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Zvonimir Boban ( ; born 8 October 1968 in Imotskimarker) is a Croatianmarker of Romani heritage former football midfielder who played most of his professional career for Serie A club Milan and was a member of the Croatia national team, which he captained to third place at the 1998 FIFA World Cup. He was a playmaker well known for his passing range and vision. Croatia never lost a match when he scored.

Club career

Born in Imotskimarker, Boban started his career with Dinamo Zagreb. In the now-infamous game against Red Star Belgrade in May 1990, he attacked a policeman who was beating a Dinamo supporter when a riot broke out between the fans. This incident made Boban a national hero in Croatia. It also earned him a suspension from the Yugoslav National Team causing him to miss the 1990 World Cup in Italy.

Serie A

Milan signed him in 1991, immediately loaning him to Bari, as they felt he needed time to settle in Italy without counting as one of the 3 non-Italian players the club was limited to at the time. After one season, he was brought back to the Milan squad. He stayed in the club for 9 seasons, and enjoyed great successes with them. He helped the team win the 1994 Champions League title and become runners-up in 1995. He won 4 Serie A titles with Milan as well. In August 2001, with his role at Milan diminished, he was loaned to Celta de Vigo, where he played in only four matches. Unhappy with his role as a substitute he retired in October 2001 and finished his last season earlier than he intended.

National team

Boban played a big part in Yugoslavia's win in the 1987 World Youth Championship. At the full international level, he earned 8 caps for Yugoslavia between 1988 and 1991. He played his last game for Yugoslavia in May 1991 against the Faroe Islands, where he scored a goal. When Croatia declared its independence, Boban left the team to play for Croatia.

He played his first international match for Croatia in a 1991 friendly match against Romania, and played his last match for the national team in a 1999 friendly against France. In his career with the Croatian national team, Boban won 51 international caps and scored 12 goals.

1998 World Cup

Boban was a member of the team that finished third at the 1998 World Cup, and was captain of the squad at that tournament, as he had been at the 1996 European Football Championship. A mistake he made in the semi-final allowed France to equalize immediately after Croatia had fought hard to earn a one-goal lead. As a result, Croatia was unable to maintain their advantage for any significant amount of time. To make matters worse, Boban was injured and wanted to come off at half time but stayed on. France eventually won the match 2-1 and eventually won the tournament. Croatia then defeated the Netherlands to win the third place and the bronze medal.

International goals

Results list Croatia's goal tally first.


# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
01. 25 March, 1995 Maksimir Stadiummarker, Zagrebmarker, Croatiamarker
1 – 0
4 – 0
Euro 1996 Qualifying
02. 3 September, 1995 Maksimir Stadiummarker, Zagrebmarker, Croatiamarker
4 – 1
7 – 1
Euro 1996 Qualifying
03. 2 June, 1996 Lansdowne Roadmarker, Dublinmarker, Irelandmarker
1 – 2
2 – 2
Friendly
04. 16 June, 1996 Hillsborough Stadiummarker, Sheffieldmarker, Englandmarker
2 – 0
3 – 0
Euro 1996
05. 2 April, 1997 Poljudmarker, Splitmarker, Croatiamarker
2 – 0
3 – 3
World Cup 1998 Qualifying
06. 2 April, 1997 Poljudmarker, Splitmarker, Croatiamarker
3 – 1
3 – 3
World Cup 1998 Qualifying
07. 6 September, 1997 Maksimir Stadiummarker, Zagrebmarker, Croatiamarker
3 – 2
3 – 2
World Cup 1998 Qualifying
08. 22 April, 1998 Gradski vrtmarker, Osijekmarker, Croatiamarker
1 – 0
4 – 1
Friendly
09. 6 June, 1998 Maksimir Stadiummarker, Zagrebmarker, Croatiamarker
4 – 0
7 – 0
Friendly
10. 6 June, 1998 Maksimir Stadiummarker, Zagrebmarker, Croatiamarker
7 – 0
7 – 0
Friendly
11. 14 October, 1998 Maksimir Stadiummarker, Zagrebmarker, Croatiamarker
2 – 1
3 – 2
Euro 2000 Qualifying
12. 14 October, 1998 Maksimir Stadiummarker, Zagrebmarker, Croatiamarker
2 – 1
3 – 2
Euro 2000 Qualifying


Career statistics



Honours

International

  • with
1985-86 Dinamo Zagreb First League 2 0
1986-87 28 8
1987-88 30 13
1988-89 0 0
1989-90 23 9
1990-91 26 15

1991-92 Bari Serie A 17 2
1992-93 Milan Serie A 13 0
1993-94 20 4
1994-95 21 1
1995-96 13 3
1996-97 28 1
1997-98 23 2
1998-99 27 2
1999-00 17 6
2000-01 16 2

2001-02 Celta Vigo La Liga 4 0
109||45||||||||||||||||
195||23||||||||||||||||
4||0||||||||||||||||
308||68||||||||||||||||
  • with


Club



After retirement

Since retiring from football, Boban has completed his history degree at the University of Zagrebmarker. He also started a career in sports journalism, being the administration president for the Croatian daily sports newspaper Sportske novosti, a co-commentator during live broadcasts of the Croatian national team's matches on the country's commercially-funded national TV station RTL Televizija as well as a commentator for the Italian SKY Italia and columnist for La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Reputation

Boban is much loved in Croatia, ever since he made headlines by kicking a Yugoslav policeman who had attacked a Dinamo Zagreb supporter during an on pitch riot. He is known for his patriotism, stating he loves Croatia more than anything, and that he would die for his country. He has also said that although he always played fairly for Yugoslavia, playing for Croatia and hearing the Croatian national anthem was always his dream. Respect for Boban during and after the war was very high, and still continued to this day.

References

  1. Romani footballers
  2. TheFA.com - Remember Me? Zvonimir Boban


External links




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