Mladen Petrić

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Mladen Petrić
Petrić at practice with Hamburg in 2009
Personal information
Full name Mladen Petrić
Date of birth (1981-01-01) 1 January 1981 (age 38)
Place of birth Brčko, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Forward, Striker
Club information
Current team
Number 33
Youth career
1986–1996 FC Neuenhof
1996–1998 FC Baden
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–1999 FC Baden 22 (4)
1999–2004 Grasshopper 114 (30)
2004–2007 FC Basel 72 (38)
2007–2008 Borussia Dortmund 29 (13)
2008–2012 Hamburger SV 99 (38)
2012–2013 Fulham 23 (5)
2013 West Ham United 3 (0)
2014–2016 Panathinaikos 57 (12)
National team
2001–2013 Croatia 45 (13)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 29 May 2016.
† Appearances (goals)

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 6 February 2013

Mladen Petrić (Croatian pronunciation: [ˈmladɛn ˈpɛːtrit͡ɕ][lacks tonal diacritics]; born 1 January 1981) is a Croatian international footballer who plays for Greek club Panathinaikos. He also holds Swiss citizenship. He has previously played for Grasshopper, Basel, Borussia Dortmund, Hamburger SV, Fulham and West Ham United, as well as internationally for the Croatian national team.

Early life

Petrić was born in the village of Dubrave near Brčko, Bosnia and Herzegovina, SFR Yugoslavia. Petrić moved with his family to Vinkovci and then later to Neuenhof, Switzerland, where he started to play football at the local club FC Neuenhof before moving to FC Baden and starting his professional career at the club in the summer of 1998. He left Baden after one season and went on to sign with Grasshopper Club Zürich in the summer of 1999.

Club career


At club level, Petrić spent five seasons with Grasshoppers before leaving the club for FC Basel in the summer of 2004. He received lots of criticism because of a previous action in which he burned a Basel scarf during the Swiss Champion celebrations of Grasshopper close to one year before leaving Grasshoppers. He was acquired for a transfer fee of €3 million and signed a four-year contract until June 2008. Playing for Grasshopper, he made a total of 114 domestic league appearances and scored 30 goals for the club in the league.

Petrić was fourth-leading goalscorer of the Swiss Super League for the 2005–06 season, scoring 15 goals in 31 matches. In the same season, he appeared for Basel in all of their 12 UEFA Cup matches and scored three goals before the club was eliminated by Middlesbrough in the quarter-finals. He continued to perform well for Basel in the 2006–07 season of the Swiss Super League. In their first-round UEFA Cup game that year, he netted a brace in a 6–2 home victory over Macedonian side FK Rabotnički.

In the final moments of Basel's 2006–07 UEFA Cup group stage match against Nancy on 23 November 2006, Petrić was installed in goal after Basel's goalkeeper Franco Costanzo was sent off for a foul on Nancy's Issiar Dia and the team had already made all three substitutions. The foul resulted in a penalty kick that gave Nancy the final chance for an away victory, but Petrić was able to make a save and stopped the penalty kick taken by Mickaël Chrétien, helping his team to earn a point with a 2–2 draw.[1]

Petrić finished the 2006–07 league season as the top goalscorer with 19 goals for Basel.[2]

Borussia Dortmund

On 11 June 2007, Petrić signed for German Bundesliga team Borussia Dortmund, along with fellow Croatian national team player Robert Kovač, as part of the side's squad rebuilding. While originally being intended to act as a playmaker behind the forwards in a 4–4–2 diamond system, it quickly turned out that he was more effective as a striker up front. He enjoyed a strong start to the season, scoring a brace in Dortmund's 3–0 victory against Werder Bremen.[3] He was one of the league's top scorers in his first season in Germany and also made a notable assistance to his side reaching the DFB-Pokal final in which he scored a stoppage time equaliser against eventual winners and champions Bayern Munich.


On 17 August 2008, Petrić's transfer from Dortmund to Hamburger SV was confirmed by both clubs' official websites as part of a deal that also saw Egyptian international Mohamed Zidan moving in the opposite direction, with both players signing four-year contracts.[4][5] Dortmund also confirmed they have received an officially undisclosed transfer fee, which was believed to be worth around €5 million.[6]

Petrić made his Bundesliga debut for Hamburg on 23 August 2008 in their 2–1 win at home to Karlsruher SC, coming on as a substitute for Jonathan Pitroipa in the 73rd minute. He scored his first goal for the club on 13 September 2008, netting the winner in their 3–2 win against Bayer Leverkusen. In three consecutive matches in late September and early October 2008, Petrić scored all five goals in Hamburg's 2–0 victories over VfL Bochum in the DFB-Pokal and Unirea Urziceni in the UEFA Cup, as well as their 1–0 victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach in the Bundesliga. On 5 October 2008, he netted a last-minute winner in Hamburg's 2–1 away victory at Energie Cottbus to keep them top of the Bundesliga table. He scored in the Europa League semi-final against Fulham from a free-kick. However crucial the away goal was, Hamburg lost the tie on an aggregate score of 2–1 due to a goalless draw in the first leg in Hamburg.[7] Towards the end of the 2011–12 Bundesliga campaign, it was revealed Petrić would leave Hamburg at the end of the season.[8]


After being released by Hamburg at the end of the 2011–12 campaign, Petrić signed a one-year deal with English Premier League club Fulham, linking up with former Hamburg boss, Martin Jol.[9] The Croatian striker made his debut at home to Norwich City on the opening day of the Premier League campaign, along with fellow new signing Sascha Riether.[10] Petrić scored a double and provided an assist for Alexander Kačaniklić as Fulham beat Norwich by a score of 5–0.[11]

Petrić was one of twelve players released by Fulham at the end of the 2012–13 Premier League season.[12]

West Ham United

On 10 September 2013, Petrić joined West Ham United on a one-year deal.[13] He made his debut on 21 September 2013 in a 3–2 home defeat by Everton coming on as a 63rd-minute substitute for Modibo Maïga.[14] He made only three further appearances for the club before being released in December 2013.[15][16]


On 8 January 2014, Greek club Panathinaikos announced the signing of Petrić on a one-and-a-half-year deal with "The Greens." [17] In Athens, he reunited with his old Hamburg teammate Marcus Berg as well as two of his teammates from the Croatian national team, Danijel Pranjić and Gordon Schildenfeld. On 16 February 2014, Petrić made his debut with the Greek club, coming from the bench against Panthrakikos in Komotini.[18] On 4 May 2014, he scored his first goal for Panathinaikos in a play-off match against PAOK.

On 22 February 2015, he scored against rival club Olympiacos in a 2–1 win. On 7 January 2016, he helped his club to escape with a 2–1 away win by scoring the winning goal against PAS Giannina for the Greek Cup.[19]

International career

In 2001, Petrić was spotted in Switzerland by Mirko Jozić, head coach of the Croatian national team at the time, and made his international debut for Croatia during the team's South Korean tour in November 2001, where they played two friendly matches against the South Korean national team. Petrić appeared in both of the two matches as a second-half substitute, but was subsequently nevertheless not called up to be part of the Croatian squad at the 2002 World Cup finals. He scored his first goal for Croatia in their friendly match against Wales on 21 August 2002 in Varaždin, which ended in a 1–1 draw. He subsequently made his competitive international debut as a second-half substitute in Croatia's opening match of the Euro 2004 qualifying against Estonia, but did not play any international matches at the A-team level for three and half years following this match.

In early 2006, Petrić made his international comeback with Croatia by appearing as a second-half substitute in the team's friendly matches against South Korea at the Carlsberg Cup in Hong Kong and Argentina in Basel. He was eventually omitted from the final 23-man squad for the 2006 World Cup finals, but received a pre-invitation.

In early August 2006, he was called up by Croatia's new coach Slaven Bilić to be part of the team in their friendly match against Italy on 16 August 2006 in Livorno and appeared in the match as a second-half substitute. He was an active member with his national side in their Euro 2008 qualifying campaign, appearing in almost all of the team's qualifying matches. In the second qualifier, against Andorra on 7 October 2006 in Zagreb, he scored four goals in only 60 minutes of playing and became the first ever player to score four goals for Croatia in a competitive match. Croatia won the match 7–0, celebrating their highest competitive victory ever.[20] In the return leg against Andorra on 12 September 2007, he scored twice.

On 21 November, the last day of Euro 2008 qualifiers, Petrić was brought on as a substitute in the away fixture against England. With Croatia already qualified and the match tied at 2–2, he scored the winning goal from about 25 yards from goal to knock England out of qualifying for Euro 2008.[21] It was England's first competitive defeat at the New Wembley. After the match, he refused to swap his jersey, going on to say, "It's the most valuable goal of my career and the best I've scored. I wouldn't swap my kit with any English player because I want to save it for myself."[22]

Because of his impressive qualifying campaign, he was named in Croatia's Euro 2008 squad. Croatia won their first round group, winning all their matches, including a win against later runners-up Germany, but were knocked out by Turkey in the quarter-finals after a penalty shoot-out.

In 2012, he had not played a match for the national team. In February 2013, he played his last international match and scored a goal against South Korea. He has not been called up since.

International goals

# Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition
01. 21 August 2002 Stadion Varteks, Varaždin, Croatia 6  Wales
1 – 1
1 – 1
02. 7 October 2006 Maksimir, Zagreb, Croatia 10  Andorra
1 – 0
7 – 0
Euro 2008 qualifying
2 – 0
3 – 0
4 – 0
06. 7 February 2007 Kantrida, Rijeka, Croatia 13  Norway
1 – 0
2 – 1
07. 12 September 2007 Estadi Comunal, Andorra la Vella, Andorra 18  Andorra
0 – 2
0 – 6
Euro 2008 qualifying
0 – 3
09. 21 November 2007 Wembley Stadium, London, England 20  England
2 – 3
2 – 3
Euro 2008 qualifying
10. 6 September 2008 Maksimir, Zagreb, Croatia 29  Kazakhstan
3 – 0
3 – 0
2010 World Cup qualifying
11. 6 June 2009 Maksimir, Zagreb, Croatia 33  Ukraine
1 – 0
2 – 2
2010 World Cup qualifying
12. 3 September 2010 Skonto Stadium, Riga, Latvia 39  Latvia
0 – 1
0 – 3
UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying
13. 6 February 2013 Craven Cottage, London, England 45  South Korea
0 – 4
0 – 4



Grasshopper Club Zürich



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  2. "Petrić the star in Switzerland". UEFA. 30 May 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Dortmund brush aside Bremen". UEFA. 14 September 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "HSV sign Mladen Petric". Hamburger SV. 17 August 2008. Archived from the original on 21 August 2008. Retrieved 13 September 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "BVB Acquires Striker Mohamed Zidan". Borussia Dortmund official website. 17 August 2008. Retrieved 18 August 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  8. "Luhukay future remains unclear". Retrieved 11 May 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  11. "Fulham's Mladen Petric kicks off with double against poor Norwich City". The Guardian. 18 August 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Summer transfer window: Ins and Outs". Premier League. Retrieved 7 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Hammers net Petric". West Ham official website. 10 September 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "West Ham 2-3 Everton FT". Retrieved 1 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Soccerbase Mladen Petric 2013-14". Retrieved 1 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "West Ham Release Mladen Petric After Just 3 Months". Retrieved 1 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Στην Αθήνα για λογαριασμό του Παναθηναϊκού ο «πεινασμένος» Πέτριτς (in Greek). 6 January 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2014. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "Πέτριτς: «Pame Pao!»" (in Greek). 17 February 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2014. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Αποτέλεσμα πρόκρισης ο Παναθηναϊκός, 1-2 τον ΠΑΣ Γιάννινα (in Greek). 7 January 2016. Retrieved 7 January 2016. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Maestralni Petrić s četiri pogotka odveo Hrvatsku u rekord" (in Croatian). Večernji list. 7 October 2006. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "England 2-3 Croatia". BBC Sport. 21 November 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "It's a pleasure to kick England out, says Manchester City's Croatian defender". 23 November 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links