Slaven Zambata

Slaven Zambata (24 September 1940 – 29 October 2020)[1] was a Croatian professional football player best known for his time at Dinamo Zagreb in the 1960s, for whom he appeared in 171 Yugoslav First League matches. He was also a Yugoslav international, scoring 21 goals in 31 matches for the national side.[2]

Slaven Zambata
Personal information
Date of birth (1940-09-24)24 September 1940
Place of birth Sinj, Banovina of Croatia,
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Date of death 29 October 2020(2020-10-29) (aged 80)
Place of death Zagreb, Croatia
Position(s) Forward
Youth career
Junak Sinj
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1958–1959 Junak Sinj
1959–1969 Dinamo Zagreb 171 (92)
1969–1971 KSV Waregem 33 (16)
1971–1972 Crossing Club 23 (3)
1972–1973 Dinamo Zagreb 3 (0)
1973 WSG Radenthein
Total 230 (111)
National team
1963 Yugoslavia U21 2 (2)
1962–1968 Yugoslavia 31 (21)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only


Zambata started playing football at his hometown club Junak Sinj and was signed by Dinamo Zagreb in 1959, at the age of eighteen. He stayed with the Croatian powerhouse until 1969, and during this time earned a total of 393 appearances and scored 267 goals (93 of which in the Yugoslav First League). He won four Yugoslav Cups with Dinamo (in 1960, 1963, 1965 and 1969) and also captained the team to their triumph in the 1966–67 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in a campaign that saw Zambata scoring six goals. He also finished as Cup runner-up on two occasions (in 1964 and 1966) and was Inter-Cities Fairs Cup runner-up in 1963. After leaving Dinamo in 1969 he played for a few seasons for Belgian clubs KSV Waregem and Crossing Club before returning shortly to Zagreb in 1972. He quit playing football in 1973 after a couple of serious injuries (he had surgery performed on both of his menisci just before his retirement).

As of 2009, he was the 8th most prolific goalscorer in Dinamo's history, and one of two players to score a hat-trick in a Yugoslav Cup final game, against Hajduk Split on 26 May 1963. Although Dinamo never won the Yugoslav championship during his ten years with the club, they did finish as runners-up five times (in 1960, 1963, 1966, 1967 and 1969) in one of the most successful periods in the history of the club.

Considered one of the best Yugoslav forwards of the 1960s, Zambata had two appearances and netted two goals for Yugoslavia U-21 selection, before debuting for Yugoslavia on 16 September 1962 in a friendly against East Germany in Leipzig. He went on to earn 31 caps and scored 21 goals, and during his international career he captained Yugoslavia at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, where they finished sixth out of 16 teams. His last international match was on 27 October 1968 against Spain in Belgrade.



  1. ^ "Slaven Zambata". Olympedia. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  2. ^ "UMRO JE LEGENDARNI KAPETAN DINAMA, JEDAN OD NAJVEĆIH NOGOMETAŠA KOJE JE HRVATSKA IMALA!" (in Croatian). Sportske novosti. 29 October 2020. Retrieved 30 October 2020.

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