Zoran Mirković

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Zoran Mirković
Personal information
Date of birth (1971-09-21) 21 September 1971 (age 43)
Place of birth Belgrade, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.82 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Playing position Defender (retired)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1989–1990 Radnički Svilajnac 15 (0)
1990–1993 Rad 62 (1)
1993–1996 Partizan 82 (1)
1996–1998 Atalanta 51 (0)
1998–2000 Juventus 27 (0)
2000–2003 Fenerbahçe 71 (3)
2004–2006 Partizan 46 (2)
Total 354 (7)
National team
1995–2003 Serbia and Montenegro 59 (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (Goals).

Zoran "Bata" Mirković (Serbian Cyrillic: Зоран Бата Мирковић; born 21 September 1971) is a former Serbian footballer.

Club career[edit]

Mirković made his first appearance for FK Rad during the 1990–91 season. But even before that he and his teammates won the Yugoslav title in the under-21 category, the biggest success this club ever had. Mirković spent three seasons in Rad as a professional player, and all together played 62 games (five in 1990–91 season, 26 in 1991–92 season and 31 in 1992–93 season), scoring a goal. His talent didn't go unnoticed by Partizan officials and they invited him to defend black and white colors.

Mirković always describes the three years he spent in Partizan as the most beautiful years of his career and says Partizan is the club he loves the most. In those three years he established himself as a player, became a first choice player in Yugoslav national team and won three titles (Yugoslav Championship 1993–94 and 1994–95 and Yugoslav Cup 1993–94). He wore the number 2 jersey. He became a hero of Partizan fans because he is such a fighter, because of all FK Crvena zvezda players he had beaten up and because he, in those difficult times (war and sanctions) upheld his obligations towards Partizan and stayed for all three years stipulated in his contract. He played 82 games in Partizan jersey (26 in 1993–94 season, 29 in 1994–95 season and 27 in 1995–96 season), scoring one goal.

Mirković spent two seasons with Atalanta. He got injured in the first game in Serie A league and had to take a three month break. He played a role of midfielder/defender and his performance was so good that the then Juventus coach Marcello Lippi invited him to join Juve. He was very popular among the Atalanta fans and when the club wanted to sell him to Fiorentina hell almost break loose.

Mirković's career in Juventus can be divided in two different periods. Under coach Lippi, Bata played 19 Serie A games, scoring one goal. He also played UEFA Champions League matches. When Carlo Ancelotti took over in spring of 1999, Mirković was no longer a first choice Juve player, playing mostly Italian Cup matches.

In summer 2000, Mirković signed a three-year contract with Fenerbahçe. It proved to be a very smart decision indeed. In his first season in Istanbul he won a Turkish League title and was a finalist in Turkish Cup. In his second season in Turkey he played Champions League and came second in Turkish League. His third season in Fenerbahçe was not so successful. Three coaches and problems in the club caused Fenerbahçe to end the season in the sixth place.

Then in January 2004, following a 6-month break from football, Mirković became Partizan player again. He signed a contract for two and a half years. On 6 March 2006, Mirković announced his retirement due to a recurring back injury at the age of 34.

International career[edit]

Mirković was a first choice player for Serbia and Montenegro where he usually played right back position and wore the number 2 jersey. He played 59 games with the national A team.[1] He was a participant in the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France but missed Euro 2000 because of a three-game ban following an incident in the last qualifying match, played against Croatia in Zagreb, where he grabbed Robert Jarni's testicles and therefore was sent off.[2]

Post-retirement[edit]

On 24 April 2007, Football Association of Serbia (FSS) appointed Mirković as sporting director of the national team, responsible for the A squad and the under-21 squad. However, he quit by the early December 2007, citing poor professional cooperation with the FSS leadership headed at the time by Zvezdan Terzić.

FSS president Terzić (who would soon afterwards be indicted on embezzlement charges) commented on Mirković's resignation as follows: "Mirković is my mistake since I didn't know him well enough as a man before I brought him into the FSS. He's a wonderful person, but couldn't manage to be a part of the system and even said so on several occasions to both myself and general secretary Zoran Laković".[3]

Career statistics[edit]

Club Season League Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Rad 1990–91 5 0
1991–92 26 0
1992–93 31 1
Total 62 1
Partizan 1993–94 26 0
1994–95 29 0
1995–96 27 1
Total 82 1
Atalanta 1996–97 21 0
1997–98 30 0
Total 51 0
Juventus 1998–99 19 0
1999–2000 8 0
Total 27 0
Fenerbahçe 2000–01 29 1
2001–02 27 2
2002–03 15 0
Total 71 3
Partizan 2003–04 10 0
2004–05 23 2
2005–06 13 0
Total 46 2
Career total 339 7

International[edit]

Serbian national team
Year Apps Goals
1995 6 0
1996 5 0
1997 13 0
1998 8 0
1999 6 0
2000 3 0
2001 5 0
2002 8 0
2003 5 0
Total 59 0

Honours[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]