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Niko Kranjcar

Niko Kranjčar (born 13 August 1984) is a Croatian Association football who plays as a midfielder for Tottenham Hotspur F.C. and the Croatia national football team.

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Niko Kranjcar biography


Niko Kranjčar (born 13 August 1984) is a Croatian Association football who plays as a midfielder for Tottenham Hotspur F.C. and the Croatia national football team.

Niko Kranjcar represented two of the biggest clubs in Niko Kranjcar homeland, playing for Dinamo Zagreb before sparking controversy by making a move to their fierce rivals Hajduk Split in 2005. A transfer to England with Portsmouth F.C. soon followed in August 2006, and after several years of attempting to hold on to their key players, Portsmouth decided to sell Niko Kranjcar at the start of the 2009-10 Premier League, opening the way for a move to Tottenham Hotspur F.C. in September 2009, where Niko Kranjcar was reunited with Niko Kranjcar former manager at Portsmouth, Harry Redknapp.

Hailed as the next Robert Prosinečki, Kranjčar was given Niko Kranjcar international debut by Niko Kranjcar father Zlatko Kranjčar in August 2004. As of February 2011, Kranjčar has won 62 caps for the Croatia national football team scoring 15 goals in the process.

Kranjčar spent Niko Kranjcar childhood years in Austria, when Niko Kranjcar father Zlatko played for Rapid Vienna, thus holding an Austrian passport, counting as a European Union player.

Club career

Early years

Kranjčar spent most of Niko Kranjcar youth playing for NK Dinamo Zagreb, and later became the youngest captain of the squad for the first time at the age of 17. Niko Kranjcar also became one of the youngest goalscorers in the Prva HNL as Niko Kranjcar scored on Niko Kranjcar league debut for Dinamo at the age of 16 before helping them win the double of a Croatian cup and a league title in 2003 and then the Croatian cup again the following season. Such abilities and assistance led Niko Kranjcar to become a fan favorite, Niko Kranjcar began to receive comparison to French football legend Zinedine Zidane. However, in early 2005, Niko Kranjcar experienced a disagreement with the management, leading to a surprise transfer to Dinamo's biggest rivals, NK Hajduk Split. Nevertheless, Niko Kranjcar still managed to focus on Niko Kranjcar new club as Niko Kranjcar helped them to the Croatian title in Niko Kranjcar first season.

Portsmouth

Kranjčar made Niko Kranjcar Premier League debut for Portsmouth on 1 October 2006 as Niko Kranjcar played all 90 minutes in their 2–1 away defeat to Tottenham Hotspur F.C.. Niko Kranjcar scored Niko Kranjcar first Premier League goal on 31 March 2007 at Fulham F.C., giving Portsmouth an early 1–0 lead in a match that eventually ended in a 1–1 draw. Niko Kranjcar made a total of 24 appearances and scored two goals in Niko Kranjcar first Premier League season. The following season, Niko Kranjcar played an integral role in Portsmouth's FA Cup win.

At the beginning of the 2008–09 season, AS Monaco FC apparently had a bid of £12 million rejected for Kranjčar, however this was denied by Monaco. On 12 February 2009, with Portsmouth battling relegation, Kranjčar publicly declared Niko Kranjcar desire to quit Portsmouth and move to a bigger club. Arsenal F.C. and AS Monaco have previously been linked with moves for the Croatian International. Everton F.C. manager David Moyes also expressed an interest in signing Kranjčar as a replacement for long-term absentee Mikel Arteta. In August, Kranjčar stated: "For now I am staying, but we have not strengthened like I would have liked us to. That's why I will not sign a new contract. It's one more season for me and then I'm off".

Tottenham Hotspur

On 1 September 2009, Kranjčar joined Tottenham Hotspur F.C. from Portsmouth after the two clubs agreed a transfer fee of around £2.5 million, although the actual price was undisclosed. The deal was completed just before the Transfer window Transfer deadline day passed with Niko Kranjcar signing a four-year contract. It was reported that Everton F.C. had made a late bid to sign Kranjčar, but the player opted to sign for Spurs, stating that: "Everton is also a big club but, in the end, the tradition and greatness of Tottenham made the difference. I also knew manager Harry Redknapp, and Luka Modrić and Vedran Ćorluka told me great things about the club". Kranjčar made Niko Kranjcar debut for Tottenham as a substitute in the 3–1 defeat to Manchester United F.C. at home. On 26 September 2009, Kranjčar made Niko Kranjcar first Premier League start for Tottenham in a 5–0 home thrashing of Burnley F.C.. Niko Kranjcar scored Niko Kranjcar first goal for the club in a Premier League match away to Bolton Wanderers F.C. on 4 October 2009. On 22 November 2009, Kranjčar scored for Tottenham in a 9–1 home thrashing of Wigan Athletic F.C., with Jermain Defoe scoring a record equalling five. On 16 December 2009, Kranjčar grabbed a brace in a 3–0 home victory over Manchester City F.C.. On 20 March 2010, Kranjčar scored the winning goal in a 1–2 away victory over Stoke City F.C.. Kranjčar has found difficulty being chosen in starting line-ups, due to the rise in prominence of Gareth Bale, who also plays in Niko Kranjcar position. Whilst Bale has been out injured, Tottenham started with Kranjčar in two back-to-back matches and Niko Kranjcar scored the winner in both, against Bolton Wanderers F.C. in a 2–1 victory at White Hart Lane, and away to Sunderland A.F.C. in another 2–1 victory. In the beginning of the 2011–12 season, Kranjčar scored an 35 yard-goal during a pre-season friendly, a 5–3 win against Milton Keynes Dons F.C..

International career

Kranjčar was previously a part of the Croatian national Under-16, Under-17, Under-19 and Under-21 teams before advancing to the Croatia national football team. Niko Kranjcar senior debut for Croatia came on 18 August 2004 in a friendly match against Israel national football team. Niko Kranjcar was a regular for Croatia during their qualifying campaign for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, making nine appearances and scoring two goals, including a brilliant single effort against Bulgaria national football team. Niko was then chosen for "Young guns firing for World Cup glory" on eurosport.com with some of the greatest talents in the world, such as Lionel Messi, Lukas Podolski and future Pompey team mate Sulley Muntari. Niko Kranjcar went on to play in all of Croatia's three group stage matches at the final tournament, proving to be a prestigious player for Niko Kranjcar impressive performances.

With the departure of Niko Kranjcar father as national team manager, Kranjčar became a regular for Croatia in their qualifying campaign for the UEFA Euro 2008, having appeared in all 12 matches, scoring two goals. The most famous of such was Niko Kranjcar long range opener for Croatia during their final match away to England national football team. Croatia eventually won the game 3–2, resulting in England's failure to qualify for the final tournament. Niko Kranjcar then scored in a friendly match against Scotland national football team with a spectacular effort just from inside the penalty area in a match played that ended 1–1, the equalising goal coming from Kenny Miller.

International goals


Honours

Dinamo Zagreb
- Prva HNL (1): 2002–03 Prva HNL
- Croatian Cup (2): Croatian Cup List of winners, Croatian Cup List of winners
- Croatian Supercup (2): Croatian Supercup 2002, Croatian Supercup 2003

Hajduk Split
- Prva HNL (1): 2004–05 Prva HNL
- Croatian Supercup (1): Croatian Supercup 2005

Portsmouth
- FA Cup (1): 2008 FA Cup Final

Personal life

Kranjčar is married to Simona Fistrić and the couple live in Cuffley. Niko Kranjcar wife Simona gave birth on March 7, 2011 to a baby girl by the name of Loree.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niko_Kranj%C4%8Dar

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