Club Brugge 83 (40)
2007–2009 Dinamo Zagreb 31 (17)
2009–2012 Panionios 50 (12)
2012 Selangor FA 20 (12)
Total 340 (131)
National team
1994 Croatia U-15 1 (0)
1995 Croatia U-16 1 (0)
1995 Croatia U-17 2 (0)
1996 Croatia U-18 1 (0)
1996–1997 Croatia U-19 4 (0)
1996–1997 Croatia U-20 1 (1)
1997–2000 Croatia U-21 17 (4)
2000–2007 Croatia 35 (10)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

He is a former member of the Croatia national team.

Club careerEdit

Early careerEdit

Born in Rijeka, he started playing for local club HNK Rijeka and appeared in 97 matches between 1995 and 2000, scoring a total of 21 goals. During the 1999–2000 season, he was the top scorer of his team with 15 goals and attracted the attention of another Croatian club, Dinamo Zagreb. Playing for Dinamo, Balaban kept up his goalscoring form and once again became the league's top scorer with 14 goals in 25 games. Two games into the following season, he was signed by Aston Villa for a fee of £5.8 million, earning a £20,000-a-week contract.[2]

Aston VillaEdit

Balaban failed to find any form for Aston Villa, making just nine appearances, seven as a substitute, in two and a half years.[2] He was loaned back to Dinamo Zagreb for the 2002–03 season, scoring 15 times in 24 appearances. In December 2003, Aston Villa released Balaban from his contract and he signed for Club Brugge on a free transfer.[2]

Balaban is regularly cited as one of the worst Premier League signings of all time.[3] In a 2019 interview with FourFourTwo, Balaban disputed this, arguing that Aston Villa never gave him an opportunity to play: "If you’re a club that throws big money at signings and then doesn’t let them actually play, the jokes should really be at your expense."[4]

Club BruggeEdit

In the 2004–05 season, Balaban scored 25 goals in 24 appearances for Club Brugge; in the 2005–06 season, he scored 27 goals in 30 games for Brugge. In August 2007, Balaban went back to Dinamo after Brugge had bought the top scorer François Sterchele. Balaban stated he would miss Brugge very much and he had a wonderful time at the club. He earned the nickname amongst Brugge fans of "Super Bosko", due to him scoring four times in one match and scoring at an average of 0.5 goals per match.

Dinamo ZagrebEdit

During Balaban's time at Dinamo Zagreb, he had an incident with fascist salute, which he made to fans after scoring a goal against Inter Zapresic. He had to pay a fine of 100KN (around €14).[5]

PanioniosEdit

In June 2009, Panionios signed Balaban on a three-year contract. Balaban scored eight goals and he was Panionios' first scorer for the Super League 2009–10.

Selangor FAEdit

On 29 January 2012, Malaysian Super League team Selangor FA signed Balaban for an undisclosed fee. He debuted, and scored the winning goal in the game against league leaders Kelantan FA on 14 February 2012, Selangor winning 2–1.[6][7]

After helping Selangor to qualify for the 2013 AFC Cup, Balaban's contract was not extended after a mutual agreement.[8]

International careerEdit

Balaban won 35 international caps for Croatia between 2000 and 2007, scoring ten goals. His debut came in a friendly match against Slovakia on 16 August 2000, after being a regular member of the Croatian under-21 team for more than a year. His debut proved successful, as he scored Croatia's only goal in a 1-1 draw.

Balaban excelled during Croatia's qualifying campaign for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, appearing in all eight matches and scored five goals, including a hat-trick against Latvia in a 4–1 victory on 24 March 2001. He was also in the Croatian squad at the final 2002 World Cup tournament, but spent all three group matches on the bench. He subsequently did not appear in any matches for Croatia between February 2003 and August 2004, missing the entire Euro 2004 qualifying campaign as well as the final tournament. He made his competitive comeback against Bulgaria on 9 October 2004 in the Croatian team's qualifying campaign for the 2006 FIFA World Cup and subsequently appeared in another four qualifying matches, scoring a brace against Iceland on 3 September 2005. He was also a squad member at the 2006 World Cup finals, but once again spent all three group matches on the bench.

In early September 2006, Croatia manager Slaven Bilić dropped Balaban, along with teammates Ivica Olić and Dario Srna, from the squad for their opening Euro 2008 qualifier against Russia because of a late-night party in a Zagreb disco. However, Balaban was the only one of the three players to return to the squad for the very next qualifier against Andorra one month later, which Croatia won 7-0. Coming on as a substitute an hour into the match, and with Croatia 5–0 up, Balaban subsequently scored the fastest-ever goal by a single player for the Croatian national team, scoring just 20 seconds after coming onto the pitch.

Career statisticsEdit

ClubEdit

Source:[9]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Croatia League Croatian Cup Super Cup Europe Total
HNK Rijeka 1995–96 Prva HNL 3 0 0 0 3 0
1996–97 19 1 1 0 20 1
1997–98 26 1 2 0 28 1
1998–99 23 4 2 0 25 4
1999–00 29 16 3 1 2 0 34 17
Dinamo Zagreb 2000–01 Prva HNL 25 14 3 5 4 0 32 19
2001–02 2 1 0 0 0 0 2 1
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
Aston Villa 2001–02 FA Premier League 8 0 0 0 0 0 8 0
Croatia League Croatian Cup Super Cup Europe Total
Dinamo Zagreb 2002–03 Prva HNL 24 15 2 3 0 0 4 0 30 18
Belgium League Belgian Cup Super Cup Europe Total
Club Brugge 2003–04 Jupiler Pro League 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2004–05 22 9 3 0 1 0 8 4 34 13
2005–06 30 13 1 0 1 1 8 3 40 17
2006–07 29 16 6 4 5 3 40 23
Croatia League Croatian Cup Super Cup Europe Total
Dinamo Zagreb 2007–08 Prva HNL 18 11 4 2 6 1 28 14
2008–09 13 6 3 4 9 2 25 12
Greece League Greek Cup Super Cup Europe Total
Panionios 2009–10 Superleague 24 8 3 1 27 9
2010–11 26 4 1 0 27 4
Malaysia League FA Cup Malaysia Cup Asia Total
Selangor FA 2012 Liga Super 20 12 2 1 8 4 27 9
Country Croatia 182 69 19 15 0 0 25 3 226 87
England 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 0
Belgium 83 40 10 4 2 1 21 10 116 55
Greece 50 12 4 1 0 0 0 0 54 13
Malaysia 20 12 2 1 8 4 0 0 30 17
Career total 343 133 35 21 10 5 46 13 434 172

International appearancesEdit

Source:[10]
Croatia national team
Year Apps Goals
2000 3 1
2001 9 5
2002 2 0
2003 1 0
2004 3 0
2005 6 2
2006 6 2
2007 5 0
Total 35 10

International goalsEdit

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
01. 16 August 2000 Tehelné pole, Bratislava, Slovakia   Slovakia 0 – 1 1–1 Friendly
02. 24 March 2001 Gradski vrt, Osijek, Croatia   Latvia 1 – 0 4–1 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
03. 2 – 0
04. 3 – 0
05. 2 June 2001 Stadion Varteks, Varaždin, Croatia   San Marino 2 – 0 4–0
06. 6 June 2001 Skonto Stadions, Riga, Latvia   Latvia 0 – 1 0–1
07. 3 September 2005 Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavík, Iceland   Iceland 1 – 1 1–3 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
08. 1 – 2
09. 23 May 2006 Ernst Happel Stadion, Vienna, Austria   Austria 1 – 4 1–4 Friendly
10. 7 October 2006 Maksimir Stadium, Zagreb, Croatia   Andorra 6 – 0 7–0 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying

HonoursEdit

Dinamo Zagreb

Club Brugge

Individual

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2002). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2002/2003. Queen Anne Press. p. 27. ISBN 9781852916480.
  2. ^ a b c Fifield, Dominic (4 December 2003). "Balaban's contract terminated by Villa". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  3. ^ Edgar, Bill (18 July 2007). "The 50 worst transfers". The Times. London. Archived from the original on 27 July 2008. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  4. ^ "What's it like to be a big-money flop? Five players who've been there tell FourFourTwo..." FourFourTwo. FourFourTwo. 22 January 2019. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  5. ^ "JOE's Forgotten Footballers: Boško Balaban". Joe. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  6. ^ Zulhilmi Zainal (14 February 2012). "Selangor 2–1 Kelantan: Bosko Balaban proves he is worth the wait". Goal.com. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
  7. ^ K. RAJAN (15 February 2012). "Bosko starts with a bang". The Star. Archived from the original on 18 February 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
  8. ^ "Irfan ikat bekas peledak Croatia" (in Malay). bharian.com.my. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
  9. ^ "Boško Balaban Dinamo statistics". povijest.gnkdinamo.hr. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  10. ^ "BOŠKO BALABAN". hns-cff.hr. Retrieved 8 October 2017.

External linksEdit