Igor Cvitanović

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Igor Cvitanović
Personal information
Date of birth (1970-11-01) 1 November 1970 (age 43)
Place of birth Osijek, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1989–1997 Dinamo Zagreb 181 (117)
1992 Varteks (loan) 21 (9)
1998–1999 Real Sociedad 29 (3)
1999–2002 Dinamo Zagreb 40 (18)
2002 Shimizu S-Pulse 5 (1)
2002–2004 Osijek 5 (0)
Total 281 (148)
National team
1993 Croatia U21 1 (0)
1992–2001 Croatia 29 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Igor Cvitanović (born 1 November 1970 in Osijek) is a retired Croatian football striker.

He is currently the 2nd all-time goalscorer of the Croatian First League with a total of 126 goals, and also scored 122 domestic league goals for Croatian club Dinamo Zagreb, 117 of which were in the Croatian First League. He also played for the Croatian national team.

Club career[edit]

Cvitanović started his professional career at Dinamo Zagreb in 1989, appearing in 10 Yugoslav First League matches and scoring five goals for the club in the league during his first professional season. He was subsequently loaned to Varteks Varaždin during the inaugural season of the Croatian First League in the spring of 1992, making 21 appearances and scoring nine goals in the league before returning to Dinamo Zagreb the following summer.

Between 1992 and 1997, Cvitanović spent five and a half seasons playing for Dinamo Zagreb and became the top goalscorer of the Croatian First League in two consecutive seasons, scoring 19 goals in 1995-96 and 20 goals in 1996-97.

In 1995, he had agreed terms with Middlesbrough in the Premier League, but the £1million transfer fell through on 2 December 1995 after the Department of Employment refuse to issue him with a work permit.[1]

He also scored 27 league goals in the 1993-94 season, but was at the time overtaken in the goalscoring charts by his then teammate Goran Vlaović, who scored 29 league goals that season. Cvitanović also scored nine goals in 14 league matches in the autumn of 1997, before moving abroad to Spanish side Real Sociedad at the beginning of the year 1998. He scored a total of 104 goals in domestic league competitions for Dinamo Zagreb before leaving the club, becoming their most successful goalscorer of all time.

He failed to find much success with the Spanish side, scoring only three goals in 29 La Liga appearances before returning to Dinamo Zagreb in 1999. In 2002, he left Dinamo Zagreb to spend a season with Japanese side Shimizu S-Pulse and then returned to Croatia to spend one more season with Osijek in 2003-04, before retiring from playing.

International career[edit]

Cvitanović made his international debut for the Croatian national team on 22 October 1992 in a friendly match against Mexico in Zagreb. On 17 August 1994, he netted a brace for Croatia in a friendly match against Israel in Tel Aviv to score his first international goals. Cvitanović was also part of the Croatian squad at the UEFA Euro 1996 finals in England, where he did not play any matches. In the qualifying stages for the tournament, he only made one appearance as a stoppage-time substitute.

He went on to make six appearances in Croatia's qualifying campaign for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, but was dismissed from the team's training camp a few weeks before the beginning of the finals due to differences of opinion between him and coach Miroslav Blažević. He briefly returned to the team in the spring of 1999, making further six appearances in friendlies, with his last international match being against Korea Republic on 19 June 1999 at the Korea Cup in Seoul. He scored his last international goal in Croatia's first match at the same tournament, against Egypt on 13 June 1999. He finished his international career with 29 caps and four goals.

International goals[edit]

Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1–2 17 August 1994 Ramat Gan, Ramat Gan  Israel
1 – 0
4 – 0
Friendly
2 – 0
3 28 February 1996 Kantrida, Rijeka  Poland
2 – 1
2 – 1
Friendly
4 13 June 1999 Dongdaemun, Seoul  Egypt
1 – 2
2 – 2
Friendly

Honours[edit]

Club
Individual

References[edit]

External links[edit]