Open main menu

Zvonimir Soldo (born 2 November 1967) is a Croatian former football player and manager who last worked as assistant manager for Shandong Luneng. During his playing career, he mostly played as defensive midfielder.

Zvonimir Soldo
Zvonimir Soldo 2010.JPG
Zvonimir Soldo as manager of 1. FC Köln
Personal information
Date of birth (1967-11-02) 2 November 1967 (age 51)
Place of birth Zagreb, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Centre back
Defensive midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1988–1990 Dinamo Zagreb 36 (0)
1990–1991 NK Zadar 26 (2)
1991–1994 Inter Zaprešić 55 (2)
1994–1996 Dinamo Zagreb 51 (3)
1996–2006 VfB Stuttgart 301 (15)
Total 469 (22)
National team
1994–2002 Croatia 61 (3)
Teams managed
2008 Dinamo Zagreb
2009–2010 1. FC Köln
2017 Shandong Luneng (assistant)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of June 2006
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of June 2006

Early careerEdit

After studying law for six semesters at the University of Zagreb, Soldo's parents convinced him to pursue a career as professional football player.

Soldo's professional career began with NK Dinamo Zagreb which he left for NK Zadar after two years. 1991 through 1994, he played for NK Inter Zaprešić before returning to his former club NK Dinamo Zagreb.

Runner-up in both Croatian league and cup in his first season back at Zagreb, the next campaign saw Soldo's side complete a domestic double in 1995/96. After achieving all he could in domestic football, Soldo headed for German side VfB Stuttgart.

Stuttgart yearsEdit

Zvonimir Soldo at his Bundesliga farewell match

Soldo made his Bundesliga debut on 17 August 1996 against FC Schalke 04. This was the beginning of his time in Stuttgart which would last for ten years and during which he would lead the VfB Stuttgart on the pitch as captain nearly 200 times.

During this period, Soldo played another 300 times in the Bundesliga and 47 times in European competitions, won the German cup in 1997 and reached the European Cup Winners' Cup final in 1998, as well as finishing as runner-up in the 2002/03 campaign.

After being an exemplary sportsman and role model for younger players all these years, Soldo played his last Bundesliga match for Stuttgart on 6 May 2006.

In recognition of his merits, Soldo received the Staufer medal, a decoration awarded by the state of Baden-Württemberg.

International careerEdit

Soldo was also a long-time member of the Croatian national team, with notable appearances in the Euro 96, 1998 FIFA World Cup and 2002 FIFA World Cup. He was capped a total of 61 times, scoring three goals, and was an important member of the squad that finished third in the 1998 World Cup.

After the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Soldo retired from international football.

International goalsEdit

Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 11 October 1997 Bežigrad, Ljubljana   Slovenia 2 – 0 3 – 1 World Cup 1998 Qualifying
2 21 August 1999 Maksimir, Zagreb   Malta 1 – 0 2 – 1 Euro 2000 Qualifying
3 5 September 2001 Olimpico, Serravalle   San Marino 3 – 0 4 – 0 World Cup 2002 Qualifying

Coaching careerEdit

Dinamo ZagrebEdit

On 14 January 2008 Zvonimir was appointed as a new manager of Dinamo Zagreb after Branko Ivanković's resignation. Prior to that he was managing Dinamo's youth team. He became Prva HNL Champion and Croatian Cup Winner. He offered his resignation in the night after the cup final to make space to old/new manager Branko Ivanković.

1. FC KölnEdit

From June 2009 to October 2010, Soldo was the manager of German Bundesliga club, 1. FC Köln (Cologne) after the club's former coach Christoph Daum surprisingly left to sign for Fenerbahçe.[1]



  1. ^ "Bestätigt: Soldo entlassen". RevierSport (in German). 24 October 2010. Retrieved 21 February 2018.

External linksEdit