Kuzmanović with VfB Stuttgart in 2011
|Full name||Zdravko Kuzmanović|
|Date of birth||22 September 1987|
|Place of birth||Thun, Switzerland|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
(on loan from FC Basel)
|2016||→ Udinese (loan)||16||(0)|
|2016–||→ Málaga (loan)||0||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 29 June 2016.
Zdravko Kuzmanović (Serbian Cyrillic: Здравко Кузмановић, born 22 September 1987) is a Serbian footballer who plays as a central midfielder for Málaga CF on loan from FC Basel. He represented Serbia in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Born in Thun, Switzerland to a family of Bosnian Serbs expats (his father hails from a small village called Skugrić near Modriča, Bosnia and Herzegovina, SFR Yugoslavia), Kuzmanović continued the family tradition as both his father Ljubo and his grandfather played football for the lower league in Bosnia and Herzegovina at the local club in Gradačac – FK Zvijezda where he started his football career. Kuzmanović's father also played professionally in Berlin, before eventually ending his career at FC Thun of Switzerland, and continuing to live in the country.
Kuzmanović started his professional career at Basel. He was promoted to first team in 2005–06 season and also played for Basel II at 1. Liga that season. Following his good performance, he was reported by UEFA as one of the most interesting young players in Europe and was awarded with the Swiss Golden Player Award for season 2006.
In early 2007, Kuzmanović was approached by Palermo, but the negotiations with the Rosaneri stopped abruptly. On 30 January 2007, at the age of 19, he signed a four-and-a-half-year contract with ACF Fiorentina after learning its midfielder Marco Donadel would be away for about two months because of a calf injury. The move was controversial when Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini and sporting director Rino Foschi accused Fiorentina of 'misconduct' by describing their director of football Pantaleo Corvino as a 'jackal'. In response, Corvino said "better jackal than chicken" before reaffirming the correctness of his actions. In an interview for the club's official website years later, Kuzmanović explained how his move to Palermo fell through.
|“||I did not like Zamparini. It was him and the tall bald guy [Foschi, ed] [...] plus a girl for the translation. They gave me only five minutes, said they had to return to Italy. The contract was not good but how could I decide quickly? I said am I important or not? If I am you can not do it all in five minutes. They did not answer, I closed it there: Take the plane, I'm going home. Then one day my agent called and said Fiorentina want you, they are a great club and are serious about you. I said yes immediately.||”|
On 4 March 2007, he played his first Serie A match for Fiorentina in a 5–1 win over against Torino and setting up a goal for Alessandro Gamberini. In his first half of the season at Fiorentina, Kuzmanović made 4 appearance. In his first full season at Fiorentina, Kuzmanović began to be in the starting eleven for the club and scored his first goal for the club against Catania on 17 February 2008. In the UEFA Cup campaign knockout stage in the quarter final against Everton, Kuzmanović scored his first European goal in a 2–0 win in the first leg. In the second leg, Everton managed to catch up with a 2–0 win, resulting an extra time and the game played on the penalties which Fiorentina won 4–2. The following season, Kuzmanović scored a first of the season from a cross by Riccardo Montolivo in a 2–0 win over Chievo on 5 October 2008 and scored his second in a 3–0 win over Torino on 7 December 2008. On 14 October 2008, Kuzmanović signed a contract with the club that would keep him until 2013.
He went on to become an integral first team player for Fiorentina, notching up over 70 Serie A appearances and featuring in their successful European Competition runs.
On 31 August 2009 on the transfer deadline, Kuzmanović signed a four-year contract with VfB Stuttgart worth £7million. Following his move, Kuzmanović eagerly anticipated plying his trade in the Bundesliga.
On 12 September 2009, Kuzmanović set to make debut for Stuttgart against Hamburger SV and eventually did as Stuttgart lost 3–1. On 21 November 2009, Kuzmanović scored his first goal for Stuttgart in a 1–1 draw against Hertha BSC. Kuzmanović made his Champions League debut for Stuttgart in a 1–3 defeat at home to Sevilla on 20 October 2009 and later scored his first Champions League goal in the return leg when Sevilla and Stuttgart played a 1–1 draw. Since then, Kuzmanović established himself in the starting eleven, taking the first team place from Thomas Hitzlsperger.
Kuzmanović started the 2010–11 season when he scored four goals in all competitions, including a 7–0 thrash victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach on 18 September 2010; a 4–1 loss against Bayer Leverkusen, scoring the only goal in the match on 25 September 2010; then scoring on matchday two in the Europa League campaign, as Stuttgart won 2–1 against Odense Boldklub on 30 September 2010 and scoring in a 2–0 win over St. Pauli on 24 October 2010. He then suffered an knock in the past few weeks. In December 2010, Kuzmanović brushed off interests, insisting he's happy to stay at Stuttgart. In the round of 64, the second leg in the Europa League campaign against Benfica, Kuzmanović received a straight red card in stoppage time, as Stuttgart would not only lose for the second time against them, but eliminated from the Europa League campaign. His red card would suspend him when Stuttgart plays in Europe for the next time. Later in the season, Kuzmanović scored 12 goals and made forty-seven appearances in all competitions.
In the 2011–12 season, transfer speculation to sign Kuzmanović continued when English side Chelsea had their 23 million bid turned down to sign him. Kuzmanović started the season by making seven appearances, including his first goal of the season as Stuttgart won 3–0 against Hannover 96 before suffering a hamstring injury, which caused him to miss two matches. He then returned in mid-October. In December, Kuzmanović caught the interest of Italian clubs Juventus and Lazio, but he said he was happy playing for the German side. However, Kuzmanović soon had a change of heart, stating he considered leaving the club if the club failed to qualify for European competitions. On 3 March 2012, Kuzmanović scored twice in a 4–0 win over Hamburg.
In the 2012–13 season, Kuzmanović have featured less at the start of the season, having suffered a torn muscle in his right thigh. On 24 September 2012, it was announced that Kuzmanović expected to leave the club at the end of the 2012–13 season after there were contract talks between the player and the club. Since then, he was often playing out of position, both in substitution and starts. In December 2012, Kuzmanović's relationship with the club turned sour and beyond repair over broken down contract talks.
On 31 January 2013, Kuzmanović moved to Italian side Internazionale for an undisclosed fee. Inter's coach at the time, Walter Mazzarri, deployed Kuzmanović only sparingly. When Roberto Mancini was hired as the new Inter coach, he played Kuzmanović more frequently.
FC Basel return
In early 2007, Serbian FA began talks with him about the possibility of playing for the Serbian national team and he accepted call up to squad against Kazakhstan and Portugal in March 2007. He scored his first two goals for Serbia in the away game versus Belgium, but they weren't enough to get a point, since Serbia lost 3–2. Although Kuzmanović was born in Thun and played for Switzerland at youth level, he has decided to play for Serbia on the senior level, stating: "I'm Serbian and I want to give all for my country, it's a matter of what you feel in your heart and I must listen to it." In the 2010 FIFA World Cup match between Serbia and Ghana, Kuzmanović conceded a penalty by handling the ball, one that Ghana scored and was the only goal in the match which Ghana won.
He played once at 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship qualifying for Switzerland U21 thus ineligible to play for Serbia at the same campaign, which Serbia lost to the Netherlands in the final. He also played a friendly verse France U21 in February 2007, before accepted the call-up from Serbia.
- As of 8 May 2016
|Serbia national team|
|1.||22 August 2007||King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels, Belgium||Belgium||2–1||3–2||UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying|
|2.||22 August 2007||King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels, Belgium||Belgium||3–2||3–2||UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying|
|3.||10 October 2009||Red Star Stadium, Beograd, Serbia||Romania||3–0||5–0||FIFA World Cup 2010 qualifying|
|4.||3 March 2010||Stade 5 Juillet 1962, Algiers, Algeria||Algeria||0–2||0–3||Friendly|
|5.||6 September 2011||Stadion FK Partizan, Belgrade, Serbia||Faroe Islands||3–1||3–1||UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying|
|6.||28 February 2012||Tsirion Stadium, Limassol, Cyprus||Armenia||0–1||0–2||Friendly|
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