||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (December 2009)|
Zvonimir Soldo as manager of 1. FC Köln
|Date of birth||2 November 1967|
|Place of birth||Zagreb, SFR Yugoslavia|
|Height||1.89 m (6 ft 2 1⁄2 in)|
|Playing position||Defensive midfielder
|2009–2010||1. FC Köln|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of June 2006.
† Appearances (Goals).
Zvonimir Soldo (born 2 November 1967) is a retired Croatian football player who is now a manager, having recently (October 2010) parted with German Bundesliga side 1. FC Köln. During his playing career, he mostly played in defensive roles, as sweeper or centre back, but occasionally also in defensive midfield.
After studying law for six semesters at the University of Zagreb, Soldo's parents convinced him to pursue a career as professional football player.
Soldo's professional career began with NK Dinamo Zagreb which he left for NK Zadar after two years. 1991 through 1994, he played for NK Inter Zaprešić before returning to his former club NK Dinamo Zagreb.
Runner-up in both Croatian league and cup in his first season back at Zagreb, the next campaign saw Soldo's side complete a domestic double in 1995/96. After achieving all he could in domestic football, Soldo headed for German side VfB Stuttgart.
Soldo made his Bundesliga debut on 17 August 1996 against FC Schalke 04. This was the beginning of his time in Stuttgart which would last for ten years and during which he would lead the VfB Stuttgart on the pitch as captain nearly 200 times.
During this period, Zvonimir Soldo played another 300 times in the Bundesliga and 47 times in European competitions, won the German cup in 1997 and reached the European Cup Winners Cup final in 1998, as well as finishing as runner-up in the 2002/03 campaign.
After being an exemplary sportsman and role model for younger players all these years, Soldo played his last Bundesliga match for Stuttgart on 6 May 2006.
In recognition of his merits, Soldo received the Staufer medal, a decoration awarded by the state of Baden-Württemberg.
Soldo was also a long-time member of the Croatian national team, with notable appearances in the Euro 96, 1998 FIFA World Cup and 2002 FIFA World Cup. He was capped a total of 61 times, scoring three goals, and was an important member of the squad that finished third in the 1998 World Cup.
After the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Soldo retired from international football.
|1||11 October 1997||Bežigrad, Ljubljana||Slovenia||2 – 0||3 – 1||World Cup 1998 Qualifying|
|2||21 August 1999||Maksimir, Zagreb||Malta||1 – 0||2 – 1||Euro 2000 Qualifying|
|3||5 September 2001||Olimpico, Serravalle||San Marino||3 – 0||4 – 0||World Cup 2002 Qualifying|
- 1998 FIFA World Cup: Third place
On 14 January 2008 Zvonimir was appointed as a new manager of Dinamo Zagreb after Branko Ivanković's resignation. Prior to that he was managing Dinamo's youth team. He became Prva HNL Champion and Croatian Cup Winner. He offered his resignation in the night after the cup final to make space to old/new manager Branko Ivanković.
1. FC Köln
Since June 2009, Soldo is the new trainer of German 1. Bundesliga club, 1. FC Köln (Cologne) after the club's former coach Christoph Daum surprisingly left to sign for Fenerbahce.