It is a miracle of modern medicine that Ivan Klasnić is playing football − let alone preparing to compete in his fourth major international tournament. The powerful left-footed striker underwent two kidney transplants in 2007 while at SV Werder Bremen but recovered sufficiently to score two goals at UEFA EURO 2008.
• Born in Hamburg to a family of Croatian guest workers who had come from Bosnia and Herzegovina, he began his career in the German second division with local club FC St Pauli; won promotion to Bundesliga in 2001 but left for Bremen.
• A key figure in Bremen's double-winning season of 2003/04, providing 13 goals and 11 assists in the Bundesliga title triumph, he was rewarded with his first cap for Croatia – against Germany in a friendly in Split on 18 February 2004.
• His goal tally for Bremen reached double figures in each of the two subsequent Bundesliga campaigns – he also scored seven UEFA Champions League goals, five of them against RSC Anderlecht − before he was laid low with kidney problems.
• An unused substitute for Croatia at UEFA EURO 2004, he started the team's first two matches at the 2006 FIFA World Cup and scored on each of his two appearances at UEFA EURO 2008, against Poland and Turkey; he has been an intermittent international ever since.
• Left Bremen for FC Nantes in 2008 but was relegated at the end of his first season and went on loan to Bolton Wanderers FC, for whom he registered eight goals in the 2009/10 Premier League campaign; after signing for the club permanently he made no league starts in 2010/11 but came on as a substitute 22 times and scored four goals.
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