Branko Karačić

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Branko Karačić
Personal information
Full name Branko Karačić
Date of birth (1960-09-24) 24 September 1960 (age 54)
Place of birth Vinkovci, SFR Yugoslavia
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
Bedem Ivankovo
1979–1981 Mladost Vođinci
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1981–1987 Osijek 86 (20)
1987–1989 Hajduk Split 40 (10)
1989–1993 Cercle Brugge 121 (44)
1994–1995 Gent
1995–1996 FC Linz
1996–1997 Saint-Gilloise
Teams managed
2000–2001 NK Zagreb
2002–2003 Marsonia
2003–2004 Osijek
2004–2005 Slaven Belupo
2005–2006 Cibalia
2007–2009 Slavonac CO
2009–2010 Šibenik
2010–2011 Osijek
2011–2012 Široki Brijeg
2012–current HŠK Zrinjski Mostar
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Branko Karačić (born 24 September 1960) is a Croatian retired footballer and football manager.

Karačić turned professional in 1981 and spent the following six years with NK Osijek, where he appeared in a total of 300 matches for the club. He became captain of the team in his last years at NK Osijek and played alongside Davor Suker, the world class striker from the Croatia national football team and Real Madrid C.F., currently president of the Croatian Football Federation.

He then moved to Croatian powerhouse Hajduk Split for whom he played between 1987 and 1989, alongside many Croatian national team players - Alen Bokšić, Aljoša Asanović, Igor Štimac and Robert Jarni. After which he decided to move abroad and play for Cercle Brugge (1989–1993).

There he was a part of the Croatian trio - Jerko Tipurić - Branko Karačić - Josip Weber. They were the star players in the late 90's and made a historic impact. Branko Karačić was elected in the top 11 in the history of Cercle Brugge. In 1993 he moved to Gent were he played for 2 years after which he moved to Austria to play for FC Linz where Zlatko Kranjčar was coach and the famous Hugo Sanchez played as a forward. His last club was Saint-Gilloise (1996–1997) from the 2nd league in Belgium where he played for half a year and then finished his career as a professional football player.

During his playing career, Karačić was feared for his passing and free kick abilities and was known for having excellent technique and first touch. He had an amazing oversight of the game and was the definition of a classic playmaker. He also made an appearance for the Olympic team of Yugoslavia while he was playing at NK Osijek.

After retiring from active football he first held the post of director of football at NK Osijek (1997–1998) and then, after gaining his coaching diploma - UEFA PRO, went on to coach a number of Prva HNL teams.

His first coaching job was assisting Ivo Šušak at NK Zagreb (1999–2000) before taking over himself in the 2000–01 season. In his first season as head coach, he managed to finish on 4th place and reached semi-final of the Croatian Cup. He then went on to coach Marsonia (2002–03)with which he earned a promotion to the Prva HNL. He took over Osijek in (2003–04), his first club as a professional football player, finishing again on the 4th place in the competition and reaching the 1/4 finals of the Croatian Cup. In (2010–11) he once again became coach of Osijek. After accepting an offer from Slaven Belupo in (2004–05), he managed to finish on the 6th place and qualified for the Intertoto Cup where Slaven Belupo played against Deportivo La Coruña. This was the first international appearance in his career as a coach. In 2005-06 he managed the team of Cibalia finishing on the 9th place in Prva HNL. After a 1 year absence of coaching he accepted the project Slavonac CO from (2007–09) with whom he made a historic result qualifying for the Prva HNL although they have never played in it due to financial reasons.

When he took over Šibenik in the season(2009–10) he managed to put down the best result in club history finishing on the 4th position and playing the Final of the Croatian Cup against Hajduk Split. They qualified for the UEFA Europa League, where they successfully passed the 1st round of qualifications. They then played against Cyprian powerhouse Anorthosis Famagusta FC. In the season (2011–12) he became the coach of Široki Brijeg in the Premier League of Bosnia & Hercegovina. There, he also reached the Final of the BiH Cup and finished on the 2nd place in the competition.

In the season (2013–14) he achieved his best result yet as a football coach - he became Champion of the BH Telecom Premier League in Bosnia & Hercegovina with HŠK Zrinjski Mostar although they were considered underdogs throughout the whole season. They earned the right to play in the UEFA Champions League where they played against NK Maribor. He is currently managing HŠK Zrinjski Mostar for the 2nd year in a row.

Branko Karačić as a coach is well known for his tactical knowledge, iron discipline and an attacking style of playing. He is fond of giving young talented players a chance and promoted a whole bunch of high quality Croatian players in his teams - Ognjen Vukojević, Danijel Pranjić, Arijan Ademi, Ermin Zec, Marko Babić and Antonio Franja.

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