Zvjezdan Misimović (Serbian Cyrillic: Звјездан Мисимовић, pronounced [zʋjězdan misǐːmoʋitɕ]; born 5 June 1982) is a former footballer who most notably played for Bayern Munich, VfL Wolfsburg, Galatasaray, Dynamo Moscow and Beijing Renhe as an attacking midfielder, during his active playing career. Misimović is the second most capped player in the history of the Bosnia and Herzegovina national team, capped 84 times. His 25 international goals also makes him his country's third top-goalscorer. He represented Bosnia and Herzegovina at 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Misimović with Dynamo Moscow in 2011
|Full name||Zvjezdan Misimović|
|Date of birth||5 June 1982|
|Place of birth||Munich, West Germany|
|Height||1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking midfielder|
|SV Nord Lerchenau|
|–2000||SV Gartenstadt Trudering|
|2000–2004||Bayern Munich II||102||(44)|
|2007–2008||1. FC Nürnberg||28||(10)|
|2000–2001||FR Yugoslavia U18|
|2002||FR Yugoslavia U21||1||(0)|
|2004–2018||Bosnia and Herzegovina||84||(25)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Prior to joining Dynamo Moscow, Misimović made a name for himself while playing for VfL Wolfsburg, with whom he won the Bundesliga in the 2008–09 season. In the same season, he accomplished 20 assists, which was the most in that season.
Known in Germany as Zwetschge (a German plum) due to similar pronunciation to his first name, Misimović previously played for Bayern Munich before joining VfL Bochum at the start of the 2004–05 season and then moving on to 1. FC Nürnberg in July 2007.
Misimović won the Bundesliga with VfL Wolfsburg in the 2008–09 season, as well as achieving 20 assists for the club, which was the record number of assists in one Bundesliga season, until Kevin De Bruyne surpassed it with one assist more, also while playing for Wolfsburg as well, in the 2014–15 season.
On 31 August 2010, Galatasaray announced that Misimović had joined the team on a four-year contract for a sum of €7 million. On 18 November 2010, Misimović was consigned to the reserve squad, as the head coach Gheorghe Hagi "didn't need him in the squad".
On 3 March 2011, Misimović signed for Russian club Dynamo Moscow in a deal thought to be worth €4.5 million. The deal was until 2014. Before leaving Galatasaray, Misimović called coach Gheorghe Hagi "a liar", but added that he wished his former club all the best. On 19 March 2011, Misimović scored his first goal from a penalty against Rostov.
Misimović went on to score a handful of goals more since then, none more important than a goal for Dynamo in the quarter-finals and a goal in the semi-finals of Russian Cup in 2011–12 season. Both goals came in the same manner – from penalty kicks in the 73rd minute.
In March 2015, Misimović announced that he would retire from professional football, aged 32. However, he made his return to Guizhou Renhe in June 2015. He announced his retirement again on 8 January 2017.
Misimović played for the FR Yugoslavia under-18 national squad, appearing for them at the 2001 UEFA European Under-18 Football Championship held in Finland. In that team, he played alongside Nemanja Vidić and Danko Lazović.
Misimović later progressed to the FR Yugoslavia under-21 national team, but appeared in only one match as the 85th-minute substitute against France in November 2002. Head coach of the under-21s at the time Vladimir Petrović Pižon soon dropped Misimović, telling him he was overweight and slow.
By late 2003 and early 2004, 21-year-old Misimović was still not attached to any senior national team. He was approached in the club's gym by then teammate at Bayern Munich, Hasan Salihamidžić, about a possibility of playing for Bosnia and Herzegovina national team. Misimović immediately accepted and debuted for Bosnia under head coach Blaž Slišković on 18 February 2004 in a friendly match against Macedonia.
2006 World Cup qualificationEdit
Misimović was used sparingly by Slišković during 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign. He played the full 90 minutes in the opening home draws against Spain and Serbia and Montenegro, followed by a substitute appearance in the away loss to Belgium. Misimović then enjoyed a spell as a consistent starter before being substituted 10–20 minutes into the second half, in the 1–1 home draw with Lithuania (scored the opening goal), the away win at San Marino, and finally the 1–1 draw against Spain in Valencia (again scored the opening goal before Spain tied deep into injury-time in the 96th minute). For the deciding four qualifiers (home win against Belgium, the away win at Lithuania, home victory over San Marino, and the away defeat to Serbia and Montenegro), Slišković dropped Misimović to the bench, bringing him into action only in the final 15–20 minutes of each tie.
Euro 2008 qualifyingEdit
UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying began in fall 2006 with Slišković still team manager and 24-year-old Misimović an established starter and goalscorer. The opening match dismantling of Malta was followed by the shocking 1–3 defeat to Hungary at home that prompted Slišković's resignation, which he retracted a couple of weeks later and stayed on. Still more disappointment was to follow with the 2–2 draw at lowly Moldova, as Misimović sparked a comeback that ultimately fell short by scoring a goal at 2–0 down. Four days later, Bosnia were heavily defeated 0–4 by Greece at home, forcing Slišković to resign for the second time in three months – this time the resignation was final.
As the winter break in qualifying commenced, the Bosnian team was in crisis mode with relations inside the organisation strained to the maximum. This led 13 Bosnian national team players (Misimović, Džemal Berberović, Vladan Grujić, Mladen Bartolović, Mirko Hrgović, Zlatan Bajramović, Saša Papac, Emir Spahić, Ninoslav Milenković, Ivica Grlić, Mirsad Bešlija, Kenan Hasagić and Almir Tolja) to release a statement published in Dnevni Avaz daily, announcing they would boycott all national team matches until four FA officials – Milan Jelić, Iljo Dominković, Sulejman Čolaković and Ahmet Pašalić – resigned. Some two months later in late December 2006, new head coach Fuad Muzurović was announced. In relation to the boycott statement, Misimović soon did a complete turnaround, denying that he ever signed any such paper and stating that his relations with the FA had always been amicable.
Under new head coach Muzurović, Misimović truly came into his own, earning the national team captaincy.
Six months under Meho KodroEdit
After Meho Kodro replaced Muzurović as head coach in early January 2008, one of the changes he introduced was stripping Misimović of the captain's armband and awarding it to 27-year-old defender Emir Spahić, who had just returned to the national team after boycotting it since fall 2006. On 8 April 2008, Misimović (then still only 25 years old) announced his retirement from the national team, citing stating health concerns as he no longer felt able to keep up the physical rigors of playing for both club and country. However, many speculated that health had little to do with Misimović's sudden announcement. These suspicions were seemingly confirmed two days later by Bosnian national team general manager Elvir Bolić who hinted that Misimović might have softened his original stance and revealed that head coach Meho Kodro would travel to Germany to visit the player personally and discuss the "real reasons" for his decision. On 12 April 2008, after speaking to Kodro, Misimović changed his mind and the Football Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina (NSBiH) announced that he had decided to continue his international career.
2010 World Cup qualificationEdit
Under the next head coach Ćiro Blažević during 2010 World Cup qualification process, Misimović asserted himself as the team's undisputed leader on the pitch, displaying great playmaking abilities and leadership qualities. His fine performances began with a hat-trick in a 7–0 victory over Estonia on 10 September 2008. Bosnia finished the group in second place thus qualifying for the playoffs against Portugal in November 2009.
However, the qualifying campaign ended on a sour note both for Misimović personally and for the team. Misimović had a poor outing in the first leg away in Lisbon and was widely criticized for his sub-par performance even by head coach Blažević himself, who publicly blasted him for lack of contribution. Two days later (and two days before 18 November return leg), Misimović was ruled out by medical staff due to an apparent knee injury he picked up during the first leg.
Controversy arose three days later on 21 November when he played the full 90 minutes for VfL Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga leading to veiled accusations in the Bosnian media that he faked the injury to get back at Blažević. Head coach Blažević went further, directly accusing Misimović of sabotaging him. Blažević even went as far as alluding to Misimović's Serb ethnicity; suggesting a conspiracy "on instructions from Republika Srpska Prime Minister Milorad Dodik and the Serbian lobby because Republika Srpska would lose everything if Bosnia qualified for the World Cup". When informed of Blažević's comments, a stunned Misimović responded that he would not play for Bosnia and Herzegovina as long as Blažević remained as the head coach, and further accused Blažević of scapegoating him in order to deflect attention from the fact that the team was thoroughly outplayed by Portugal in both matches. Even though he stated his intention to leave even before Misimović's latest words, Blažević's response was a claim that he will leave the post because "Misimović is more important to this team than I am". Blažević then suddenly announced that he and Misimović had supposedly resolved their differences after Blažević apparently called Misimović to congratulate the birth of his son, but this reconciliation was denied by Misimović two weeks later.
Blažević even announced his intent to travel to Wolfsburg for the Champions League group stage match between VfL Wolfsburg and Manchester United in order to visit Misimović personally, but ended up not doing so. Within days, Blažević resigned as the head coach of Bosnia, revealing that he took an offer from China, and in his parting shot once again he singled out Misimović as the reason why Bosnia did not qualify for the 2010 World Cup.
Euro 2012 qualifyingEdit
Misimović played his 51st match for the national team against Luxembourg in September 2010, thereby equaling Elvir Bolić's record for most caps for Bosnia. Misimović surpassed Bolić in a match against France in Sarajevo on 7 September, making him the most capped player in the history of the national team with 52 matches played. Bosnia failed to qualify for Euro 2012 after losing a two-legged playoffs against Portugal. Misimović scored a goal from a penalty kick in Lisbon.
2014 World CupEdit
Misimović made two assists for Edin Džeko in a victory over Greece in Zenica. Local media compared this situation to the way they played together in VfL Wolfsburg. His penalty kick against Greece was saved by goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis, but teammate Vedad Ibišević managed to convert the rebound for a score of 3–0 (final score was 3–1 in stoppage time). Bosnia went on to qualify for the first finals tournament as an independent nation after topping their group on goal difference, and head-to-head.
Misimović and Bosnia faced Argentina in the first match of the world cup. Almost three minutes into the game, a free kick from Lionel Messi flicked on by Marcos Rojo, was deflected into the net for an own goal by Sead Kolašinac. It was the fastest own goal in the history of the World Cup. In the next half, Messi scored from the edge of the penalty area, tucking the ball into the bottom-right corner. Misimović was substituted 11 minutes later. With five minutes of the match remaining, Ibišević scored after a pass from Senad Lulić, which was Bosnia's first ever World Cup-goal. The match ended 2–1.
In the next deciding match, against Nigeria, Misimović played the on the pitch for the entire match. A goal from Džeko was controversially deemed offside, as replays seemed to show that his goal should have stood. Instead, Nigeria took the lead in the 29th minute with a goal from Peter Odemwingie. Bosnia pushed on for the equalizer, and a shot from Džeko was deflected onto the post by Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama in stoppage time. Nigeria won the match, which effectively eliminated Bosnia from the tournament with a match to spare. Misimović was dropped for the last match against Iran, and Bosnia went on to earn their first ever win in a World Cup tournament.
In August 2014, following his first and only World Cup, Misimović announced his permanent retirement from the national team.
Misimović is an ethnic Serb, and an Orthodox Christian. His nicknames are Miske, and Zwetschge ("plum"). His favourite team is Red Star Belgrade, a team which he has said he would love to retire in.
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|2000–01||Bayern Munich II||Regionalliga Süd||12||1||—||—||—||12||1|
|2003–04||Bayern Munich II||Regionalliga Süd||31||21||—||—||—||31||21|
|2007–08||1. FC Nürnberg||28||10||2||3||1||0||6||1||37||14|
|Turkey||League||Turkish Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|Russia||League||Russian Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|2011–12||Dynamo Moscow||Russian Premier League||35||8||4||2||—||0||0||39||10|
|China||League||CFA Cup||League Cup||Asia||Total|
|2016||China League One||24||4||0||0||—||—||24||4|
Misimović has scored 25 goals as of last international match day. On the Bosnian and Herzegovinian football association page it says 26 goals which is incorrect. For the game Bosnia vs Turkey during qualifiers for UEFA EURO 2008, the website shows (see ref link at date 2 June 2007) that Misimović scored a goal, but in fact it was his teammate Muslimović who scored, as Misimović was not a scorer in that game. He has also played one extra game due to a duplication error on the website of the same match. In addition, Misimović did not score a goal against Lithuania on 30 March 2005, rather it was his teammate Elvir Bolić with shirt number 7. This note should remain active until Nogometni/Fudbalski Savez Bosne i Hercegovine (Football Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina) correct their mistake.
- Scores and results table. Bosnia and Herzegovina's goal tally first:
|1.||31 March 2004||Stade Josy Barthel, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg||Luxembourg||Friendly|
|2.||28 April 2004||Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina||Finland||Friendly|
|3.||8 June 2005||Estadio Mestalla, Valencia, Spain||Spain||2006 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|4.||28 February 2006||Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany||Japan||Friendly|
|5.||31 May 2006||Azadi Stadium‚ Tehran, Iran||Iran||Friendly|
|6.||2 September 2006||Ta' Qali Stadium, Ta' Qali, Malta||Malta||UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying|
|7.||6 September 2006||Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina||Hungary||UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying|
|8.||7 October 2006||Zimbru Stadium, Chişinău, Moldova||Moldova||UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying|
|9.||24 March 2007||Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo, Norway||Norway||UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying|
|10.||19 November 2008||Ljudski vrt, Maribor, Slovenia||Slovenia||Friendly|
|11.||10 September 2008||Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina||Estonia||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|14.||28 March 2009||Cristal Arena, Genk, Belgium||Belgium||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|15.||14 October 2009||Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina||Spain||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|16.||10 December 2010||Mardan Sports Complex, Antalya, Turkey||Poland||Friendly|
|17.||6 September 2011||Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina||Belarus||UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying|
|18.||7 October 2011||Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina||Luxembourg||UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying|
|20.||15 November 2011||Estádio da Luz, Lisbon, Portugal||Portugal||UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying play-offs|
|21.||7 September 2012||Rheinpark Stadion, Vaduz, Liechtenstein||Liechtenstein||2014 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|23.||11 September 2012||Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina||Latvia||2014 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|25.||11 October 2013||Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina||Liechtenstein||2014 FIFA World Cup qualification|
- Bayern Munich
- VfL Bochum
- VfL Wolfsburg
- Guizhou Renhe
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