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srijeda, 30. ožujka 2011.

Mladen Petrić

Mladen Petrić is a Croatian international footballer who plays for Hamburger SV in the Bundesliga.

Born in Dubrave croatian village near Brčko, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Petrić first 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 Grasshopper 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 an FC Basel scarf during the Swiss Champion celebrations of Grasshopper almost exactly 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 the fourth best goalscorer of the Swiss Super League for the 2005–06 season, scoring 15 goals in 31 matches. In the same season, he also appeared for Basel in all of their 12 UEFA Cup matches and managed to score three goals before the club was eliminated by Middlesbrough in the quarterfinals of the competition. 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 FK Rabotnički.

In the final moments of Basel's UEFA Cup group-stage match versus AS Nancy-Lorraine on 23 November 2006, Petrić was installed in goal after Basel's keeper 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 drive home one point with a 2–2 draw.

He ended the Swiss Super League 2006-07 as the top goalscorer with 19 goals for Basel.

Borussia Dortmund
On 11 June 2007, Petrić signed for Bundesliga team Borussia Dortmund along with fellow national team player Robert Kovač as part of the sides 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 good start to the season, scoring a brace in Dortmund's 3–0 victory against Werder Bremen. 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. Dortmund also confirmed they have received an officially undisclosed transfer fee, which is believed to be worth around €5 million.

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 German Cup 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.

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 the Croatian national team by appearing as a second-half substitute in the team's friendly matches against Korea Republic 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 the Croatian national team'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 the Croatian national football team in a competitive match. Croatia won the match 7–0, celebrating their highest competitive victory ever. In the return leg against Andorra on 12 September 2007, he scored twice.

On 21 November, the last day of UEFA 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 to send England out of Euro 2008. It was England's first competitive defeat at the New Wembley. After the match, he refused to swap his jersey, going on to say "this is the proudest moment of my career. I didn't want to swap this jersey for anything."

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 surprise win over a strong German side, but were knocked out by Turkey in the quarter-finals after a penalty shootout.

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