Sunday, 29 September 2013


Following Mladen Petric's transfer to West Ham United, Ivan Klasnic is the last high profile Croatian yet to find a new club. At 33 years old and having experienced injury and illness last season with Mainz, Klasnic maybe considering his future. The former Croatia international striker looks unlikely to gain a recall and could be running out of motivation to return to the pitch, especially with a foreign club having found renewed happiness returning to his homeland in Germany. Transfer to Dinamo Zagreb may hold some attraction for Klasnic, with the Croatian Champions featuring in European competition. He would arguably be a reinforcement competing alongside Duje Cop and Fatos Bequiraj for a striking birth. Dinamo however appear reluctant as already pay the wages of squad player Ante Rukavina and don't neccessarily need Klasnic.

Klasnic, may find more enjoyment signing with a club for whom he can play regularly and much of the Bundesliga will not offer this opportunity with Mainz last season being a prime example. Klasnic may find more footballing value dropping down the Bundesliga 2, where 1860 Munich, Kaiserslautern, Koln have strong ambitions and could offer him a decent wage. Such Bundesliga stars as Patrick Helmes, Babacar Sanogo and Mamadou Idrissou have dropped down a level to great success. Having already been relegated twice with Bolton Wanderers and Nantes, Klasnic is unlikely to fancy another relegation scrap. St Pauli would also be more than happy to sign their former player.

If Klasnic chose not to return to the pitch, the player will nevertheless be fondly remember first with Werder Bremen for whom he played his best football earning the nickname 'Killer' for his goalscoring exploits alongside the equally deadline Miroslav Klose and Ailton. Kidney illness caused Klasnic's career to change and he was a less mobile forward in his time with Nantes and Bolton Wanderers. Klasnic's time with Bolton was more successful than his year in France, which arguably did a lot of damage to his career playing for a old and famous French side that was at the time only good enough for the second tier.

Klasnic also bagged a number of important goals for Croatia, helping them qualify for the 2006 World Cup under Zlatko Kranjcar where he has paired up with Dado Prso. Unfortunately Croatia never saw Klasnic in his finest spell at Euro 2004 where himself, Dario Srna, Marko Babic and Jerko Leko watched aging campaigners Ivica Mornar, Diovani Rosso and Nenad Bjelica fail to impress in their place. Had Otto Baric unleash his bright young stars, Croatia may have achieved a different outcome. Klasnic however achieved success with the national team under Slaven Bilic scoring twice in European Championships in Euro 2008 in victory over Poland and almost coming close to taking Croatia to the semi's before a last minute equaliser against Turkey.