It seems like every few months we hear of the next “Bosnian Messi,” or “Bosnian Ronaldo,” in the local papers, but rarely does anything amount to the piles of praise that are heaped on the myriad of youngsters from the Balkans.
It seems like the bearded globe-trotter just can’t help himself, can he? Every couple of years Haris Medunjanin feels the need to uproot and make a move to a new club. This time around, Medunjanin has joined MLS club Philadelphia Union.
Championship side Bristol City FC have officially announced the signing of Bosnian international striker Milan Djuric for an undisclosed fee, but rumored to be under 2M pounds. The 6’6 striker signed a two-and-a-half-year deal with the club, claiming it to be a “dream move,” for him since he’s always wanted to play in England.
Djuric arrived from Serie B side Cesena, where he was a perennial loanee, with stints at several clubs across Italy. Strictly examining his numbers, Djuric plays as a classic centre-forward (much in the old English mold). In 274 total club matches, he’s scored 48 goals and assisted 16 times. In a total of 16,859 minutes, this translates to roughly a goal every 3.9 matches. Not exactly mind-blowing numbers until you take a look at his international level statistics, although he does have a claim to fame with his goal against Buffon.
For Bosnia’s under-21 squad, Milan is most famous for his headed hat-trick (heading the ball is something he’s quite good at) against Germany. In four matches, he scored six times. For the senior side, in 14 matches, he’s scored 7 times, most coming in from the bench. The 26 year old striker has a powerful build, and an uncanny resemblance to none-other than Zlatan Ibrahimovic himself.
His goal ratio in Italy is adequate, while his numbers for Bosnia are quite impressive. What is most impressive however, are not the raw statistics but Milan’s overall contribution to the team. As a striker, he has done a fantastic job of holding up the ball, contributing defensively, and acting as a focal point for set-piece specialists like Pjanic, from the corner or otherwise. Simply put, used correctly, and given a serious run of games, Djuric can convert chances into goals, not just from crosses, but from build up play and dead ball situations. In Italy, the constant loan spells and irregular playing time affected his overall performance. However, if Djuric is given a chance to lead the line, his dominating physical presence, heading ability, and work rate could be well suited for the English game.
On November 30, 1995, a rag tag group of players and coaches traveled to Tirana, Albania to play a football match. It was no ordinary game. Even though the match itself was meaningless, a friendly, it meant the world to a small country that only recently saw the end of a bloody war for independence.
According to sources within the Japanese embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ivica Osim will be awarded with Japan’s “Order of the Rising Sun,” medal, fourth class. The honor will be bestowed upon Osim in December for his development of football in Japan, and for fostering positive relations between the two countries.
When Riad Bajic (22) transferred to Konyaspor from Zeljeznicar for a mere 500,000 euros back in August of 2015, it wasn’t a big deal. After all, Bosnian players routinely went to Turkey, but very few panned out. Players like Edin Visca (who is also in tremendous form) were exceptions rather than the norm.
At the beginning of the 2016/17 season, I wrote a guest piece for Baraz Magazine detailing how this was going to be Edin Dzeko’s “Season of Redemption,” after a lackluster performance the entirety of last year. Dzeko has not only matched my expectations, but he’s far exceeded them.