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Hrvoje Ćustić (21 October 19833 April 2008) was a Croatianmarker football striker.


Ćustić started his professional career with his youth club NK Zadar in 2000 and also spent two seasons playing for NK Zagreb between 2005 and 2007, before returning to Zadar in the summer of 2007 on a four-year contract.


Between 2002 and 2005, he also played for the Croatian national under-21 team, winning a total of 10 international caps for the team.


In the opening minutes of his club's home match against HNK Cibalia in the Croatian first division on 29 March 2008, Ćustić suffered severe head injuries after colliding with a concrete wall positioned about three metres from the sideline, supporting the fence which separates the pitch from the stands. Seconds before, Ćustić tried to win a loose ball in a duel with an opposing player, but then both players collided and Ćustić was carried into the wall, hitting it with his head.

He was immediately transported to the local hospital and underwent surgery the following evening. Following the surgery, he was in an induced coma and his condition remained stable until 2 April 2008, when a believed infection caused a rapid increase in his body temperature. His condition immediately worsened and in the early afternoon of 3 April 2008, the hospital confirmed that he was brain dead at 11:51 CET that day. Following his death, all of the Croatian league fixtures scheduled for the following weekend were postponed.


  1. U-21 stats at the Croatian Football Federation website
  2. Horvat, Karmen. Croatian Footballer Hrvoje Custic Dies,, 3 April 2008. Accessed 3 April 2008.
  3. Preminuo Hrvoje Ćustić, nogometaš koji je glavom udario u betonski zid,, 3 April 2008. Accessed 3 April 2008.
  4. Ćustić tragedy horrifies Croatia,, 3 April 2008. Accessed 3 April 2008.

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