Zlatko Kranjčar

Zlatko "Cico" Kranjčar (Croatian pronunciation: [zlâtko tsǐːtso krâɲtʃaːr];[1] 15 November 1956 – 1 March 2021) was a Croatian professional football manager and player.

Zlatko Kranjčar
Zlatko Kranjčar 2019 2.jpg
Kranjčar in 2019
Personal information
Date of birth (1956-11-15)15 November 1956
Place of birth Zagreb, PR Croatia,
FPR Yugoslavia
Date of death 1 March 2021(2021-03-01) (aged 64)
Place of death Zagreb, Croatia
Position(s) Striker
Youth career
1966–1973 Dinamo Zagreb
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1973–1983 Dinamo Zagreb 261 (98)
1983–1990 Rapid Wien 201 (106)
1990–1991 VSE St. Pölten 12 (2)
Total 474 (206)
National team
1972–1975 Yugoslavia U19 19 (0)
1977–1983 Yugoslavia 11 (3)
1990 Croatia 2 (1)
Teams managed
1991–1992 Austria Klagenfurt
1992–1994 Segesta
1994–1996 Croatia Zagreb
1996 FC Linz
1997 Slaven Belupo
1997 Segesta
1997–1998 Samobor
1998 Dinamo Zagreb
1999–2000 El-Masry
2000 Mura
2000–2001 Marsonia
2001–2002 NK Zagreb
2002–2003 Rijeka
2003–2004 NK Zagreb
2004–2006 Croatia
2006–2007 Croatia Sesvete
2007 Al-Shaab Sharjah
2009 DAC Dunajská Streda
2009 Pirouzi
2010–2011 Montenegro
2011–2014 Sepahan
2015–2016 Al-Ahli
2016 Dinamo Zagreb
2017–2018 Sepahan
2018–2019 Iran U23
Honours
Men's football
Representing  Yugoslavia
Gold medal – first place UEFA U-21 Euro 1978
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Kranjčar started his career as a player with Dinamo Zagreb where he won the Yugoslav First League in 1981–82, then Yugoslav Cup twice in 1980 and 1983. He later became the manager of the club which is now part of independent Croatia and went on to win Croatian First League in 1995–96 and 1997–98 and the Croatian Cup twice in 1996 and 1998.

Kranjčar also played for Rapid Wien where he had success winning the Austrian Bundesliga twice in 1986–87 and 1987–88; the Austrian Cup in 1984, 1985 and 1987; and the Austrian Supercup in 1986, 1987 and 1988.

Kranjčar was appointed manager of the Croatia national team and took them to the 2006 World Cup. He also had a short spell with the Montenegro national team. In 2009 he went to Iran and managed Persepolis. While there he had two spells with Sepahan where he went on to win the Iran Pro League in 2011–12 and the Hazfi Cup in 2012–13.

Playing careerEdit

ClubEdit

Kranjčar started to play for Dinamo Zagreb at the age of 10 in 1966 and stayed at the club until 1983. He debuted for the first team on 3 March 1974, aged 17, in a match against Hajduk Split. He played as a striker and quickly became one of the most popular players of the club.[2] He appeared in a total of 556 matches for Dinamo, including friendlies, and scored a total of 256 goals, of which 98 were in the Yugoslav First League. With Dinamo, Kranjčar won the 1981–82 Yugoslav First League, the first one for the club in 24 years, and two Yugoslav Cups in 1980 and 1983.[3] He then transferred to Austrian club Rapid Wien for which he played until 1990.[4] With the club he won the Austrian Championship twice and even made it to the Cup Winners’ Cup final in 1985.[4] The last club in his playing career was VSE St. Pölten for which he played for two months in late 1990.[5]

InternationalEdit

Kranjčar made his debut for Yugoslavia in a January 1977 friendly match away against Colombia, coming on as a 60th-minute substitute for Vladimir Petrović, and earned a total of 11 caps, scoring 3 goals. His final international was a November 1983 friendly against France.[6]

He was also capped twice and scored one goal for the Croatia national team and is notable as the first team captain of the Croatian team in their first international match against the United States on 17 October 1990 in Zagreb.[7] Both games were unofficial however, since Croatia was still part of Yugoslavia at the time.

Managerial careerEdit

Early yearsEdit

Kranjčar started his coaching career in 1991 as an advisor at Austria Klagenfurt. From 1992 until 1994 he coached Croatian club Segesta and in 1994 he transferred to Croatia Zagreb, where he won the Croatian Championship and Cup in his first season.[3] In 1996 he returned to Austria to coach FC Linz.[8] A year later he was back in Croatia where he coached the clubs Slaven Belupo, Segesta (again) and Samobor.[8] In 1998 he came back to Croatia Zagreb and led the club to another win in both the Croatian Championship and Cup as well as to an appearance in the UEFA Champions League.[8] In 1999 he started to coach Egyptian club Al-Masry and in 2000 he went on to coach Slovenian club NK Mura, where he also stayed for one season. In 2002, he became the Croatian championship winner with NK Zagreb.[9]

CroatiaEdit

After Croatia failed to advance through the group stage at the UEFA Euro 2004, Kranjčar was chosen to replace Otto Barić as the national team's coach for the next two years.[10] He went on to lead Croatia in a total of 25 international matches between August 2004 and June 2006. Under his guidance, the team finished top of their group in the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying, staying undefeated by recording seven wins and three draws in their ten qualifying matches. At the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals, however, they failed to reach the knock-out stages after losing once and drawing twice in their three group matches. Due to this, the Croatian Football Federation decided not to renew Kranjčar's expiring contract on 14 July 2006.[7][10]

In June 2007, Kranjčar took over a coaching position with the United Arab Emirates team Al-Shaab,[11] but was sacked in December after a dispute with the board about player selection. On 22 April 2009, he was named as the new head coach of DAC 1904 Dunajská Streda.[12]

PersepolisEdit

On 1 July 2009, he was appointed head coach of Iran Pro League side Persepolis after he signed a two year contract.[13][12] Despite having good players such as Karim Bagheri, Misagh Memarzadeh, Sepehr Heidari, Shpejtim Arifi and Sheys Rezaei, Persepolis was unsuccessful in the first weeks of the season. He was sacked by the club chairman Habib Kashani on 25 September 2009 after his loss against Paykan but he was returned to the club after the support of the technical committee five days later.[14]

His contract was renewed until the end of half season. He was replaced by Ali Daei on 28 December 2009 after his contract expired.[15]

MontenegroEdit

In February 2010 he took over the Montenegro national team from Zoran Filipović, having a very poor start with two defeats in two friendly matches against Macedonia away and Albania at home and third defeat against Norway with which Filipović had a stunning 3–1 home victory. He was dismissed on 8 September 2011, following Montenegro's defeat to Wales in a UEFA Euro 2012 qualifier six days earlier.[16] The Montenegro Football Federation said he was sacked due to alcohol addiction.[17]

SepahanEdit

Kranjčar signed a two-year contract with Iran Pro League three-time champion, Sepahan on 28 October 2011 replacing his compatriot Luka Bonačić.[18] In his first match as Sepahan head coach, Sepahan had a 0–0 draw with Persepolis which Kranjčar coached in 2009.[19]

On 11 May 2012, Sepahan clinched the title for the fourth time (three in a row) and first under Kranjčar with a draw against Mes Sarcheshmeh.[20] They also defeated Esteghlal in the Round of 16 of the ACL and reached the Quarter-finals.

 
Kranjčar in pre-season with Sepahan in Kish Island

Kranjčar's side faced Foolad in the Round of 32 of the Hazfi Cup on 13 December 2012 which defeated them 2–1 at Isfahan. They defeated Mes Rafsanjan, Sanat Naft and Esteghlal in next matches to reach the final. In final, his side won against Persepolis 4–2 on penalties to crown their 4th domestic cup title in last ten years.[21] In his second season as Sepahan head coach, his side finished in third place, three points behind winner, Esteghlal.

 
Kranjčar at a press conference before a Hazfi Cup match in 2013

On 8 September 2014, Kranjčar resigned as Sepahan manager for an unannounced reason.[22] He was replaced by Hossein Faraki.

Al-AhliEdit

On 7 February 2015, Kranjčar was named as the new manager of Doha-based club Al-Ahli, signing a two-year contract.[23] He was sacked in February 2016 after a run of poor results.[24]

Return to SepahanEdit

On 17 March 2017, Kranjčar returned to Iranian club Sepahan signing a two-year contract. However, on 20 January 2018 after a series of bad results, Kranjčar parted ways with them by mutual consent to leave Isfahan.[25]

Iran U23Edit

 
Kranjčar at Iran under-23 training session before a 2018 Asian Games match

On 29 April 2018, Kranjčar became the head coach of the Iran national under-23 team, signing a contract until 2020.[26]

Personal lifeEdit

Kranjčar was married in 1983 and had a son, Niko, who is also a professional footballer.[27] He was fluent in German.

On 1 March 2021, Kranjčar died at the age of 64 after a short but severe illness. His health deteriorated in Zadar, where he ended up in hospital. He was urgently transferred to Zagreb but doctors were unable to save his life.[28][7]

Career statisticsEdit

ClubEdit

Appearances and goals by club, season and competition[29][30]
Club Season League Cup Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Dinamo Zagreb 1973–74 Yugoslav First League 12 2 0 0 12 2
1974–75 30 8 3 0 33 8
1975–76 31 6 5 3 36 9
1976–77 32 9 1 0 10 6 43 15
1977–78 18 9 2 0 20 9
1978–79 26 13 0 0 26 13
1979–80 32 14 6 5 2 0 40 19
1980–81 17 5 2 0 2 0 21 5
1981–82 17 12 3 2 0 0 20 14
1982–83 29 13 4 9 2 0 35 22
1983–84 17 7 2 0 2 2 21 9
Total 261 98 28 19 18 8 0 0 307 125
Rapid Wien 1983–84 Austrian Bundesliga 13 6 6 2 2 1 21 9
1984–85 30 17 7 3 9 1 46 21
1985–86 34 23 5 2 6 1 45 26
1986–87 28 18 7 1 3 2 1[a] 1 39 22
1987–88 31 17 2 0 4 3 1[a] 0 38 20
1988–89 33 17 1 3 2 1 1[a] 0 37 21
1989–90 27 8 4 3 6 2 37 13
1990–91 5 0 1 0 0 0 6 0
Total 201 106 33 14 32 11 3 1 269 132
Pölten 1990–91 Austrian Bundesliga 12 2 12 2
Career total 467 204 62 33 50 19 3 1 582 257
  1. ^ a b c Appearance in Austrian Supercup

InternationalEdit

Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Yugoslavia[31] 1977 2 0
1978 1 0
1979 1 2
1980 1 0
1981 0 0
1982 1 1
1983 5 0
Total 11 3
Croatia[32] 1990 2 1
Total 2 1

International goalsEdit

Scores and results list Yugoslavia's and Croatia's goal tally first.
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition
  Yugoslavia goals
1 14 November 1979 Gradski stadion, Novi Sad, Yugoslavia 4   Cyprus 1–0 5–0 UEFA Euro 1980 qualifying
2 2–0
3 15 December 1982 Gradski stadion, Titograd, Yugoslavia 6   Wales 3–1 4–4 UEFA Euro 1984 qualifying
  Croatia goals
1 22 December 1990 Stadion Kantrida, Rijeka, Yugoslavia 2   Romania 1–0 2–0 Friendly

Managerial statisticsEdit

As of 21 January 2019
Team From To Record
G W D L GF GA +/- Win %
Segesta July 1992 May 1994 64 22 15 27 79 88 −9 034.38
Croatia Zagreb 27 October 1994 5 June 1996 70 48 12 10 170 59 +111 068.57
Samobor May 1997 January 1998 10 9 1 0 26 8 +18 090.00
Croatia Zagreb 16 February 1998 24 October 1998 35 23 7 5 73 31 +42 065.71
El-Masry February 1999 August 2000 30 20 5 5 44 10 +34 066.67
Marsonia November 2000 March 2001 9 3 2 4 17 18 −1 033.33
Zagreb April 2001 May 2002 41 21 9 11 83 49 +34 051.22
Rijeka June 2002 December 2002 22 5 3 14 23 33 −10 022.73
Zagreb June 2003 February 2004 12 3 3 6 11 15 −4 025.00
Croatia July 2004 August 2006 25 11 8 6 29 15 +14 044.00
Persepolis July 2009 December 2009 21 8 9 4 31 24 +7 038.10
Montenegro February 2010 September 2011 12 6 2 4 14 11 +3 050.00
Sepahan October 2011 September 2014 120 62 34 24 181 108 +73 051.67
Al-Ahli February 2015 February 2016 36 17 11 8 55 37 +18 047.22
Dinamo Zagreb July 2016 September 2016 16 11 2 3 28 18 +10 068.75
Sepahan March 2017 January 2018 27 8 9 10 30 29 +1 029.63
Iran U23 April 2018 May 2019 18 9 3 6 30 18 +12 050.00
Total 568 286 135 147 924 571 +353 050.35

Source: hrnogomet.com

HonoursEdit

 
Kranjčar after winning Hazfi Cup in 2013 with Sepahan

PlayerEdit

Dinamo Zagreb[3]

Rapid Wien[33]

Individual

ManagerEdit

Dinamo Zagreb[3]

NK Zagreb[9]

Sepahan[35]

IndividualEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "zlȃto". Hrvatski jezični portal (in Serbo-Croatian). Retrieved 17 March 2018. Zlȁtko
  2. ^ "NAJSPEKTAKULARNIJI IGRAČ ZLATNE DINAMOVE GENERACIJE DEBITIRAO JE ZA MODRE PRED 60 TISUĆA LJUDI! 'Mali, bilo je dobro, takvog već dugo nismo imali'". Sportske novosti (in Croatian). 20 April 2020. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d "PREMINUO ZLATKO CICO KRANJČAR" (in Croatian). GNK Dinamo Zagreb. 1 March 2021. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Farewell to Zlatko Kranjcar, icon of Zagreb and Croatian football: Rapid in mourning on Sunday in the Vienna derby". Ruetir. 1 March 2021. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  5. ^ "Biografija Zlatka Kranjčara". biografija.com (in Croatian). Biografija.com.
  6. ^ "Player Database". EU-football. Retrieved 1 October 2022.
  7. ^ a b c "Zlatko Kranjcar, former Croatia national team coach, dies". The Washington Post. Associated Press. 1 March 2021. Retrieved 1 March 2021.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ a b c "Zlatko Kranjčar profil". sport.de (in German). Retrieved 3 March 2021.
  9. ^ a b "NK Zagreb" (in Croatian). Mapiranje Trešnjevke. 2013–2014. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  10. ^ a b "Kranjcar chases dream". UEFA. 13 April 2006. Retrieved 1 March 2021.[dead link]
  11. ^ Gomes, Alaric (19 September 2007). "Coach Kranjcar gives Al Shaab hope". Golf News. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  12. ^ a b Mahjoob, Kaveh. "Iran: Persepolis Appoint Croatia's 2006 World Cup Coach Zlatko Kranjcar". Goal.com. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  13. ^ (in Persian) 24sata Archived 13 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine Dubravko Miličić: Cico Kranjčar dobio otkaz već nakon prvoga poraza, 26 September 2009
  14. ^ (in Croatian) [1] Kranjcar is sacked temporary, 25 September 2009
  15. ^ "Iran: Ali Daei Confirmed As Persepolis Coach And Targets Asian Success". Goal.com. 29 December 2009. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
  16. ^ Gašparac, Maja (8 September 2011). "Kranjčar više nije izbornik Crne Gore". Sportnet.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 8 September 2011.
  17. ^ "Montenegro FA claims 'alcohol problem' behind Zlatko Kranjcar exit". The Guardian. 18 November 2011. Retrieved 1 March 2021 – via Association Press.
  18. ^ (in Persian) Goal Kranjcar becomes new Sepahan head coach, 28 October 2011
  19. ^ "Sepahan 0 – 0 Persepolis". soccerway.com. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  20. ^ a b "Sepahan clinches third consecutive Iran Professional League title". Payvand. 12 May 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2021 – via Mehr News Agency.
  21. ^ "Hazfi Cup 2013". soccerway.com. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  22. ^ اسپورت, آی. "فوری: کرانچار از سرمربی گری سپاهان استعفا داد". آی اسپورت.
  23. ^ Lesički, Alen (10 February 2015). "CICO OD ARABIJE Kranjčar preuzeo katarski Al Ahli, vodi Mlinarića ili Deverića". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). Retrieved 3 March 2021.
  24. ^ "Zlatko Kranjčar napustio katarski Al Ahli". Večernji list (in Croatian). 4 February 2016. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
  25. ^ "Zlatko Kranjcar parts company with Sepahan". Tehran Times. 20 January 2018.
  26. ^ "Zlatko Kranjcar named Iran U23 football team coach". Tehran Times. 29 April 2018.
  27. ^ Rogulj, Daniela (1 March 2021). "Former Croatia Coach and Legendary Footballer Zlatko Cico Kranjčar Dies After Short Illness". Total Croatia News. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
  28. ^ "Preminuo Zlatko Cico Kranjčar" (in Croatian). Croatian Radiotelevision. 1 March 2021. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  29. ^ "ZLATKO KRANJČAR". povijest.gnkdinamo.hr. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  30. ^ "Saison 1990/91". rapidarchiv.at. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  31. ^ "Kranjčar, Zlatko national team appearances". national-football-teams.com. 12 October 2017. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  32. ^ "Zlatko Kranjčar Croatia national team appearances". http://hns-cff.hr. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  33. ^ "Kranjčar Zlatko". reprezentacija.rs.
  34. ^ a b c d e f g h "Kranjcar Assigned to Lead U-23 Nat'l Football Team". Financial Tribune. 30 April 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
  35. ^ "Zlatko Kranjčar profile". soccerway.com. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
  36. ^ "Umro je Zlatko Cico Kranjčar, legendarni hrvatski nogometaš i trener". Novilist. 1 March 2021. Retrieved 3 March 2021.

External linksEdit

Awards and achievements
Preceded by Iran Pro League Winning Manager
2011–12
Succeeded by