Elvir Baljić

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Not to be confused with Elvir Bolić.
Elvir Baljić
Personal information
Full name Elvir Baljić
Date of birth (1974-07-08) 8 July 1974 (age 40)
Place of birth Sarajevo, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Winger
Youth career
FK Željezničar
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1994–1995 FK Sarajevo 11 (8)
1995–1998 Bursaspor 87 (42)
1998–1999 Fenerbahçe 30 (18)
1999–2002 Real Madrid 11 (1)
2000–2001 Fenerbahçe (loan) 27 (5)
2001–2002 Rayo Vallecano (loan) 10 (1)
2002–2004 Galatasaray 34 (3)
2005 Konyaspor 14 (2)
2005–2006 Ankaragücü 15 (2)
2006–2008 Istanbulspor 25 (9)
Total 264 (91)
National team
1996–2005 Bosnia and Herzegovina 38 (14)
Teams managed
2010- Bosnia and Herzegovina (assistant)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Elvir Baljić (born 8 July 1974) is a retired Bosnian footballer. Currently he is an assistant manager of Bosnia and Herzegovina national football team, with whom he qualified for FIFA World Cup 2014.

Club career[edit]

His career began with FK Željezničar, but in 1993, during the war in Bosnia, he signed for FK Sarajevo. During his time with FK Sarajevo, he played eleven games, and scored eight goals.

Later, he was transferred to Turkey where he played for Bursaspor. He was the best player at the club for several seasons, which made him an interesting target for the best Turkish clubs.

Fenerbahçe[edit]

Fenerbahçe SK signed him in summer 1998 for €9.3 million. He spent a season at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium scoring 18 goals in 30 appearances as the club finished the season in third place.

Real Madrid[edit]

Baljić's stellar performances at Fenerbahçe made the 25-year-old a target for various European clubs. Still, his €26 million[1] transfer to Real Madrid under club president Lorenzo Sanz during summer 1999 caused a major surprise. The signing was inititiated by Real Madrid's head coach John Toshack who knew Baljić well from Istanbul as the Welshman coached Beşiktaş while the Bosnian starred for Fenerbahçe. For more than a decade, the transfer fee paid by Real to Fenerbahçe for Baljić stood as the biggest sum of money paid for a player from ex-Yugoslavia, until Edin Džeko's January 2011 move from Wolfsburg to Manchester City for £27 million (€32 million).

Unfortunately, injuries such as ruptured cruciate ligament in his left knee just before start of the season and subsequent loss of form caused Baljić's Real stint to turn sour pretty much immediately. Throughout the 1999–00 season he made only 11 league appearances (8 of them as substitute), scoring just 1 goal.[2] He never managed to secure a first team place, and the November 1999 sacking of Toshack followed by the arrival of new head coach Vicente del Bosque marginalized Baljić even further. At season's end, del Bosque included Baljić in the 18-man squad he took to Paris for the 2000 Champions League Final, but predictably did not give him a single minute of action as Real beat compatriots Valencia CF.

During summer 2000 transfer window Baljić was sent back to Fenerbahçe in a loan deal.

Loan spells at Fenerbahçe and Rayo Vallecano[edit]

Baljić spent the entire 2000–01 season back at his old stomping grounds. He simultaneously managed to recover some of his old form with 5 goals in 27 league appearances as Fenerbahçe won the Turkish Süper Lig.

In the following 2001–02 season he got a chance to showcase his abilities closer to the club that still held his rights as he got loaned to Madrid's Rayo Vallecano in La Liga. Baljić actually insisted on joining Rayo due to its proximity to Real as he had his eye on getting a fresh opportunity with the big club in the future. For their part, Real Madrid obliged and managed to hammer out a loan deal with Rayo. Also, in Rayo he joined countrymen and friends Elvir Bolić and Emir Granov, which Baljić cited as another reason he wanted to be at Rayo.[3] However, the move did not do much to improve Baljić's standing at the Bernabéu as more injuries, poor form, and even disciplinary issues followed with only 1 league goal from 10 appearances.[4]

During the summer 2002 transfer window, Baljić's Real contract was terminated and he again transferred back to Turkey - this time to Galatasaray. Due to his substantial price tag and the subsequent high-profile failure at Madrid, Baljić's acquisition by Real features consistently and prominently on various "worst-ever signing" lists.[5][6][7]

Galatasaray[edit]

Baljić turned just 28 years of age when he began his Galatasaray stint, but it soon became clear his best days were far behind him. His form was average at best and his overall interest in football seemed to be decreasing by the day. He said that he would retire on several occasions, but every time he would come back.

Baljić came back to the sport in January 2006, when he signed for Turkish side Ankaragücü. In the 2006–07 season, he played for Istanbulspor.

International career[edit]

Baljić had been a prolific part of the Bosnian national team since its inception, scoring 14 goals in 38 caps. He will be remembered as the only player who scored four goals in single match for Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was a couple of weeks after he signed a contract with Real Madrid, in a game between Estonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The final result was 1-4. In February 2010 Bosnia's manager Safet Sušić revealed that Baljić would be one of his assistants. Sušić had previously been Baljić's manager in Turkey.

International goals[edit]

Scores and results table. Bosnia and Herzegovina's goal tally first:

Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 12 August 1998 Koševo Stadium, Sarajevo  Faroe Islands 1–0 1–0 UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying
2. 14 October 1998 Žalgiris Stadium, Vilnius  Lithuania 2–2 2–4 UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying
3. 9 October 1999 Kadriorg Stadium, Tallinn  Estonia 1–1 4–1 UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying
4. 9 October 1999 Kadriorg Stadium, Tallinn  Estonia 2–1 4–1 UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying
5. 9 October 1999 Kadriorg Stadium, Tallinn  Estonia 3–1 4–1 UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying
6. 9 October 1999 Kadriorg Stadium, Tallinn  Estonia 4–1 4–1 UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying
7. 2 September 2000 Koševo Stadium, Sarajevo  Spain 1–1 1–2 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
8. 15 August 2001 Koševo Stadium, Sarajevo  Malta 1–0 2–0 Friendly
9. 15 August 2001 Koševo Stadium, Sarajevo  Malta 2–0 2–0 Friendly
10. 7 October 2001 Koševo Stadium, Sarajevo  Liechtenstein 2–0 5–0 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
11. 7 October 2001 Koševo Stadium, Sarajevo  Liechtenstein 4–0 5–0 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
12. 11 October 2002 Koševo Stadium, Sarajevo  Germany 1–0 1–1 Friendly
13. 13 February 2003 Millennium Stadium, Cardiff  Wales 1–0 2–2 Friendly
14. 2 April 2003 Parken Stadium, Copenhagen  Denmark 2–0 2–0 UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Real Madrid
Fenerbahçe

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]