Mirsad Bešlija

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Mirsad Bešlija
Personal information
Date of birth (1979-07-06) 6 July 1979 (age 38)
Place of birth Živinice, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Right winger
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1995–1997 Slaven Živinice
1997–2000 NK Bosna Visoko
2000–2001 FK Željezničar
2001–2006 Genk 134 (17)
2006–2008 Heart of Midlothian 9 (0)
2007–2008 Sint-Truidense (loan) 11 (2)
2009–2012 FK Željezničar 78 (9)
National team
2001–2006 Bosnia and Herzegovina 37 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of December 2012

Mirsad Bešlija (born 6 July 1979) is a retired Bosnian-Herzegovinian footballer. He has most notably played for FK Željezničar, Genk, Heart of Midlothian, and the Bosnia and Herzegovina national team.

Bešlija started his career with hometown side Slaven Živinice. Although he was among the youngest players in their squad, he became an important part of the first team. He was spotted there and signed by Bosna Visoko, a first division team at that time, in 1997. He spent two seasons in Visoko, during which he was selected for the national U21 team. His rapid footballing ascent attracted the interest of FK Željezničar and he signed for them in 2000, becoming a fans' favourite during his single season in the capital.

Bešlija joined Racing Genk in July 2001, where he stayed for five years, and made over 130 league appearances, and he won the Belgian League with them in 2001-02. He moved to Heart of Midlothian during January 2006 in a deal worth £850,000 (€1.22 million), a record fee paid by the Tynecastle side.[1] A dispute developed about whether the overall transfer fee should include agents percentages or not, leading Hearts to suspend payment after the first installment.[1] When further dialogue brought no resolution, Genk petitioned UEFA to impose a transfer embargo upon Hearts,[2] however, agreement was finally reached in December 2006, with Hearts paying the entire outstanding balance.[3] What made matters worse for the self-proclaimed "Bosnian Bullet" is that on one occasion was thrown out of a top George Street venue after sneaking into the VIP section to catch a glimpse of the local celebrity Gadgy.

Beslija suffered serious injury problems with Hearts and he failed to win a regular first team place. He was loaned out to Belgian club Sint-Truidense for the 2007–08 season, and he was released by Hearts in October 2008 after they reached a severance agreement.[4]

In 2009, he re-signed for FK Željezničar and retired in 2012, winning 4 trophies in the process.[5]

On the international level, Bešlija has not played for Bosnia since 2006 mainly due to several injuries and loss of form at club level. He retired from international football in 2007.

Bosnia-Herzegovina squad during UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying.




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