Robert Špehar

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Robert Špehar
Personal information
Full name Robert Špehar
Date of birth (1970-05-13) 13 May 1970 (age 47)
Place of birth Osijek, SR Croatia, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Forward / Striker
Youth career
1981-1983 Osijek
1983-1985 Olimpija Osijek
1985-1988 Osijek
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1988–1992 Osijek 54 (14)
1992–1994 NK Zagreb 46 (28)
1994–1995 Osijek 26 (24)
1995–1997 Club Brugge 50 (40)
1997–1999 AS Monaco 27 (6)
1999–2000 Verona 3 (0)
2000–2001 Sporting CP 11 (5)
2001–2002 Galatasaray 1 (0)
2002 Standard Liège 10 (3)
2002–2004 Osijek 39 (23)
2004–2005 Omonia 7 (3)
Total 274 (146)
National team
1992–1996 Croatia 10 (0)
Teams managed
2013-2014 NK Višnjevac
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22:05, 7 May 2017 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 00:35, 6 May 2017 (UTC)

Robert Špehar (born 13 May 1970 in Osijek) is a Croatian former international footballer who played as a striker and a current football coach. During his 18 years long senior career he played for Croatian Prva HNL teams NK Zagreb and NK Osijek in three occasions. In Belgium he played for Club Brugge with whom he won Belgian First Division and Belgian Cup. He also played for AS Monaco reaching the UEFA Champions League semi-finals, Verona, Sporting, Galatasaray, Standard Liège, before ending his career at Omonia with Cypriot Cup title. At international level he represented Croatia gaining 10 caps over a five-year period, between 1992-1996 and was a member of their 1996 King Hassan II International Cup Tournament winning squad. Most recently he coached Croatian lower-league side NK Višnjevac with whom he achieved promotion to Treća HNL division East. He is the father of a footballer Dino Špehar.

Club career[edit]

Monaco[edit]

Špehar arrived in Principality of Monaco in summer 1997 with the status of Belgian First Division top scorer. The season before, 1996-97, he scored 26 goals playing for Club Brugge, a score that was outpaced by only three more players in next 20 seasons of Pro league. The new season already started when he finally completed transfer move to AS Monaco and joined the company of great generation led by goalkeeper Fabien Barthez, defender Willy Sagnol, midfielder Ludovic Giuly, forward Victor Ikpeba and great young strikers Henry and Trezeguet. After initial four games of the season, Monaco leadership and manager Jean Tigana estimated that the club will not be able to drag out complete season with two young strikers, Henry and Trezeguet, who were 19 years old and a few years older Victor Ikpeba, so they completed transfer of Belgian side Club Brugge top scorer Robert Špehar together with another striker from French Division 1 club FC Nantes, Chadian Japhet N'Doram who came to Monaco as first division top scorer runner up the season before. Špehar was very honored to be at the club, sharing a dressing room with such a class of teammates. A 1996–97 French football Division 1 titleholder at the time, Monaco, went on with their successful spell and won the 1997 French Super cup, played in semi-finals of the 1997–98 Champions League with Špehar scoring a goal against Juventus, finishing third in 1997–98 Division 1 season qualifying so for 1998–99 UEFA Cup competition. Following 1998–99 season, Špehar and Monaco achieved similar result in domestic league ending up in fourth place at the end qualifying again once more for an upcoming 1999–2000 UEFA Cup season.[1]

The greatest moment in Špehar career happened in 1997–98 season on 15 April 1998 in UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg home match against Juventus. He scored by his own words, one of his favorite goals throughout entire career. A loft header over Juve's goalkeeper Angelo Peruzzi brought a 3-2[2] win for Monaco. Unfortunately for Špehar and Monaco, they stayed short handed in the end, losing 6-4[2] on aggregate. Old lady advance further on to UEFA Champions League Final played in Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands thankfully to a 4-1[3] first leg advantage from Stadio delle Alpi, Turin, Italy.[4]

International career[edit]

Špehar earned 10 caps for the Croatian national football team between 1992 and 1996, all of them in friendlies.[5]

Managerial career[edit]

Presidency of NK Osijek[edit]

On 25 August 2010 in football club NK Osijek after a meeting involving the key members of club management and most important sponsors of the club decision was made for a new president of Osijek to be Rober Špehar. One of the best goalscorers in history of the club and a football legend who retired five years ago once again returned to Gradski vrt venue. This time as a president of NK Osijek football club. The club assemblies confirmed decision a few days later. With Špehar as president, club confirmed Gordan Matković, a former mayor of city of Osijek from HSP party as the new general director.[6] His last episode stay at club was successful as he was entitled, for a second time, top goalscorer of Prva HNL, in 2003–04 season, six years ago. Since then, NK Osijek fell in financial and administrative problems followed by poor sports results in years to come. At the expense of his fearless will to help NK Osijek he left a comfortable life and a lucrative management job accepting the offered position of presidency from the club. From day one of his professional football career retirement, Špehar placed himself at the club's disposal and it was an opportunity given after five years of waiting. At first, his name was mentioned in the context of the sports director, but after repeated refusal of presidency from local city businessmen and sponsors, this difficult assignment was eventually offered to Špehar. The job of sports director would be a natural follow-up for a successful former football player such as Špehar, but with no one willing to accept the presidency Špehar felt obligation and duty to respond to appeal call from the club. As a politically neutral person with no ties to political parties, Špehar was seen as someone capable to attract new people, new ideas and new investments of those who have been avoiding the club so far. His plan of presidency was focused on three main issues. First, rise in home attendance, increasing the numbers of club supporters and spectators at home played matches. Second, achieve sports results needed for European competition qualification at the end of Prva HNL season. Third, to compete equally alongside Dinamo and Hajduk as a club of great tradition as NK Osijek deserves. First move as a president of NK Osijek was a call addressed to all club legends and former football players including Davor Šuker, Nenad Bjelica and Marko Babić for a help in administering the club. He announced his office and club wide open to anybody of good will and love for the club, especially to current and former sports and working community of NK Osijek. He was determined to change the ingrained way of football club presidency in Croatia with an every day active role in the club throughout daily conversation with both football players and football coaches while taking care of sports management section as well. Špehar was endured by promise from both city of Osijek and club sponsors in desire to carry on with support towards the football club NK Osijek.[7]

Coaching beginnings[edit]

After football career and the presidency of NK Osijek, Špehar saw his future on the bench as a football coach. With a successful accomplishment of his coaching school he decided to accept the bench of local low-league club NK Višnjevac for his first job as football coach. In his first season he managed not only to save the club from further relegation, he was able to secure a promotion to Treća HNL division East. He decided to leave the club after the first half of second season due to greater desire for coaching better organized clubs with ambitions to play in more competitive league than the third league. Špehar feeling good on the field, on the bench, in training practice and during the match decided to patiently wait for that kind of opportunity, from Prva HNL clubs.[1]

Career stats[edit]

Season Club League Apps Goals
1988-89 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia NK Osijek Yugoslav First League 2 0
1989-90 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia NK Osijek Yugoslav First League 8 0
1990-91 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia NK Osijek Yugoslav First League 14 1
1992 Croatia NK Osijek Prva HNL 19 9
1992-93 Croatia NK Osijek Prva HNL 11 4
Croatia NK Zagreb Prva HNL 14 9
1993-94 Croatia NK Zagreb Prva HNL 32 18
1994-95 Croatia NK Osijek Prva HNL 26 23
1995-96 Belgium Club Brugge Belgian First Division 22 11
1996-97 Belgium Club Brugge Belgian First Division 27 26
1997-98 Belgium Club Brugge Belgian First Division 1 3
1997-98 France AS Monaco Ligue 1 13 3
1998-99 France AS Monaco Ligue 1 14 3
1999-00 Italy Verona Serie A 3 0
2000-01 Portugal Sporting CP Portuguese Liga 9 5
2001-02 Portugal Sporting CP Portuguese Liga 2 0
2001-02 Turkey Galatasaray Süper Lig 1 0
2001-02 Belgium Standard Liège Belgian First Division 10 3
2002-03 Croatia NK Osijek Prva HNL 12 5
2003–04 Croatia NK Osijek Prva HNL 27 18
2004-05 Cyprus Omonia Nicosia Cypriot First Division 7 3

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

1995-96
1996
2005

Individual[edit]

1994–95, 2003–04
1996–97
1995

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gradimir Đukarić (26 December 2014). "Robert Špehar o Henryju" [Robert Špehar referring on Henry] (in Croatian). Večernji list. Retrieved 26 May 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "UEFA Champions League 1997/98 Semi-finals, Second leg, Monaco - Juventus". UEFA. Retrieved 5 May 2017. 
  3. ^ "UEFA Champions League 1997/98 Semi-finals, First leg, Juventus - Monaco". UEFA. Retrieved 5 May 2017. 
  4. ^ Dubravko Miličić (3 May 2017). "Zabio sam za Monaco Juveu baš u polufinalu LP-a" [I scored for Monaco against Juve in semi-finals of Champions League] (in Croatian). 24 sata. Retrieved 5 May 2017. 
  5. ^ "Statistika - Hrvatski nogometni savez" [Statistics - Croatian Football Federation] (in Croatian). Croatian Football Federation. Retrieved 6 May 2017. 
  6. ^ Gradimir Đukarić (25 August 2010). "Robert Špehar bit će novi predsjednik Osijeka" [Robert Špehar will be the new president of Osijek] (in Croatian). Večernji list. Retrieved 29 May 2017. 
  7. ^ Gradimir Đukarić (27 August 2010). "Pozvat ću u klub legende, pa i Davora Šukera" [I'll call the club legends, including Davor Šuker] (in Croatian). Večernji list. Retrieved 4 June 2017. 

External links[edit]