Former Croatia striker Davor Vugrinec spoke of having realised a dream after breaking Igor Cvitanović's goalscoring record in the Croatian top flight on Saturday.
Currently plying his trade at NK Slaven Koprivnica after a 19-year career in which he has represented clubs in Croatia, Turkey, and Italy, Vugrinec's 127th league goal – his third in five games since joining the club – sent his team on their way to a 3-1 win against NK Lokomotiva Zagreb. The fans understandably rewarded his feat with a standing ovation, but Vugrinec was keen to stress that he did not see the game as a swansong.
"I am 37 years old and my dream finally came true," said the delighted striker. "But this is not it. While I have even the smallest bit of enthusiasm, I will continue to play."
The majority of Vugrinec's record haul (56) came in an NK Varteks shirt, while he has also found the net for NK Zagreb, GNK Dinamo Zagreb and HNK Rijeka. Nevertheless, Vugrinec says that his most memorable effort came during his time in Serie A.
"This is not my favourite goal. It's the one that saw off Inter when I was playing for Lecce," he explained, referring to the strike that earned his team a 1-0 win against FC Internazionale Milano at San Siro in November 2000. Vugrinec hit 11 goals in 34 games during that campaign, his debut season in Italy, as he helped US Lecce avoid relegation on goal difference.
Back to the present day and Vugrinec's Slaven side remarkably find themselves third in the league. Should he keep chipping in with important goals, he could well be playing UEFA Europa League football next term – as well as increasing his record tally.
The previous benchmark was set by the forward's close friend Igor Cvitanović, and the former GNK Dinamo striker wasted little time in offering his congratulations: "If someone had to set the new record, I am very glad that it's Davor. He deserved it. I congratulate him on a fantastic record."
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