Predrag Mijatović

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Predrag Mijatović
Predrag Mijatović 2007 b.jpg
Mijatović in 2007
Personal information
Full name Predrag Mijatović
Date of birth (1969-01-19) 19 January 1969 (age 48)
Place of birth Titograd, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Striker
Youth career
Kom
OFK Titograd
Budućnost
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1987–1989 Budućnost 72 (10)
1989–1993 Partizan 104 (45)
1993–1996 Valencia 104 (56)
1996–1999 Real Madrid 90 (30)
1999–2002 Fiorentina 42 (4)
2002–2004 Levante 21 (3)
Total 433 (148)
National team
1989–2003 Yugoslavia 73 (27)
Teams managed
2006–2009 Real Madrid (Director of Football)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Predrag "Peđa" Mijatović (Serbian Cyrillic: Предраг "Пеђа" Мијатовић, pronounced [prêdraɡ mijǎtoʋit͡ɕ]; born 19 January 1969) is a former footballer who played as a striker. At club level, Mijatović played for six different clubs: Budućnost Podgorica, Partizan, Valencia, Real Madrid, Fiorentina and Levante. At international level, he played for the Yugoslavia national team at the 1998 FIFA World Cup and at UEFA Euro 2000.[citation needed]

Mijatović scored 28 goals in the 1995–96 La Liga season for Valencia, which prompted a move to Real Madrid, where he scored a goal in the 1998 UEFA Champions League Final which ensured Madrid's first European Cup in 32 years. In 1997, Mijatović was named runner-up for the Ballon d'Or, behind Ronaldo and ahead of Zinedine Zidane.[1]

Club career[edit]

Budućnost[edit]

In 1987–88, Mijatović became a regular at Budućnost Titograd under newly arrived head coach Stanko Poklepović. In October 1987, as part of the Yugoslav youth squad which competed in and won the 1987 FIFA World Youth Championship in Chile, Mijatović had a notable tournament. Playing in Chile meant he was away from Budućnost for all of October. Coming back to the club as a hero, young Mijatović's spot on the squad was now cemented alongside Dejan Savićević, Dragoljub Brnović and Branko Brnović, who also represented Yugoslavia in Chile. Mijatović made 31 league appearances and contributed four goals as Budućnost finished the season in ninth position.[2]

During the winter of 1989–90, Mijatović nearly signed with Hajduk Split after negotiating with Hajduk's sporting director Jurica Jerković, with even a DM50,000 pre-contract payment given to the player.[3] However, Partizan club president Mirko Marjanović stepped in and convinced Mijatović to join the Belgrade-based club instead. In December 1989, Partizan ultimately paid a DM1 million transfer fee to Budućnost for Mijatović. In later interviews, Mijatović said a deteriorating political and security situation in Yugoslavia was a factor in his decision not to join the Croatian club Hajduk.[3]

Partizan[edit]

Though he scored on his Partizan debut against his former club Budućnost, Mijatović's debut half season in the new club under head coach Ivan Golac was mostly spent settling into the new surroundings. He failed to score in his following 14 league appearances until the end of the 1989–90 league season.[2]

However, Mijatović continued improving, becoming the squad's undisputed leader during 1991–92 season under head coach Ivica Osim, and leading Partizan to the 1992 Yugoslav Cup title over reigning European Cup champions Red Star Belgrade. He was also named Yugoslav Footballer of the Year award en route.[4]

At Partizan, Mijatović had been linked with various top European sides, including Atlético Madrid and Juventus. However, none of them expressed sufficient interest, and he eventually joined Valencia in the summer of 1993.[4]

Valencia[edit]

Mijatović made his Valencia debut on 5 September 1993 against Real Oviedo. He won the Spanish Footballer of the Year award in the 1995–96 season, scoring 28 goals in 40 La Liga matches.[4]

Real Madrid[edit]

Mijatović joined Real Madrid from Valencia and won the La Liga title in his first season, as well as the 1997 Supercopa de España over Barcelona.[5]

In the 1997–98 season, Real Madrid won the Champions League for the first time in 32 years, defeating Juventus. Mijatović scored the only goal in the final.[4]

The |1998–99 season was Mijatović's final season with Los Blancos; at the end of the season, the 30-year-old Mijatović was sold to Italian Serie A club Fiorentina.

Fiorentina[edit]

Mijatović arrived at the Florence-based club in the summer of 1999[6] for 17 billion Italian lire. He played just two years with the club, scoring just four goals but adding a Coppa Italia title to his honours.[7]

International career[edit]

Mijatović began his career in the youth categories of the former Yugoslavia team. He was included in the squad for the 1987 FIFA World Youth Championship.[citation needed]

World Cup 1998[edit]

During the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France, Mijatović scored one goal in four matches, helping his country to the second round, where Yugoslavia was eliminated by the Netherlands.[citation needed]

Euro 2000[edit]

Mijatović played at UEFA Euro 2000 for Yugoslavia.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Born in Titograd, SR Montenegro, SFR Yugoslavia, Mijatović grew up in the Masline neighbourhood on the town outskirts. He is of Cuce clan ancestry.[9]

Mijatović's personal life has been well-publicized due to his turbulent relationship with Belgrade socialite Elena Karaman Karić. They were married for one-and-a-half years during the early 1990s, and had two sons before divorcing. During the divorce proceedings, he often wore a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball cap with the initials "L.A.", dedicated to their sons Luka and Andreja. On 3 June 2009, the official website of Real Madrid stated Andreja, aged 15, died after a long illness, and offered its "deepest sympathies on behalf of the entire club and its members".[10]

Post-playing[edit]

After retiring in 2004, Mijatović continued living in the city of Valencia and soon became a player agent.

Real Madrid director of football[edit]

In 2006, Mijatović became Real Madrid's director of football, serving in the position for three seasons.[11]

After Real Madrid[edit]

Through his friendship with Anzhi Makhachkala general manager German Chistyakov, Mijatović was reportedly part of the three-man delegation (the other two were Anzhi's transfer man German Tkachenko and Serbian player agent Vlado Lemić) the Russian club deployed to Milan on 9 August 2011 for initial negotiations with Internazionale (represented by sporting director Marco Branca and vice-president Rinaldo Ghelfi) over the transfer of striker Samuel Eto'o.[12]

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Partizan[13]
Real Madrid[5]
Fiorentina[14]

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pierrend, José Luis (26 March 2005). "European Footballer of the Year ("Ballon d'Or") 1997". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 14 March 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Predrag Mijatović: profile". Fudbalski savez Srbije. Retrieved 3 August 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Vulas, Frane (18 December 2009). "Predrag Mijatović: Sudbina nije htjela da zaigram za Hajduk". Slobodna Dalmacija. Retrieved 3 August 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d King, Jeff (31 May 1999). "Dearest Predrag". FIFA.com. Archived from the original on 25 September 2009. Retrieved 3 August 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Predrag Mijatovic". Real Madrid. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  6. ^ Chiesa, Carlo F. (August 22, 1999). "La nuova Serie A" [The new serie A]. Calcio 2000 (in Italian). Action Group S.r.l. p. 37. 
  7. ^ "Coppa alla Fiorentina col pareggio più bello" [Fiorentina wins the cup with the most useful deuce]. La Repubblica (in Italian). June 13, 2001. Retrieved July 29, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Norway 0-1 Yugoslavia". UEFA Euro 2000. UEFA. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  9. ^ http://www.srpskadijaspora.info/vest.asp?id=9312
  10. ^ http://www.realmadrid.com/cs/Satellite/en/1202773280340/noticia/Noticia/Sincere_condolences.htm Archived 12 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ Steve Wilson (20 May 2009). "Real Madrid sporting director Predrag Mijatovic leaves by 'mutual agreement'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 5 July 2017. 
  12. ^ Predrag Mijatovic represented Anzhi at negotiations with Inter;sports.ru, 10 August 2011
  13. ^ "Biografía de Predrag Mijatovic". Retrieved 7 January 2015. 
  14. ^ "2001: Coppa Italia ai Viola". Retrieved 7 January 2015. 

External links[edit]