Thomas Brdaric

Thomas Brdaric

Football player infobox| playername= Thomas Brdaric
fullname = Thomas Brdaric
nickname =


dateofbirth = birth date and age|1975|1|23
cityofbirth = Nürtingen
countryofbirth = West Germany
height = height|m=1.87
currentclub =
clubnumber =
position = Forward
youthyears =
youthclubs = VfB Neuffen
FV Nürtingen
Stuttgarter Kickers
VfL Kirchheim
years = 1993-1994
1994-1996
1996-1999
1999-2003
2003-2004
2004-2005
2005-2008
clubs = VfB Stuttgart
Fortuna Düsseldorf
Fortuna Köln
Bayer Leverkusen
Hannover 96 "(loan)"
VfL Wolfsburg
Hannover 96
caps(goals) = 010 00(1)
030 00(1)
080 0(24)
082 0(14)
028 0(12)
032 0(12)
042 0(15)
nationalyears = 2002-2004
nationalteam = Germany
nationalcaps(goals) = 008 00(1)
pcupdate = 1 July 2007
ntupdate = 1 July 2007

Thomas Brdaric (born January 23, 1975 in Nürtingen) is a German footballer of Croatian descent. He is currently without a club.

He began his professional career with VfB Stuttgart, making his Bundesliga debut as a substitute on August 29, 1993 against Bayern Munich. In only his second game, against SG Wattenscheid 09, he scored his first goal in a 4-2 victory. He managed 10 games in total in his debut season, but didn't managed to keep his place in the squad as he was sold onto Fortuna Düsseldorf of the 2. Bundesliga.

He spent two seasons at the Rheinland club, helping them gain promotion to the top flight and maintaining their position. However, he managed just a solitary goal in his time and was again let go, back to the 2. Bundesliga with rivals Fortuna Köln. His spell here was much more successful as he became a first-team regular and found his finshing touch, particularly in 1998/99 when he managed 13 goals in 29 appearances.

This form caught the eye of Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen and they snapped him up in Summer 1999. Although he never scored regularly in his time there, he mostly managed to hold down a first team place and enjoyed playing on the biggest stage of his career. During his time with the club, he twice finished in the top 2 in the league and appeared in the 2002 DFB Cup final, and most prestigiously, the UEFA Champions League final that year, where they were defeated by Real Madrid after their shock run in the tournament. Brdaric played 18 games in the UEFA Champions League in total, scoring once (in a 3-1 win over Juventus in the 2002 campaign).

Brdaric's time with Leverkusen though began to wilt soon into the 2002/03 season, which even saw him playing for their amateurs in Regionalliga-North. The following season he was loaned out to fellow Bundesliga team Hannover 96 and managed 12 goals, his best tally yet at the top level.

This attracted VfL Wolfsburg in July 2004, signing for €1million in a 3 year deal. Although he matched the previous season's tally of 12, this was a much more frustrating season as he found himself often substituted or starting on the bench. These annoyances caused him to fall out with team-mates and club officials. Team manager Thomas Strunz labelled Brdaric an "egotist" for putting his own issues before the team [http://www.bild.t-online.de/BTO/sport/aktuell/2006/04/16/strunz-brdaric/strunz-brdaric-egoist.html] .

After this turbulent year, he was quickly sold onto Hannover 96, rejoining the team he had been loaned to on a permanent 3 year deal. However, controversy had not fully escaped him as he irked coach Peter Neururer with an interview in which he stated:
"As a striker, you have some sort of lust for scoring. That's why a 4-4 with four goals scored by yourself is more important than a win for the team". [http://www.rund-magazin.de/ausgaben/news/b1cadad4-1588-44f6-b0e8-5b60b9827f0e]
This led to Brdaric being dropped and subsequently given limited playing opportunities.

This awkward situation was solved though by Neururer's sacking in August 2006, which he welcomed by unleashing criticism at his former coach, branding him "mean and dishonest" in their relationship and claiming he lacked the substance behind his front to aid the club [http://www.focus.de/sport/fussball/bundesliga1/brdaric_nid_35923.html] .His time at the club since has been much less fractious under Dieter Hecking and he managed 5 goals in just 11 appearances last season, where he was blighted by knee problems.

Brdaric has also represented his country, making his debut on March 27, 2002 against the USA in Rostock. He featured in the 2004 UEFA European Championship, making a substitute appearance against Latvia in the group stage. He was also an unused squad member in the 2005 Confederations Cup. His only international goal came in a friendly win in Iran on October 9, 2004.

Trivia

* In 2003, he recorded a CD entitled "The Wild 13". The song (co-written by Coastland Records' Marco Heggen) mocks goalkeepers Oliver Kahn, Jens Lehmann and Frank Rost. The title stems from Brdaric's shirt number.
* During his time at Fortuna Köln, he was nicknamed 'Bambi' because of his very skinny legs.
* He is married to wife Antje and has two sons, Tim and Lance.

External links

* [http://www.thomas-brdaric.de/ Official site]


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