Boško Balaban ( Croatian Boško Balaban ) ( October 15, 1978 , Rijeka ) - Croatian footballer . In 2000-2007 - player of the national team of Croatia . Member of two World Cups 2002 World Cup and 2006 World Cup .
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A native of Rijeka , Balaban began his career at the local club Rijeka . He made his debut in the Croatian championship in 1995. At the beginning of his career, he had big problems with getting into the main squad, and when he went out on the field he did not score as many goals as they could be expected from the striker. Only the 1999-2000 season was a turning point for him - with 15 goals he became the top scorer of his team. The leading Dynamo League club Zagreb showed interest in him, and in the summer of 2000 Balaban became a player of this team. In the 2000-2001 season, as part of the Zagreb club, he scored 14 goals in league matches. After playing 2 matches the following season (2001/02), Balaban was sold to the English club Aston Villa for £ 5.6 million.
In England, Balaban completely disappointed - in Aston Villa he played only 8 matches, of which he replaced 7 times, and he was never able to hit the net of opponents. He yearned for his homeland and in the summer of 2002 on a loan basis he returned to Dynamo. There he regained himself and scored 15 goals in 24 matches, becoming the champion of the country with the club. At the end of the lease, he returned to Aston Villa, but the English club terminated his contract. In January 2004, Bosko Balaban became a Brugge player, but due to the injury he was able to play in the championship only starting from the 2004-2005 season. In the Belgian club, he was the main player and lead striker of the team. For three seasons in the Belgian championship, Balaban scored 40 goals, in 2005 became the champion of the country, then played in the final, and in 2007 won the Belgian Cup . In one of the matches for Brugge, he was able to score four goals at once, for which he earned the nickname Super Bosco among the fans.
In August 2007, Balaban again returned to the Zagreb Dynamo.
In June 2009, the Greek club Panionios signed a three-year contract with Balaban. In the Greek Football Championship, Balaban played 50 games and scored 12 goals.
In January 2012 he moved to Selangor , representing the city of Shah Alam in the Malaysian Championship . Balaban scored 12 goals in the regular season, held from January to July, after which the player’s contract with the club expired.
In the Croatian national team, Balaban made his debut on August 16, 2000 in a draw with the Slovak national team (1: 1). The debut was successful, Balaban, previously involved in the games of the youth national team of the country, scored a goal against the opponent in that match. Subsequently, he showed himself very well in the qualifying round for the 2002 World Cup , when with 5 goals he became the Croatian top scorer (he also had a hat-trick against the goal of the Latvian team ). So he was able to appear on the national team application list for the World Cup, but did not play a minute there. After Mirko Jozic , in which Balaban played in the national team, it was time for coach Otto Baric , who had never called him to the fiery team. Only after being appointed to the coaching post Zlatko Kranjchara Bosko again returned to the national team. He took part in the matches of the qualifying tournament for the World Cup in Germany , was able to score two goals. Kranjčar also took him to the final tournament, but Balaban also spent the second world championship in his career on the bench.
In early September 2006, a new Croatian coach Slaven Bilić expelled Balabana, along with his comrades Ivica Olic and Dario Srna , from the team preparing for the first qualifying round match with the Russian team, after the scandal surrounding these three players visiting a night club in Zagreb . However, Balaban was the first of these three whom the coach returned to the national team: a month later, he took part in the match with the Andorra national team . In that match, he came on as a substitute in the middle of the second half with the score 5-0 in favor of the Croats. Already 20 seconds after his appearance, Balaban managed to score a goal, which became the fastest goal scored in the history of the Croatian national team, taking into account the time spent by his author on the field.
- Champion of Croatia : 2002/03
- Croatian Cup Winner: 2000/01
- Champion of Belgium : 2004/05
- Belgian Cup Winner: 2006/07
- Finalist of the Belgian Cup : 2004/05