Nikola Kalinić

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Nikola Kalinić
Nikola Kalinic - Croatia vs. Portugal, 10th June 2013 (crop).jpg
Kalinić playing for Croatia against Portugal in 2013
Personal information
Full name Nikola Kalinić
Date of birth (1988-01-05) 5 January 1988 (age 30)
Place of birth Solin, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)[1]
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Atlético Madrid
Number 9
Youth career
1998–2005 Hajduk Split
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2009 Hajduk Split 59 (32)
2006Pula (loan) 12 (3)
2007Šibenik (loan) 8 (3)
2009–2011 Blackburn Rovers 44 (7)
2011–2015 Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 86 (37)
2015–2018 Fiorentina 69 (27)
2017–2018Milan (loan) 31 (6)
2018– Atlético Madrid 4 (0)
National team
2003 Croatia U16 2 (1)
2004–2005 Croatia U17 18 (15)
2005–2007 Croatia U19 12 (11)
2006 Croatia U20 1 (0)
2007–2010 Croatia U21 9 (4)
2008– Croatia 41 (15)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 9 August 2018
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 13 June 2018

Nikola Kalinić (Croatian pronunciation: [nǐkola kǎlinitɕ];[2][3] born 5 January 1988) is a Croatian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Spanish club Atlético Madrid and for the Croatia national team.

Kalinić began his career with Hajduk Split in his native Croatia before moving to English club Blackburn Rovers for £6 million in 2009. After scoring rarely in two Premier League seasons, he left for Ukrainian side Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, helping them reach the 2015 UEFA Europa League Final. He then played in Serie A for Fiorentina and Milan.

Kalinić made his debut for Croatia in 2008 and represented the nation at three UEFA European Championships. He was part of their side that came runners-up at the 2018 FIFA World Cup but was sent home after one game.[4]

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Born in the town of Solin near Split, Kalinić began his playing career at Hajduk Split. He made his Prva HNL debut in the 2005–06 season at age 17. On 1 August 2006, he was sent on loan to Pula Staro Češko (now Istra 1961) to receive more first-team action. In his loan time at Pula, he had a slow but fair start considering his young age. Despite not playing all too regularly in a short single season with them, he still managed to adapt and find goalscoring form, scoring 3 goals in 12 league appearances.

Kalinić's first goals in the Prva HNL came in the 2–0 victory against Kamen Ingrad on 23 September 2006 as he scored a brace to give his side the victory.[5] Upon ending his short time at Pula, manager Krunoslav Jurčić was largely impressed with him, stating he could become the next Zlatan Ibrahimović.[6]

Despite his intentions to stay at Pula, Kalinić returned to Hajduk and was immediately sent out on loan to Šibenik, where he saw occasional first team action and immediately impressed with all-round performances and a goal-scoring ability, scoring three goals in eight appearances.

Hajduk Split[edit]

After clearly showing the ability to adapt well to the Croatian league, Kalinić returned to Hajduk and immediately saw plenty of first team action. He made his returning debut against Cibalia as a substitute, then secured his first start in the squad during the 2–1 victory against Osijek at the Poljud Stadium. His 17 league goals in his first season with Hajduk was only beaten by league topscorer Zelimir Terkes, who scored 21 goals.[7] However, it was a great achievement for the youngster, who had initially set a target of scoring 15 goals. He finished the 2007–08 season in fifth place with Hajduk in the league,[8] also helping them reach the final of the Croatian Cup in the same season. In all competitions, he ended the year with 26 goals, receiving the coveted Swan d'or Award from the Croatian Press Association.

Kalinić began the next season by scoring the second goal in Hajduk's 0–4 away victory against Maltese side Birkirara, thus advancing them to the next round of qualification for the 2008–09 UEFA Cup.[9] In Hajduk's derby match over league rivals Dinamo Zagreb, Kalinić scored the first goal with a penalty kick. Hajduk went on to win the match 2–0 and overtake Dinamo in the league table.[10]

Kalinić went for a one-week trial at English club Portsmouth in late July 2009, whereupon a fee thought to be in the region of £6 million was agreed between Hajduk and Portsmouth. However, the move fell through due to financial reasons. On 31 July 2009, Kalinić was heavily linked with another Premier League club, Blackburn Rovers. Later that day, the player's agent confirmed Kalinić had been at Blackburn's ground talking to the club on the 30th and 31st with regard to the deal to take the player to Ewood Park. The player's agent also confirmed that the fee was €7 million should the deal be completed; the contract had been agreed and his client was due to sign for the club. The player also made light that the Lancashire-based club expected "big things" from the highly rated Croat.[11]

On 1 August 2009, the move stepped closer when Hajduk club president Mate Peroš confirmed Blackburn had an offer accepted by the club, the best from any club. He also said, "Very quickly we finished the talks with the club [Blackburn]."[12]

Blackburn Rovers[edit]

On 3 August 2009, Kalinić signed for Blackburn Rovers on a four-year deal.[13] The transfer fee is believed to be in the region of £6 million.[14] One week later, Kalinić was successfully awarded a work permit and officially signed for the club.[15] However, his debut was delayed as he had to return from his homeland to collect his permit, meaning he was not officially registered in time for Rovers' opening match of the season, against Manchester City. On 13 August, he was officially confirmed as a Blackburn player and was assigned the number 22 jersey for the 2009–10 season, making his debut against Sunderland nine days later. On 27 October, Kalinić scored his first goal for Blackburn against Peterborough United in the League Cup.[16] He scored his second goal in the quarter-final of the competition against Chelsea, but missed a penalty in the shootout which Blackburn went on to win regardless.[17]

Kalinić then added his fourth and fifth goals of the season with the two opening goals against Aston Villa in the second leg of the League Cup semi-final, the first being a header, the second a close-range shot. He scored his first Premier League goal against Wigan Athletic with a header from a resultant corner taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen in the 76th minute in the 2–1 victory. In March 2010, he failed to complete a pass in the first half against Birmingham City, a feat that was not matched by any Premier League player until August 2018.[18]

He was handed the number nine shirt by manager Sam Allardyce at the beginning of the new Premier League campaign. Despite missing much of pre-season, Kalinić started the 2010–11 season well, scoring the only goal in Blackburn's opening day victory over Everton at Ewood Park on 14 August. On 28 December 2010, he netted his first brace in Blackburn colours in their 1–3 away win over West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns, though he was later sent off in this game. After Sam Allardyce was sacked as Blackburn manager, Kalinić fell out of favor with Blackburn's newly appointed manager Steve Kean.[19]

Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk[edit]

Nikola Kalinic with Dnipro

On 11 August 2011, Kalinić signed for Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk of the Ukrainian Premier League for an undisclosed fee.[20] He made his debut for the club on 13 August 2011 as a second-half substitute against league champions Shakhtar Donetsk in a 3–1 defeat. He marked his first appearance for the club with a goal but was red carded for elbowing just two minutes after scoring.[21] Kalinić netted ten goals in all competitions in both his first and second seasons with the Ukrainian side.

On 27 May 2015, Kalinić opened the scoring with a header in the Europa League Final against holders Sevilla in Warsaw, although his team eventually lost 2–3.[22] Kalinić scored six other goals in his sides run to the Europa League final and another 12 league goals, taking his tally for the 2014–15 season to 19, the highest of his career.

Fiorentina[edit]

In August 2015, Kalinić signed a contract with Fiorentina. The fee was reported to be a figure close to €5 million.[23] His Serie A debut came in a 2–0 win over Milan,[24] and he then scored the first goal against Bologna in a match which also ended 2–0.[25] On 27 September, Kalinić scored a hat-trick away against Internazionale in a 4–1 victory.[26] Due to this win, Fiorentina reached the top of Serie A for the first time since 1998–99.[27] Eight weeks later, he scored twice in a game against Empoli, the double earning Fiorentina a 2–2 draw.[28]

Another 11 months later, he scored another hat-trick against Cagliari, although his side was beaten 5–3.[29] During this season (on 15 April 2017), he was sent off for the first time, against Empoli.[30] The referee showed him the red card for his protests at the final whistle.[30]

At the start of 2017–18 season, Kalinić's number 9 shirt was given to Giovanni Simeone, with Kalinić assigned the number 99 shirt instead.[31]

Milan[edit]

On 22 August 2017, Kalinić joined Milan on loan with an obligation to purchase for a reported fee of about €25 million.[32] He chose to wear the number 7 shirt, as it was vacant.[33] He made his debut in a 2–1 victory at the San Siro against Cagliari on 27 August, coming on as a substitute in the 78th minute.[34] On 17 September, he scored a brace in his first start for Milan in Serie A against Udinese as Milan won 2–1.[35]

Atlético Madrid[edit]

On 9 August 2018, Atlético Madrid signed Kalinić on a three-year contract.[36] Six days later, he was an unused substitute as they defeated rivals Real Madrid to win the 2018 UEFA Super Cup in Tallinn.[37]

He made his La Liga debut in a 0–2 loss against Celta Vigo on 1 September, coming on as a substitute in the 56th minute.

International career[edit]

Kalinić was a key player in the Croatia national under-21 team during his youth playing years, also representing his country at the under-17 and -19 level. He first made a name for himself at international level at age 17 during the 2005 UEFA European Under-17 Championship when he finished the campaign as the top scorer with 11 goals. At the under-19 level, he managed another five goals during his side's preliminary round of the same tournament. He also scored a hat-trick against Lithuania in Croatia's 3–0 victory, which secured them a spot in the next elite round of the UEFA European Under-19 Championship in 2006.[38]

Initially supposed to be called up by head coach Slaven Bilić for the few remaining qualifying matches of UEFA Euro 2008, Kalinić missed the chance due to injury and was instead replaced by Mario Mandžukić.[39] However, his constant impressive abilities earned him a place in Croatia's final squad for Euro 2008.[40] He made his first appearance for the senior national team on 24 May 2008, coming on as a substitute in the 62nd minute of Croatia's 1–0 friendly win against Moldova.[41] He went on to make his first competitive appearance for his national side at Euro 2008 in Croatia's final group match against Poland, coming on as a substitute for goalscorer Ivan Klasnić in the 1–0 victory.

On 17 November 2010, Kalinić scored his first international goal, scoring the third goal in Croatia's 3–0 win at home to Malta in the Euro 2012 qualifiers. On 9 February 2011, he scored a brace in a 4–2 victory over the Czech Republic in an international friendly game.

In June 2012, Kalinić replaced the injured Ivica Olić in Croatia's squad for Euro 2012 and remained an unused substitute in the tournament.[42]

Kalinić missed the 2014 World Cup, but received a call-up back for a friendly against Argentina in 2014, although he remained an unused substitute.[43]

In 2015, Kalinić returned to the international level. At Euro 2016, he scored a goal and assisted in a 2–1 victory in a group stage match against defending champions Spain.[44]

On 4 June 2018, Kalinić was named in Croatia's 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.[45] On the fifth day of the tournament, he was sent home after refusing to come on as a late substitute during Croatia's first game of the competition against Nigeria, claiming to have a back injury. Kalinić had refused to play for the same reason previously during a friendly match against Brazil as well as during the previous day's training session.[46][47] Following the conclusion of the tournament, Kalinić was awarded a silver medal for being part of the Croatian team, but refused to accept it.[48][4]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of 20 May 2018[49]
Club Season League Cup[nb 1] Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Hajduk Split 2005–06 6 0 1 0 0 0 7 0
Istra 1961[1] (loan) 2006–07 12 3 1 0 13 3
Šibenik (loan) 2006–07 8 3 8 3
Hajduk Split 2007–08 25 17 7 9 4 0 36 26
2008–09 28 15 4 2 4 1 36 18
Total 59 32 12 11 8 1 79 44
Blackburn Rovers 2009–10 26 2 7 5 33 7
2010–11 18 5 2 1 20 6
Total 44 7 9 6 53 13
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 2011–12 19 10 0 0 2 0 21 10
2012–13 21 6 2 1 6 3 29 10
2013–14 19 6 0 0 4 1 23 7
2014–15 23 12 6 2 19 5 48 19
2015–16 4 3 4 3
Total 86 37 8 3 31 9 125 49
Fiorentina 2015–16 36 12 1 0 5 1 42 13
2016–17 33 15 2 0 7 5 42 20
Total 69 27 3 0 12 6 84 33
Milan (loan) 2017–18 31 6 4 0 6 0 41 6
Career total 309 115 37 20 57 16 403 151

1 Then known as Pula Staro Češko.

International[edit]

As of 13 June 2018.[50]
Croatia
Year Apps Goals
2008 2 0
2009 1 0
2010 1 1
2011 8 3
2012 3 1
2013 5 1
2014 0 0
2015 6 2
2016 8 5
2017 5 2
2018 2 0
Total 41 15

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Croatia's goal tally first.[51]
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 17 November 2010 Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb, Croatia  Malta 3–0 3–0 UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying
2. 9 February 2011 Stadion Aldo Drosina, Pula, Croatia  Czech Republic 2–0 4–2 Friendly
3. 3–2
4. 3 June 2011 Stadion Poljud, Split, Croatia  Georgia 2–1 2–1 UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying
5. 25 May 2012 Stadion Aldo Drosina, Pula, Croatia  Estonia 2–0 3–1 Friendly
6. 10 September 2013 Jeonju World Cup Stadium, Jeonju, South Korea  South Korea 2–0 2–1
7. 10 October 2015 Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb, Croatia  Bulgaria 3–0 3–0 UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
8. 17 November 2015 Olimp-2, Rostov-on-Don, Russia  Russia 1–1 3–1 Friendly
9. 4 June 2016 Stadion Rujevica, Rijeka, Croatia  San Marino 8–0 10–0
10. 9–0
11. 10–0
12. 21 June 2016 Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France  Spain 1–1 2–1 UEFA Euro 2016
13. 6 October 2016 Loro Boriçi Stadium, Shkodër, Albania  Kosovo 6–0 6–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
14. 24 March 2017 Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb, Croatia  Ukraine 1–0 1–0
15. 9 November 2017 Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb, Croatia  Greece 2–0 4–1 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Hajduk Split

Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk

Atlético Madrid

International[edit]

Croatia

Individual[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2018 FIFA World Cup Russia – List of Players" (PDF). FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. 4 June 2018. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  2. ^ "Nìkola". Hrvatski jezični portal (in Serbo-Croatian). Retrieved 17 March 2018. Nìkola
  3. ^ "kàlina". Hrvatski jezični portal (in Serbo-Croatian). Retrieved 17 March 2018. Kàlinić
  4. ^ a b "World Cup 2018: Nikola Kalinic refuses Croatian silver medal after being sent home during group stages". independent.co.uk. 2018-07-21. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
  5. ^ "Pula 2-0 Kamen Ingrad: Kalinićevi trenuci nadahnuća" (in Croatian). Nogometni magazin. 23 September 2006. Retrieved 23 September 2006.
  6. ^ Sušec, Dubravko (23 August 2017). "Kako se kalio Kale". telesport.telegram.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Croatian Leading Goal Scorers". Soccer Boards. 10 May 2008. Archived from the original on 2 August 2009. Retrieved 24 May 2008.
  8. ^ "Croatian Football Federation". UEFA. 10 May 2008. Retrieved 24 May 2008.
  9. ^ "Croatians cruise in southern openers". UEFA. 18 July 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2008.
  10. ^ "Hajduk defeats Dinamo 2–0 in Sunday football derby". Croatian Times. 23 February 2009. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  11. ^ "Blackburn win race to sign Kalinic". Fansonline.net. 31 July 2009. Retrieved 31 July 2009.
  12. ^ "Rovers close on Kalinic". Sky Sports. 2 August 2009. Retrieved 2 August 2009.
  13. ^ "Rovers 'complete' Kalinic deal". Sky Sports. 4 August 2009. Retrieved 4 August 2009.
  14. ^ "Rekordan transfer: Kalinić u Blackburnu!" (in Croatian). HNK Hajduk Split. 3 August 2009. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
  15. ^ "Rovers secure work permit for Croatian striker". ESPN. 10 August 2009. Retrieved 10 August 2009.
  16. ^ "Blackburn 5–2 Peterborough". BBC Sport. 27 October 2009. Retrieved 27 October 2009.
  17. ^ Fletcher, Paul (2 December 2009). "Blackburn 3–3 Chelsea". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2 January 2010.
  18. ^ Chowdhury, Saj (18 August 2018). "Kenedy: Newcastle midfielder's display to forget at Cardiff City Stadium". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 August 2018. [Kenedy]...became the first player not to find a team-mate with a single pass in the opening 45 minutes of a Premier League match since Blackburn's Nikola Kalinic against Birmingham City in March 2010.
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  20. ^ "Kalinic heads to the Ukraine". Blackburn Rovers. 11 August 2011. Archived from the original on 19 August 2011. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
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  22. ^ Keegan, Mike (27 May 2015). "Dnipro 2–3 Sevilla: Carlos Bacca scores twice as La Liga side survive scare to retain Europa League crown and earn Champions League spot with dramatic win in Warsaw". Daily Mail. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  23. ^ Giovanni Sardelli (13 August 2015). "Kalinic is in Florence: medical exams and signing for Fiorentina". gazzetta.it (in Italian).
  24. ^ Antonio Farinola (23 August 2015). "Fiorentina-Milan 2-0: viola show, Milan schocked". repubblica.it (in Italian).
  25. ^ Diego Costa (23 September 2015). "Fiorentina-Bologna 2-0, viola rules: derby without story". repubblica.it (in Italian).
  26. ^ Andrea Sorrentino (28 September 2015). "Festival Fiorentina Kalinic incanta San Siro L'Inter si sveglia di botto". la Repubblica (in Italian). p. 44.
  27. ^ Benedetto Ferrara (28 September 2015). "Il miracolo a Milano è la Fiorentina Una vittoria storica ed è primo posto". la Repubblica (in Italian). p. 1.
  28. ^ Benedetto Ferrara (23 November 2015). "Sorpresa Empoli poi Kalinic sveglia la Fiorentina ma è solo pari". la Repubblica (in Italian). p. 38.
  29. ^ "Bernardeschi-Kalinic, cinque gol Prima rete per il ventenne Murgia". la Repubblica (in Italian). 24 October 2016. p. 37.
  30. ^ a b "Fiorentina-Empoli 1-2: Kalinic sent off, 7 yellow cards". gazzetta.it (in Italian). 15 April 2017.
  31. ^ "STAGIONE 2017-18: I NUMERI DI MAGLIA DELLA FIORENTINA". Viola Chanel (Press release) (in Italian). ACF Fiorentina. 18 August 2017. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  32. ^ "AC MILAN SIGN KALINIC FROM FIORENTINA". goal.com. 22 August 2017.
  33. ^ "AC Milan sign Nikola Kalinic on loan from Fiorentina with obligation to buy". ESPNfc.com. 22 August 2017.
  34. ^ "Suso steers Milan to victory". Footbal Italia. 27 August 2017. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  35. ^ "AC MILAN 2 UDINESE 1: KALINIC DOUBLE OPENS ACCOUNT FOR NEW CLUB". Goal.com. 17 September 2017. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  36. ^ "Welcome Kalinic". Atlético Madrid. 9 August 2018. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  37. ^ a b Sanders, Emma (15 August 2018). "Real Madrid 2–4 Atlético Madrid". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  38. ^ "Neighbours sweep into next stage". UEFA. 22 October 2006. Retrieved 24 May 2008.
  39. ^ "Kalinić ruled out for Croatia". Sky Sports. 13 November 2007. Retrieved 10 July 2008.
  40. ^ "Bilić names squad for EURO assault". UEFA. 5 May 2008. Retrieved 24 May 2008.
  41. ^ "Croatia beat Moldova in Euro 2008 friendly". SoccerNews.com. 24 May 2008. Retrieved 25 May 2008.
  42. ^ "Croatia lose Olic, call on Kalinic". FIFA. 4 June 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
  43. ^ "International friendly: Lionel Messi helps Argentina recover to beat Croatia at Upton Park". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  44. ^ uefa.com (2016-06-21). "UEFA EURO 2016 - History - Croatia-Spain – UEFA.com". Uefa.com. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  45. ^ Radičević, Vlado (4 June 2018). "Zlatko Dalić donio najtežu odluku; višak postao igrač koji to sigurno nije očekivao" [Zlatko Dalić made the toughest decision; the surplus became a player who did not expect it]. Tportal.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  46. ^ "Nikola Kalinic: Croatia send striker home after back injury claim". bbc.com. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  47. ^ FIFA.com. "2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ - Matches - Croatia - Nigeria - FIFA.com". www.fifa.com. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  48. ^ "NAPOKON JE POZNAT KALINIĆEV ODGOVOR Evo kako je reagirao hrvatski napadač na ideju da mu se dodjeli srebrna medalja s Mundijala u Rusiji!". sportske.jutarnji.hr (in Croatian). 2018-07-20. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
  49. ^ "Nikola Kalinic > Club Matches". worldfootball.net. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
  50. ^ "Nikola Kalinić". Croatian Football Federation. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  51. ^ "Nikola Kalinic - Soccerway profile". soccerway.com.
  52. ^ Rose, Gary (27 May 2015). "Dnipropetrovsk 2–3 Sevilla". BBC Sport. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  53. ^ "France 4–2 Croatia: Line-ups". FIFA. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  54. ^ "Nikola Kalinić". www.vatreni.info. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  55. ^ "Nikola Kalinić u idealnoj momčadi grupne faze Europske lige". hns-cff.hr. Croatian Football Federation. 15 December 2016. Retrieved 15 December 2016.

External links[edit]