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Mladen Krstajić (Serbian Cyrillic: Младен Крстајић, pronounced [mlǎden krstâjitɕ]; born 4 March 1974) is a Serbian football manager and former footballer who played as a centre back.[1] He was most recently the manager of the Serbia national team.

Mladen Krstajić
Ser-Swi (21).jpg
Krstajić as Serbia manager at the 2018 FIFA World Cup
Personal information
Full name Mladen Krstajić
Date of birth (1974-03-04) 4 March 1974 (age 45)
Place of birth Zenica, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
Playing position Defender
Youth career
1984–1992 Čelik Zenica
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1992–1993 Senta 15 (1)
1993–1996 Kikinda 55 (2)
1996–2000 Partizan 84 (7)
2000–2004 Werder Bremen 112 (11)
2004–2009 Schalke 04 131 (7)
2009–2011 Partizan 43 (3)
Total 440 (31)
National team
1999–2008 Serbia 59 (2)
Teams managed
2017–2019 Serbia
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

He represented Serbia and Montenegro at the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Since January 2015, Krstajić has also been serving the role of president of Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina club FK Radnik Bijeljina.[2]

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Mladen Krstajić was born in Zenica, SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, SFR Yugoslavia to a Bosnian Serb mother from Bijeljina and a Montenegrin father from Žabljak.[3] He grew up in Bosnia and played in the youth squads of NK Čelik Zenica (1984–1992). Due to the Bosnian War, he and his family moved to Serbia.

Club careerEdit

Early careerEdit

After playing in the youth system of NK Čelik, Krstajić moved to Kikinda in April 1992, following the breakout of the Bosnian war. He started playing with FK Senta for six months. He then moved to OFK Kikinda, at that time a first league club. At some point of a successful career as a Serbian football player, there comes the time, to decide, whether one wants to play for FK Partizan or for Red Star Belgrade, and Krstajić decided to take the move to Partizan in 1996. According to Krstajić himself, Red Star was interested in him, but as he comes from a "Partizan" family, he decided to sign a contract with his favourite club. His four and a half years at Partizan was more than successful, winning the national championships three times (1996, 1997, 1999) and also the national cup in 1998.

Werder Bremen and SchalkeEdit

In 2000, the defender with the "winner mentality" (Jupp Heynckes)[citation needed] joined SV Werder Bremen who paid a DM 1.8 million (about €950,000) transfer fee to Partizan.[4] At Werder Bremen he became one of the best defenders in the Bundesliga,[4] winning the German championship and the cup with Werder in 2004. In 2004 he joined FC Schalke 04, where he was named the new captain on 17 March 2009.

PartizanEdit

On 5 June 2009, Krstajić signed a two-year contract with his former club FK Partizan.[5] In January 2010, after the departure of Nenad Đorđević, he was named the new Partizan captain.[6] After two very successful seasons, he played his last professional match on 21 May 2011.[7] Immediately after retiring, he was appointed as the new director of football of the club. After less than 6 months as director of football, he was sacked due to a media war against club president Dragan Đurić. Aleksandar Stanojević resigned as head coach as a result. The day before he was released, Partizan fans, Grobari chanted his name as a sign of support during a basketball match against arch rivals KK Crvena Zvezda.[8]

International careerEdit

Krstajić was a part of the Serbia and Montenegro national team "Famous Four" defence, which conceded just one goal during the qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The other members of the famous four were Ivica Dragutinović, Goran Gavrančić and Nemanja Vidić. He was capped 59 times for Serbia, and was undoubtedly the leading figure of the four due to his experience and age.

Managerial careerEdit

SerbiaEdit

In October 2017, Krstajić succeeded Slavoljub Muslin as head coach of the Serbia national team, initially as a caretaker. In December, it was announced he would take on the role permanently and at least until the end of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.[9][10]

On 13 June 2019, Krstajić was sacked from the position after a dismal 5–0 loss in a UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier against Ukraine.[11][12]

Administrative careerEdit

Before becoming a manager, Krstajić became the new president of Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina club FK Radnik Bijeljina on 23 January 2015.[13]

Since his arrival, Radnik has becme a stable Bosnian Premier League club, finishing almost always in the top five or six. It won its first ever national and major trophy, the Bosnian Cup in the 2015–16 season and thus qualified to its first ever UEFA competition, the 2016–17 UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds.[14][15][16]

In the 2018–19 Bosnian Premier League season, Radnik finished on 5th place, but as 4th placed FK Željezničar Sarajevo didn't get an UEFA license to compete in that season's league, Radnik got qualified by default to the 2019–20 UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds for a second time in its history.[17]

Career statisticsEdit

ClubEdit

Club Season League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Partizan 1995–96 6 1 6 1
1996–97 11 0 11 0
1997–98 21 4 21 4
1998–99 17 0 17 0
1999–00 29 2 2 0 6 2 37 4
Total 84 7 2 0 6 2 92 9
Werder Bremen 2000–01 25 2 2 0 0 0 5 0 32 2
2001–02 26 2 2 0 0 0 2 0 30 2
2002–03 31 4 5 0 1 0 4 1 41 5
2003–04 30 3 5 0 0 0 4 0 39 3
Total 112 11 14 0 1 0 15 1 142 12
Schalke 04 2004–05 28 1 5 1 0 0 12 1 45 3
2005–06 29 2 1 0 2 0 12 0 44 2
2006–07 27 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 29 1
2007–08 23 2 2 0 3 0 6 0 34 2
2008–09 24 1 3 0 4 0 31 1
Total 131 7 13 1 5 0 34 1 183 9
Partizan 2009–10 22 2 1 0 9 2 32 4
2010–11 21 1 4 0 12 0 37 1
Total 43 3 5 0 21 2 69 5
Career total 370 28 34 1 6 0 76 6 486 35

InternationalEdit

National team Year Apps Goals
FR Yugoslavia 1999 2 0
2000 5 0
2001 5 1
2002 11 1
Serbia and Montenegro 2003 5 1
2004 5 0
2005 8 0
2006 5 0
Serbia 2006 5 0
2007 4 0
2008 2 0
Total 59 2

Managerial StatisticsEdit

As of 10 June 2019
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record
G W D L GF GA GD Win %
Serbia 21 October 2017 13 June 2019 19 9 5 5 30 21 +9 047.37
Total 19 9 5 5 30 21 +9 047.37

HonoursEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Player Profile". www.paktribune.com. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  2. ^ "Mladen Krstajić na čelu Radnika iz Bijeljine" (in Bosnian). Mondo.ba. 23 January 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  3. ^ Mondo (21 March 2018). "Krstajić za MONDO: Zvezdaši, neću vas zapostaviti" (in Serbian). Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  4. ^ a b Lampert, Andreas (30 April 2003). "Der Kellner mit der linken Klebe". Der Spiegel (in German). Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Mladen Krstajić ponovo u Partizanu" (in Serbian). b92.net. 5 June 2009. Retrieved 5 June 2009.
  6. ^ "Krstajić kapiten, Ilić zamenik (VIDEO)" (in Serbian). mondo.rs. 22 January 2010. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
  7. ^ "Partizan – Cukaricki 4:0 (0:0)". partizan.rs. 21 May 2011. Archived from the original on 8 September 2012. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
  8. ^ "Krstajic new FK Partizan Sporting Director, Stanojevic extended his contract". partizan.rs. 1 June 2011. Archived from the original on 6 September 2012. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
  9. ^ "Football: Serbia appoint Mladen Krstajic as World Cup coach". The Straits Times. 30 December 2017. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  10. ^ "WM-Experiment Krstajic: Serbiens Wagnis nach der Posse". kicker Online (in German). 29 December 2017. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  11. ^ The Washington Post (1 July 2019). "Ljubisa Tumbakovic named new Serbia coach". Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  12. ^ E.B. (13 June 2019). "Mladen Krstajić smijenjen sa pozicije selektora nogometne reprezentacije Srbije" (in Bosnian). Klix.ba. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  13. ^ M. Šljivak (23 January 2015). "Mladen Krstajić predsjednik Radnika" (in Bosnian). sportsport.ba. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  14. ^ E.B. (18 May 2016). "Historijski dan za Bijeljinu: Fudbaleri Radnika savladali Slobodu 3:0 i osvojili Kup BiH" (in Bosnian). Klix.ba. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  15. ^ O.T. (30 June 2016). "Radnik izvukao remi u gostima protiv Beroea u 1. pretkolu Evropske lige" (in Bosnian). Klix.ba. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  16. ^ O.T. (7 July 2016). "Beroe u finišu meča srušio Radnik i eliminisao ga iz Evropske lige" (in Bosnian). Klix.ba. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  17. ^ "Željezničar ostao bez licence, Radnik iz Bijeljine naredne sezone igra Evropsku ligu" (in Bosnian). Klix.ba. 27 May 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  18. ^ a b c d e "M. Krstajić". Soccerway. Retrieved 22 August 2014.

External linksEdit