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Zvjezdan Misimović (born 5 June 1982) is a Germanmarker-born Bosnian footballer who currently plays for Wolfsburg. Misimović is the co-captain of the Bosnia and Herzegovina national team.

Early life

Misimović's parents are Bosnian gastarbeiters who came to West Germanymarker from Bosanska Gradiškamarker during the late 1960s.

Club career

Known in Germany as Zwetschge (German word for damson plum) due to similar pronunciation to his first name, Misimović played for Bayern Munich in the past, but joined Bochum at the start of the 2004–05 season and then moved on to Nuremberg in July 2007. He led the Bundesliga in assists during the 2008–09 season with 18 (23 in all competitions).

Misimović signed a four year contract to 2012 at Wolfsburg.

International career

Youth level

Misimović played for the FR Yugoslavia under-18 national squad, appearing with them at the 2001 UEFA European Under-18 Football Championship held in Finlandmarker. 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 cut Misimović, telling him he was overweight and slow.

Senior

By late 2003 and early 2004, 21-year-old Misimović was still unattached to any senior national team. He got approached by then teammate at Bayern MunichHasan Salihamidžić – about a possibility of playing for Bosnia. Misimović accepted and debuted for the national team of Bosnia and Herzegovina under head coach Blaž Slišković on 18 February 2004 in a friendly versus Macedonia.

Misimović was used sparingly by Slišković during 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign: he played full 90 in the opening home draws versus Spain and Serbia-Montenegro, but then come off the bench in the away loss to Belgium. Misimović then experienced a period of being in the starting lineup before being subbed off 10–20 minutes into the second half: 1-1 home draw with Lithuania (scored the leading goal), the away win at San Marino, and finally the away 1-1 draw versus Spain in Valencia (he again scored the leading goal before Spain tied in the 96th minute). For the deciding four qualifiers (home win versus Belgium, away win at Lithuania, home win versus San Marino, and the away loss to Serbia-Montenegro), Slišković moved Misimović to the bench, inserting him into action only during final 15–20 minutes.

Euro 2008 qualifying began in fall 2006 with Slišković still behind the bench and Misimović an established starter and scorer. After dismantling of Malta in the opening match came a shocking 1-3 defeat to Hungary at home that prompted Slišković's resignation, which he retracted couple of weeks later and stayed on. However, more heartbreak was to follow with a 2-2 draw at lowly Moldova as Misimović sparked a comeback by scoring a goal at 2-0 down. Four days later Bosnia got spanked 0-4 by Greece at home; this time Slišković's resignation was final. As qualifying winter break commenced, Bosnian team was in crisis mode with relations inside the organization strained to the maximum. In such circumstances 13 Bosnian national team players (including Misimović) announced in a letter published in Dnevni Avaz daily, that they would boycott all national team matches until four FA officials - Milan Jelić, Iljo Dominković, Sulejman Čolaković, and Ahmet Pašalić - resigned. New head coach Fuad Muzurović was announced in late December 2006. In regards to the boycott letter, Misimović soon said that he never signed any letter, stating that his relations with the FA have always been good. Under new head coach Muzurović, Misimović truly came into his own and even got to be the team captain.

After Meho Kodro replaced Muzurović as the new head coach in early January 2008, one of the changes he introduced was stripping Misimović of the captain's armband and giving it to Emir Spahić. On 8 April 2008, Misimović (still only 25 years of age at the time) announced his retirement from the national team, stating that he's doing so out of health concerns as he feels no longer able to keep up with the physical rigors of playing for both the club and the country. However, many speculated that health had little to do with Misimović's sudden announcement. This was in essence confirmed two days later by the Bosnian national team general manager Elvir Bolić who said that Misimović may have softened his original stance and revealed that new head coach Meho Kodro will travel to Germany in order 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 announced that he had decided to continue his international career.

Under next head coach Ćiro Blažević, during 2010 World Cup qualification process, Misimović asserted himself as the team's undisputed leader on pitch, displaying great playmaking abilities. His fine performances culminated with the hat-trick in a 7–0 win over Estonia. Bosnia finished the group in second place thus qualifying for the playoffs against Portugal in November 2009, however it ended on a sour note both for him personally and for the team. Misimović had a poor outing in the first leg away in Lisbon and was widely criticized for his subpar performance even by the head coach Blažević himself who publicly blasted him for his lack of contribution. Two days later (and two days before the November 18th second leg), Misimović was ruled out by medical staff due to an apparent knee injury he picked up during the first leg. The controversy arose three days after that on November 21 when he played the full 90 minutes for Wolfsburg in Bundesliga leading to veiled accusations in Bosnian media that he faked an injury to get back at Blažević. Head coach Blažević went even further, directly accusing Misimović of sabotaging him. Blažević even went as far as alluding to Misimović's Serbian ethnicity; suggesting that he did so on instructions from Republika Srpska Prime Minister Milorad Dodik and the Serbian lobby because "Republika Srpska would lose everything if Bosnia qualified for World Cup". When informed of Blažević's comments, stunned Misimović responded he would not play for Bosnia as long as Blažević is 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 words, Blažević's response was a claim that he'll leave the post because "Misimović is more important to this team than I am". Misimović and Blazevic have now straightened out their differences and Misimovic will return to the Bosnian team alongside Blazevic.

Career Stats

season club country league app goals
2002/03 FC Bayern Munich Bundesliga 1 0
2003/04 FC Bayern Munich Bundesliga 2 0
2004/05 VfL Bochum Bundesliga 31 3
2005/06 VfL Bochum 2. Bundesliga 29 11
2006/07 VfL Bochum Bundesliga 30 7
2007/08 1. FC Nürnberg Bundesliga 28 10
2008/09 VfL Wolfsburg Bundesliga 33 7
2009/10 VfL Wolfsburg Bundesliga 14 6
Total 168 44


Personal

His wife, Stefanija, is from Strumicamarker, Macedoniamarker and they have two sons together, Luka born in 2004 and Niko born in 2009 [147923].

Honours



References

  1. Mešano "meso", Kurir, October 7, 2004
  2. Oteran iz Srbije, u Bundesligi postao zvezda, novine.ca, April 25, 2008
  3. Wolfsburg and Bosnia's dynamic duo get chance to make history of their own, Jonathan Wilson's blog @ guardian.co.uk, September 29, 2009
  4. Zvjezdan Misimović - mozak Ćirine ekspedicije, sarajevo-x.com, July 11, 2009
  5. Reprezentativci BiH neće igrati dok ne odu Jelić, Dominković, Čolaković i Pašalić, sarajevo-x.com, October 31, 2006
  6. Misimović od ljeta četiri godine u Nirnbergu, Nezavisne novine, January 29, 2007
  7. Zvjezdan Misimović napušta reprezentaciju BiH, BHRT, April 8, 2008
  8. Bolić: Misimović malo smekšao stav, sportsport.ba, April 10, 2008
  9. Misimović se predomislio i igraće za BiH!, sportsport.ba, April 12, 2008
  10. Zvjezdan Misimović ipak ostaje u reprezentaciji, BHRT, April 12, 2008
  11. Peh za pehom - Misimović definitivno ne igra u Zenici, sarajevo-x.com, November 17, 2009
  12. I pored tvrdnji da je povrijeđen: Misimović odigrao cijelu utakmicu za Wolfsburg!, sarajevo-x.com, November 21, 2009
  13. Ćiro odlazi: Gotovo je, idem u penziju!, net.hr, November 25, 2009
  14. 'PREŠAO' GA MISIMOVIĆ - Ćiro: Oprostit ću krađu i prevaru, ne i izdaju!, Jutarnji list, November 23, 2009
  15. Misimovic quits Bosnia, SkySports.com, November 25, 2009
  16. Zvjezdan Misimović: Završio sam s Ćirom, Glas Srpske, November 24, 2009
  17. Ćiro odlazi: Gotovo je, idem u penziju!, net.hr, November 25, 2009
  18. Ćiro: Misimović je važniji od mene, odlazim!, Jutarnji list November 25, 2009


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