Profile

Croatia
Niko Kranjčar
Date of Birth: 13 August 1984
Age: 34
Place of birth: Zagreb (Croatia)
Citizenship: Croatia
Height: 185
Weight: 75
Previous clubs: Dinamo Zagreb, HNK Hajduk (both Croatia), Portsmouth FC, Tottenham Hotspurs (both England)
Joined Dynamo: 06 june 2012

No Croatian footballer has been hyped over the years as the young Niko Kranjčar. Niko was touted "the greatest promise of Croatian football" when he was 16 and a half. Compared to a young Zidane and a half dozen other European footballing greats. Kranjčar seemed destined for stardom ever since he stunned coaches, opponents, writers and spectators alike in his initial senior appearances with Dinamo Zagreb in early 2001.

Following father’s footsteps

Zlatko Kranjčar, Niko's father was in his time also a precocious talent, who went on to blossom in Dinamo Zagreb and star in the winning of one League Championship and two Cups of the former Yugoslavia. After scoring a hundred goals in the then strong Yugoslav League, he was transferred to Rapid Vienna where he won two Leagues, four Cups and added more than a hundred league goals to his impressive tally. He appeared in the 1985 Cup Winners Cup finals in Rotterdam against Everton (3-1 for the Toffees) and collected - curiously - only 11 caps and three goals for Yugoslavia, plus two caps for a fledgling Croatian team in 1990. He holds both Croatian and Austrian passports.

Niko, like his father playing as an out-and-out striker, or more frequently as an advanced midfielder behind two forwards, he showed maturity (and stature, at 185 cm) that belied his age. His strong physique, good vision of the game, cunning, imaginative passing and excellent close control led many to prophesy his quick full international debut and stardom beyond the Croatian borders. A month after his promotion to the first team, he appeared as a sub in the Cup final second leg when Dinamo beat Hajduk Split 1-0 securing their fifth Croatian Cup.

Meteoric rise

His rise was meteoric: three weeks before his 17th birthday he scored on his League debut, later that season he collected another Cup medal and at the start of 2002/03 season was made the club's youngest ever skipper by ex-Croatia coach Miroslav Blaević! The campaign ended brilliantly for the youngster as Dinamo won the championship and Kranjčar was hailed as the best player of the season according to the sports press ratings.

Still, his senior debut has been delayed on several occasions although the press has continually appealed for his call-up for a year now. When Otto Barić finally did call him up for the February friendly against Germany in Split, he was injured on the eve of the fixture. The much traveled coach Tomislav Ivić agrees that "Kranjčar has a great feeling for the ball and great understanding of the game. Few players in the world have that virtue.

Niko was in the sights of both Juventus and Milan, but his dream is to join Barcelona and in fact his career adviser, the famed Davor Suker, has already linked him with the Catalan giants who reportedly have acquired an option over Kranjčar. Kranjčar spent most of his playing for Dinamo Zagreb, later as a captain, but then in early 2005, after a disagreement with the management, made a surprise transfer to Dinamo's biggest rival, Hajduk. His transfer was the probably the sport news of the year in Croatia.

Welcome to Kyiv!

The 27-year-old attacking midfielder has largely struggled to make an impact at Tottenham since he joined them in 2009 from Portsmouth.

After the 2006 World Cup, the world press hailed him for his talents, and several clubs wanted to buy him. Among those clubs were the French club Stade Rennes and the Spanish Club Celta de Vigo. But in the end, Pompey came with the best offer for him. In August 2006, Rennes bid €4.5 million for Kranjčar, Hajduk rejected that offer and stated they felt they should get more for the player. Later on the same day, Kranjčar then moved for a reported £3.5million (€5.2 million) to Portsmouth on August 31, 2006.

Kranjčar made his Premier League debut for Portsmouth on 1 October 2006, playing all 90 minutes in their 2-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at the White Hart Lane. He scored his first Premier League goal on 31 March 2007 against Fulham at the Craven Cottage, giving Portsmouth an early 1-0 lead in a match that eventually ended in a 1-1 draw. He made a total of 24 appearances and scored two goals in his first Premier League season.       

In 2009 Kranjcar joined Tottenham where he has largely struggled to make an impact. On June 6, 2012 he concluded a contract with Kyiv Dynamo.

In 2013 was loaned to English club Queens Park Rangers.

Returned to Kyiv Dynamo in July 2015.

Stats in Dynamo Kyiv *

 
Season
* - Base statistics at time of filling
M
— Games Played
G
— Goals for

Statistics in other teams

Season

Team

Competition

Appearances

Goals

2001-04

Dinamo Zagreb

Prva HNL

84

19

2001/02

Dinamo Zagreb

UEFA Cup (qualification)

1

0

2003/04

Dinamo Zagreb

Champions League (qualification)

2

1

2004/05

Dinamo Zagreb

UEFA Cup

3

1

2005/06

Croatia national team

World Cup

3

0

 

 

Friendlies

1

0

2004-06

Hajduk

Prva HNL

45

12

2006/07

Portsmouth

Premier League

23

2

 

 

FA Cup

2

0

 

Croatia national team

Friendlies

2

0

2007/08

Portsmouth

Premier League

34

4

 

 

FA Cup

6

1

 

Croatia national team

Friendlies

3

1

 

 

Euro-2008 qualification

12

2

 

 

Euro-2008

4

0

2008/09

Portsmouth

Premier League

21

3

 

 

FA Community Shield

1

-

 

 

FA Cup

2

1

 

 

UEFA Cup

1

0

 

Croatia national team

World Cup (qualification)

5

1

 

 

Friendlies

2

1

2009/10

Portsmouth

Premier League

4

0

 

 

League Cup

1

0

 

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League

24

5

 

 

FA Cup

8

2

 

Croatia national team

Friendlies

3

1

2010/11

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League

13

2

 

 

FA Cup

1

0

 

 

League Cup

1

0

 

 

Champions League (qualification)

2

0

 

 

Champions League

4

0

 

Croatia national team

Euro-2012 qualification

8

4

 

 

Friendlies

4

1

2011/12

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League

12

1

 

 

FA Cup

3

0

 

 

Europa League

3

0

 

 

Euro-2012

2

0

 

 

Friendlies

4

0

FC Dynamo Kyiv

Bronze medal winner of Ukraine Premier League - 2012/13

Croatia National team

Matches: 78

Goals: 14

World Cup 2006 player

Euro 2008, 2012 player

NK Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia)

Croatia League tirle 2003

Croatia Cup 2001, 2002

Croatia Super Cup 2002, 2003

NK Hajduk Split (Croatia)

Croatia League title 2005

Croatia Super Cup 2005

Portsmouth FC (England)

FA Cup 2008

August 13 in Kyiv Dynamo history

August 13 in Kyiv Dynamo history

This day former Dynamo halfback Niko Kranjcar was born (1984).

Niko KRANJCAR leaves FC Dynamo Kyiv

Niko KRANJCAR leaves FC Dynamo Kyiv

FC Dynamo Kyiv and Croatian halfback Niko Kranjcar have decided to terminate their contract.

Dynamo-2 getting ready for Oleh Makarov Memorial tournament

Dynamo-2 getting ready for Oleh Makarov Memorial tournament

Dynamo-2 keep working at the training complex.

Niko KRANJCAR: “I work hard to take the field as often as possible”

Niko KRANJCAR: “I work hard to take the field as often as possible”

Croatian halfback Niko Kranjcar has made the first appearance for FC Dynamo Kyiv main squad since 2012/2013 season. After the game has answered media questions.

Niko KRANJCAR: “I’ll try to use my chance”

Niko KRANJCAR: “I’ll try to use my chance”

Croatian halfback Niko Kranjcar, who’s rejoined the White-Blues after two-year loan move at Queens Park Rangers FC, has told FC Dynamo Kyiv official site about his plans for this season.

Niko KRANJCAR to perform for Dynamo again!

Niko KRANJCAR to perform for Dynamo again!

After several seasons experienced Croatian halfback Niko Kranjcar spent performing for Queens Park Rangers FC on loan he’ll feature for FC Dynamo Kyiv again.

Dynamo loanees in foreign clubs. 2014/15 season summary

Dynamo loanees in foreign clubs. 2014/15 season summary

2014/15 season is over which means it’s time to summarize performances of FC Dynamo Kyiv loanees.

QPR with Kranjcar tumble out of Premier League

QPR with Kranjcar tumble out of Premier League

After away defeat against Manchester City FC (6:0) the current team of FC Dynamo Kyiv loanee Niko Kranjcar Queens Park Rangers FC tumbled out of the Premier League.

  • Niko’s father Zlatko is a famous coach. He also was a famous footballer who played for Dynamo Zagreb, Rapid and St. Pelten. He was the first Croatian team captain in the national team’s first match against USA in 1990;
  • Niko’s mom’s name is Elvira and sister’s – Lana;
  • He spent his childhood in Vienna as his father played for the local Rapid so he has an Austrian passport;
  • His wife’s name is Simona Fistrich. On March 7 2011 she gave birth to her daughter. They called her Lauri;
  • He has his own estate in Hertfordshire (England);
  • Niko is a greek-catholic.

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