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Gordon Schildenfeld

Published: Tuesday 17 January 2012, 15.05CET
Eintracht Frankfurt
Published: Tuesday 17 January 2012, 15.05CET

Gordon Schildenfeld

Eintracht Frankfurt

A tall central defender who emerged as a footballer of international stature during a successful two-year spell in Austria with SK Sturm Graz, Gordon Schildenfeld is now operating in the German second division with Eintracht Frankfurt. He played all 180 minutes of Croatia's UEFA EURO 2012 play-off against Turkey.

• Joined home-town team HNK Šibenik and made one substitute appearance in the Croatian top flight, aged 17, before the club's relegation to the second tier in 2003.

• Won promotion back to the Prva Liga in 2006 and impressed to such an extent in the first half of 2006/07 that he was recruited by champions GNK Dinamo Zagreb midway through the campaign.

• Went on to win both domestic trophies with the club from the Croatian capital, and was halfway towards a repeat triumph in 2007/08 when he left for Istanbul giants Beşiktaş JK; a difficult spell in Turkey, however, led to a loan spell in the German 2. Bundesliga with MSV Duisburg.

• Proved more successful on a subsequent season-long loan at Sturm, making 34 appearances in the Bundesliga, another ten in Europe and six in the Austrian Cup, including the final, which the Styrians won 1-0 against SC Wiener Neustadt; joined Sturm permanently and won the title in 2010/11, starting all 36 matches – the only player in Franco Foda's squad to do so − and scoring two goals.

• Won his first cap for Croatia in November 2009, in a friendly against Liechtenstein, and became the first reserve at centre-back to the Josip Šimunić-Dejan Lovren pairing, proving his worth by helping Slaven Bilić's side keep their goal unbreached in both legs of the play-off against Turkey.

Last updated: 06/12/12 10.29CET

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