Matej Delač

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Matej Delač
Matej Delač 04-2009.jpg
Delač playing for Inter Zaprešić in 2009
Personal information
Full name Matej Delač
Date of birth (1992-08-20) 20 August 1992 (age 21)
Place of birth Gornji Vakuf, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Chelsea
Number 61
Youth career
1998–2009 Inter Zaprešić
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2009–2010 Inter Zaprešić 38 (0)
2010– Chelsea 0 (0)
2010–2011 Vitesse (loan) 0 (0)
2011–2012 Dynamo České Budějovice (loan) 1 (0)
2012 Vitória de Guimarães (loan) 0 (0)
2013 Inter Zaprešić (loan) 14 (0)
2013 Vojvodina (loan) 10 (0)
2014 FK Sarajevo (loan) 7 (0)
Total 70
National team
2007 Croatia U15 1 (0)
2008 Croatia U16 4 (0)
2008 Croatia U17 2 (0)
2008–2011 Croatia U19 10 (0)
2010– Croatia U20 4 (0)
2010– Croatia U21 5 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 12 April 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 10 October 2013

Matej Delač (born 20 August 1992) is a Bosnian-born Croatian goalkeeper who plays for Chelsea.

Club career[edit]

Inter Zaprešić[edit]

A product of NK Inter Zaprešić youth academy, Delač started to impress very early on and after only a few appearances for Croatia U-15 he attracted attention from bigger clubs across Europe. During summer 2008, Delač went on trial at Portuguese Liga club Benfica and came very close to joining them, but the two clubs couldn't agree terms so he stayed at Zaprešić.[1]

He had his professional debut for NK Inter Zaprešić in the 2008–09 season on 22 February 2009 against NK Zagreb, becoming the youngest player ever to appear in the Croatian first division (at 16 years and 186 days of age).[1] He impressed football pundits in his debut by miraculously saving a penalty from Davor Vugrinec in the 85th minute, contributing to Inter's 1–0 victory and becoming man of the match.[2] Delač continued with good performances and finished the 2008-09 season with 15 appearances, as the club's first-choice goalkeeper.

Chelsea[edit]

On 11 September 2009, two days after Croatia's defeat at Wembley, Croatian news reports revealed that Delač had stayed in London for a medical examination and was on the verge of signing a pre-contract with English Premier League club Chelsea.[3] Reports claimed that Chelsea scouts had been following Delač's performances in the Croatian First Division for months and that their Director of Football Frank Arnesen previously went to Zagreb to agree terms of the transfer.[4]

It was announced at a press conference held by Inter on 17 September 2009 that Delač had indeed penned a five-year contract with Chelsea which will come into effect in the January 2011 transfer window.[5][6] In the meantime, Delač will continue playing at Inter, his wages will be paid by Chelsea, and he is also expected to participate in training at Chelsea's training ground whenever his Prva HNL obligations allow.[7]

On 24 August 2010, Vitesse confirmed he would be on loan for the rest of the season.

Loan to Dynamo České Budějovice[edit]

On 13 September 2011, Dynamo České Budějovice chairman Karel Poborský confirmed that Delač would join the club on loan for the rest of the season.[8] On 4 January 2013 Delač was recalled by Chelsea.[9]

Loan to FK Vojvodina[edit]

In July 2013, Delač joined FK Vojvodina on a one-year loan. Having established himself as a first choice keeper, Delač played an instrumental role in helping Vojvodina reach play-off round of 2013-14 UEFA Europa league, where Vojvodina lost to Moldovan side Sheriff Tiraspol. At the same time he quickly became crowd favorite. Midway through the first half of the season, Delač lost his place as a starting keeper. By the end of December, he decided to cut stay in Novi Sad short, and to return to Chelsea.

Loan to FK Sarajevo[edit]

Chelsea sent Delač on loan to FK Sarajevo. The 21-year-old Croatian will stay with the Bosnian club for the remainder of the season.

International career[edit]

After earning 8 caps for Croatia's U-17 and U-19 teams between 2007 and 2008, Delač was called up by Croatia manager Slaven Bilić on 30 August 2009 to join the squad as third-choice goalkeeper (behind Vedran Runje and Danijel Subašić) for their 2010 World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and England,[10] breaking the record for the youngest Croatian player ever called up for international duty.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Islamović, Elvir (21 April 2009). "Delač enjoying the sweetest of 16s". uefa.com. Retrieved 12 September 2009. 
  2. ^ Bradovski, Mihaela (22 February 2009). "Yankep utišao Kranjčevićevu" (in Croatian). Sportnet.hr. Retrieved 12 September 2009. 
  3. ^ "Chelsea sign Matej Delac; 17-year-old keeper will not arrive until 2011". Imscouting.com. 13 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  4. ^ "Matej Delac to transfer to Chelsea". Croatiantimes.com. 11 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  5. ^ "Chelsea sign keeper despite transfer ban: Croatian star to be paid by Blues until move in 2010". London: Dailymail.co.uk. 18 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  6. ^ Zapresic claim Chelsea deal over keeper Delac
  7. ^ Rupnik, Borna (17 September 2009). "Chelsea dogovorio Delačev transfer" (in Croatian). sportnet.hr. Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  8. ^ Bradovski, Mihaela (13 September 2011). "Chelsea Delača posudio Dynamu". Sportnet.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  9. ^ "Milan Lalkovic, Matej Delac return to Chelsea FC". weaintgotnohistory.com. 4 January 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "Delač: Ovo je najsretniji dan u mom životu!" (in Croatian). Index.hr. 31 August 2009. Retrieved 12 September 2009. 
  11. ^ "Croatian keeper 'to join Chelsea'". BBC News. 18 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 

External links[edit]