Although he has found it difficult to make an impact at Tottenham Hotspur FC, playing second fiddle to compatriot Luka Modrić, Niko Kranjčar is a seasoned international for Croatia and contributed four goals to their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying success. The gifted schemer was handed his first cap by his father, Zlatko, in August 2004.
• Hailed as a special talent at 16 when he scored on his debut for GNK Dinamo Zagreb, he was widely lauded as the 'new Zvonimir Boban' in his teenage years as he helped Dinamo to 2002 and 2004 Croatian Cups and the 2003 championship.
• Transferred to arch-rivals HNK Hajduk Split midway through the 2004/05 season and won his second Croatian title; scored ten league goals in 2005/06 but Hajduk finished a disastrous fifth so he decided to move abroad, joining Portsmouth FC in August 2006 after making his major tournament bow − under his father's command − at the FIFA World Cup in Germany.
• Took time to settle in England, but excelled in his second season at Portsmouth as they won the FA Cup and, at its conclusion, competed for Croatia at UEFA EURO 2008, appearing in all four matches.
• Left to join fellow Croatian internationals Modrić and Vedran Ćorluka at Tottenham at the end of the 2009 summer transfer window but after a decent debut campaign he found himself increasingly marginalised at White Hart Lane, starting just two Premier League games in 2010/11.
• Scored five international goals in three games in autumn 2010, including doubles against Israel and Malta in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying, to take his cumulative tally to 15 – joint fourth in Croatia's all-time standings.
©UEFA.com 1998-2015. All rights reserved.
|UEFA Champions League|
|UEFA Europa League|