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Vedran Ćorluka ( ; born 5 February 1986) is a Bosnian-born Croatianmarker football defender currently playing in the Englishmarker Premier League with Tottenham Hotspur. He is also a part of the Croatia national team. Equipped with a strong physical presence and excellent understanding of the game, he is a regular player in the Croatian national team and is a regular player for Tottenham Hotspur where he is affectionately known as 'Charlie'.

Club career

Early days

Ćorluka was born in Modran, a village near Derventamarker, Yugoslavia, in present-day Bosnia and Herzegovinamarker, but it was officially said he was born in Dobojmarker because his village Modran was closer to Doboj Hospital. He started to play football in Dinamo Zagreb's youth teams when he was only eight years old, impressing many scouts from the youth academy. Ćorluka's professional career started in 2003 but during that season he didn't make an appearance for the first team. He was sent on loan to Inter Zaprešić and played one season for them, helping the team to second place in the league, before returning to Dinamo Zagreb in 2005. After establishing himself as a key player in Dinamo, he went on to help them win the Prva HNL title 3 seasons in a row, first in 2006 and thereafter. He also played a dominant part in his side capturing the Croatian cup in the 2006 season.

Manchester City

After consistently strong performances, Ćorluka was signed by Manchester City on 2 August 2007.City did not reveal the fee, but Croatian media reports suggested the deal was worth around £8 million, with the 21-year-old penning a five-year deal.

As usual, he consistently found a starting spot for his side in the Premier League. Despite a nightmare blunder during his side's shocking 6–0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridgemarker, he remained strong during his first season in England as his side finished 9th in the league and gained entry to a UEFA Cup qualifying round via the UEFA fair play ranking. On few rare occasions, he was also used as a defensive midfielder during the season, proving to be a factor for opposing attackers.

He scored his first goal in the 4–2 loss at Aston Villa on the opening weekend of the 2008–09 season. In the UEFA Cup second qualifying round match second leg, Ćorluka scored the decisive spot kick in the dramatic 4–2 penalty shoot-out victory over Danish minnows Midtjylland after the tie had ended 1–1 on aggregate. He played his last match for City against Sunderland on 31 August 2008, throwing his shirt into the crowd at the end of the match.

Tottenham Hotspur

On 1 September 2008, it was announced that Ćorluka had signed for Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of £8.5 million on a six-year contract, joining his fellow Croatian international and best friend, Luka Modrić at the club. During the game against Stoke City on 19 October, Corluka was severely injured. Kneed under his chin by teammate Gomes, he was immediately knocked unconscious. After ten minutes of on field treatment he was rushed to hospital where it was announced no serious damage was evident.In the Carling Cup final on 1 March 2009, Ćorluka scored his first and Tottenham's only penalty in the shootout loss to Manchester United.

Ćorluka scored his first Premier League goal for Tottenham during a 2–2 draw against Bolton on 3 October 2009.

International career

He started to play for the Croatian under-21 team and eventually impressed to his country's senior national team, for which he soon made his debut in the friendly match against world champions Italy on 16 August 2006 in Livornomarker, Italymarker. Croatia won the match 2–0 and Ćorluka, aged 20 during his debut, entered the game in the second half and satisfied critics with his very good, solid performance against experienced Serie A forwards.

During Croatia's Euro 2008 qualifying campaign, he became one of the key players under current head coach Slaven Bilić. Croatia finished first in Group E, notably ahead of Russia and favorites England, who eventually failed to qualify from the group as Croatia conceded only 8 goals.

Ćorluka was in the final match of the tournament where Croatia's exit came against Turkey in the controversial extra time and penalty shootout incident.

International goal

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
01. 8 October 2009 Kantridamarker, Rijekamarker
1 – 0
3 – 2
Friendly


Honours

Dinamo Zagreb


Tottenham Hotspur


References



External links




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