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Vedad Ibišević (Bosnian pronunciation: [ʋědad ibîːʃeʋitɕ]; born 6 August 1984) is a Bosnian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Bundesliga club Hertha BSC.

Vedad Ibišević
Hertha BSC vs. West Ham United 20190731 (077).jpg
Ibišević with Hertha BSC in 2019
Personal information
Full name Vedad Ibišević[1]
Date of birth (1984-08-06) 6 August 1984 (age 35)
Place of birth Vlasenica, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)[2]
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
Hertha BSC
Number 19
Youth career
2000–2001 FC Baden
2001–2002 Roosevelt High School
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003 Saint Louis Billikens 22 (18)
2003–2004 St. Louis Strikers 10 (9)
2004 Chicago Fire Premier 3 (3)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2006 Paris Saint-Germain 4 (0)
2005–2006Dijon (loan) 33 (10)
2006–2007 Alemannia Aachen 24 (6)
2007–2012 1899 Hoffenheim 123 (48)
2012–2016 VfB Stuttgart 86 (33)
2015–2016Hertha BSC (loan) 26 (10)
2016– Hertha BSC 93 (31)
National team
2004–2006 Bosnia and Herzegovina U21 5 (1)
2007–2018 Bosnia and Herzegovina 83 (28)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 4 October 2019
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 28 May 2018

Ibišević started his professional career at Paris Saint-Germain. He had a two-year loan stint with Dijon, and afterwards went to Germany, where he played for Alemannia Aachen, 1899 Hoffenheim, VfB Stuttgart, before eventually settling in Hertha BSC. In 2008, he was awarded the Idol Nacije award for Bosnian Footballer of the Year.

A former youth international for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ibišević made his senior international debut in 2007. He earned over 80 caps and scored 28 goals until 2018. Ibišević scored a goal that took Bosnia and Herzegovina to 2014 FIFA World Cup, nation's first major tournament, where he also scored their first goal.

Club careerEdit

Early careerEdit

Ibišević was born in Vlasenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, then a republic within SFR Yugoslavia. He and his family left Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2000 to move to Switzerland, where Ibišević was signed by FC Baden in Canton Aargau. His family, however, left Switzerland after only ten months, moving to St. Louis, Missouri, in the United States. In St. Louis, Ibišević flourished as one of the region's most promising football players, and after his senior season in 2002, was named by Soccer America as one of the nation's top 25 recruits. He played his high school football at Roosevelt High School in St. Louis.[3]

Ibišević signed to play college soccer in his adopted hometown at one of the nation's most respected football establishments, Saint Louis University. He quickly established himself in his freshman year, registering 18 goals and four assists in 22 games for the Billikens, while leading a strong SLU team deep into the NCAA Tournament.[4] For his achievements, Ibišević was named the NCAA Freshman of the Year, as well as a first team All-American.[5] During his college years, he also played in the Premier Development League with both the St. Louis Strikers and Chicago Fire Premier.[6]

During training with the team, Ibišević was spotted by Paris Saint-Germain's Bosnian manager Vahid Halilhodžić, who quickly signed him to play for the renowned French team for the coming season. Ibišević, however, initially saw little action, and was loaned to French second division club Dijon.[7]

1899 HoffenheimEdit

 
Vedad Ibišević with 1899 Hoffenheim in 2008

In May 2006, Ibišević signed a three-year deal with Alemannia Aachen, and on 12 July 2007, he moved to another German club, 1899 Hoffenheim.[8] At the time, the club competed in 2. Bundesliga, where they got promoted in the previous season.[9] At the end of Ibišević's first season, the club managed to get promoted once again, this time to Bundesliga for the first time in their history.[10]

Ibišević kicked off the 2008–09 season in good fashion, scoring two goals in 1899 Hoffenheim's first ever appearance in Bundesliga against Energie Cottbus with the game ending in a 3–0 win.[11] He scored another goal on his second game against Borussia Mönchengladbach, giving his team the victory.[12] In his third Bundesliga match for the club, he scored his fourth goal of the season against Bayer Leverkusen, although his side lost 5–2.[13] He scored another two goals in 4–1 win over Borussia Dortmund.[14] He even scored a goal against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in a 1–2 loss.[15] During the first half of 1899 Hoffenheim's debut season in the top flight, Ibišević recorded 18 goals and seven assists in 17 games, making him the league's top scorer before he was injured.[16] He was voted Bundesliga Player of the Month for October 2008.[17]

On 14 January 2009, during the Bundesliga's winter break, Ibišević was injured in a training match against Hamburger SV in Spain.[18] The final examination confirmed an anterior right cruciate ligament rupture, which took him out of action for the rest of the season.[19]

Ibišević returned at the beginning of the 2009–10 season. He was scoreless until 1899 Hoffenheim's seventh Bundesliga match, when he scored a hat-trick against Hertha BSC in a remarkable comeback.[20] This became the fifth-fastest hat-trick in Bundesliga history and the fastest goal scored that season, scored 44 seconds into the match.[21] The only time when he again scored more than a single goal in that season was against Hamburger SV on 25 April 2010.[22] After the season, he signed a contract extension that would have kept him at the club until June 2013.[23]

His third season started with a goal and assist against Werder Bremen on 21 August 2010.[24] Ibišević scored his only brace of the season in a 4–0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.[25]

Ibišević injured his muscle in July 2011 and missed the opening seven games of the season.[26]

VfB StuttgartEdit

On 25 January 2012, Ibišević moved to VfB Stuttgart.[27] He debuted for his new club just four days later against playing 90 minutes,[28] and scored his first goal, the opening one, on 11 February 2012 in a 5–0 home victory against Hertha BSC. He also provided an assist in that match.[29] Ibišević scored two more goals in a 2–1 derby victory over former club 1899 Hoffenheim on 16 March.[30] His good form continued as he netted a brace in his side's emphatic 4–1 victory over Mainz 05, bringing Stuttgart ever closer to securing European competition for the next season.[31]

Ibišević's first goal of the 2012–13 season came on 29 September 2012, scoring within the opening minute as VfB Stuttgart defeated 1. FC Nürnberg 2–0.[32] On 8 December, Ibišević scored his first hat-trick for VfB Stuttgart, netting all three goals as the home side moved into fifth spot in the league with a 3–1 defeat of Schalke 04.[33][34]

On 1 September 2013, Ibišević netted a hat-trick against former club Hoffenheim, powering his side to a 6–2 victory at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.[35] He was given a five-match ban on 9 February for appearing to strike Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker in a home defeat to FC Augsburg. The German Football Association's decision was reached as Ibišević was labelled as a "repeat offender", having been sent off for a similar offence at the start of the previous season. The suspension would cause him to miss a game against his former team, 1899 Hoffenheim, and bottom team Eintracht Braunschweig.[36] Ibišević apologised for his actions.[37]

On 6 August 2014, Ibišević extended his contract with VfB Stuttgart until June 2017.[38] In October 2014, Ibišević broke his foot and subsequently missed nine games, returning in late January 2015.[39]

Hertha BSCEdit

Ibišević was loaned to Hertha BSC on 30 August 2015, making the deal permanent in July 2016.[40][41] Ibišević debuted for his new club against VfB Stuttgart on 12 September 2015.[42] On 22 September, he scored twice in a 2–0 home win over 1. FC Köln, ending a 25-game goal drought.[43] On 3 October, Ibišević scored two goals in three minutes in a 3–0 win over Hamburger SV.[44] On 17 October, Ibišević received a straight red card in the 18th minute against Schalke 04 for a challenge on Max Meyer in an eventual 2–1 loss, which got him suspended for four games.[45] Ibišević scored his third brace of the season against Darmstadt 98 on 12 December to take his tally up to six for the season, with all his goals coming in pairs.[46]

On 18 August 2016, Ibišević was named club's captain by head coach Pál Dárdai, replacing Fabian Lustenberger, who wore the armband for three years.[47] On 27 November he scored his 100th goal in Bundesliga and became only the sixth foreigner in league's history to do so.[48] The following day, he signed a new three-year contract with the club.[49] On 5 March 2017 Ibišević played his 250th game in Bundesliga.[50] On 1 December 2018, in his 300th Bundesliga game, Ibišević scored a goal against Hannover 96.[51] On 16 March 2018, Ibisevic was subbed on for Salomon Kalou, taking the captains armband during the latter stages of a home match against Borussia Dortmund. Having lead the game twice, Hertha conceded in the 92nd Minute making the score 3-2 to Dortmund. During the final minute of the game, Ibisevic was given a straight red card after VAR review, for throwing a ball and hitting the head of Dortmund keeper Roman Bürki. The previous week in a match against Freiburg, Ibisevic scored his first own goal of his career resulting in the 2-1 loss away from home.

International careerEdit

 
Ibišević playing for Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2015

Ibišević was part of Bosnia and Herzegovina under-21 team, playing five games and scoring one goal.[52]

On 24 March 2007, Ibišević debuted as a starter for Bosnia and Herzegovina in a UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying match against Norway.[53] On 13 October 2007, he scored his first international goal against Greece in Athens, in a 3–2 loss.[54]

On 7 September 2012, Ibišević scored his first international hat-trick away to Liechtenstein. He has also set up Edin Džeko for another goal during the match.[55] By scoring the only goal of the match against Lithuania on 15 October 2013, Ibišević ensured Bosnia would make its first ever appearance at a FIFA World Cup.[56]

In June 2014, he was named in Bosnia's 23-man squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[57] He debuted in the opening group game of the competition and scored first ever Bosnian goal at the World Cup finals in a 1–2 loss against Argentina at the Maracanã Stadium.[58]

In a penultimate UEFA Euro 2016 qualifier, due to absence of Edin Džeko, Ibišević started against Wales and scored a crucial goal in the 90th minute to keep Bosnia's qualification hopes alive.[59]

Ibišević retired from international football at the end of Bosnia's unsuccessful 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.[60] He, along with Emir Spahić and Zvjezdan Misimović, was called-up for a friendly game against Montenegro in May 2018, which Bosnian FA used to commemorate them for all of their achievements in the national team and to give the crowd one last chance to see them in the national jersey. They played the opening 20 minutes and the fans gave them a standing ovation as they were exiting the Bilino Polje turf.[61]

Personal lifeEdit

Ibišević is from a Bosniak family. At an early age, his family moved to Switzerland, and ten months later to St. Louis, Missouri in the United States where he grew up.[62] While he has spoken some about his experiences during the Bosnian War that forced his family to leave Bosnia, he is not known to have ever revealed all of the details. According to a profile on Ibišević by American writer Wright Thompson in 2014,

No one in Germany knows the whole story about his escape from the war. During his three years in St. Louis, he never told a single person at school, not a friend, teacher or coach. The most common answers he gives to any question about the war is "It's OK" or "We were lucky."[63]

Even his wife Zerina, who lost her father in the war, believes her husband has not told her the whole story; in the Thompson piece, she said, "I still have a feeling that I know maybe 20 percent. I swear."[63]

At the time of the Thompson story, Ibišević and his wife lived near Stuttgart with their young son Ismail. Thompson noted that when Ibišević looked for a house when he transferred to VfB Stuttgart, he "found himself drawn" to one that reminded him of the family home in Bosnia that they were forced to abandon during the war. He also bought a home for his father Šaban in Tuzla that had previously been owned by his father's employer, which according to Thompson was "a symbol of what the war had taken". The home is more a spiritual balm for Šaban, since he continues to live in St. Louis, where he manages apartment buildings that his son owns. Ibišević also rebuilt his father's boyhood home in their former village of Gerovi, and has built several war memorials in the area.[63]

Ibišević and his wife became parents for the second time in October 2016. Zerina gave birth to a girl which they named Zejna.[64]

Ibišević is a Muslim. During the 2014 World Cup, he, along with international teammates Muhamed Bešić and Edin Višća, visited a mosque in Cuiabá.[65]

Ibišević's cousin, Elvir is also a footballer, and made his senior international debut for Bosnia and Herzegovina team on 28 January 2018.[66]

Career statisticsEdit

ClubEdit

As of match played 4 October 2019.[67]
Club Season League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Paris Saint-Germain 2004–05 Ligue 1 4 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 6 0
Dijon (loan) 2004–05 Ligue 2 12 4 12 4
2005–06 Ligue 2 21 6 0 0 1 0 22 6
Total 33 10 0 0 1 0 34 10
Alemannia Aachen 2006–07 Bundesliga 24 6 3 0 27 6
1899 Hoffenheim 2007–08 2. Bundesliga 31 5 3 1 34 6
2008–09 Bundesliga 17 18 2 1 19 19
2009–10 Bundesliga 34 12 4 1 38 13
2010–11 Bundesliga 31 8 2 2 33 10
2011–12 Bundesliga 10 5 1 1 11 6
Total 123 48 12 6 135 54
VfB Stuttgart 2011–12 Bundesliga 15 8 1 0 16 8
2012–13 Bundesliga 30 15 6 4 11 5 47 24
2013–14 Bundesliga 27 10 2 3 4 2 33 15
2014–15 Bundesliga 14 0 1 0 15 0
Total 86 33 10 7 15 7 111 47
Hertha BSC (loan) 2015–16 Bundesliga 26 10 4 2 30 12
Hertha BSC 2016–17 Bundesliga 32 12 3 0 2 2 37 14
2017–18 Bundesliga 27 6 2 1 4 0 33 7
2018–19 Bundesliga 28 10 3 2 31 12
2019–20 Bundesliga 6 3 1 2 7 5
Total 119 41 12 7 6 2 137 50
Career total 389 138 37 20 3 0 21 9 450 167

InternationalEdit

As of match played 28 May 2018.[68]
National team Year Apps Goals
Bosnia and Herzegovina
2007 7 1
2008 6 2
2009 7 1
2010 8 3
2011 6 1
2012 9 6
2013 9 6
2014 10 4
2015 9 1
2016 6 1
2017 5 2
2018 1 0
Total 83 28

International goalsEdit

Scores and results list Bosnia and Herzegovina's goal tally first.[68]
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 13 October 2007 Olympic Stadium, Athens, Greece   Greece
2–3
2–3
UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
2. 19 November 2008 Ljudski vrt, Maribor, Slovenia   Slovenia
1–0
4–3
Friendly
3.
4–1
4. 10 October 2009 A. Le Coq Arena, Tallinn, Estonia   Estonia
2–0
2–0
2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
5. 3 March 2010 Asim Ferhatović Hase, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina   Ghana
1–1
2–1
Friendly
6. 10 August 2010 Grbavica, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina   Qatar
1–0
1–1
Friendly
7. 8 October 2010 Qemal Stafa Stadium, Tirana, Albania   Albania
1–0
1–1
UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying
8. 26 March 2011 Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina   Romania
1–1
2–1
UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying
9. 28 February 2012 AFG Arena, St. Gallen, Switzerland   Brazil
1–1
1–2
Friendly
10. 15 August 2012 Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli, Wales   Wales
1–0
2–0
Friendly
11. 7 September 2012 Rheinpark Stadion, Vaduz, Liechtenstein   Liechtenstein
3–0
8–1
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
12.
4–0
13.
8–1
14. 16 October 2012 Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina   Lithuania
1–0
3–0
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
15. 6 February 2013 Stožice Stadium, Ljubljana, Slovenia   Slovenia
1–0
3–0
Friendly
16. 22 March 2013 Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina   Greece
2–0
3–1
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
17. 7 June 2013 Skonto Stadium, Riga, Latvia   Latvia
2–0
5–0
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
18. 14 August 2013 Asim Ferhatović Hase, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina   United States
2–0
3–4
Friendly
19. 11 October 2013 Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina   Liechtenstein
3–0
4–1
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
20. 15 October 2013 Darius and Girėnas Stadium, Kaunas, Lithuania   Lithuania
1–0
1–0
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
21. 15 June 2014 Estádio do Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil   Argentina
1–2
1–2
2014 FIFA World Cup
22. 4 September 2014 Tušanj, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina   Liechtenstein
1–0
3–0
Friendly
23.
2–0
24. 9 September 2014 Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina   Cyprus
1–0
1–2
UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
25. 10 October 2015 Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina   Wales
2–0
2–0
UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
26. 6 September 2016 Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina   Estonia
4–0
5–0
2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
27. 25 March 2017 Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina   Gibraltar
1–0
5–0
2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
28.
2–0

HonoursEdit

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit