Clubs: GNK Dinamo Zagreb, HŠK Zrinjski (loan), NK Inter Zaprešić (loan), Tottenham Hotspur FC, Real Madrid
• Signed for Dinamo Zagreb as a youth but played in Bosnia and Herzegovina for Zrinjski and helped provincial outfit Inter Zaprešić finish runners-up in the Croatian top flight before rejoining the club in 2005. Won the Croatian title in all three of his seasons at Dinamo, including a runaway victory in 2007/08 – and a second successive domestic double − by a 28-point margin.
• A Croatian youth and Under-21 international, he made his senior debut in a prestigious 3-2 win against Argentina in Basel on 1 March 2006; played twice as a substitute at that year's FIFA World Cup and scored his maiden goal against Italy in the Azzurri's first match as world champions.
• An ever-present during Croatia's UEFA EURO 2008 qualifying campaign under Slaven Bilić, his contributions for club and country earned him the title of 2007 Croatian league player of the year and a club record-equalling €21m transfer to Tottenham prior to the UEFA European Championship finals, where he excelled, earning inclusion in the UEFA Team of the Tournament.
• Adapted slowly but surely to English football, shrugging off persistent injury problems to become the chief creative force in Harry Redknapp's team as they qualified for the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League.
• Earned his 50th cap during a 2-0 defeat by Greece in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying, guiding his side to the finals in Poland and Ukraine, but could not help them past the group stage.
• Joined Madrid in the summer of 2012, making 33 Liga appearances in his debut season as the club finished second. Became a fixture in Carlo Ancelotti's midfield in 2013/14, featuring in all but two of the Merengues' matches in their triumphant UEFA Champions League campaign.
UEFA EURO 2008: Team of the Tournament
UEFA Champions League: winner 2014
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