Emir Spahić

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Emir Spahić
20150331 2025 AUT BIH 2135.jpg
Spahić with Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2015
Personal information
Full name Emir Spahić
Date of birth (1980-08-18) 18 August 1980 (age 35)
Place of birth Dubrovnik, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)[1]
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current team
Hamburger SV
Number 4
Youth career
FK Krajina Cazin
Čelik Zenica
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–1999 Čelik Zenica 19 (1)
1999–2001 GOŠK Dubrovnik 22 (0)
2001–2004 NK Zagreb 38 (2)
2004–2005 Shinnik Yaroslavl 26 (6)
2005–2006 Torpedo Moscow 15 (0)
2006–2009 Lokomotiv Moscow 63 (3)
2009–2011 Montpellier 57 (3)
2011–2013 Sevilla 44 (1)
2013 Anzhi Makhachkala (loan) 7 (1)
2013–2015 Bayer Leverkusen 49 (3)
2015– Hamburger SV 7 (0)
National team
2000–2002 Bosnia and Herzegovina U21 15 (0)
2003– Bosnia and Herzegovina 84 (3)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 3 October 2015.
† Appearances (goals)

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 10 October 2015

Emir Spahić (born 18 August 1980) is a Bosnian professional footballer who plays as a centre back for German club Hamburger SV.

During his club career, he has represented teams in his homeland, Croatia, Russia, France, Spain and Germany. A full international since 2003, he was the captain of the Bosnia and Herzegovina national team from 2004 until the end of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He is their joint most-capped player with 84, while scoring 3 goals.

Club career[edit]

Over the course of his career, Spahić has played for NK Čelik Zenica, Torpedo Moscow, Shinnik Yaroslavl and Lokomotiv Moscow as well as NK GOŠK Dubrovnik and NK Zagreb.

He has played for Zagreb and Leverkusen in the UEFA Champions League and with Montpellier, Sevilla and Lokomotiv in the UEFA Europa League.[2]


On 24 June 2009, Spahić announced that he would join the newly promoted Montpellier squad for the 2009–10 Ligue 1 season. On his league debut against Paris Saint-Germain, he scored a header in the 94th minute for a 1–1 draw, which earned a point for the newly promoted club. He scored his second goal for Montpellier in a 2–2 draw against FC Lorient.


Spahić with Sevilla in March 2013, defending against Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuaín

On 4 July 2011, Spahić agreed a transfer with Sevilla for €2 million until July 2014.[3] His national teammate Miroslav Stevanović also transferred to Sevilla in January 2013 and upon his arrival at San Pablo International Airport, he was received by Spahić.[4] Spahić scored his first goal for Sevilla on 5 January 2013 in a 1–0 victory against Osasuna.[5]

Anzhi Makhachkala[edit]

On 26 February 2013, Spahić left Sevilla and was loaned to Anzhi Makhachkala of the Russian Premier League.[6] He scored his first goal for the club on 14 April 2013 against Volga Nizhny Novgorod.

Bayer Leverkusen[edit]

Spahić with Bayer Leverkusen in November 2014

On 28 June 2013, Spahić was signed by Bayer Leverkusen of the Bundesliga on a two-year contract.[2] He conceded a penalty and was later sent off in a Champions League last-16 first-leg game on 18 February 2014, as Paris Saint-Germain beat Leverkusen 4–0.[7] On 20 April, he scored his first two goals for the club, in a 4–1 league victory against 1. FC Nürnberg.

On 30 August 2014, 34-year-old Spahić headed in a goal from a free kick to level the score at 2–2 in a game that finished 4–2 for Bayer Leverkusen against Hertha BSC, thus ensuring his team's unbeaten start to the season.[8]

He was sent off for two yellow cards in a 4–5 home defeat against VfL Wolfsburg on 14 February 2015; having been 1–4 down, the score was level at his time of dismissal.[9]

On 30 March 2015, Spahić was proclaimed the best defender in Europe (in front of Martin Demichelis (Manchester City), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Chris Smalling (Manchester United) and Thiago Silva (PSG)) by International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES).[10]

He had his contract terminated on 12 April 2015 for headbutting a member of club's security personnel reportedly after they refused to allow his friends entry inside the dressing room area.[11]

Hamburger SV[edit]

On 5 July 2015, fellow Bundesliga team Hamburg confirmed Emir Spahić as a new player, signing a one-year contract, until June 2016.[12] He credited the move to his compatriot, former Hamburg player Sergej Barbarez, and expressed gratefulness at being given a second chance after his expulsion from Leverkusen.[13]

International career[edit]

Spahić on the ball in an international friendly against Austria in March 2015

Spahić was the captain of the Bosnia and Herzegovina national team before initially announcing his retirement.[14] On 7 June 2003, he made his debut as a substitute against Romania at Stadionul Ion Oblemenco in Craiova.[15][16]

Ever since his debut, he has been an important member of the national team. He headed a ball into the box and assisted Ermin Bičakčić who scored a crucial equalizer versus Slovakia in Žilina during 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Bosnia-Herzegovina came back from one goal down in that game to win 2–1 and stay top of their qualifying group for ahead of Greece.

He retired from international football on 7 August 2014.[14] After his retirement, Bosnia lost their first game of Euro 2016 qualifiers versus Cyprus (ranked 121 places behind Bosnia in FIFA Ranking for August 2014) without Spahić, which resulted in manager Safet Sušić calling him back from retirement on 22 September for the games that followed vs Wales and Belgium.[17] At the time Bosnia's key defenders were either injured[18] or lacked competitive matches for their clubs which resulted in Spahić's call up to the national side. Due to short lived injury he missed these two games and returned to international stage vs Israel on November 16 where he played a full game, first time since playing vs Iran at 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Personal life[edit]

His father's family is from Sandžak, and his mother is from Gacko in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They met when they were both working in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Emir has three brothers, the older being Nermin, Amir and younger one Alen (Alen is also a football player). Spahić is a first cousin of fellow national team player Edin Džeko.[19][20]

Spahić is a great lover of tennis, and has admitted to following live matches in Dubai, Barcelona, Montpellier and Paris.[21]

Spahić is enrolled at the University of Sarajevo, majoring in sport and physical education.[22]

Spahić is fluent in six languages: Bosnian, English, Spanish, French, German and Russian.[23]

Career statistics[edit]


As of match played 10 October 2015.
National team Year Apps Goals
Bosnia and Herzegovina
2003 4 0
2004 4 0
2005 8 0
2006 5 1
2007 0 0
2008 6 1
2009 10 0
2010 8 0
2011 10 1
2012 7 0
2013 9 0
2014 7 0
2015 6 0
Total 84 3

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Bosnia and Herzegovina's goal tally first.
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 28 February 2006 Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany  Japan
2. 15 October 2008 Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Armenia
2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
3. 15 November 2011 Estádio da Luz, Lisbon, Portugal  Portugal
UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying play-offs


  1. ^ http://www.bayer04.de/b04-deu/de/2037.aspx?guid=2037
  2. ^ a b "Leverkusen sign Spahic". Bundesliga. 28 June 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "Spahić: Potpisao sam, čekam još ljekarske preglede!" (in Bosnian). Scsport.ba. Retrieved 15 August 2011. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Sevilla seal signing of Bosnian Stevanovic". eurosport.com. 3 January 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "Sjajni Emir Spahić donio pobjedu Sevilli" (in Bosnian). sportsport.ba. 5 January 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  6. ^ "Emir Spahić na posudbi u rukom Anžiju" (in Bosnian). bljesak.info. 26 February 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "Slick Paris brush ten-man Leverkusen aside". UEFA. 18 February 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "Leverkusen maintain perfect start". aljazeera.com. 30 August 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014. 
  9. ^ "Wolfsburg win thriller at Bayer Leverkusen thanks to Bas Dost’s four-goal haul". The Guardian. Reuters. 14 February 2015. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  10. ^ http://www.klix.ba/sport/nogomet/cies-emir-spahic-najbolji-defanzivac-evrope-u-2015-godini/150330150
  11. ^ "Emir Spahic's Leverkusen contract terminated after head-butting security". ESPN. 12 April 2015. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  12. ^ "Hamburg sign Emir Spahic, ex-Bayer Leverkusen, to one-year deal". ESPN. Associated Press. 5 July 2015. Retrieved 6 September 2015. 
  13. ^ Rodden, Mark (21 July 2015). "Emir Spahic grateful to Hamburg after three-month head-butt ban". ESPN. Retrieved 6 September 2015. 
  14. ^ a b Ziric, Sinan (7 August 2014). "Emir Spahic retirement" (in Bosnian). klix.ba. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  15. ^ "JAVNO.ba EKSPERTIZA: 10 najboljih BH nogometaša od osamostaljenja države". 20 October 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
  16. ^ "Reprezentacija BiH – Godina 2003". bihsoccer.com. Retrieved 2 April 2013. [dead link]
  17. ^ "Spahic returns for Bosnia and Herzegovina EURO qualifiers". fifa.com. Retrieved 22 September 2014. [dead link]
  18. ^ "Sead Kolasinac Sidelined For Six Months". BHDragons. 24 August 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  19. ^ Wenzel, Peter (3 June 2009). "Magath: Was läuft da mit Dzekos Cousin?" (in German). bild.de. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  20. ^ Tansey, Joe (10 October 2012). "World Cup Qualifying: Is Luck Finally on the Side of Bosnia and Herzegovina?". bleacherreport.com. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  21. ^ "Spahic uzivao u okrsaju Federera i Davidenka" (in Bosnian). sportsport.ba. 1 March 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  22. ^ http://www.sport.ba/druga-strana-sporta/znate-li-sta-studiraju-dzeko-pjanic-spahic/
  23. ^ http://www.klix.ba/sport/nogomet/emir-spahic-kada-je-tesko-onda-shvatis-ko-su-iskreni-prijatelji/150721002

External links[edit]