Kramarić in 2015 with Leicester City
|Full name||Andrej Kramarić|
|Date of birth||19 June 1991|
|Place of birth||Zagreb, SFR Yugoslavia|
|Height||1.77 m (5 ft 9 1⁄2 in)|
|2012–2013||→ Lokomotiva (loan)||45||(20)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:27, 24 May 2015 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Andrej Kramarić (pronounced [ˈandrɛi ˈkramariːtɕ]; born 19 June 1991) is a Croatian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Premier League club Leicester City and the Croatia national team.
Kramarić started his football career in his hometown club Dinamo Zagreb and holds the record as the top youth goalscorer in the club's history. Hailed as one of the club`s biggest talents, he made his first official appearance for Dinamo at the age of 17. In 2013, after he had a dispute with Dinamo Zagreb board, Kramarić was transferred to HNK Rijeka where he scored 37 times in 42 league games prior to his move to Leicester City.
He was capped 53 times at the youth level for the Croatia national team, scoring twenty-two goals. Kramarić took part at the 2010 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship where he made four appearances for Croatian side which reached the semi-finals. He made his debut for the senior team in 2014.
Kramarić joined Dinamo Zagreb when he was just six years old. During his youth career, Kramarić scored over 450 goals for Dinamo Zagreb youth teams which makes him the best youth scorer in club's history.
Kramarić made his debut for Dinamo Zagreb senior squad on 24 May 2009, in a league match against NK Zagreb. He made an appearance as a 69th minute substitute for Josip Tadić. It was also his only match for Dinamo Zagreb first-team during the 2008–09 season. He was promoted to the first-team squad the following season. He made his first appearance of the season and also debuted in the UEFA Champions League on 15 July in an away match against Pyunik which finished by a goalless draw. Overall, Kramarić won the first league title with Dinamo Zagreb scoring 7 goals in 24 appearances. He also made 5 appearances in the 2009–10 Croatian Cup and scored 4 goals, and made 5 appearances in UEFA competitions. The following season turned out to be disappointing for Kramarić. With the arrival of new coach, Vahid Halilhodžić, Kramarić was mostly used as a late substite, rarely being used as a match starter. He managed to collect less than 600 minutes of playing time in 17 appearances he made throughout the 2010–11 season, scoring five goals in process. But despite that he won the league & cup double with his team. In the first half of the 2011–12 season Kramarić status in the club did not change, as he collected only 3 appearances before the winter break, and the speculations about him leaving the club started to rise. In February 2012 it was announced that Kramarić would be loaned to Prva HNL team Lokomotiva Zagreb.
In February 2012, Kramarić was loaned to NK Lokomotiva until the end of the season. At Lokomotiva, Andrej became one of the most proficient strikers in South-Eastern Europe, scoring 20 goals in 44 league appearances in the season and a half he spent with the Lokosi. In his first full season with Lokomotiva he finished runner up to Leon Benko in the Prva HNL top goalscorer race with 15 goals.He also helped his side reaching the Croatian Cup final in which they were defeated by Hajduk Split.
Return to Dinamo Zagreb
There was a lot of excitement with Kramarić returned to Dinamo Zagreb at the start of the 2013–14 season, with many pundits predicting that he would become the ruthless striker Dinamo had been lacking in recent years. He started his returning season coming on as a late substitute in a Croatian Supercup match where Dinamo secured their first trophy of the season by defeating Hajduk Split on penalties. But things for Kramarić didn't go very well as he found himself once again on the bench. He quickly became discouraged and complained to the press about his lack of playing time. This did not go down well with club director Zoran Mamić who decided to put the young star on the transfer list.
Rijeka were the quickest to react to the falling out between Kramarić and Dinamo, securing his services on the 31 August 2013. Kramarić debuted for the team on 15 September 2013, playing in the starting line-up, in Prva HNL league match against Slaven Belupo, in which he also scored his first goal for the team in the 15th minute, also the only goal of the match. He scored 8 goals against BŠK Zmaj during a Croatian Cup match. In November 2013, he scored an astonishing goal against Olympique Lyon in Europa League group stage. Kramarić scored his first hattrick of the season against NK Istra 1961, in a match that ended 3–3 with Kramarić also missing a penalty-kick. He then netted another goal against Rijeka`s arch rivals Hajduk Split on Poljud. Kramarić finished his first season with Rijeka by winning the Croatian Cup, and scoring 27 goals in all competitions. In July 2014, just before the start of the new season, Kramarić won the Croatian Supercup, when Rijeka defeated his former club and reigning champions Dinamo Zagreb.
He opened the new season of Croatian Prva HNL by scoring five goals in the opening two matches, including a hat-trick against Rijeka`s arch rivals Hajduk Split. By the end of October 2014 he had already scored more than 20 goals in all competitions, including a hat-trick in 2014–15 UEFA Europa League match against Feyenoord. On 9 November, Kramarić scored five goals against NK Lokomotiva in a home match that ended 6–0, a feat that was entered into league annals as for fourteen years no one scored more than four goals in one match, and in history only two other players have managed to score that number.
On 8 January 2015, Leicester City announced that they had agreed a deal to sign Kramarić on a three-and-a-half-year contract, confirming an earlier announcement by Rijeka. However, the transfer was dependent on Kramarić being awarded a work permit on appeal, as he did not meet the requirements for one to be automatically granted. Four days after Leicester's announcement, an FA Panel recommended the approval of work permit, clearing the way for Leicester to apply to the UK Border Agency.
On 16 January, Leicester City announced Kramarić had officially joined the club after being granted a UK work permit and that he would wear the number 40. His transfer fee was £9 million, a club record for Leicester. He made his debut the day after signing, replacing Jamie Vardy for the last 25 minutes of a 0–1 home defeat against Stoke City. On 10 February, Kramarić scored his first goal for the club in 2–1 away defeat against Arsenal.
Kramarić was capped a total of 53 times for various Croatian youth teams and scored 22 goals in return. His first national team appearance came against Bavaria national team on 31 March 2005. He was then playing for the under-14 team and was capped a total of two times. Kramarić then started competing at the under-16 and under-17 levels. He made a total of 7 appearances in friendly matches for the under-16 team and scored 4 goals. For the under-17 team he was capped 12 times and scored 6 goals. He also participated in all of under–17 team's qualifiers for the 2008 European U–17 Championship. At the under-18 level, Kramarić was capped nine times and scored three goals.
In 2008 he started playing for the under-19 team with whom he reached he semi-finals of the 2010 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship. He debuted and scored his first goal at under–21 level on 5 September 2009 in a European Championship qualifier against Norway, aged just 18 years and 81 days.
On 20 August 2014 he received his first call-up for the senior side under coach Niko Kovač for the friendly match against Cyprus and UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match against Malta. He made his debut for Croatia on 4 September 2014 in a friendly match against Cyprus and provided an assist for Mario Mandžukić in 18th minute, receiving positive reviews from both critics and national team coach for his debut performance. Kramarić scored his first goal for Croatia in his competitive debut in UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match against Malta. His second goal was scored against Azerbaijan.
Style of play
Kramarić has been described as versatile striker who is mobile enough to run behind defences and rather than waiting for crosses or ball to come to him, tends to run towards the ball, engulfing his opposition with an air of unpredictability about his play. Although naturally a lone striker his versatility makes him able to play well as winger or second striker. His national team coach Niko Kovač compared him with Croatian legendary striker Davor Šuker.
- Scores and results list Croatia's goal tally first.
|1.||9 September 2014||Maksimir Stadium, Zagreb, Croatia||Malta||
||UEFA Euro 2016 qualification|
|2.||13 October 2014||Stadion Gradski vrt, Osijek, Croatia||Azerbaijan||
||UEFA Euro 2016 qualification|
- Dinamo Zagreb
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