logo

Top facts about Niko Kranjčar, former Blues midfielder

Sun 08 May 2022 | 13:30

Niko Kranjčar was known as an attacking midfielder for clubs like Dinamo Zagreb and the Croatian national team. He was named Prva HNL Player of the Year in 2003 and 2005. Read on to find out more facts about Niko Kranjčar, Croatian soccer player.

Niko Kranjčar (born August 13, 1984) is a former Croatian professional footballer who played as a striker. He typically played as an offensive midfielder, but could also function as a winger or second striker.

Niko Kranjčar’s age

is 37. Here you can find out the most important facts about Niko Kranjčar, Croatia's forgotten genius.

An important fact about Niko Kranjčar is that he began working as an assistant coach Josip imunic with the Croatian national under-19 squad on May 5, 2021, and has been there ever since.

The Croatian international has played for a number of teams in his own country, most notably

Dinamo Zagreb

, before causing controversy by joining arch rivals Hajduk Split in January 2005.

A move to England with Portsmouth was completed in August 2006, and after many years of battling to retain their key players, Portsmouth chose to sell him before the start of the 2009–10 season, clearing the way for his reunion with his previous manager at Portsmouth, Harry Redknapp.

When he left QPR in 2012, he joined Ukrainian side Dynamo Kyiv, where he spent two years on loan at Queens Park Rangers, where he reunited with Redknapp for the third time. A short stint with New York Cosmos and another with Rangers in Scotland rounded off his playing career until he retired at the end of 2018.

Top facts about Niko Kranjčar:

An important fact about Niko Kranjčar is that he made his international debut for Croatia in 2004, and he has played for them ever since. He is the son of former professional footballer Zlatko Kranjčar.

Niko Kranjčar early life

Regarding

Niko Kranjčar’s parents

, it should be mentioned that his father, Zlatko Kranjčar, was a former Dinamo Zagreb and Rapid Vienna striker, and speaking about

Niko Kranjčar’s childhood

, it is worth mentioning that Kranjčar spent his formative years in Austria, where his father was a professional soccer player.

In order to do so, he was issued an Austrian passport, which qualified him as a member of the European Union prior to the EU's expansion and Croatia's accession to the Union in 2013.

Niko Kranjčar professional career

Niko Kranjčar, who has been dubbed "the next Robert Prosinekic," made his international debut in August 2004 under the tutelage of his father Zlatko, and went on to represent his country at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the UEFA Euro 2008, and the UEFA Euro 2012.

During his time with the Croatian national team, he earned a total of 81 caps, scoring 16 goals in the process. His last match for the national team occurred on 15 October 2013, since he missed the 2014 FIFA World Cup due of a leg injury.

Niko Kranjčar club career

An important fact about Niko Kranjčar is that he spent most of his early years with Dinamo Zagreb, where he rose through the ranks to become the club's youngest captain for the first time at the age of 17.

At the age of 16, he became one of the youngest goal scorers in the Prva HNL when he scored on his team's league debut for Dinamo Zagreb. He went on to help them win the Croatian Cup and the league championship in 2003, and then the Croatian Cup for the second time the following year.

With such qualities and help, he quickly rose to popularity among fans, and he started to be compared to the French football icon,

Zinedine Zidane

in particular.

Hajduk Split

The result of a conflict with the Dinamo Zagreb administration in January 2005 resulted in a surprise move to the club's fiercest rivals, Hajduk Split. The transfer was made possible by Hajduk's sports director, Igor Timac, for a reported sum of €1.88 million.

The formal presentation of Kranjcar took place in the Poljud stadium in front of a crowd of around 10,000 people.

A 2–2 tie against Osijek on February 26, 2005 was Kranjcar's first appearance in the league for Hajduk. NK Inter were defeated 5–1 by Hajduk on April 23, 2005, in Poljud, and it was he who scored the first goal for the club.

The goal came in the clinching 6–0 win against Varteks on May 28, 2005, and it was his second of the season. Kranjčar assisted Hajduk in winning the Prva HNL in 2004–05, which was the club's second league championship in a succession.

With his outstanding performances and outstanding sportsmanship, Kranjčar quickly rose to the top of the fans' favorite players list.

Despite receiving several foreign offers from other countries, Niko opted to remain with Hajduk for the next season. With a total of 10 goals in the 2005–06 Prva HNL, he was Hajduk's leading scorer.

Following the 2006 World Cup, Kranjčar abilities were lauded by the international press, and numerous teams expressed an interest in signing the promising youngster. The French club Stade Rennais and the Spanish club

Celta Vigo

were two examples of such organisations.

Rennes made an offer of €4.5 million for Kranjčar in August 2006, which Hajduk refused, claiming they should have received a higher sum for the player. Nevertheless, during that same day, on August 31, 2006, Kranjčar went to Portsmouth for a reported £3.5 million (€5.2 million), according to reports.

Portsmouth

A notable

fact about Niko Kranjčar

is that he made his Premier League debut for Portsmouth on October 1, 2006, when the Seagulls lost 2–1 away to Tottenham Hotspur.

He played the whole 90 minutes of the game. On March 31, 2007, he scored his first Premier League goal against Fulham, giving Portsmouth an early 1–0 lead in a match that finished in a 1–1 draw. It was his first goal in the Premier League.

In his debut season in the Premier League, he made a total of 24 games and scored two goals in total. The next season, he was a key contributor to Portsmouth's FA Cup victory.

As recently as the beginning of the 2008–09 season, it was reported that

AS Monaco

had a proposal of £12 million for Kranjcar rejected; however, this was disputed by the club.

On February 12, 2009, with Portsmouth facing relegation, Kranjčar openly expressed his wish to leave the club and join a more established team.

A number of clubs, including Arsenal and AS Monaco, have been linked with a move for the Croatian international.

In August, Kranjčar commented, "For the time being, I want to remain, although we have not progressed as quickly as I would have liked." As a result, I will not be signing a new contract. The season is over for me, and then I'm out of here."

Tottenham Hotspur

Kranjcar joined

Tottenham Hotspur

from Portsmouth on September 1, 2009, after the two clubs reached an agreement on a transfer fee of about £2.5 million, but the exact amount was not released.

The transaction was finalized shortly before the transfer deadline, and he signed a four-year contract as a result of the agreement.

Even though Everton made a late attempt to get Kranjcar, the player chose to sign with Tottenham instead, noting that, "Everton is also a major club, but in the end the heritage and magnificence of Tottenham proved to be the deciding factor."

I also knew the team's manager, Harry Redknapp, and players Luka Modric and Vedran orluka, who both spoke well of the club."

A notable fact about Niko Kranjčar is that he made his Tottenham debut as a late replacement in the team's 3–1 loss against Manchester United at Wembley Stadium. On September 26, 2009, Kranjcar made his debut Premier League appearance for Tottenham, a 5–0 thumping of Burnley at Wembley Stadium.

On 4 October 2009, he scored his first goal for the club in a Premier League match against Bolton Wanderers at the DW Stadium.

On 22 November 2009, Kranjčar scored for Tottenham in a 9–1 home thumping of Wigan Athletic, with Jermain Defoe scoring a record equaling five. When

Manchester City

defeated Liverpool 3–0 at home on December 16, 2009, Kranjčar scored a brace in the match. In a 1–2 away victory against Stoke City on March 20, 2010, Kranjcar scored the winning goal.

Due to the increase in popularity of Gareth Bale, who plays in the same position as Kranjcar, Kranjcar has found it difficult to be selected in starting lineups in recent seasons.

While on loan from Bolton Wanderers, Kranjcar continued to make a significant impact to the season, scoring late winning goals in two consecutive matches after going on as a substitute in a 2–1 victory at White Hart Lane and a 2–1 triumph away to Sunderland.

Kranjčar scored a 35-yard goal in a pre-season friendly against Milton Keynes Dons to help his team to a 5–3 victory. This was the start of the 2011–12 campaign.

Dynamo Kyiv

A notable fact about Niko Kranjčar is that he had signed a four-year deal with Ukrainian club Dynamo Kyiv, according to a statement released on June 6, 2012. It was believed that the transfer price would be about £5.5 million.

According to Niko Kranjčar, after his transfer to Dynamo Kyiv, he is "glad" and "content" with his decision to join the Ukrainian club, although he does concede that his time at Tottenham was "disappointing."

Kranjčar said that

Dynamo Kyiv

first expressed an interest in recruiting him when he was playing for Dinamo Zagreb in 2003.

In the fifth matchday, he scored twice against Volyn Lutsk. On the 14th of September, he scored two more goals in a game against Karpaty Lviv. In November, Kranjčar had a recurrence of an old ankle ailment that forced him to miss the remainder of the season.

His return from injury just in time for the second half of the season after the winter break, but he only managed to make two appearances before suffering another injury while playing for the Croatian national team in March of that year. This time, he was not allowed to return to the field until the completion of the regular season.

Having spent the previous two seasons on loan with Queens Park Rangers (2013-2015), Kranjčar has returned to the senior squad of Dynamo Kyiv.

The Queens Park Rangers

After leaving Tottenham Hotspur on a season-long loan, Kranjcar joined Queens Park Rangers on September 2, 2013, to reunite with his old manager Harry Redknapp, who had also signed two other players from his previous club.

Redknapp had previously worked with Kranjar at both Portsmouth and Tottenham, and this was the third time he had brought him on board.

A notable

fact about Niko Kranjčar

is that he made his first game for his new club against Yeovil Town, coming in as a second halftime replacement after being sidelined with a groyne injury for a number of weeks before. In late September 2013, he made his complete debut in front of a sell-out crowd at Loftus Road against Middlesbrough.

When Kranjčar scored his first goal of the season against Millwall, he also recorded his first assist of the season, earning him the title of "Match-of-the-Day."

His second goal of the season came against Ipswich Town in January 2014, giving QPR a 1–0 lead. On 1 July 2014, he was released by the club due to the expiry of his loan, however he returned to the club on the last day of the summer transfer market on 1 September 2014, on a second season-long loan.

The New York Cosmos

After being released by Dinamo Kyiv, he flew to USA and trained with Cosmos. However, owing to the restriction against foreign players, he was unable to be a member of the team.

Kranjar ultimately joined with Cosmos in the middle of March 2016, after one of the team's international players was granted American citizenship by another player.

Rangers

A two-year contract with Rangers of the Scottish Premiership was signed on June 23, 2016, and Kranjčar expressed his excitement at the prospect of joining such a prestigious club, saying it was "a great honour and pleasure" as well as "a great responsibility."

On the 16th of July, he made his first appearance for the club in a League Cup encounter against Motherwell and made his debut three days later, against Annan Athletic, in his second appearance.

On July 25, Kranjčar scored his first goal for the club, striking the third goal in a 3–0 victory against Stranraer to earn his maiden cap. His first league goal came in a 2–0 victory against Partick Thistle on 1 October.

A notable fact about Niko Kranjčar is that he sustained a cruciate ligament injury in early October, which forced him to miss the remainder of the season with the team.

In January 2017, Kranjčar discussed the status of his recovery and predicted a comeback in six months; nonetheless, he acknowledged that the severity of the injury may have resulted in him having to retire from the sport.

His comeback to competitive first-team action came against Progrès Niederkorn in the Europa League on June 29, 2017, marking his first appearance in the league in eight months.

Kranjčar was released by the club on March 23, 2018, following a lengthy period of injury struggles throughout his time in Glasgow.

Niko Kranjčar international career

The Croatian Under-16, Under-17, Under-19, and Under-21 teams were all members of Kranjčar's prior national teams before he was selected for the senior national team.

His senior debut for Croatia came on 18 August 2004 in a friendly match against Israel. He was a fixture for Croatia during their World Cup qualifying campaign in 2006, appearing in nine matches and scoring two goals, one of which was a spectacular solo effort against Bulgaria.

Niko was then selected for the Eurosport.com feature "Young guns shooting for World Cup glory," where he was featured among some of the world's top players, including

Lionel Messi

, Luka Podolski, and future Pompey teammate Sulley Muntari.

He then went on to participate in all three of Croatia's group stage matches in the final event, establishing himself as a renowned player as a result of his outstanding performances.

With the departure of his father as Croatia's national team manager, Kranjčar established himself as a regular in the country's qualification campaign for Euro 2008, appearing in all 12 matches and scoring two goals in the process.

The most well-known of them was his long-range goal against England in Croatia's last encounter of the World Cup qualifying campaign. As a consequence of England's inability to qualify for the final competition, Croatia went on to win the game 3–2.

A fantastic attempt from just inside the penalty area gave him the opportunity to score against Scotland in a friendly match that finished 1–1, with Kenny Miller netting the equalizer.

His participation in the Euro 2008 competition included starting in both of Croatia's group games as well as the quarter-final encounter against Turkey, among other things.

His goal against Kazakhstan during Croatia's World Cup qualifying campaign in 2010 was his first international goal. He was included to Croatia's 23-man squad for Euro 2012, and he appeared in two of the team's three group stage games, with the exception of the final game against

Spain

, which he missed.

He was forced to withdraw from the 2014 FIFA World Cup owing to a hamstring injury, and he has not earned a single call-up for any of the national team's upcoming fixtures since then. His final international match took place on October 15, 2013.

Some more facts about Niko Kranjčar:

Kranjčar was born in Vienna and raised there for his first nine years of life. His father used to be a member of the Rapid Wien team.

His request to train with Rapid Vienna's youth team was granted shortly after. After nine years in the United States, he relocated to Croatia.

After that, he went on to play for the club ONS Hitrec-Kacian, which was essentially Dinamo Zagreb's football academy. He signed with Dinamo Zagreb just a few months before his tenth birthday.

For the majority of his childhood, Kranjčar was a member of the Croatian club Dinamo Zagreb. His father was a coach and a player at this school as well.

Since he was ten years old, he has been a member of the youth soccer team. He was drafted into the first team when he was 16 years old. During his time there, Kranjčar excelled, rising to the position of club captain at the age of 16, just three weeks before his 17th birthday.

He was the club's youngest captain in the club's history. During that season, he helped his club win the Croatian cup and the supercup. After that, they were victorious in the Super Cup as well as the inaugural season of the Hrvatska Nogometna Liga.

As a result of management problems, the Croat joined Dinamo's main rival Hajduk Split in January 2005 for a fee of 1.5 million euros (about $1.5 million).

Kranjčar was unable to reach an agreement with Dinamo Zagreb's management. While playing for them in the UEFA Cup, Kranjčar was captain of the team that knocked them out in the group stage.

The players' salaries were withheld for a week by Dinamo's club president as punishment following a disappointing performance against sc Heerenveen. Kranjčar believed this was an unjust decision and protested, but they became embroiled in such a fight that they were forced to flee.

At the time, no foreign club was interested in the player, and the only Croatian club willing to put up enough money to sign him was Dinamo's arch-rival Hajduk Split, which had a rivalry with the player.

After all, Kranjčar had been a member of the club for a long period of time, making it the most significant sporting story of the year in Croatia. In addition, it was the most expensive transfer in Croatian history at the time (until Eduardo da Silva left for

Arsenal

).

In 2005, he was crowned champion of Croatia's Supercup. In the same year, they also won the Hrvatske Nogometne Liga, which was their first championship.

Even though Kranjčar had originally planned to travel abroad in January, he did not depart until now. Following the 2006 World Cup in Germany, the club made contact with other clubs in the area.

After Hajduk Split turned down a 4 million euro offer from Rennes, Portsmouth received a 5.2 million euro offer from the French club. Hajduk Split and the other parties reached an agreement on the amount. On August 31, 2006, Kranjčar agreed to terms with the English club for a period of four years.

An important

fact about Niko Kranjčar

is that he made a total of 28 appearances this season. In slightly more than half of these contests, the number 19 was selected to start the game in the first position.

When Kranjčar was linked with a move to French club Stade Rennais in the early summer of 2007, it was the second time. It was reported that Tottenham Hotspur trainer

Harry Redknapp

was interested in Nigerian player John Utaka, who had previously played for the French club.

A swap deal between the French and English clubs was supposed to take place, but Portsmouth chose to purchase Utaka instead of trading him for Kranjčar, causing the deal to fall through.

While training for the 2007/08 season, Kranjčar sustained a foot injury that forced him to miss the first four Premier League games for his club. However, he recovered quickly and went on to play in every game for the rest of the season.

With the Premier League season completed and Kranjčar's team finishing eighth, the FA Cup final against Cardiff City was the next big game on the calendar for the club. The goal scored by Nwankwo Kanu gave Portsmouth a 1-0 victory. Kranjčar became the first Croat to win this football tournament when he did so in 2011.

In addition to Tottenham Hotspur and Dynamo Kyiv, QPR and Rangers FC are among the clubs taking part in the tournament.

Kranjčar joined Dynamo Kyiv from Tottenham Hotspur in July 2012, where he played for two seasons. Kiev loaned Kranjčar to the Queens Park Rangers for the 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 seasons, respectively.

His contract with Dynamo Kiev was terminated in January 2016, and he then signed a contract with the New York Cosmos, which was effective immediately. In June 2016, he signed a contract with Rangers FC that would last until the middle of 2018. He had previously played for the New York Cosmos.

As a result of his struggles with injuries while playing for the Rangers, his contract was terminated on March 23, 2018.

An important fact about Niko Kranjčar is that he was a member of the Croatian national teams at the ages of 16, 17, 19, and 21 and represented Croatia in the European Championships. Some of these teams included him as a captain, which he did as well.

Kranjčar was a member of the national under-16 team that won a bronze medal at the European Championships in 2001. His contributions to these teams were significant, but he had not yet been called up to the senior squad.

At the time, Otto Bari was the national coach, and he believed Kranjčar was too young to be a member of the squad. When Bari finally called him up for a friendly against Germany, he was out with an injury.

In 2004, he was chosen by Zlatko Kranjčar, who happens to be his own father. This caused quite a commotion in the country of Croatia. Kranjčar made his senior international debut against Ireland on August 18, just five days after celebrating his twentieth birthday. He was a member of the United States' World Cup team.

Zlatko Kranjčar was fired by the Croatian national team after they were eliminated early from the World Cup in Germany. After finishing second in Group A, Croatia was knocked out after a strong performance in the qualifiers.

However, despite the team's poor performance at the World Cup, Kranjčar considered it to be the pinnacle of his professional life. When Kranjar Sr. retired from the team, Kranjčar was welcomed and regarded as a starter in his own right.

When the 2008 European Championships were held, he was a member of the team that competed. Kranjčar was considered a valuable member of Slaven Bili's squad when he was appointed as the new national team coach.

Bili worked with Kranjčar while he was still a member of the under-21 squad. Two goals were scored by him for

Croatia

during their participation in the 2008 European Championship.

On May 29, 2012, Slaven Bili, Croatia's then-national team manager, announced his final 23-man squad for the 2012 European Championship, which would take place in Poland and Ukraine.

An important fact about Niko Kranjčar is that he was selected for the team and was given the number 19 in his jersey. He made his European Championship debut in the first two group games, against Ireland and Italy, and he played well in both. A tear in Kranjčar’s left hamstring forced him to withdraw from the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.

Niko Kranjčar social media

Regarding

Niko Kranjčar social media

, it should be mentioned that he does not have any pages on any social media platforms.

Niko Kranjčar body measurements

Speaking about

Niko Kranjčar body measurements

, it should be mentioned that the former player is 185cm and 80kg.

Niko Kranjčar net worth and salary

Niko Kranjčar's net worth

is estimated to be around $9 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.

 

Read more:

Follow 

Sportmob

 for the 

latest football news

source: SportMob

DISCLAIMER! Sportmob does not claim ownership of any of the pictures posted on this website. Again, we do not host pictures or videos ourselves. Our authors merely link to the rightful owner. Lastly, Sportmob have carefully considered and reviewed all of its content. Despite that, it is possible that some information might be out-dated or incomplete.