Balaban playing for Dinamo Zagreb in 2008
|Full name||Boško Balaban|
|Date of birth||15 October 1978|
|Place of birth||Rijeka, SFR Yugoslavia|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|2002–2003||→ Dinamo Zagreb (loan)||24||(15)|
|2003–2007||Club Brugge K.V.||83||(40)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18:36, 28 October 2012 (UTC).
Boško Balaban (born 15 October 1978) is a retired Croatian footballer who last played for Selangor FA in the Malaysia Super League as a striker until 2013 when his contract was not extended after a mutual agreement.
He is a former member of the Croatia national team.
Born in Rijeka, he started playing for local club HNK Rijeka and appeared in 97 matches between 1995 and 2000, scoring a total of 21 goals. During the 1999–2000 season, he was the top scorer of his team with 15 goals and attracted the attention of another Croatian club, Dinamo Zagreb. Playing for Dinamo, Balaban kept up his goalscoring form and once again became the league's top scorer with 14 goals in 25 games. Two games into the following season, he was signed by Aston Villa for a fee of £5.8 million, earning a £20,000-a-week contract.
Balaban failed to find any form for Aston Villa, making just nine appearances, seven as a substitute, in two and a half years. He was loaned back to Dinamo Zagreb for the 2002–03 season, scoring 15 times in 24 appearances.
In the 2004–05 season, Balaban scored 25 goals in 24 appearances for Club Brugge; in the 2005–06 season, he scored 27 goals in 30 games for Brugge. In August 2007, Balaban went back to Dinamo after Brugge had bought the top scorer François Sterchele. Balaban stated he would miss Brugge very much and he had a wonderful time at the club. He earned the nickname amongst Brugge fans of "Super Bosko", due to him scoring four times in one match and scoring at an average of 0.5 goals per match.
During Balaban's time at Dinamo Zagreb, he had an incident with fascistic salute, which he made to fans after scoring a goal against Inter Zapresic. He had to pay a fine of 100KN (around 14 Euros).
On 29 January 2012, Malaysian Super League team Selangor FA signed Balaban for an undisclosed fee. He debuted, and scored the winning goal in the game against league leaders Kelantan FA on 14 February 2012, Selangor winning 2–1.
After helping Selangor to qualify for the 2013 AFC Cup, Balaban's contract was not extended after a mutual agreement.
Balaban has been a regular squad member of the Croatian national team since 2000, but in recent years he rarely appears in the starting line-up and plays mostly as a second-half substitute. Up to this time, he won 35 international caps and scored ten goals for the team. Balaban made his debut for Croatia in a friendly match against Slovakia on 16 August 2000 after being a regular member of the Croatian under-21 team for more than one year. His debut was really successful as he also managed to score his first goal for the Croatian A-team in this match that ended with a 1–1 draw. He excelled in the Croatian team's qualifying campaign for the 2002 FIFA World Cup as he appeared in all eight matches and scored five goals, including a hat-trick against Latvia in Croatia's 4–1 victory on 24 March 2001. He was also in the Croatian squad at the final 2002 World Cup tournament, but spent all three group matches on the bench. He subsequently did not appear in any matches for Croatia between February 2003 and August 2004, and also missed the Euro 2004 finals without making a single appearance in the qualifying for this tournament. He made his competitive comeback against Bulgaria on 9 October 2004 in the Croatian team's qualifying campaign for the 2006 FIFA World Cup and subsequently appeared in another four qualifying matches, scoring a brace against Iceland on 3 September 2005. He was also a squad member at the 2006 World Cup finals, but once again spent all three group matches on the bench.
In early September 2006, Croatian national team's coach Slaven Bilić dropped Balaban, along with teammates Ivica Olić and Dario Srna, from the squad for their opening Euro 2008 qualifier against Russia because of a late-night partying in a Zagreb disco. However, Balaban was the only of the three players to return to the squad for the very next qualifier against Andorra one month later, which was won 7–0 by Croatia. In the match, Balaban came on as a substitute after one hour of playing and with Croatia 5–0 up, subsequently scoring the fastest-ever goal by a single player for the Croatian national team, spending some 20 seconds on the pitch before being on target.
- Dinamo Zagreb
- Club Brugge
- Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2002). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2002/2003. Queen Anne Press. p. 27. ISBN 9781852916480.
- "Irfan ikat bekas peledak Croatia" (in Malay). bharian.com.my. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
- Fifield, Dominic (4 December 2003). "Balaban's contract terminated by Villa". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
- "JOE's Forgotten Footballers: Boško Balaban". Joe. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
- Zulhilmi Zainal (14 February 2012). "Selangor 2–1 Kelantan: Bosko Balaban proves he is worth the wait". Goal.com. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
- K. RAJAN (15 February 2012). "Bosko starts with a bang". The Star. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
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