|Full name||Šime Vrsaljko|
|Date of birth||10 January 1992|
|Place of birth||Rijeka, Croatia|
|Height||1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Playing position||right back|
|2009||→ Lokomotiva (loan)||17||(0)|
|2018–2019||→ Inter Milan (loan)||10||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 29 December 2018|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 12 September 2018
Šime Vrsaljko (Croatian pronunciation: [ʃǐːme ʋr̩sǎːʎko]; born 10 January 1992) is a Croatian professional footballer who plays as a right back for Spanish club Atlético Madrid and the Croatian national team.
Vrsaljko started his senior career at Dinamo Zagreb's feeder team, Lokomotiva, where he spent the 2009–10 season on loan. He debuted for Lokomotiva in the Croatian top level in the match against Rijeka on 26 July 2009 at the age of 17. Vrsaljko was in the starting lineup in each of the 17 Lokomotiva's league matches in 2009, being substituted only once.
He rejoined Dinamo Zagreb's squad on 22 December 2009 before the winter break and appeared in his first match for Dinamo Zagreb on 27 February 2010 against Croatia Sesvete in the Prva HNL. He made nine more appearances by the end of the season for Dinamo, making a total of 27 league appearances throughout the whole season. Vrsaljko also made one appearance in the semi-finals of the 2009–10 Croatian Cup.
Vrsaljko missed the opening matches of the 2010–11 season, as he was called up for international duties with the Croatian under-19 team. He made his first appearance of the season on 31 July in a league match against Rijeka which Dinamo Zagreb lost 2–1. Vrsaljko then made his debut in European competitions, featuring in their defeat to Sheriff Tiraspol in the third qualifying round of the 2010–11 UEFA Champions League. In August that year he was linked with a transfer to Olympique Marseille for a fee of €4 million, but executive vice-president of the club Zdravko Mamić turned down the French club's offer. On 29 August he scored his first league goal for the club in the match against Cibalia which Dinamo Zagreb won 2–0. Due to his impressive performances for Dinamo under the coach Vahid Halilhodžić, he was named Croatian Football Hope of the Year for 2010. By the end of the season, he won the double with Dinamo.
He started the 2011/2012 season by providing an assist for Ivan Krstanović in UEFA Champions League qualifier 3–0 victory against Neftchi Baku in Zagreb. In August 2011, he was sent off during the away match of 2011–12 UEFA Champions League play-off round against Malmö FF, as Dinamo managed to qualify for their first UEFA Champions League in 12 years. He was banned with 3 matches absence in Champions League. He made his 2011–12 UEFA Champions League debut on Matchday 4 against AFC Ajax, and made another appearance in the final match against Olympique Lyonnais on Maksimir Stadium. In domestic league, he made 22 league appearances and provided 5 assists in process, as Dinamo won another double – Prva HNL and Hrvatski kup titles.
After his return from Poland, where he was a part of Croatian team at UEFA Euro 2012, he helped Dinamo to qualify for another UEFA Champions League. He made 4 appearances as right full-back in 2012–13 UEFA Champions League as Dinamo finished bottom of their group with only one point. He also made 25 league appearances, providing three assists.
On 12 July 2013 Vrsaljko joined Serie A side Genoa for €4.6 million. In his first season in the Italian top flight, Vrsaljko was a frequent member of the starting XI, playing in various roles on the right flank – including right-back and right wing. He made 22 appearances in total, missing rounds 24–33 through injury.
On 22 July 2014 Vrsaljko signed for Serie A side Sassuolo for €3.5 million plus bonuses of €2 million. He became a key part of Sassuolo's defence under manager Eusebio Di Francesco, and eventually helped the team to achieving their first ever Europa League qualification after finishing 6th in Serie A courtesy of a Juventus Coppa Italia win over Milan as Milan would have gone to Europe instead if they had won the final.
He received his first call to the Croatia national football team on 2 November 2010 for the Euro 2012 qualifier against Malta. He made his national team debut on 9 February 2011 in a friendly match versus the Czech Republic. He made 3 more appearance before May 2012, when he was named in Croatia 26 players preliminary squad for UEFA Euro 2012. After the friendly match against Estonia in May 2012, Croatia manager Slaven Bilić withdrew him from the final list for UEFA Euro 2012. However, just a week after being withdrawn from the final list, he was called up again due to injury of Hamburger SV player Ivo Iličević. He was unused substitute in all 3 Croatia matches at UEFA Euro 2012. During the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying phase he made only one appearance, in the match against Belgium in Zagreb. In May 2014 he was named in Croatia 23-man squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Due to injuries of in Croatian squad just before the opening match against Brazil, Vrsaljko filled in at the left-back position instead of injured Danijel Pranjić. He reprised his role as a left back in Croatia pivotal game against Mexico. On 12 November 2014, at the age of 22, he was the captain of the national team in a 2–1 loss against Argentina, playing for the entire game. He became one of the youngest captains in the history of the national team, with Darijo Srna being rested for the game against Italy. In May 2018, he was named in Croatia's squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. He started in six of the seven matches in the team's runners-up finish. He also took part in three of the four matches in the inaugural edition of the Nations League, missing the home fixture against England, that ended up as a goalless draw, due to a knee injury.
Vrsaljko is named after his paternal grandfather. When he died, he was buried with his grandson's Croatia national team jersey. His father, Mladen Vrsaljko, was also a footballer, who played for NK Zadar from 1992 to 1995.
In January 2019, a photograph of Vrsaljko lying on a Croatian flag on the field of the Luzhniki Stadium after the 2018 World Cup semi-final match against England, taken by Drago Sopta, was chosen as the fourth most beautiful one in the world by AIPS. Croatian media dubbed the photograph as "legendary". When asked about its background, Vrsaljko has said:
I was more like tired and exhausted from everything so I felt like lying down a bit and taking a rest.
- As of match played 13 January 2019.
|Atlético Madrid||2016–17||La Liga||14||0||6||1||5||0||–||25||1|
|Inter Milan||2018–19||Serie A||10||0||1||0||2||0||–||13||0|
- As of match played 15 July 2018
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the Order of Prince Branimir with Ribbon was awarded to Mr. Šime Vrsaljko...
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Šime Vrsaljko.|
- Šime Vrsaljko at Soccerway