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Mario Mandzukic Biography

Wednesday17 February 2021 | 15:30
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Regarded as one of the best Croatian strikers of all time, in this article we will take a look at Mario Mandzukic biography.

Mario Mandzukic, born on 21 May 1986 in Slavonski Brod, is a Croatian professional football player who plays as a striker.

In his career at the national club level, he has won three Croatian league titles (2007-08 to 2009-10), two Croatian Cups (2007-08 and 2008-09) and four Croatian Super Cups (2007 to 2010) with

Dinamo Zagreb

, two German

Bundesliga

titles (2012-13 and 2013-14), two German Cups (2012-13 and 2013-14) and a German Super Cup (2012) with

Bayern Munich

, a Spanish Super Cup (2014) with

Atlético Madrid

, four Italian Serie A titles (2015-16 to 2018-19), three Italian Cups (2015-16 to 2017-18) and two Italian Super Cups (2015 and 2018) with

Juventus

, while at international club level he has won a

UEFA Champions League

(2012-13), a

UEFA Super Cup

(2013) and a

FIFA Club World Cup

(2013) with Bayern Munich.

After making his international debut with

Croatia

in 2007, he went on to play 89 matches for his country and scoring 33 goals. He participated with the Croatian national team in the European Championships in Poland-Ukraine 2012 and France 2016 and in the

World Cup

in Brazil 2014 and became runner-up in Russia 2018.

Considered to be one of the best strikers of his generation,[ on an individual level he was voted best player in the Croatian league in 2009, as well as Croatian footballer of the year by the magazine Večernji List in 2012 and 2013. He also became the top scorer in the 2008-09 Croatian league and the 2012 European championship.

Related Article: 

Petr Cech Biography

All You Need to Know About Mario Mandzukic Biography

Together with Gerd Müller and Zinedine Zidane, Mandzukic is the only football player in history to have scored goals in a Champions League final (2013 and 2017) and in a World Cup final (2018).

Mario Mandzukic Information

In this section of

Mario Mandzukic biography

, we will share some general information such as

Mario Mandzukic nationality

. Stay tuned.

Mario Mandzukic Bio

  • Full Name: Mario Mandzukic

  • Nickname: Mandzo

  • Profession: Professional Footballer

Mario Mandzukic Physical Stats

  • Weight: 86 Kg

  • Height: 1.90 m

  • Eye Color: Dark Brown

  • Hair Color: Dark Brown

Mario Mandzukic Football Information

  • Position: Striker

  • Jersey Number: 9

  • Professional Debut: 2004

Mario Mandzukic Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 21 May 1986

  • Birth Place: Slavonski Brod, SR Croatia, SFR Yugoslavia

  • Zodiac Sign: Gemini

  • Nationality: Croatian

Stay tuned to this section of

Mario Mandzukic biography

as we want to share some information about

Mario Mandzukic childhood

.

Mario Mandzukic Early Life

In 1992, Mandzukic came to Ditzingen near Stuttgart as a refugee child from Slavonski Brod in Croatia. There he developed his football skills at TSF Ditzingen. In 1996, he and his parents had to leave Germany and return to Croatia. Mandzukic played there in Slavonski Brod for NK Marsonia Slavonski Brod until he was loaned to NK Željezničar Slavonski Brod for the 2003/04 season.

He then played for Marsonia for another year before moving to NK Zagreb, from where he transferred to Dinamo Zagreb after two years.

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Mario Mandzukic Profile

The Croatian club Dinamo Zagreb purchased Mandzukic in the summer of 2007 for 1.3 million euros intending to replace its star forward Eduardo. After his arrival, he was able to get his place in the first team, playing mainly as a second striker. He put in an amazing performance against

Ajax

in Amsterdam on 4 October 2007. He scored a double in 4 minutes in extra time, which allowed Dinamo Zagreb to come back and beat Ajax by a score of 3-2.

He thus ensured Dinamo Zagreb's qualification to the last 16 of the 2007-2008 UEFA Cup thanks to this away win. He ended his first season with Dinamo with 12 goals and 11 assists in 29 matches. His only negative point of the season was that he had his team's worst yellow card total (eight).

The 2008-2009 season kicked off with a brace against Northern Irish club

Linfield FC

in a UEFA Cup qualifying match. In addition, he scored three goals in the UEFA Cup. As the top scorer in the Prva HNL 2008-09, with 16 goals in 28 matches, it was the season of his climb to the Croatian national team. He participated in 8 matches for the Croatia national team in qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.

He received an offer of 12 million euros from the German club Werder Bremen in the summer of 2009, but the bid was rejected by Dinamo Zagreb, as the club was demanding at least 15 million euros. His first goal in the 2009-2010 season came in a Champions League play-off match against Red Bull Salzburg. He received a red card in the last minutes of the match. In the wake of Dinamo's 0-2 defeat at home to

Anderlecht

in the

Europa League

on 17 September 2009, Mandzukic was fined a controversial €100,000 for failing to put in enough effort on the pitch.

That was the first time in the history of the club that a player was fined. Mandzukic was appointed captain of Dinamo in a 6-0 victory against HNK Rijeka in Prva HNL on 20 September. In an interview after the match, Mandzukic dismissed any rumor that he would leave the club at the end of the season, declaring that his dream is to be captain of Dinamo Zagreb and to give his best in every match. He scored 14 goals in 24 matches in the league and 3 goals in the European Cup that season.

Exclusive SPORTMOB video

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Wolfsburg

In the 2010-11 season, Mandzukic moved to

Wolfsburg

in Germany, where he was bought for between €7 million and €8 million. Arriving under coach Steve McClaren, he played his first match in his new shirt on 15 August 2010 in the German Cup, in the 1-2 away win over Preußen Münster. Five days later, he debuted in the Bundesliga, in the 2-1 defeat against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena. He netted his first goal in the Bundesliga on 12 March 2011, in the 1-2 home defeat against Nuremberg.

In the beginning, he struggled with competition from Edin Džeko, being therefore often diverted onto the pitch by McClaren to either an outside forward or midfield role. Under the interim head coach Pierre Littbarski, the Croatian was not included in the squad for three out of five matches, playing one full match only in the Nurnberg game, scoring the only goal for the Wolves (1-2). Littbarski was, in turn, replaced a few weeks later by Felix Magath on a permanent basis.

The new coach would prove to be a very important figure in Mandzukic's development, even more so on a human level, smoothing out a certain impatience with the discipline that had so far marked the Croatian on and off the pitch. On a purely sporting level, Magath finally reinstated the striker to his natural role, in a two-man attack, and the results started to come: Wolfsburg obtained 11 points in 6 games, with Mandzukic scoring 7 of his 8 goals of the season in these last matches, including two doubles against Cologne (4-1) and

Hoffenheim

(1-3), which contributed to the green-and-white club's rescue.

After Džeko's departure, Magath brought in young Patrick Helmes to join the Croatian in the 2011-12 season and put them both in a two-man attack: Mandzukic did not score in the first four Bundesliga matches. He was deployed as a second striker in the fifth round, behind Srđan Lakić, and the choice proved to be the right one: the Croatian scored two goals against Schalke 04 (2-1).

At the end of the season, he had 12 goals and 10 assists in 32 league appearances, leading Wolfsburg to eighth place, on the threshold of the UEFA zone: however, his adventure in the German team ended after just two seasons, where he made a total of 60 appearances and scored 20 goals.

Stay tuned to this section of

Mario Mandzukic biography

as we want to share some information about his Munich career.

Bayern Munich

On 27 June 2012, after good participation with Croatia at the 2012 European Championship, he moved to Bayern Munich for a fee of €13 million. Originally bought to act as a back-up to Mario Gómez, the Croatian also benefited from Mario Gomez' injury, before finally overtaking him in coach Jupp Heynckes' line-up.

On 6 April 2013, he won the Bundesliga for the first time, the 23rd title for the Bavarians, six days ahead of the end of the league. The following 25 May, he won the Champions League for the first time, thanks to a 2-1 victory in the final against Borussia Dortmund, scoring the winning goal. A few days later, on 1 June, he completed the season-long treble with the club by also lifting his first German Cup, thanks to a 3-2 win over Stuttgart. This positive moment for Mandžuki was the beginning of a new era.

This successful spell for Mandzukic was interrupted in the summer of 2013, when Josep Guardiola arrived in Munich, who advocated a system of play - the so-called tiki-taka - that eschewed a classic first-choice forward like the Croatian, who consequently did not feel at ease with the new tactics brought by the Spanish coach. The 2013-14 season began on 30 August with a UEFA Super Cup victory over London club Chelsea in a penalty shoot-out after the 2-2 draw in normal and extra time.

As the season progressed, Mandzukic grew increasingly impatient with Guardiola's footballing philosophy, though he remained prolific in front of goal. He won three more titles with the German club: the Club World Cup with a 2-0 win over Raja Casablanca in the final on 21 December, the Bundesliga, which he mathematically won on 25 March 2014 with seven days to spare, and the German Cup with a 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund on 17 May.

His career with the Bavarians ended the following summer, after 88 games and 48 goals, on the one hand, due to the arrival of Robert Lewandowski from Dortmund, which meant that the Croatian player had no more room in the forward department, and on the other hand due to the now inevitable disagreements with Guardiola, which escalated at the end of the season also on a personal level.

In particular, Mandzukic accused the Catalan coach to have consciously relegated him to the bench in the last and irrelevant matches of the season, with the only purpose to prevent him from competing for the top scorer title - then gone, for two goals, just to the aforementioned Lewandowski.

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Atletico Madrid

On 10 July 2014 Mandzukic moved to Atlético Madrid for €22 million, he was signed to replace the departing Diego Costa. He scored his first goal with the Spanish side the following 22 August, turning out to be the match-winner in the Madrid derby against Real Madrid, a goal that helped Atlético win the Spanish Super Cup. He netted his first La Liga goal eight days later, scoring in the 2-1 home win over Eibar.

Although Mandzukic's expectations were positive in the run-up to the match, indicating that the Madrid club and especially coach Diego Simeone's coaching style were the ideal environment for the Croatian striker's abilities, Mandzukic, on the contrary, experienced increasing difficulties in the red and white club as the months went by, which became evident in the second half of the season. He suffered mainly from an ankle injury in the Champions League match against Bayer Leverkusen, as well as the sudden rise of young Antoine Griezmann. He ended his one and ultimately unexciting season at Atlético with a haul of 20 goals in 43 total games.

Juventus

On June 22, 2015, he signed a contract with Juventus for €19 million, plus a €2 million bonus. He scored his first goal in the Italian Super Cup. The first goal by Mandzukic in an international competition with the Old Lady was scored on 15 September 2015, leading to an equaliser against Manchester City and allowing his team to win the match a few minutes later. He won the league and cup that season.

In his second season, he switched to the left-wing in the tactical system, which allowed him to reach the final of the Champions League, during which he scored the only goal (and the most beautiful goal of the 2016-2017 Champions League) for Juventus.

During the 2017-2018 season, Mandzukic played almost exclusively on the left-wing and scored the same number of goals in all competitions as in the 2016-2017 season (10 goals). Of particular note are his two headed goals in the return match against Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, one of which was scored in the first minute (during this quarter-final the Old Lady lost 3-0 at home).

The performance of Mandzukic and a goal from Matuidi (3-0 away) allowed Juve to hope for qualification thanks to extra time until Benatia's controversial foul in stoppage time and the subsequent Madrid penalty that definitively wiped out any hope of victory for the Bianconeri.

In the 2018-2019 season, as a result of Gonzalo Higuaín's loan move to AC Milan and Chelsea FC, Mario will play most of the matches along with Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala as a centre forward in a 4-3-3 formation. During this season, the Croatian player found the net ten times and made seven assists in 33 matches.

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Al-Duhail

On 24 December 2019, he signed a deal with Qatari side Al-Duhail, joining the club's squad from 1 January 2020. He made his debut with the Doha-based team the following 5 January, in the Qatar Stars League match against Qatar SC (0-0); five days later, he scored his first goal for the club, in the Qatar Stars Cup match won 2-0 against Al-Sailiya. He made his

AFC Champions League

debut on 11 February in a 2-0 home win over

Persepolis

. He remained in Qatar for one six months before terminating his contract with Al-Duhail on 5 July.

Milan

After another six months of inactivity, he returned to Italy on 19 January 2021, joining AC Milan. Five days later he made his debut in the Rossoneri shirt, coming on for Samu Castillejo in the 70th minute of the 0-3 home loss to Atalanta in the league. Stay tuned to this section of Mario Mandzukic biography as we want to share some information about his Croatian national team player.

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Croatian National Team

On 17 November 2007, he played his first international match for the senior team, which lost 2-0 to Macedonia in Skopje. He scored his first international goal on 10 September 2008 against England. In the qualifying round for the 2012 European Championship, he scored two goals for Croatia. He participated in the 2012 European Championship in Poland and Ukraine with the Croatian team and was one of the top scorers in the group stages, along with Mario Gómez and Alan Dzagoev (Russia), with three goals.

At the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Mandzukic was part of the Croatian national team squad. On 18 June 2014, he scored two goals in the second group match against Cameroon and was voted Man of the Match; Croatia was nevertheless eliminated from the tournament after the group stage.

At the 2016 European Championship in France, he was included in Croatia's squad. He was a regular in the first two matches against Turkey and the Czech Republic. In the last group match against Spain, he and four other first-team players did not play. Against Portugal in the last 16, he was substituted shortly before the end of regular time. The team then lost the match in extra time and was eliminated.

He was part of the Croatian squad at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. In the round of 16 against Denmark, he scored the equalizer in the 4th minute of the match; after a 1-1 draw after extra time, Croatia prevailed 3-2 in the ensuing penalty shootout. In the semi-final against England on 11 July 2018, which ended 1-1 after regulation time, Mandzukic scored the winning goal to make it 2-1 and send the Croats into a World Cup Final for the first time.

In the final against France, he became the first player ever to score an own goal in a World Cup final when he awkwardly headed Antoine Griezmann's free-kick into his own net to give France a 1-0 lead. He later scored Croatia's second goal, converting a mistake by French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris as the match eventually ended in a 4-2 defeat.

On 14 August 2018, Mandzukic resigned from the national team with an open letter.

Style of Play

A combative centre forward, suited to counter-attacking play, he is an area player, physically strong but also agile, quick and resilient. He has excellent technique and is effective in the aerial game and in finishing. Generous, tenacious in pressing opposing defenders, he is adept at discarding the direct marker and serving assists to teammates.

Quite a versatile player in the forward department, in the past in Dinamo Zagreb he played as a trequartista, while in the latter part of his career both in Wolfsburg and Juventus he covered the role of a wide outfield, with a remarkable contribution to the defensive phase.

Reception

Mandzukic is regarded by many football fans and critics as one of the best strikers in the history of Croatian football and among the top strikers of his generation in the world. Stay tuned to this section of Mario Mandzukic biography as we want to share some information about his goal celebration.

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Goal Celebration

Mandzukic made headlines when on 17 November, after scoring the winning goal in the 1-1 draw in the league match against Nuremberg, he celebrated with team-mate Xherdan Shaqiri by controversially performing a military salute: according to the Serbian press, a gesture dedicated to Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markač, generals tried for their conduct in the Croatian War of Independence and who were acquitted by the United Nations a few days before the aforementioned exultation.

Mario Mandzukic outside Football

Other than football, Mario Mandzukic is passionate about Tennis and plays it all the time. He was even invited to a Tennis event in Croatia during the summer break of the 2018-2019 season.

Mario Mandzukic Personal Life

In this section of Mario Mandzukic biography, we want to take a look at his personal life and share some information such as

Mario Mandzukic life story

and

Mario Mandzukic religion

.

Family, Children and Relationships

Mandzukic has been engaged to a Polish girl for some time. Her name is Ivana, but the footballer has never revealed more. It seems that the girl is just a student and therefore has no ambitions to work in the fashion sector, like most of the wags who swarm the football world.

Mandzukic and his girlfriend Ivana have been together for a long time but have not yet been married. Perhaps because she has to finish her education first. It seems that the two met through mutual friends. And for both of them, it was love at first sight, which led them to be together and to start a beautiful love story, which became more and more intense year after year.

Mandzukic is a very attentive and caring person when it comes to affections, as coach Cacic stated: "He is not really a talker. But don't think he's closed-minded, in his private life he's a very sensitive man, always looking out for his family and friends. He likes to help people in need and he does it in silence, away from the spotlight. Mario is a really nice person.”

Philanthropy

As we stated before, Mandzukic loves playing Tennis and as he’s also interested in charitable works, in 2019 he attended a Tennis charity event in his country. The event was organized to promote youth sports involvement and also raising funds for a multipurpose sports complex in Tordinci, an eastern Croatian town.

Legal Issues

As of now, there are no records of any legal issues or disputes involving Mario Mandzukic on media.

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Mario Mandzukic Career Statistics

In this section of Mario Mandzukic biography let’s take a look into his club and international career stats.

Club

In the 17 years of playing football, started from 2004, Mario Mandzukic so far has played 575 matches in all competitions and scored 228 goals. Amongst all the clubs he has played in so far, Mario Mandzukic scored most of his goals (63) for Dinamo Zagreb between 2007 and 2011.

International

In 89 international matches that Mario Mandzukic has played for his country between 2007 and 2018, he has scored 33 goals. His best year with the Croatian national team was 2016 when he managed to score 9 goals in 11 matches.

Mario Mandzukic Honors

Mario Mandzukic is definitely one of the most decorated footballers and at club level, he has won many titles including Prva HNL, Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup and Serie A, among many others.

He was runner-ups in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, with the Croatian national team.

His notable personal awards and titles include Prva HNL Player of the Year, Croatian Footballer of the Year, Croatian Sportsman of the Year and UEFA Goal of the Season among others.

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source: SportMob