|Date of birth||21 January 1970|
|Place of birth||Makarska, SFR Yugoslavia|
|Height||1.87 m (6 ft 1 1⁄2 in)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Alen Bokšić (pronounced [alen bokʃitɕ]; born 21 January 1970) is a former Croatian football player. A prolific forward who spent most of his career in France and Italy, he was renowned for his technique and power, and is regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of the Croatia national football team.
With Marseille Bokšić won the 1992–93 UEFA Champions League, and was voted fourth in the 1993 European Footballer of the Year poll. That same year he was named Croatian Footballer of the Year. He also won two Serie A titles in 1997 and 2000 with Juventus and Lazio respectively, and is regarded as one of the best foreign players in the history of Serie A since 1980.
Although selected for Yugoslavia squad at the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy, the 20-year-old Bokšić did not play in the tournament, with coach Ivica Osim preferring more experienced forwards in the lineup. Following Croatia's independence from Yugoslavia Bokšić became an integral part of Croatia's national team in the 1990s under coach Miroslav Blažević. He played for Croatia at the 1996 European Championship but was not included in the squad for the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France due to injury he suffered only weeks before the tournament. Bokšić finally made his World Cup debut at the age of 32 at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Japan, appearing in all three of the team's group stage matches, before retiring only a year later in 2003.
Bokšić was born in Makarska and started his career in the club Zmaj from Makarska. As a young player he moved to Hajduk Split and was introduced into the first team (1987–91). With Hajduk, he won the Yugoslav Cup in 1987 and 1991. In 174 games for Hajduk, he scored 60 goals. Bokšić scored in the 1991 Yugoslavian Cup final against Red Star Belgrade for what proved to be the winning goal. It was the last ever goal scored in Yugoslavian Cup as the country dissolved just few months after that.
He moved to AS Cannes in France (1991–92), but was plagued by injuries and played only one game the entire season. In summer of 1992, he was signed by French giants Olympique Marseille. In his only full season with Olympique Marseille (1992–93), he was the Ligue 1 top goalscorer, leading the charts with 23 goals. That season he won the French league title. But his biggest success with the club came in May 1993, when Olympique Marseille defeated AC Milan and won the 1992–93 UEFA Champions League. Bokšić was the club`s joint top goalscorer in the competition, as he scored 6 goals in 1992–93 UEFA Champions League. He played another 12 league matches for the club in the beginning of 1993-1994 season, until December 1993, when he was transferred to Lazio. Bokšić left the club in the wake of one of the biggest club`s scandals in history. In 1994, due to financial irregularities and a match fixing scandal involving then president Bernard Tapie, they suffered enforced relegation to the second division.
After joining Lazio in Italy in 1993, Bokšić was voted fourth for the 1993 European Footballer of the Year, behind winner Roberto Baggio, Dennis Bergkamp, and Eric Cantona. In his first half-season with Lazio, Bokšić appeared in 21 Serie A matches, scoring 4 goals as Lazio ended 4th. In season 1994-95 Lazio was managed by Zdeněk Zeman, and Bokšić played important part in the club`s biggest Serie A result since 1974, as they finished 2nd. Bokšić was a part of praised attacking trident formed by Bokšić, Giuseppe Signori and Pierluigi Casiraghi. He scored total of 9 goals in the 1994–95 Serie A season.
In summer of 1996 he was signed by Juventus. The club was managed by Marcello Lippi. During his one season with the club he managed to win three titles, as Juventus won the 1996–97 Serie A, 1996 Intercontinental Cup and 1996 UEFA Super Cup. The club also reached the final of 1996–97 UEFA Champions League but lost the match from Borussia Dortmund. Bokšić played as a forward until 88th minute of the match, alongside Christian Vieri. Bokšić was the club`s top goalscorer in the competition with 4 goals. He also netted 3 goals in their road to Serie A title.
Return to Lazio
Bokšić returned to Lazio in 1997, now under new manager Sven-Göran Eriksson. In his first season he scored 10 goals in Serie A, with Lazio finishing 7th. This was disappointing result for Lazio, but they managed to reach the finals of 1998 UEFA Cup and to win Coppa Italia. In season 1998-99, Lazio finished 2nd in the league and won 1998–99 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. Bokšić made only 3 Serie A appearances due to his injury. Season 1999-2000 was the best one for Bokšić with Lazio, as they won 1999-2000 Serie A and also Italian Cup. Bokšić scored 4 goals on their road to scudetto. After six years of playing in Serie A, he decided to leave.
Following his spell at Lazio, he surprised the footballing world by joining English club Middlesbrough in the Premier League for a transfer fee £2.5 million, where he scored twice on his Middlesbrough debut in a 3-1 win at Coventry City. At the time of his signing for Middlesbrough, some reports claimed he became the highest paid player in English football, earning a reputed £63,000 per week. However, there are no documented sources for this claim, which was vehemently denied by Bryan Robson, the Middlesbrough Manager at the time, who said, "The wages quoted are a total nonsense. I got to hear about this long before anyone else and that's why we acted quickly and decisively. Talk of £63,000 a week is utter rubbish."
Despite his injury problems, he went on to score 12 goals in his first season at Middlesbrough and was subsequently named their Player of the Year. He was less affected by injuries in the 2001–02 season, but could only muster eight goals in a Boro side short of goals and creativity throughout the entire side. Whilst a Middlesbrough player he went to the 2002 World Cup finals with Croatia, but failed to score in his country's three group games.
On 1 February 2003 the striker announced his decision to retire from football, after a succession of injuries had restricted his appearances at the Riverside stadium. Bokšić came to a mutual agreement with Middlesbrough to bring the curtain down on his illustrious career. His last match for Middlesbrough was on 11 January 2003 in a 2–2 draw with Southampton at the Riverside Stadium. His final goal for Middlesbrough came in the memorable 3-1 win over Manchester United at the Riverside on 26 December 2002.
Twenty-year-old Bokšić was a member of the Yugoslavia national squad during World Cup 1990, but coach Ivica Osim did not give him a single minute of action, preferring the more experienced Zlatko Vujović and Darko Pančev for places upfront.
For the Croatia national team, Bokšić was capped 40 times, scoring 10 goals. He played for his country at Euro 96. He missed Croatia's surprising third-place run in the 1998 FIFA World Cup due to injury. This was a devastating blow for the Croatian team as they could not pair him together with Davor Šuker to form arguably the most potent striking force in the tournament. He finally made his World Cup playing debut in the 2002 World Cup at the age of 32.
|1||3 September 1995||Maksimir, Zagreb||Estonia||
||Euro 1996 Qualifying|
|2–3||8 October 1996||Renato Dall'Ara, Bologna||Bosnia and Herzegovina||
||World Cup 1998 Qualifying|
|4||11 October 1997||Bežigrad, Ljubljana||Slovenia||
||World Cup 1998 Qualifying|
|5||15 November 1997||Olympic, Kiev||Ukraine||
||World Cup 1998 Qualifying|
|6||22 April 1998||Gradski vrt, Osijek||Poland||
|7||9 October 1999||Maksimir, Zagreb||Yugoslavia||
||Euro 2000 Qualifying|
|8||26 April 2000||Ernst Happel, Vienna||Austria||
|9||11 October 2000||Maksimir, Zagreb||Scotland||
||World Cup 2002 Qualifying|
|10||6 October 2001||Maksimir, Zagreb||Belgium||
||World Cup 2002 Qualifying|
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|Yugoslavia||League||Yugoslav Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|1987/88||Hajduk Split||First League||13||2|
|France||League||Coupe de France||Coupe de la Ligue||Europe||Total|
|1992/93||Olympique Marseille||Division 1||37||23|
|Italy||League||Coppa Italia||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|Croatia national team|
- Hajduk Split
- French Ligue 1 Top Scorer: 1992–93
- French Ligue 1 Foreign Player of the Year: 1993
- Onze d'Argent: 1993
- Ballon d'Or 1993: 4th place
- Croatian Footballer of the Year: 1993
- Middlesbrough Supporters' club player of the year: 2000–01
Bokšić married Ajda in 1990. The couple had three children (daughter Stella and sons Toni and Alen) before divorcing in 2000.
In 2004 from a relationship with girlfriend Jadranka Fržop, Bokšić had another daughter Laura.
- "Deset najboljih nogometaša u samostalnoj Hrvatskoj". Sportnet.hr. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
- Stefano Bedeschi (21 January 2014). "Gli eroi in bianconero: Alen BOKSIC" (in Italian). Tutto Juve. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
- "Top 50 Foreign Soccer Players in Italy". Football Italia. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
- "Alen Bokšić među najboljim strancima u povijesti Serie A - Football Italia". Jutarnji List. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
- "Saints foiled by Boro". BBC. 11 January 2003. Retrieved 28 December 2010.
- "Man Utd falter at Boro". BBC. 26 December 2002. Retrieved 28 December 2010.
- Alen Bokšić at National-Football-Teams.com
- Boksic u zagrljaju s djevojkom prosetao zagrebackom spicom; index.hr, 17 November 2010
- Nogometni leksikon (2004, in Croatian)