|Full name||Josip Šimunić|
|Date of birth||18 February 1978|
|Place of birth||Canberra, Australia|
|Height||1.95 m (6 ft 5 in)|
|Current club||Dinamo Zagreb|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23 August 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).
Josip Šimunić (Croatian pronunciation: [jǒsip ʃǐmunit͡ɕ]; born 18 February 1978) is a Croatian footballer who plays as a defender for Dinamo Zagreb and the Croatia national football team. He is often nicknamed "Joe". He has been playing for Croatia since 2001, including participations in five major tournaments – World Cup 2002, World Cup 2006, Euro 2004, Euro 2008 and Euro 2012 – and is the third most capped player in the history of the Croatia national team.
Šimunić was born in Canberra, Australia to Bosnian Croat immigrants from Fojnica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, then Yugoslavia. He received early football training at the Australian Institute of Sport. The defender broke into the Melbourne Knights first team as a teenager in the 1995–96 season and ended it with a championship medal and 1996 NSL Youth Player of the Year award. Šimunić scored his first goals the following term, three in 14 outings, before moving to Europe to join Hamburger SV in 1998.
Šimunić moved to Hertha BSC in 2000 after having fallen out with Hamburg coach Frank Pagelsdorf and has since become an integral member of a team which has enjoyed occasional forays in the UEFA Cup. He expressed on The World Game on SBS television that he wishes to return to Australia to live after concluding his career in Europe. At the end of the 2008–09 season, Šimunić was named the best centre-half in the Bundesliga by kicker magazine. Hertha finished in fourth place that season, with a defence that conceded only 41 goals, tied for third in the league with VfL Wolfsburg.
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
On 31 August 2011, the board of Dinamo Zagreb confirmed signing of Šimunić on a free transfer in a contract that expires on 30 June 2013. Šimunić was signed by the club in order to re-enforce their team for UEFA Champions League matches. He made his official debut in Croatian biggest derby match, between eternal rivals Dinamo Zagreb and Hajduk Split, on Poljud Stadium. During his first season with the club he made only 11 domestic league appearances, as he struggled to find his regular spot in the starting lineup due to injuries and tough competition in team`s defensive lineup that included Tonel, Leandro Cufre, Igor Bišćan and Domagoj Vida. He made his UEFA Champions League debut against Lyon on Stade de Gerland. At the end of the season he won his first double with the club, as Dinamo won both Croatian league and Croatian Cup.
In the beginning of his second season with the club he established himself as the first choice center-back and regular starter. He played fully 90 minutes in each of six Dinamo's group-stage matches in 2012–13 UEFA Champions League.
Šimunić was educated at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS). He was eligible to play for Australia but opted to play for Croatia, even though his parents were from Bosnia and Herzegovina and not Croatia, albeit of Croatian ethnicity in Bosnia. After obtaining dual citizenship in October 2001 he made his international debut in Croatia's friendly match against South Korea on 10 November 2001. Šimunić did not play in any of Croatia's qualifiers for the 2002 World Cup, but was given a place in the squad for the finals after injury forced Igor Tudor out. He played all three of Croatia's matches in Korea and Japan. He also played in the Euro 2004, the 2006 World Cup, and Euro 2008, performing well in the latter tournament.
In a well-publicised incident, Šimunić was sent off in Croatia's final 2006 World Cup match against Australia. Šimunić having picked up a booking in the 61st minute, the referee Graham Poll took out a yellow card for his tackle in the 90th minute, but did not actually send him off. At the conclusion of the game three minutes later, however, Šimunić remonstrated with Poll and received a "third" yellow card, this time followed by a red card. FIFA initially noted all three bookings in its match report, before later removing the 90th minute (second) booking. This prompted the removal of Poll from the knockout stages referee pool. Shortly after the World Cup, Poll retired from refereeing international games, citing this game as a direct cause.
Upon the release of his autobiography in 2007, Poll revealed that, upon booking Šimunić for the second time, he had erroneously recorded him as "Australia #3" (who was defender Craig Moore), due to Šimunić's Australian accent.
Fascist salute after Croatia-Iceland game
Šimunić was involved in controversy following a 2–0 win for Croatia against Iceland in Zagreb on 19 November 2013. He was accused of neo-Nazi sympathies having directed the crowd in a chant following the game. The use of the salute Za dom ("For the homeland"), with the fans responding, Spremni ("Ready!") was reminiscent of the salute used by the fascist Ustaše movement in Croatia during World War II.
He defended his actions saying that he was driven by "love for his Croatian homeland." After the match Šimunić responded to his critics: "Those who are bothered by those shouts should study history. If it bothers someone, then it's their problem. I'm not afraid." For this incident Šimunić was fined 25,000 kunas by the Croatian State Attorney's Office for inciting racial hatred and harassment of other participants of a public gathering. FIFA has opened an investigation and Šimunić is under a threat of a six match ban. Šimunić's behavior has been denounced by the Croatian Minister of Sports Željko Jovanović, Association of Anti-Fascist Fighters of Croatia (SABH) and various foreign and domestic media.
|1||6 September 2003||Comunal, Aixovall||Andorra||
||Euro 2004 Qualifying|
|2||18 August 2004||Stadion Varteksa, Varaždin||Israel||
|3||26 March 2005||Maksimir, Zagreb||Iceland||
||World Cup 2006 Qualifying|
- "Josip Simunic: Ein Weltenbummler in der Provinz" (in German). transfermarkt.de. 21 August 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2009.
- "Joe Simunic: Eine Klasse für sich" (in German). kicker. 8 June 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2009.
- "Aus der Hauptstadt zu 1899" (in German). transfermarkt.de. 30 June 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2009.
- "Josip Šimunić potpisao za Dinamo!" (in Croatian). gnkdinamo.hr. 31 August 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
- "Knjaz pokazao javnosti pravog Niku Kranjčara" (in Croatian). Retrieved 12 January 2008.
- "Croatia Defender Joe Simunic Led Crowd In Apparent Pro-Nazi Chant To Celebrate World Cup Berth (VIDEO)". huffingtonpost.com. 20 November 2013. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- "Australian-born Croatia defender Joe Simunic accused of using pro-Nazi chant after qualifying for World Cup". adelaidenow.com.au. 20 November 2013. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- DORH Šimunića kaznio s 25 tisuća kuna: Uzvikom "Za dom" raspirivao je mržnju! [State Prosecution punished Šimunić with 25 thousand kunas: By shouting "Za dom" he fueled hatred!] (in Croatian), slobodnadalmacija.hr, 21 November 2013, retrieved 22 November 2013
- Josip Šimunić – FIFA competition record
- Josip Šimunić at National-Football-Teams.com
- Josip Šimunić international stats at the Croatian Football Federation website