Begović playing for Stoke City in 2013
|Full name||Asmir Begović|
|Date of birth||20 June 1987|
|Place of birth||Trebinje, SFR Yugoslavia|
|Height||1.98 m (6 ft 6 in)|
|Current club||Stoke City|
|2005||→ La Louvière (loan)||2||(0)|
|2006||→ Macclesfield Town (loan)||3||(0)|
|2007||→ Bournemouth (loan)||8||(0)|
|2008||→ Yeovil Town (loan)||16||(0)|
|2009||→ Ipswich Town (loan)||6||(0)|
|2009–||Bosnia and Herzegovina||27||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21:55, 4 December 2013 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
While growing up Begović lived in Bosnia, Germany and Canada. In 2003 he moved again this time to England where he joined Portsmouth's academy. He went out on loan to La Louvière (Belgium), Macclesfield Town, Bournemouth, Yeovil Town and Ipswich Town before making his Portsmouth debut in May 2009. In January 2010 Begović joined Stoke City for a fee of £3.25m. At Stoke, Begović has established himself as first choice keeper taking over from Thomas Sørensen and becoming a regular with Bosnia and Herzegovina. He played in the UEFA Europa League in 2011–12 and won the Stoke player of the year award in 2012–13.
Begović signed a youth contract with Portsmouth in 2003 and spent time on loan at La Louviere in Belgium in 2005. He signed on loan for Macclesfield Town in the 2006–07 season, making his Football League debut in a 1–1 draw at Stockport County on 25 November as an 80th minute substitute, after injury to first choice goalkeeper Jonny Brain. His loan spell was cut short, however, as he sustained a knee injury after making just three appearances. In August 2007, Begović was loaned to Bournemouth in League One in a deal lasting until January 2008. He was recalled back from Bournemouth on 11 October 2007. On 8 December 2007, Begović was named in Portsmouth's 16-man matchday squad for the first time in a Premier League game in a match against Aston Villa as a substitute.
In March 2008, he signed for Yeovil Town on loan for a month with Portsmouth having the right to recall him back when they so desired. On 29 March Begović made his debut for Yeovil, keeping a clean sheet against Bristol Rovers. He was subsequently recalled after making two appearances despite Yeovil trying to re-sign him on an emergency loan. The "Glovers" manager Russell Slade revealed in June 2008 that he wanted to sign Begović on loan again after Steve Mildenhall joined Southend United. The move was delayed however due to his grandfather passing away. He rejoined Yeovil on loan, this time for three months in August 2008. He made 14 league appearances, keeping three clean sheets in a struggling Yeovil side.
Begović made his Portsmouth debut against Sunderland in their 3–1 win on 18 May 2009. Following his Premier League debut for Pompey Begović expressed his delight. "It was fantastic. To make your first Premier League appearance is something I've looked forward to for a long long time." He joined Championship team Ipswich Town on loan until 16 January 2010 in October. On 23 November Begović was recalled to Portsmouth due to David James being injured, ending his Ipswich Town loan after having played six matches. On his return to Fratton Park he went on to play 15 first team matches during the 2009–10 season.
On 1 February 2010, Begović signed a four-and-a-half-year contract at Stoke City for a fee of £3.25 million. Following the signing manager Tony Pulis revealed that he had been tracking Begović for a while.
"We have been tracking Asmir for some time and we believe that potentially he is the best young keeper in the country. It was important we brought in another goalkeeper because we were a bit exposed in that department. Most clubs in the Premier League have three experienced keepers, but we had managed with just the two for a long time"
Begović had also held talks with Tottenham Hotspur prior to joining Stoke, but opted for the "Potters" due to "sporting reasons". He later revealed his relief at leaving Portsmouth following their financial turmoil during the 2009–10 season. In a bizarre turn of events, it was revealed that Portsmouth in fact owe Tottenham money for Begović, despite him turning them down to play for Stoke, as Tottenham had already paid Portsmouth an instalment on the transfer. Portsmouth were ordered to pay Tottenham £1million by the Premier League over the aborted transfer as Spurs had already made an initial payment for both Begović and Younès Kaboul.
Begović made his debut for Stoke against Chelsea on 25 April 2010, replacing the injured Thomas Sørensen in the 35th minute. He kept his first clean sheet for City in a 0–0 draw with Everton on 1 May 2010. He also played in the last two games of the 2009–10 season against Fulham and Manchester United. At the start of the 2010–11 season Begović was handed the number one jersey by manager Tony Pulis. Begović allegedly refused to play in a League Cup match against Shrewsbury Town, a decision which Pulis said was "totally disrespectful". Begović on the other hand, denied that he had refused to play.
Despite this Begović played his first match of the season in the next round of the League Cup against Fulham and then West Ham United. He made his first league appearance on 30 October against Everton replacing the injured Sørensen. Following this Begović took over from Sørensen as City's first choice 'keeper, he also 'made peace' with Tony Pulis with his absence from the Shrewsbury match. After a narrow defeat at Arsenal in February 2011 Begović believes that Stoke are developing well. The following week against West Ham, Begović made an error gifting a goal to Demba Ba. Begović missed out on a FA Cup Final with second choice 'keeper Sørensen being preferred to play in cup matches.
Begović started the 2011–12 season as first choice 'keeper and has earned praise from Tony Pulis after he kept five clean sheets in six matches including a fine display against Liverpool on 11 September. However, Begović then conceded eighteen goals in the next seven matches, including a woeful 5–0 defeat by Bolton Wanderers a performance which led him to apologise to the supporters for his display. Following the Bolton match he was dropped in favour of Sørensen. He regained number 1 spot in March 2012. Begović signed a new four and a half year contract extension with Stoke in December 2011 keeping at the club until 2016. Begović continued as City's number one stopper in 2012–13 season and began the season in fine form conceding just 12 goals in the opening 15 matches. Despite Stoke having a poor second half to the season, Begović remained in decent enough form and won the Player of the Year Award.
Begović remained first choice 'keeper going into the 2013–14 season under new manger Mark Hughes and produced a man of the match performance on the opening day against Liverpool. On 2 November 2013, Begović scored after 13 seconds against Southampton at a distance of 97.5 yards, after his long kick downfield deceived Artur Boruc.
"It's a cool feeling but it was a fortunate incident. I feel a bit bad for Boruc. It is a long ball that got caught in the wind and it took a wicked bounce. It's not nice to be on the receiving end of those things as a goalkeeper. It does not make a goalkeeper look good and after it I did not want to celebrate out of respect for him."—Begović speaks after scoring against Southampton.
Begović was the starting goalkeeper for Canada in the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup after appearing in an Adidas commercial as part of an ad campaign ahead of the tournament. He made several difficult saves for his team in a 3–0 loss to Chile and let in one goal against Austria. Late in the third round robin match of the tournament, after allowing two goals, Begović came out of his area to play a long ball from a Congo defender. The ball took a high bounce off the wet pitch, forcing him to use his hands to prevent it from going over his head. He was shown a straight red card, and midfielder Jonathan Beaulieu-Bourgault was forced to play in goal, as Canada had used up its three substitutes.
On 14 August 2007, 20-year-old Begović received his first call-up to the senior Canadian squad for the friendly match with Iceland, but didn't see any action on the pitch. In November 2008, he accepted another call for Canada's 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier versus Jamaica, but again didn't get any playing time as Lars Hirschfeld was the preferred option in goal.
Players with dual nationality, like Begović, who had already played for a country's national team at youth level, were not allowed to switch nationalities after they turned 21, but on June 3, 2009 FIFA removed the age limit. In late June 2009, he spoke with Bosnian head coach Miroslav Blažević about the possibility of making his debut for the Bosnian national football team. Quotes in the Bosnian media seemed to indicate Begović's intent to play for the country of his birth. Begović missed the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup for Canada saying Portsmouth wanted him to spend the whole pre-season with the club. On 12 July 2009 on Full-Time: Vancouver's Soccer Show on the TEAM 1040 radio in Canada he indicated his desire to continue with the Canadian national team.
He suggested that comments he had made to Bosnia's head coach had been misinterpreted due to poor translation. In the same interview, Begović also said, "I've played for Canada for a long time. There's no decision, I don’t want to switch… but there is a state of uncertainty with Canada soccer (next coach, etc). Get things in place and I'm happy to stay with Canada, that's where I see my future… I've been approached by Bosnia. There were talks… but I have no intention on playing for Bosnia."
Bosnia and Herzegovina
However, less than two months later, Begović changed his mind and on 21 August 2009 accepted a call up for two Bosnian 2010 World Cup qualifiers: away at Armenia on 5 September 2009, and four days later versus Turkey at home in Zenica. During the pre-match preparations, Begović gave an interview to the Bosnian web portal, stating among other things: "I was born in Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina is my homeland and I wouldn't be disappointed even if I don't get a chance to play right away". He did not play in either match. However, his debut for the national team finally came in the next qualifier against Estonia. He came on to replace Kenan Hasagić in the 92nd minute of the match, in which Bosnia won the match with a final score of 2–0.
On 3 March he played a significant role in a match for the first time as he got to play the second half in Bosnia's friendly match against Ghana. Bosnia won the match 2–1 and Begović didn't concede any goals. He received his first full cap against Sweden in May 2010. Bosnia lost the match 4–2, but Begović was not responsible for any of the goals according to the Bosnian media, as they blamed Bosnia's defence for the goals. He caused controversy after he pulled out of Bosnia's friendlies against Slovakia and Mexico.
Since August 2012, Begović has been the first choice goalkeeper for the national team. On 27 May 2013, Begović has been voted the 2012 Bosnian Footballer of the Year ("Idol of the nation") by the Bosnian Sport Writers' Jury. On 16 October 2013 Bosnia defeated Lithuania 1–0 to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, their first major tournament.
Asmir was born in Trebinje, Yugoslavia later to become part of what is now Bosnia and Herzegovina to a Bosniak family. His father, Amir Begović, was a goalkeeper for FK Leotar from Trebinje and FK Iskra from Stolac. His mother's name is Ajnija, who is from Stolac. The Begović family fled war-torn Bosnia for Germany when Asmir was four years old, where he began to play organised football. When he was 10, his family moved to Edmonton, Alberta. In 2004, they moved back to Germany to follow Asmir's youth football development. On 18 June 2011, Begović married his American wife, Nicolle, with whom he has a daughter, Taylor.
Growing up in Germany, Begović supported giants Bayern Munich and cites goalkeeping great Oliver Kahn as his inspiration. He also attended matches at his local club VfB Stuttgart. Along with his native Bosnian, Begović is fluent in 3 additional languages: German, English and French. In October 2013 he set up his own charity the Asmir Begović Foundation.
- As of match played 4 December 2013.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Other[A]||Total|
|La Louvière (loan)||2005–06||Belgian First Division||2||0||0||0||–||–||–||2||0|
|Macclesfield Town (loan)||2006–07||League Two||3||0||1||0||0||0||–||0||0||4||0|
|Bournemouth (loan)||2007–08||League One||8||0||0||0||0||0||–||1||0||9||0|
|Yeovil Town (loan)||2007–08||League One||2||0||0||0||0||0||–||0||0||2||0|
|Ipswich Town (loan)||2009–10||Championship||6||0||0||0||0||0||–||–||6||0|
|Stoke City||2009–10||Premier League||4||0||0||0||0||0||–||–||4||0|
- As of match played 15 October 2013.
|Bosnia and Herzegovina national team|
- Canadian U-20 Player of the Year: 2007
- Stoke City Young Player of the Year: 2011
- Stoke City Player of the Year: 2013
- Stoke City Player's Player of the Year: 2013
- Stoke City Coaches Player of the Year (joint with Ryan Shawcross): 2013
- Bosnian Footballer of the Year: 2013
- "Premier League Player Profile". Premier League. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
- "Liverpool facing tall order to beat Asmir Begovic". The Sentinel. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
- "Stockport vs Macclesfield". mtfc.co.uk. Retrieved 22 November 2010.
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- "Pair leave Cherries as loans end". BBC Sport. 11 October 2007. Retrieved 22 November 2010.
- "Aston Villa 1-3 Portsmouth". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
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- "Yeovil 0–0 Bristol Rovers". BBC Sport. 29 March 2008. Retrieved 22 November 2010.
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- "Chelsea v Stoke". BBC Sport. 25 April 2010.
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- "Asmir Begovic wants long-term Potters stay". thisisstaffordshire.co.uk. Retrieved 23 November 2010.
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- "Stoke boss Tony Pulis backs Asmir Begovic after error". BBC Sport. 6 March 2011. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
- "Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic accepts FA Cup omission". BBC Sport. 26 April 2011. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
- "More to come from Stoke's Asmir Begovic – Tony Pulis". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
- "Begovic apologises for Bolton hammering". The Senitnel. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
- "'We Answered Questions Today' – Sorensen". Stoke City F.C. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- "'Busy' Begovic playing for top job". The Senitnel. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- "Stoke City's Asmir Begovic desperate for FA Cup start". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- "Stoke City's Thomas Sorensen and Asmir Begovic sign new deals". BBC Sport. 20 December 2011. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
- "Asmir Begovic happy at Stoke City despite Liverpool and Manchester United rumours". The Sentinel. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- "Asmir Begovic: Stoke City record down to being organised". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
- "Asmir Begovic sweeps the board at club awards night". The Sentinel. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- "Liverpool 1-0 Stoke". BBC Sport. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Stoke 1-1 Southampton". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
- "Asmir Begovic: Stoke goalkeeper felt bad for Artur Boruc after goal". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
- "New number one for Canada fans". FIFA.com. 9 July 2007. Retrieved 4 November 2008.
- "Mitchell and Canada to face Iceland". Canadian Press. 14 August 2007. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 19 August 2007.
- Evans, Simon. "Soccer-FIFA removes age limit on players switching nations". Reuters.com. Thomson Reuters. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- "Begović: Ćiro mi je obećao da će me zvati". SportSport.ba. 24 June 2009. Retrieved 24 June 2007.
- "Begovic: "I don't want to switch"". fulltimefootballshow. 13 July 2009. Retrieved 13 July 2009.
- "Ako i ne dobijem šansu, neću biti razočaran". Sarajevo-x.com. 4 September 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2009.
- "Estonia v Bosnia-Herzegovina". Yahoo! Sport. Archived from the original on 12 October 2009. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
- "Bosnia-Herzegovina 2–1 Ghana". Goal .com. Archived from the original on 14 April 2010. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- "Stoke resolve row with Bosnian FA over Asmir Begovic". BBC Sport. 16 February 2011. Archived from the original on 24 February 2011. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
- "Begović named Bosnian idol". UEFA. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
- "Asmir Begovic: Bosnia goalkeeper plans World Cup upsets". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
- Bill Lankhof (1 July 2007). "Asmir's world settled at last". Sun Media Corp. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
- "Asmir and Nicolle Begovic: 'I think we've found the perfect match'". The Sentinel. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
- "Stoke City star Asmir Begovic takes time out to open new building at daughter's school". The Sentinel. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
- Stoke City Official Matchday Magazine 24 September 2011 v Manchester United
- Begović izabrao: RVP i Mata najbolji u Premiershipu, protiv CR7 bilo je najteže, Kahn najveći... (Croatian)
- "Asmir Begovic Foundation". ABF. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- "Asmir Begovic". Soccerbase. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Games played by Asmir Begovic in 2006/2007". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- "ames played by Asmir Begovic in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- "Games played by Asmir Begovic in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- "Games played by Asmir Begovic in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- "Games played by Asmir Begovic in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- "Games played by Asmir Begovic in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- "Games played by Asmir Begovic in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- "Games played by Asmir Begovic in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- "Begović, Asmir". National Football Teams. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Asmir Begović.|
- Asmir Begović official website
- Asmir Begović career stats at Soccerbase
- Asmir Begović profile at Stoke City F.C.
- Asmir Begović – FIFA competition record