Jozo Šimunović

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Jozo Šimunović
Personal information
Full name Jozo Šimunović
Date of birth (1994-08-04) 4 August 1994 (age 23)
Place of birth Zagreb, Croatia
Height 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current team
Celtic
Number 5
Youth career
Hrvatski Dragovoljac
2006–2013 Dinamo Zagreb
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2013–2015 Dinamo Zagreb 52 (3)
2015– Celtic 41 (2)
National team
2008 Croatia U14 2 (0)
2009 Croatia U15 2 (1)
2010 Croatia U16 3 (0)
2009–2011 Croatia U17 20 (1)
2012 Croatia U18 1 (0)
2011–2013 Croatia U19 10 (0)
2013 Croatia U20 5 (0)
2013–2015 Croatia U21 9 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 13:45, 23 September 2017 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 13:45, 23 September 2017 (UTC)

Jozo Šimunović (born 4 August 1994) is a Bosnian professional footballer who plays as a centre back for Scottish Premiership club Celtic and the Bosnia and Herzegovina national team.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

He started playing football at age of 7 in his village, Gornja Lomnica. At the age of 12 he joined Dinamo Zagreb from Hrvatski Dragovoljac.[1]

Dinamo Zagreb[edit]

He made his debut for Dinamo Zagreb on 16 March 2013 against Istra 1961, coming as a 90th-minute substitute.[2] On 30 March 2013, he scored his first goal for Dinamo against Zadar.[3] He played the whole game in Dinamo's 4–2 win on penalty kicks over RNK Split in the 2015 Croatian Cup Final on 20 May 2015.[4]

Celtic[edit]

On 1 September 2015, Šimunović joined Scottish Premiership side Celtic for an undisclosed fee.[5] He made his debut on 17 September, playing in Celtic's 2–2 draw away against Ajax in the Europa League, and had a good game.[6][7] A ankle injury shortly afterwards and the team's erratic form, however, hindered Šimunović's attempts to make much impact at his new club.[8] On 15 January 2016, Šimunović scored his first goal for Celtic in a 4–1 victory over Dundee United,[9] but suffered knee ligament damage just a week later and was ruled out for six weeks;[10] however, it was announced on 26 March that, following a knee operation, he would in fact be out for the rest of the season.[11] The player also revealed that, prior to the operation, he had been playing with a fractured right knee for six weeks: "I know it seems weird that I could play with this injury. But everything was down to psychology - and the atmosphere on the pitch was phenomenal. When you play for a great club like Celtic you can play even with a fractured bone."[11]

On 13 and 14 July, Šimunović stated on his Twitter account that he had spent the last nine weeks in Belgrade recovering from his injury, and would be returning to Glasgow later that week, and denied media speculation that he would be leaving Celtic to join Torino.[12] On 30 August 2016, contrary to his prior announcement, Šimunović travelled to Turin to have a medical with Torino.[13] Despite passing his medical, it was announced the following day that the move was off as the two clubs could not agree a fee.[14] Šimunović stated afterwards on Twitter that he was "completely healthy and fit" and was entirely focused on the challenge ahead with Celtic.[15] On 18 September 2016, he made his long-awaited return to action as a substitute in Celtic's 2–2 draw with Inverness.[16]

Šimunović re-established himself in the team, and formed a solid partnership in central defence alongside Erik Sviatchenko which saw Celtic go on a run of nine clean sheets.[17][18][19]. During this time he also played in Celtic's 3–0 win over Aberdeen in the 2016 Scottish League Cup Final in November, and played the pass in to Tom Rogic for Celtic's opening goal.[17][20] After the cup final win, he told Croatian newspaper Sportske novosti that, "It was really phenomenal. The atmosphere is normally great in our games, but this time it was extra special, because it was the 100th trophy of the club."[21] In March 2017, Šimunović scored Celtic's first goal in a 2–1 win away at Dundee, extending the club's lead in the league to 25 points ahead of second-placed Aberdeen as they closed in on their 48th league championship.[22]

On 11 September 2017, he signed new four-year contract, expiring June 2021.[23]

International career[edit]

Šimunović has represented Croatia on all youth levels.[24] He was captain of the Croatian under-17, under-19 and the under-21 teams.[25]

In September 2015, he received a first call-up for the senior national team, for the last UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying matches, against Bulgaria and Malta, as a substitute for injured Dejan Lovren, but suffered an injury days later, which didn't allow him to play.[26]

In July 2017, Šimunović chose to represent Bosnia and Herzegovina.[27] He is eligible as his entire family hails from Jajce.[28] Šimunović had become frustrated by the lack of opportunities to play for Croatia.[29]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of match played 23 September 2017.[30]
Club Season League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Dinamo Zagreb 2012–13 1. HNL 3 1 3 1
2013–14 1. HNL 23 2 3 0 6 0 32 2
2014–15 1. HNL 20 0 3 0 7 0 30 0
2015–16 1. HNL 6 0 0 0 4 0 10 0
Total 52 3 6 0 17 0 75 3
Celtic 2015–16 Scottish Premiership 11 1 1 0 1 0 4 0 17 1
2016–17 Scottish Premiership 25 1 3 0 3 0 2 0 33 1
2017–18 Scottish Premiership 5 0 0 0 0 0 6 0 11 0
Total 41 2 4 0 4 0 12 0 61 2
Career total 93 5 10 0 4 0 29 0 136 5

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Dinamo Zagreb[6]
Celtic[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jozo Šimunović - povijest Dinama" (in Croatian). 
  2. ^ "Istra 1961 - Dinamo Zagreb 0:0". soccerway.com. Global Sports Media. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "Dinamo Zagreb - Zadar 5:0". soccerway.com. Global Sports Media. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Dubravac, Ante (20 May 2015). "Dinamo 4:2 Split - Dinamo tek nakon jedanaesteraca došao do Rabuzinovog sunca". Sportnet HR (in Croatian). Retrieved 25 September 2017. 
  5. ^ "Jozo Simunovic: Celtic sign Dinamo Zagreb defender". BBC Sport. BBC. 1 September 2015. Retrieved 2 September 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c "Jozo Šimunović Trophies". soccerway.com. 
  7. ^ Cuddihy, Paul. "Simunovic pleased with his Celtic debut". Celtic FC (18 September 2015). Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  8. ^ Swan, Craig (27 October 2015). "Jozo Simunovic: Celtic are better than Dinamo Zagreb but they have similar issues". Daily Record. Retrieved 26 September 2017. 
  9. ^ "Dundee United 1 - 4 Celtic - Match Report & Highlights". Sky Sports. 16 January 2016. Retrieved 31 August 2016. 
  10. ^ "Jozo Simunovic: Celtic defender out for up to six weeks". BBC Sport. 2 February 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2016. 
  11. ^ a b "Jozo Simunovic out for season after Celtic ace has knee surgery". The Scottish Sun. News UK. 25 March 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2016. 
  12. ^ Armstrong, Gary (11 August 2016). "Celtic star Jozo Šimunović rubbishes reports linking him with Torino switch as NONSENSE". Daily Record. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 29 August 2016. 
  13. ^ "Celtic defender Jozo Simunovic in Italy to complete move to Torino". STV. 30 August 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  14. ^ Sutherland, Jonathan (31 August 2016). "Celtic: Jozo Simunovic and Efe Ambrose deals fall through". BBC Sport. Retrieved 31 August 2016. 
  15. ^ Mackenzie, Alasdair (1 September 2016). "Jozo Simunovic: I didn't fail Torino medical and I'm 100 per cent focused on Celtic". The Herald. Retrieved 4 September 2016. 
  16. ^ "Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2-2 Celtic". 18 September 2016 – via www.bbc.co.uk. 
  17. ^ a b Swan, Craig (29 November 2016). "Celtic defender Erik Sviatchenko insists competition for places keeps him and partner Jozo Simunovic on top of their game". Daily Record. Retrieved 25 September 2017. 
  18. ^ Mullen, Scott (20 December 2016). "Brendan Rodgers: Celtic star Jozo Simunovic is going nowhere". Evening Times. Retrieved 25 September 2017. 
  19. ^ Hay, Davie (22 December 2016). "Davie Hay: Jozo won't go, there would be an outcry from Celtic fans". Evening Times. Retrieved 25 September 2017. 
  20. ^ English, Tom (27 November 2016). "Aberdeen 0 - 3 Celtic". BBC Sport. Retrieved 25 September 2017. 
  21. ^ Olivari, Davorin (1 December 2016). "JOZO ŠIMUNOVIĆ UOČI EL CLASICA PROGOVORIO O VELIKOM MESSIJU 'Misliš da si ga zaustavio, a onda odluči sve'". Sportske novosti (in Croatian). Retrieved 25 September 2017. 
  22. ^ "Šimunović zabio prvi gol u sezoni, Celtic nadomak 48. naslova prvaka". Gol. 19 March 2017. Retrieved 26 September 2017. 
  23. ^ "Celtic joy as Jozo Simunovic and Scott Brown pen new deals at Parkhead". 11 September 2017. Retrieved 12 September 2017. 
  24. ^ "Jozo Šimunović". hnf-cff.hr. 
  25. ^ "Jozo Šimunović preuzima kapetansku traku" (in Croatian). 
  26. ^ "Celtic defender Jozo Šimunović will miss Croatia's qualifiers against Bulgaria and Malta due to injury, with Duje Ćaleta-Car called-up as his replacement". hns-cff.hr. 2 October 2015. Retrieved 17 November 2015. 
  27. ^ "Hvala Hrvatskoj, ali ću igrati za Bosnu i Hercegovinu" (in Bosnian). 
  28. ^ "Čekao sam poziv HNS-a dvije godine" (in Bosnian). 
  29. ^ Walker, Mark (18 July 2017). "Celtic defender Jozo Simunovic sticks with decision to switch national allegiance". The Herald. Retrieved 18 July 2017. 
  30. ^ "J. Šimunović". soccerway.com. Retrieved 15 July 2017. 

External links[edit]