Mario Mandžukić

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Mario Mandžukić
Mario Mandžukić Bayern.jpg
Mandžukić playing for Bayern Munich in 2012
Personal information
Full name Mario Mandžukić[1]
Date of birth (1986-05-21) 21 May 1986 (age 28)
Place of birth Slavonski Brod, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)[2]
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Atlético Madrid
Number 9
Youth career
1992–1996 TSF Ditzingen
1996–2003 Marsonia
2003–2004 Željezničar Slavonski Brod
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2005 Marsonia 23 (14)
2005–2007 NK Zagreb 51 (14)
2007–2010 Dinamo Zagreb 81 (42)
2010–2012 VfL Wolfsburg 56 (20)
2012–2014 Bayern Munich 54 (33)
2014– Atlético Madrid 6 (2)
National team
2004–2005 Croatia U19 10 (3)
2007 Croatia U20 1 (1)
2006–2008 Croatia U21 9 (1)
2007– Croatia 56 (17)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18:29, 19 October 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 22:30, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

Mario Mandžukić (pronounced [mârjo mǎnd͡ʒukit͡ɕ]; born 21 May 1986) is a Croatian footballer who plays for Spanish club Atlético Madrid and for the Croatian national team as a striker. Besides being a prolific goalscorer, he is known for his great defensive contribution and aerial power.[3][4][5]

He started his career in his hometown club Marsonia from where he moved to two Croatian capital city football clubs, first joining NK Zagreb and then signing with Dinamo Zagreb in 2007, where he was Prva HNL top goalscorer in the 2008–09 season. His prolific scoring earned him a transfer to VfL Wolfsburg in 2010. After some impressive performances at UEFA Euro 2012, where he was the joint top scorer with three goals,[6] he was signed by German Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich. In his first season with the club he won three trophies; the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, and the Champions League, while also becoming the first Croat to score in a Champions league final.

At international level, Mandžukić was given his debut for Croatia in November 2007 under manager Slaven Bilić. He has since participated in two major tournaments, UEFA Euro 2012 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup, gaining over 50 international caps. He was named Croatian Footballer of the Year in 2012 and 2013.[7]

Club career[edit]

Early days[edit]

Mandžukić made his first footballing steps at the German club TSF Ditzingen, based near Stuttgart, in 1992. Upon his return to his home city, he spent the period between 1996 and 2003 at NK Marsonia before spending a season at the city minnows NK Željezničar. The next season, he returned to Marsonia and in the summer of 2005 he made a move to NK Zagreb. He thrived under the tuition of Miroslav Blažević and earned much interest from other clubs, such as Chelsea and Manchester United.

Dinamo Zagreb[edit]

Mandžukić playing for Dinamo Zagreb in July 2008

In the summer of 2007, Mandžukić was bought by the Croatian powerhouse Dinamo Zagreb for €1.3 million as a replacement for their Arsenal-bound star striker Eduardo.[8] Upon his arrival, he managed to secure his spot in starting eleven, playing mostly in the position of second striker. On 4 October 2007, he put on an impressive performance against AFC Ajax in Amsterdam when he scored two goals in extra-time to secure Dinamo's 2–3 away win, as Dinamo qualified for the group stage of 2007–08 UEFA Cup. He finished his first season at Dinamo with 12 goals and 11 assists throughout 29 matches, but also had a poor discipline record, collecting eight yellow cards.

He started the 2008–09 season with two goals against Linfield in a qualifier for the UEFA Cup. In the 2008–09 Prva HNL, Mandžukić was the league's top goalscorer, bagging 16 goals in 28 appearances. He also scored three goals in the season's UEFA Cup. This was the season of his rise in the Croatian national team as well, as he collected eight caps in 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches. After the 2008–09 season had finished, he was linked with German side Werder Bremen, but the €12 million offer was rejected by the Dinamo board, who were of opinion that Mandžukić's worth was at least €15 million. He started the 2009–10 season by scoring a goal in a Champions League play-off match against Red Bull Salzburg. Mandžukić received red card in the last minutes of the game. After he told the referee that he got hit by the bottle that somebody threw from the stands, he gave him his second yellow card and ruled him out of the game. On 17 September 2009, after Dinamo lost 2–0 at home to Anderlecht in Europa League, Mandžukić was controversially fined €100,000 after being accused of poor effort.[9] It was the first time in the history of the club that a player was financially fined.[10] On 20 September, Mandžukić captained Dinamo to a 6–0 victory against HNK Rijeka in Prva HNL. In a post–match interview, Mandžukić rejected any speculation about him leaving the club after the fine, stating that it was his childhood dream to captain the Dinamo side and that he gives his best in any match he plays for the club. During that season, he appeared in 24 league matches, scoring 14 goals. He appeared in five Europa League matches as well.

Wolfsburg[edit]

On 14 July 2010, Mandžukić signed for VfL Wolfsburg for a fee believed to be around €7 million.[11] Upon his arrival, in the first half of the 2010–11 season, he played regularly but mostly coming on as a substitute. At the time, he was mostly used as left winger under coach Steve McClaren, who played with only one striker, Edin Džeko. Things changed for Mandžukić, however, after the departure of Džeko to Manchester City in January 2011. Mandžukić scored his first Bundesliga goal for Wolfsburg on Matchday 26 against 1. FC Nürnberg under interim manager Pierre Littbarski. Upon the arrival of manager Felix Magath, Mandžukić was played in his natural position as striker. In the last seven matches of the domestic season, he scored eight goals, two of which came in the last match against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, and were crucial for the club as they avoided relegation. In his second season in Wolfsburg, he became a regular starter in the Bundesliga and was the club's top goalscorer with 12 goals. In his two years at Wolfsburg, he scored 20 times in 56 appearances, establishing himself as one of Wolfsburg's best players during his stay and quickly becoming a fan favourite due to his goalscoring ability and attitude.

Bayern Munich[edit]

On 26 June, Mandžukić signed a contract with Bundesliga club Bayern Munich for a transfer fee of €13 million,[12] pending a medical test, subsequent to his strong performance at UEFA Euro 2012 in Ukraine and Poland, and because of his terrific form for Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga. On 27 June, the transfer was officially announced by Bayern.[13][14]

2012–13 season[edit]

On 24 July 2012, Mandžukić made his debut for Bayern in a 6–0 win against Chinese Super League side Beijing Guoan, scoring the fifth goal in the friendly match in the 79th minute. On 12 August, he scored his first goal in an official game against reigning Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund in the sixth minute, helping his team win the German DFL Supercup. He scored his first league goal for Bayern against Greuther Fürth on matchday one and added another one the next matchday in a 6–1 win against VfB Stuttgart. He went on to score twice against his former club Wolfsburg.

Mandžukić then added four more goals in five more Bundesliga matches, taking his tally to nine goals in 11 matches in the German top tier. After the Bundesliga winter break, Mandžukić continued with his goal scoring activity, netting three more goals in first two games, against Greuther Fürth and Stuttgart. He scored another brace against 1. FSV Mainz 05. He finished his first Bundesliga season with Bayern as the club's top goalscorer, netting a total of 15 goals in 24 matches and having a major impact in winning the Bundesliga title. He scored his first Champions League goal of the season in the Round of 16 match against Arsenal. He netted another one in the quarter-final match against Juventus in Turin, giving Bayern the 0–1 away lead. On 25 May, Bayern faced Borussia Dortmund in the 2013 UEFA Champions League Final and Mandžukić scored the first goal of the match, giving Bayern a 1–0 lead in 60th minute. Bayern went on to win the match 2–1 after a late goal from Arjen Robben. With this goal, Mandžukić became the first Croat to score in a Champions League final game and it capped a highly successful first season for him in Munich, as the club completed a treble-winning season, claiming the Bundesliga, Champions League, and DFB-Pokal, as well as the German Supercup at the start of the campaign.

2013–14 season[edit]

Mandžukić first began the season slowly, having small issues adjusting to new Bayern coach Pep Guardiola's system. Guardiola changed Bayern's formation from the 4–2–3–1 they had used previously under Jupp Heynckes to a new 4–1–4–1 style. While it took a bit of time to adjust, Mandžukić regained his form nonetheless in time for league play. He opened the new season in the Bundesliga by scoring two goals in two league appearances. Mandžukić scored his first Champions League goal of the season when Bayern Munich began the defence of their Champions League title against CSKA Moscow with a 3–0 victory at the Allianz Arena. He headed the only goal as Bayern defeated a valiant FC Viktoria Plzeň in November to move into the knockout stages with a record-equalling ninth successive UEFA Champions League win. Mandžukić scored his tenth goal of the new Bundesliga season in a December match against Hamburger SV. In the first semi-final of 2013 FIFA Club World Cup, Mandžukić dove low to head Thiago Alcantara's cross into goal for 2–0 against Guangzhou Evergrande. He eventually won the competition with Bayern after the final with Raja Casablanca, ended with a 2–0 victory. Upon the Bundesliga winter break, Mandžukić was left out of the Bayern Munich 18-man roster in their match against Borussia Mönchengladbach, with Guardiola reportedly unimpressed with his performances in training.[15][16] He returned to the squad for the next match against VfB Stuttgart. A week later, against Eintracht Frankfurt, Mandžukić delivered a response with a commanding performance in Bayern's 5–0 win, scoring the last goal of the match and delivering a pinpoint pass to Mario Götze who opened the scoring.[17] On 12 February, Mandžukić scored his first hat-trick of the season, as Bayern Munich eased their way into the DFB-Pokal semi-final with a 5–0 rout of Hamburger SV.[18] In the match against Hannover 96, Mandžukić celebrated his 100th Bundesliga appearance by meeting Rafinha's cross to complete the goal.[19] Despite being the club's top scorer with 26 goals, Mandžukić was dropped from the team by Guardiola ahead of the 2014 DFB-Pokal Final.[20] Mandžukić stated that he wanted to leave Bayern because "the playing style of coach Pep Guardiola simply does not fit" him.[21]

Atlético Madrid[edit]

On 10 July 2014, Mandžukić signed a four-year deal with the Spanish club Atlético Madrid for an undisclosed fee.[22] On 24 July, Mandžukić was presented to Atlético Madrid fans at Vicente Calderón, wearing the number 9 shirt.[23][24] He made his competitive debut in the first leg of the 2014 Supercopa de España on 19 August, a 1–1 draw away to Real Madrid, in which he played 78 minutes before being replaced by fellow debutant Raúl Jiménez.[25] In the second leg at Vicente Calderón, Mandžukić scored his first competitive goal for the club, netting the winner after just two minutes.[26] It was the quickest goal in the competition.[27] Mandžukić scored his first league goal against SD Eibar, on 30 August, as Atlético recorded their first win of the new Primera División season.[28] In the opening match of the new Champions League campaign, against Olympiacos, Mandžukić collected Cristian Ansaldi's cross and sent home a close-range header into the bottom corner to make it 1–2, in eventual 2–3 loss.[29]

International career[edit]

After putting together a string of solid performances in the 2007–08 Prva HNL, as well as in Dinamo's UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup matches, he earned a call–up to the Croatian national team, for which he debuted in a game against Macedonia on 17 November 2007. On 10 September 2008, he scored his first ever goal for Croatia in a 4–1 loss against England.

Euro 2012[edit]

His influence in the national team increased during the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying. His first goal of the campaign came in June 2011, when he scored an equalizer against Georgia at the Stadion Poljud. He added another header against Latvia in the last match of the qualifiers. With Croatia finishing second in their group, they had to face Turkey in the Euro 2012 play-offs. In the first match played in Istanbul, Croatia stunned the home fans by winning 0–3, with Mandžukić scoring the second goal from a header in the 32nd minute of the match.

Mandžukić was one of two of manager Slaven Bilić's first choice strikers for Croatia at UEFA Euro 2012, being paired with the Everton striker Nikica Jelavić. He scored twice in Croatia's opening game of the Euro against the Republic of Ireland. He also scored against Italy in the following group game.[30] He was the joint-top scorer of the tournament with three goals alongside Mario Balotelli, Fernando Torres, Cristiano Ronaldo, Alan Dzagoev, and future Bayern teammate Mario Gómez.

2014 World Cup[edit]

He opened the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification by providing two assists in the first two matches, against Macedonia in Zagreb and against Belgium in Brussels. He scored his first goal of the campaign against Wales in Osijek. Mandžukić added another goal to his tally in qualification match against Serbia, giving Croatia a 1–0 lead, in Zagreb. He also scored in the second match between the two sides in Belgrade. In the second leg of Croatia's play-off match against Iceland in Zagreb, Mandžukić gave Croatia the lead in an eventual 2–0 win. However, he later received a red card after a reckless high tackle on Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson connected with the Icelandic midfielder's left knee.[31]

Mandžukić was named in Croatia's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, but was suspended for the team's first match against the host nation in São Paulo on 12 June 2014.[32] He returned to the team for Croatia's second match against Cameroon on 18 June, and marked his debut at the World Cup scoring twice in a 4–0 win.[33] He was awarded the "Man of the Match" award.[34]

Playing style[edit]

Pundits have noted Mandžukić for his physical strength, versatility, mobility and fitness. He was even given the nickname Đilkoš (pronounced jeel-kosh) by Miroslav Blažević, which means brash and unsophisticated, referring to the striker's physical strengths, powerful physique and seemingly endless stamina, rather than his technical ability.[35] His former manager at Wolfsburg, Felix Magath, noted his endurance, stating that the striker is 'so fit that I think he could play two back-to-back games without stopping even for a minute.'[36]

Following his move to Atlético Madrid, Sky Sports analyst Adam Bate wrote that he was the perfect fit for manager Diego Simeone's style as Mandžukić is 'often the instigator of the press with his energetic running, Mandzukic battles defences, driving them back to create space for team-mates as well as preventing opponents building patiently without pressure on the ball.'[36] Bate further added that the Croatian 'is both a physical and mobile striker who does so much of his best work without the ball, seemingly doing the work of two players and thus allowing an extra man in midfield.'[36]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of 4 October 2014
Club performance League Cup Continental Other Total Ref.
Club Season Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Croatia Prva HNL Croatian Cup Europe Other Total
Marsonia 2004–05 23 14 23 14
NK Zagreb 2005–06 28 3 28 3
2006–07 23 11 4 3 27 14
Totals 51 14 4 3 55 17
Dinamo Zagreb 2007–08 29 12 8 5 10 3 47 20
2008–09 28 16 5 5 10 3 43 24
2009–10 24 14 3 0 11 5 38 19
Totals 81 42 16 10 31 11 128 63
Germany Bundesliga DFB-Pokal Europe Other Total
VfL Wolfsburg 2010–11 24 8 3 0 27 8 [37]
2011–12 32 12 1 0 33 12 [38]
Totals 56 20 4 0 60 20
Bayern Munich 2012–13 24 15 5 3 10 3 1 1 40 22 [39]
2013–14 30 18 4 4 10 3 4 1 48 26 [40]
Totals 54 33 9 7 20 6 5 2 88 48
Spain La Liga Copa del Rey Europe Other Total
Atlético Madrid 2014–15 5 2 0 0 2 1 2 1 9 4 [41]
Career totals 270 125 33 20 53 18 7 3 363 166

International goals[edit]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 10 September 2008 Maksimir Stadium, Zagreb, Croatia  England
1–3
1–4
2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying
2. 12 October 2010 Maksimir Stadium, Zagreb, Croatia  Norway
1–1
2–1
Friendly
3. 3 June 2011 Poljud Stadium, Split, Croatia  Georgia
1–1
2–1
UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifying
4. 11 October 2011 Stadion Kantrida, Rijeka, Croatia  Latvia
2–0
2–0
UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifying
5. 11 November 2011 Türk Telekom Arena, Istanbul, Turkey  Turkey
0–2
0–3
UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying play-off
6. 10 June 2012 Municipal Stadium, Poznań, Poland  Republic of Ireland
0–1
1–3
UEFA Euro 2012
7.
1–3
8. 14 June 2012 Municipal Stadium, Poznań, Poland  Italy
1–1
1–1
UEFA Euro 2012
9. 16 October 2012 Stadion Gradski vrt, Osijek, Croatia  Wales
1–0
2–0
2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying
10. 6 February 2013 Craven Cottage, London, England  South Korea
0–1
0–4
Friendly
11. 22 March 2013 Maksimir Stadium, Zagreb, Croatia  Serbia
1–0
2–0
2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying
12. 6 September 2013 Stadion Crvena Zvezda, Belgrade, Serbia  Serbia
0–1
1–1
2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying
13. 19 November 2013 Maksimir Stadium, Zagreb, Croatia  Iceland
1–0
2–0
2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Play-Off
14. 18 June 2014 Arena da Amazônia, Manaus, Brazil  Cameroon
3–0
4–0
2014 FIFA World Cup
15.
4–0
16. 4 September 2014 Aldo Drosina Stadium, Pula, Croatia  Cyprus
1–0
2–0
Friendly
17.
2–0

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Dinamo Zagreb[42]
Bayern Munich[42]
Atlético Madrid

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2013: List of Players" (PDF). FIFA. 7 December 2013. p. 5. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "Mario Mandzukic / Forward". FC Bayern München. Retrieved 4 January 2013. 
  3. ^ Nyari, Cristian (9 April 2013). "Performance Analysis – Mario Mandzukic’s Importance to Bayern Munich". Bundesliga Fanatic. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  4. ^ Uersfeld, Stephan (28 October 2013). "Pep Guardiola hails Mario Mandzukic". ESPN FC. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  5. ^ Whitney, Clark (19 June 2014). "Mandzukic Brace Shows How Pep Guardiola Is Losing His "Plan B" at Bayern Munich". bleacherreport.com. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "UEFA EURO 2012 Statistics Goals scored". UEFA.com. Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "Mandzukic named Criatian Player of the Year". Bundesliga.com. 16 March 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  8. ^ "Dinamo act quickly to replace Eduardo". UEFA.com. 10 July 2007. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  9. ^ "Mandžukića igrači trebaju šamarati zbog njegovog seljačkog ponašanja!". Milan Stjelja (in Croatian) (Sportske novosti). 18 September 2009. Retrieved 21 September 2009. 
  10. ^ "Ne želi o kaznama: 'Samo se nadam da će reakcija igrača biti pozitivna!". Davorin Olivari (in Croatian) (Sportske novosti). 19 September 2009. Retrieved 21 September 2009. 
  11. ^ "Keine Verlängerung mit Mandzukic" (in German). kicker.de. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  12. ^ "Mandzukic versus Lewandowski in numbers". FIFA.com. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  13. ^ "New Bayern Munich signing Mandzukic: It is great to be here". goal.com. 30 June 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  14. ^ "Terms agreed for Croatia striker Mandzukic". FC Bayern Munich. 27 June 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  15. ^ "Arsenal target Mario Mandzukic left out of Bayern squad as rift with Pep Guardiola deepens". mirror.co.uk. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  16. ^ "Guardiola denies rift with striker Mandzukic". FourFourTwo. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  17. ^ "Mandzukic stakes his claim". www.bundesliga.com. 4 February 2014. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  18. ^ "Mandzukic hits hat-trick as Bayern rout hapless Hamburg 5–0". Straitstimes. 13 February 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  19. ^ "Muller brace keeps Bayern rolling". foxsports.com. 23 February 2014. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  20. ^ "Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund set for German Cup final". BBC Sport. 16 May 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2014. 
  21. ^ ""Es ist das Beste, dass wir uns trennen"" (in German). Süddeutsche Zeitung. 9 June 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  22. ^ "Mario Mandzukic joins Atletico Madrid from Bayern Munich". BBC Sports. 10 July 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  23. ^ "Atletico predstavio Mandžu: Simeone i ja smo slični. Aupa Atleti!". gol.dnevnik.hr. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  24. ^ "Mandzukic claims to share Simeone's passion for soccer in presentation". soccerly.com. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  25. ^ "Spanish Super Copa: Real Madrid and Atletico draw 1–1 in first leg". Sky Sports News. 20 August 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  26. ^ Chowdhury, Saj (22 August 2014). "Atletico Madrid beat Real Madrid to win Spanish Super Cup". BBC. 
  27. ^ "Mandžukić seals Super Cup for Atlético". UEFA. 23 August 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  28. ^ "Mario Mandzukic finds net as Atlético Madrid run close by Eibar". theguardian.co.uk. 30 August 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  29. ^ "Olympiakos 3–2 Atletico Madrid". espn.co.uk. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  30. ^ "Euro 2012: Republic of Ireland 1–3 Croatia". UEFA. 9 June 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  31. ^ "Mario MANDZUKIC". FIFA. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  32. ^ "Croatia forward Mario Mandžukić will miss the World Cup opener versus Brazil: how will the team replace him?". The Telegraph. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  33. ^ "Cameroon 0–4 Croatia". BBC. 19 June 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  34. ^ "Cameroon 0–4 Croatia Report". FIFA. 19 June 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  35. ^ "Mario Mandzukic and Atletico Madrid Are a Great Match". Bleacher Report. 17 July 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  36. ^ a b c "La Liga: Why new signing Mario Mandzukic is proving the perfect fit for Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid team". Sky Sports. 11 September 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  37. ^ "Mandzukic, Mario". kicker.de (in German). kicker. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  38. ^ "Mandzukic, Mario". kicker.de (in German). kicker. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  39. ^ "Mario Mandzukic". ESPN FC. ESPN. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  40. ^ "Mario Mandzukic". ESPN FC. ESPN. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  41. ^ "Mario Mandzukic". ESPN FC (in German). ESPN. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  42. ^ a b "M. Mandžukić". Soccerway. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 

External links[edit]