Damir Desnica

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Damir Desnica
Personal information
Date of birth (1956-12-20) 20 December 1956 (age 59)
Place of birth Obrovac, SFR Yugoslavia
Playing position Forward
Youth career
Elektroprimorje Rijeka
Rijeka
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1974–1985 Rijeka 251 (54)
1985–1990 Kortrijk 109 (19)
1990–1991 Zadar
1991 Orijent
1992–1993 Pazinka
?–1996 Halubjan
1996–1997 Klana
1997–1998 Lučki Radnik
National team
1978 Yugoslavia 1 (1)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.


Damir Desnica (born 20 December 1956) is a Croatian retired footballer who played as a forward.

Club career[edit]

Born in Obrovac, Croatia, Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Desnica spent much of his career with HNK Rijeka, appearing in nearly 300 official games and winning two Yugoslav Cups in the process. In 1985, aged nearly 29, he moved abroad and signed for Belgium's K.V. Kortrijk.

Desnica returned to his country after five years, and joined NK Zadar. After a brief spell with NK Orijent, he signed with NK Pazinka, and retired at 41 after representing, in both Rijeka and its outskirts, lowly clubs NK Halubjan, NK Klana and NK Lučki Radnik.[1]

International career[edit]

Desnica gained one cap for Yugoslavia, scoring in a 2–3 away loss against Romania for the UEFA Euro 1980 qualifiers, on 25 October 1978.

Personal life[edit]

Desnica was one of the very few deaf persons to play football professionally – he also only communicated manually.[2] On 7 November 1984, in a match against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium for the season's UEFA Cup, he was sent off for two bookable offences by referee Roger Schoeters, the second for allegedly protesting; Rijeka finished the match with eight players and lost the tie 3–4 on aggregate.[3][4]

Club statistics[edit]

[5]

Season Club League League Cup Continental Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
1974–75 Rijeka Yugoslav First League 3 0 3 0
1975–76 23 5 23 5
1976–77 9 0 9 0
1977–78 31 4 5 1 36 5
1978–79 29 7 4 0 4 0 37 7
1979–80 13 1 1 0 4 3 18 4
1980–81 15 3 15 3
1981–82 32 6 2 0 34 6
1982–83 33 11 4 2 37 13
1983–84 32 11 3 1 35 12
1984–85 31 6 2 1 4 1 37 8
Rijeka total 251 54 21 5 12 4 284 63
1985–86 Kortrijk Belgian Pro League 30 6 ? 30 6
1986–87 27 4 ? 27 4
1987–88 32 8 ? 32 8
1988–89 18 1 ? 18 1
1989–90 2 0 ? 2 0
Kortrijk total 109 19 ? ? 0 0 109 19
Career total (incomplete) 360 73 21 5 12 4 393 82

Honours[edit]

Rijeka
Zadar
Pazinka

References[edit]

  1. ^ Frank, Robert (21 September 2014). "Damir Desnica: Umjetnik lopte kojeg život nije mazio" [Damir Desnica: The football artist with a rough life] (in Croatian). Novi list. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  2. ^ Damir Desnica: King of deaf footballers; Eclectic Football Nut, 27 December 2007
  3. ^ El sordomudo expulsado por 'protestar' (The deaf and dumb who was sent off for 'protesting'); Marca, 3 October 2013 (Spanish)
  4. ^ Vivoda, V. (16 July 2014). "HNK Rijeka: The Rise of the Phoenix". Hocuri. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  5. ^ "Damir Desnica". Footballdatabase. Retrieved 14 January 2016. 

External links[edit]