Milenko Ačimovič

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Milenko Aćimović
Milenko Acimovic - FK Austria Wien.jpg
Ačimović playing for Austria Wien in 2009
Personal information
Full name Milenko Ačimović
Date of birth (1977-02-15) 15 February 1977 (age 37)
Place of birth Ljubljana, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)[1]
Playing position Attacking Midfielder, Winger
Youth career
Železničar Ljubljana
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1994–1996 Železničar Ljubljana 29 (8)
1996–1998 Olimpija 34 (7)
1998–2002 Red Star Belgrade 102 (34)
2002–2004 Tottenham Hotspur 17 (0)
2004–2006 Lille 47 (12)
2006–2007 Al-Ittihad
2007–2010 Austria Wien 101 (30)
National team
1998–2007 Slovenia 74 (13)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Milenko Aćimović (Serbian Cyrillic: Миленко Аћимовић; born 15 February 1977 in Ljubljana) is a former Slovenian footballer who last played for Austria giants Austria Wien. He was a playmaker who has a great passing range and an abundance of skill. On 15 September 2010, Ačimovič ended his football career following a persistent right knee injury.

Club career[edit]

Born in Ljubljana, in present day Slovenia to Serbian parents, young Milenko started his career in the youth ranks of Olimpija Ljubljana. As an extremely gifted youngster, he made three first-team appearances for Zeleznicar when he was just 17 years old. From 1996 until 1998 he found himself again playing for Olimpija, scoring 7 goals in 34 matches. He then joined Red Star Belgrade.

Milenko played in Belgrade for four and a half years. He developed into quite a dependable midfielder. After successful appearances for Slovenian national team in Euro 2000 and World Cup 2002, many bigger European clubs expressed interest in him. In the summer of 2002, he joined Tottenham Hotspur. In his first season in London, he made a few appearances, but never established himself as a first team player. In his second season, he became a fringe player.

In January 2004 he joined the French club Lille on loan until the end of the season. When he arrived, the club was in 14th place in the Ligue 1, but after some good form and fine performances by Acimovic they finished the season as runners up and therefore qualified for the Champions League. In the first year they also played in the UEFA Cup and were eliminated in the last 16. They played in the third qualifying round of the Champions League, and reached the group stages. Mile was Lille's creative spark and scored against Manchester United when Lille won the game in Paris 1–0. That was Lille's only goal of the campaign.

After playing for Lille in France for 2½ seasons he fell out of favor and surprisingly joined Al-Ittihad for the 2006–07 season. After failing to adapt to life in Saudi Arabia, he agreed on a mutual termination of the contract, subsequently moving back to Europe to join Austria Wien. On 15 September 2010, Austria Vienna midfielder Milenko Acimovic ended his football career following a persistent right knee injury.

Ačimović returned to Slovenia and has been appointed the Director of football at Olimpija Ljubljana, in January 2011, where he has stayed until September 2012 when he resigned his position, due to poor results of the team in the Slovenian PrvaLiga.

International career[edit]

He debuted for the Slovenia national team on 22 April 1998 in Murska Sobota against the Czech Republic. He gave many notable performances for the national team, including a spectacular goal scored from the middle of the field against Ukraine in the Euro 2000 play-off. He represented Slovenia at both Euro 2000 and World Cup 2002, scoring in their 1–3 defeat to Paraguay in Seogwipo. His final appearance for the national side came on 28 March 2007 in Celje, during a 1–0 home defeat to the Netherlands in a Euro 2008 qualification match. He announced his retirement from international football that August.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Milenko Ačimovič – Euro 2000 profile". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. Archived from the original on 3 August 2001. Retrieved 12 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Ačimovič bids Slovenia adieu". UEFA.com (Union of European Football Associations). 20 August 2007. Retrieved 12 July 2012. 

External links[edit]