The first few days of June brought some long-awaited good news for Croatia midfielder Niko Kranjčar. Not only has he recovered from a knee injury, but he also wrapped up a four-year deal to join FC Dynamo Kyiv from Tottenham Hotspur FC. Now he can concentrate on his role at UEFA EURO 2012.
It has not been an easy season for Kranjčar, who spent more minutes on the pitch for Croatia during EURO qualifying than he did for Tottenham in the Premier League. Spurs manager Harry Redknapp has always held Kranjčar in high esteem yet also had the thrilling talent of Gareth Bale at his disposal in the same position.
If Kranjčar's knee ligament injury in April ended his club campaign, he has returned to fitness in time to make the trip to Poland/Ukraine and is ready for Sunday's Group C game against the Republic of Ireland in Poznan. "I am very satisfied with my physical condition, I feel much fitter than on the first day of our preparations for EURO," he said.
Finding a new employer has also been a reason to smile for the 27-year-old winger. "I feel very happy now," he said. "I am moving to a big club and now I am calm and can concentrate on Croatia's big plans for EURO 2012." Last but not least, though he might not start against Ireland, Kranjčar has received a ringing endorsement from coach Slaven Bilić that he has a big part to play in the final tournament.
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