Josip Iličić

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Josip Iličić
Personal information
Full name Josip Iličić
Date of birth (1988-01-29) 29 January 1988 (age 26)
Place of birth Prijedor, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Playing position Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current team
Number 72
Youth career
1995–2006 Triglav Kranj
2006–2007 Britof
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2008 Bonifika Izola 24 (3)
2008–2010 Interblock 55 (12)
2010 Maribor 5 (1)
2010–2013 Palermo 98 (20)
2013– Fiorentina 24 (3)
National team
2009 Slovenia U21 5 (0)
2010– Slovenia 26 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 30 August 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 7 June 2014

Josip Iličić (born 29 January 1988 in Prijedor) is a Slovenian footballer who plays for Serie A club Fiorentina and the Slovenia national team.

Club career[edit]

Iličić started his career playing in the youth teams of Triglav Kranj and later Britof from Kranj. At the age of 19, he moved to SC Bonifika, where he played for a season in Slovenian second division, 2.SNL. It was there when his talent was spotted by Interblock, where he stayed for two seasons playing in Slovenian top league, 1.SNL. At the end of the 2009–10 season, Interblock was relegated into 2.SNL after two qualifications matches against Triglav. Despite being one of the best players of his club and one of the top prospects of Slovenian football Iličić finished the season as a reserve.[1]

A couple of months later he moved to Maribor, where he has made a big impact from the start as he scored twice in the UEFA Europa League match against Scottish Premier League club Hibernian in July 2010.[2] He then scored again, in the return leg of the UEFA Europa League playoff round against Sicilian Palermo, which ended in a 3–2 win for the Slovenian side. On the very next day, it was confirmed that Palermo had acquired Iličić and teammate Armin Bačinović from Maribor for a permanent move.[3] The transfer fee paid by Palermo was undisclosed, but it is believed to be around €2.3 million.[4]


He then picked up where he left off as he nearly scored a late equaliser at his debut for his new team in Serie A.[5] In the next round, he was already a starter and scored his first goal for Palermo at home against reigning champions Inter.[6] Only four days later, on 23 September 2010, he scored his second goal of the season, this time against another Italian giant Juventus.[7] His terrific performances against top Italian teams continued when he scored a goal against Fiorentina on 3 October 2010,[8][9] and against Roma on 28 November 2010.[10]

On 20 June 2011, Josip signed a new five-year contract.[11] He changed his shirt number to 27 on 16 August 2011.[12] However, in the 2011–12 season Iličić struggled to make an impact mostly due to Javier Pastore - Iličić's attacking midfield partner - being sold in a record bid to Paris Saint-Germain F.C., and the Slovene providing only two goals as a result. Despite that, he was confirmed for the 2012–13 season as well, being paired with new signing Franco Brienza in a 3–4–2–1 formation by new head coach Gian Piero Gasperini. Iličić's top moment of the season came on 24 November 2012, as he scored a winning brace in a 3–1 home win for a struggling Palermo side against Catania in the Sicilian derby.

On 17 March 2013, Iličić reached 100 caps on rosanero: 91 in the league, 2 in European Cups and 7 in the Coppa Italia.


On 23 July 2013, Palermo officially confirmed the sale of Josip Iličić to Serie A rivals Fiorentina on their website. It is understood that the player favoured a move to Florence over playing in the Bundesliga (Bayer 04 Leverkusen) and Premier League (Liverpool F.C.). Later the deal was officially announced by Fiorentina on their website.[13] Vincenzo Montella's side have confirmed the signing of Slovenian midfielder Josip Iličić from Palermo for an undisclosed fee which is believed to be in the sum of €9 million (£7.7m) plus add-ons.[14]

International career[edit]

Iličić missed out on the 2010 FIFA World Cup but made his debut for the national side in a friendly match against Australia on 11 August 2010.[15] He scored his first international goal on 10 September 2013 against Cyprus.

Career statistics[edit]


Slovenia national team
Year Apps Goals
2010 6 0
2011 8 0
2012 8 0
2013 1 1
2014 1 0
Total 24 1

Last updated: 5 March 2014
Source: Josip Iličić at

Personal life[edit]

Josip Iličić was born in Prijedor, present day Bosnia and Herzegovina and moved to Slovenia after the death of his father when he was only one year old, together with his mother Ana and brother Igor. As a top prospect without national team experience he was once asked in an interview if he would be interested in playing for Croatia national football team, due to his Croatian ancestry, but Iličić replied that he would have never accepted the offer because he has lived in Slovenia his whole life.[16] Later, he made a similar comment regarding Bosnia and Herzegovina, the country where he was born.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gorenjci imajo prvoligaša" (in Slovene). Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "NK Maribor 3–0 Hibernian". BBC Sport. 29 July 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  3. ^ "Iličić in Bačinović v Palermo, Rep iz Celja v Maribor" (in Slovenian). NK Maribor official website. 27 August 2010. Retrieved 27 August 2010. 
  4. ^ Jan Krstovski, M. P. (8 June 2011). "Ukradeni talent – 16-letni Stojanovič" (in Slovene). Žurnal24. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  5. ^ "Iličić skoraj izenačil, Cesar s Chievom na vrhu" (in Slovene). Retrieved 12 September 2010. 
  6. ^ "Video: Prvenec Iličiča v Serie A" (in Slovene). Retrieved 19 September 2010. 
  7. ^ "Iličič zadel tudi ob veliki zmagi Palerma v Torinu". (in Slovene). RTV Slovenija. Retrieved 23 September 2010. 
  8. ^ "MatchView: Fio-Pal 1-2" (in Italian). Retrieved 3 October 2010. 
  9. ^ "Iličič z 20 metrov snel pajčevino z gola Fiorentine". (in Slovene). RTV Slovenija. Retrieved 3 October 2010. 
  10. ^ "Posticipo 14/a giornata Palermo-Roma 3-1" (in Italian). Retrieved 28 November 2010. 
  11. ^ "Insieme fino al 2016". US Città di Palermo (in Italian) ( 20 June 2011. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  12. ^ "Numeri di maglia: Ilicic prende il 27". US Città di Palermo (in Italian) ( 16 August 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Zlatko in Zlatan z goloma krstila stoženski stadion". (in Slovene). RTV Slovenija. Retrieved 11 August 2010. 
  16. ^ "Iličić: "Nikoli za Hrvaško!"" (in Slovene). Retrieved 30 July 2010. 
  17. ^ "Iličić: Sve je ovo poput sna" (in Bosnian). Retrieved 26 September 2010. 

1. *I will never be a superstar 2. *I wanna score 15 goals 3. *Zahovic: There are no limits for Josip Ilicic 4. *Josip Ilicic signs for Fiorentina SkySports

External links[edit]