Josip Skoko

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Josip Skoko
Skoko playing for Wigan Athletic in 2007
Personal information
Full name Josip Skoko
Date of birth (1975-12-10) 10 December 1975 (age 46)
Place of birth Mount Gambier, Australia
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 9 12 in)[1]
Playing position Central Midfielder
Youth career
North Geelong Warriors
1992–1993 AIS
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1994–1995 North Geelong Warriors 32 (8)
1995–1999 Hajduk Split 97 (20)
1999–2003 Genk 100 (8)
2003–2005 Gençlerbirliği 58 (4)
2005–2008 Wigan Athletic 45 (0)
2006 Stoke City (loan) 9 (2)
2008–2010 Hajduk Split 64 (1)
2010–2011 Melbourne Heart 22 (0)
Total 427 (43)
National team
1993–1995 Australia U-20 11 (3)
2000 Australia U-23 3 (0)
1997–2007 Australia 51 (9)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 13:07, 12 February 2011 (UTC).
† Appearances (goals)

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 11 September 2007

Josip Skoko (born 10 December 1975) is a former Australian footballer who played as a central midfielder for North Geelong Warriors, Hajduk Split, Genk, Gençlerbirliği, Wigan Athletic, Stoke City and Melbourne Heart. Skoko has been described as a central midfielder with "superb on-ball ability, inch perfect passing, and his ability to turn defence to attack in an instant."[2]

Club career

Early career

Skoko was born in Mount Gambier and played for North Geelong Warriors before moving to Croatian side Hajduk Split in 1995. After four years at Stadion Poljud he moved to Belgium with Genk. At Genk he was made captain and helped the team win the title in 2001–02. He joined Turkish club Gençlerbirliği in 2003 where he spent two years before moving to English football.

Wigan Athletic

Skoko joined Premier League club Wigan Athletic for €1 million at the beginning of the 2005-06 season, although he initially failed to maintain a regular place in the first team. On 7 January 2006 Skoko signed for Football League Championship side Stoke City on loan until the end of the 2005–06 season.[3] He played nine times for Stoke and scored twice against Sheffield United and Crystal Palace.[4][5]

In the 2006-07 season, Paul Jewell showed renewed faith in Skoko giving him an extended run in the side. The transfers of Jimmy Bullard and Graham Kavanagh to Fulham and Sunderland, respectively, in the summer of 2006 left a gap in Wigan's midfield and this led to him becoming a mainstay in the Wigan Athletic midfield, partnering Paul Scharner and Denny Landzaat. He signed a new contract deal keeping him at Wigan until 2008. However, at the end of the season it became clear that Skoko had played his last game for the club. The two main reasons were because he did not play enough games for Wigan to trigger a clause in his contract and also the impossibility of receiving a visa for his stay in England due to his international retirement with Australia.[6] It was decided in May 2008 that Skoko's contract would not be renewed and he was subsequently released by Wigan.

Hajduk Split

Due to various work permit issues when playing in Europe, it took a longer than expected time for Skoko to put pen to paper with a club of his choice. However, on 21 July, and after several weeks of speculation, Skoko had finally signed a two-year deal with former club Hajduk. The decision, he said, took only minutes for the club and himself to agree terms. Skoko is relishing the chance to return to the side he made more than 100 appearances for between 1995 and 1999, with a club he describes as "a second home".[7]

Melbourne Heart

Skoko's return home to Australia to play for A-League newcomers Melbourne Heart was confirmed by the club on 19 May 2010.[8] The club signed the former Socceroo for one season as their inaugural Australian marquee player.[9] He was also named as one of the initial members of the leadership group.[10] In his second game for Melbourne Heart, he suffered a hamstring injury, which forced him out of the side for at least one month.[11] In February 2012, Skoko came out of retirement to take part in the 2012 Hawaiian Island Invitational before retiring for good.

International career

Skoko was a member of the Australian National football team for ten years, from 1997 to 2007. He made his debut for Australia against Macedonia in 1997 and was a mainstay of the Socceroos side from then on, participating in two World Cup qualifying campaigns. He also represented his country at the Olympics in 2000.

In November 2005, Skoko came on as a substitute in Australia's playoff victory over Uruguay to qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He also captained a weakened Australian side against Bahrain in an Asian Cup qualifier in 2006.

On 25 May 2006, Skoko scored a cracking volley from 25m for Australia in a 1-0 friendly victory over Greece in front of 95,103 spectators at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, which he regards as "the most legendary moment of all time". He was selected in the squad for the 2006 World Cup in Germany but did not play in any of Australia's four games.

After being named in the Australian side for a friendly match against Argentina on 11 September 2007, Skoko stated that the game would be his home farewell from international football.[12] Skoko ended his international career 51 minutes into the match in Melbourne when he was replaced by midfielder Carl Valeri.

Career statistics


Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Wigan Athletic 2005–06 Premier League 5 0 3 0 3 0 11 0
2006–07 Premier League 28 0 0 0 0 0 28 0
2007–08 Premier League 12 0 1 0 1 0 14 0
Stoke City (loan) 2005–06 Championship 9 2 0 0 0 0 9 2
Career Total[13] 54 2 4 0 4 0 62 2


Australia national team[14]
Year Apps Goals
1997 6 0
1998 2 0
1999 0 0
2000 7 1
2001 8 1
2002 0 0
2003 2 0
2004 10 4
2005 8 1
2006 6 2
2007 2 0
Total 51 9

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 23 February 2000 Üllői úti stadion, Budapest, Hungary  Hungary 0-2 0-3 Friendly
2 30 May 2001 Suwon World Cup Stadium, Suwon, South Korea  Mexico 2-0 2-0 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup
3 31 May 2004 Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide, Australia  Tahiti 2-0 9-0 2004 OFC Nations Cup
4 9 October 2004 Lawson Tama Stadium, Honiara, Solomon Islands  Solomon Islands 0-1 1-5 2004 OFC Nations Cup
5 0-3
6 16 November 2004 Craven Cottage, London, England  Norway 2-1 2-2 Friendly
7 15 June 2005 Waldstadion, Frankfurt, Germany  Germany 1-1 4-3 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup
8 22 February 2006 Bahrain National Stadium, Manama, Bahrain  Bahrain 1-2 1-3 2007 AFC Asian Cup qualification
9 25 May 2006 Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia  Greece 1-0 1-0 Friendly


  1. "Player Profile". Retrieved 22 November 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Former Socceroo Josip Skoko joins Melbourne Heart". Red & White Unite. Retrieved 22 November 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Skoko signs loan deal with Stoke". BBC Sport. 7 February 2006. Retrieved 15 March 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Stoke 1-3 Crystal Palace". BBC Sport. Retrieved 8 May 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Stoke 1-1 Sheff Utd". BBC Sport. Retrieved 8 May 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Work permit woe for Wigan star Skoko". UK Daily Mirror. 6 May 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Skoko's Hajduk Split Decision". FourFourTwo Australia. 22 July 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Skoko confirmed for new club". The Age. 19 May 2010. Retrieved 19 May 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Lynch, Michael (4 August 2010). "Skoko ready to set beat in Heart's midfield". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 September 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. AAP. "Colosimo to captain Heart". Herald Sun. Retrieved 3 September 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Skoko ruled out for a month". Melbourne Heart FC. Retrieved 3 September 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Skoko Will Quit 'Roos At MCG". FourFourTwo Australia. 31 August 2007. Retrieved 31 August 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Josip Skoko". Soccerbase. Retrieved 16 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Josip Skoko at

External links

Preceded by
Tonči Gabrić
Heart of Hajduk Award
Succeeded by
Darko Miladin