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Mladen Petrić
Mladen Petric.jpg
Petrić at practice with Hamburg in 2009
Personal information
Full name Mladen Petrić
Date of birth (1981-01-01) 1 January 1981 (age 43)
Place of birth Dubrave, SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Forward, striker
Youth career
1986–1996 FC Neuenhof
1996–1998 FC Baden
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–1999 FC Baden 22 (4)
1999–2004 Grasshopper 114 (30)
2004–2007 FC Basel 72 (38)
2007–2008 Borussia Dortmund 29 (13)
2008–2012 Hamburger SV 99 (38)
2012–2013 Fulham 23 (5)
2013–2014 West Ham United 3 (0)
2014–2016 Panathinaikos 58 (12)
Total 420 (140)
National team
1998 Switzerland U17 1 (0)
2001 Switzerland U21 1 (0)
2002–2004 Croatia U21 7 (1)
2001–2013 Croatia 45 (13)
  • Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Mladen Petrić (Croatian pronunciation: [ˈmladɛn ˈpɛːtrit͡ɕ]; born 1 January 1981) is a retired professional footballer who played as a forward or striker. During his career, he played for Grasshopper, Basel, Borussia Dortmund, Hamburger SV, Fulham, West Ham United and Panathinaikos. Born in Socialist Bosnia, he represented Switzerland on youth levels internationally before opting for Croatia on senior level.

Early life

Petrić was born in the village of Dubrave near Brčko, Bosnia and Herzegovina, SFR Yugoslavia. Petrić moved with his family to Vinkovci and then later to Neuenhof, Switzerland, where he started to play football at the local club FC Neuenhof before moving to FC Baden and starting his professional career at the club in the summer of 1998. He left Baden after one season and went on to sign with Grasshopper Club Zürich in the summer of 1999.

Club career

Grasshopper Club

Petrić signed for Grasshopper Club ahead of the 1999–2000 Nationalliga A season. At that time GC was the clear number one in Switzerland, and foreign players were often brought in for positions up front. This was particularly pronounced under head coach Roy Hodgson, therefore Petrić had a difficult time. In the next season Hans-Peter Zaugg was appointed as new head coach and Petrić came to regular appearances and in his first five games scored three goals. At the end of the 2000–01 Swiss Football League season Petrić won the championship with GC. In the 2001–02 season GC were runners-up behind FC Basel and reached the Swiss Cup final. In the final Petrić scored the equaliser, after Basel had taken an early lead. The match went into extra time, but FCB won 2–1 and thus the trophy. At the end of the 2002–03 Nationalliga A season, Petrić won his second championship with GC. But he received much criticism because of an action during the Swiss Championship celebrations, in which he burned a Basel scarf. In the 2003–04 season GC again reached the cup final, this time they were defeated 3–2 by Wil. Petrić left the club in the summer of 2004. During his time playing for GC, he made a total of 114 domestic league appearances and scored 30 league goals for the club.


Petrić was acquired for a transfer fee of approximate €3 million and he signed a four-year contract until June 2008. He joined Basel's first team during their 2004–05 season under head coach Christian Gross and Petrić was persuaded to join FCB by him. After playing in seven test games he played his domestic league debut for his new club in the home game in the St. Jakob-Park on 17 July 2004 as Basel won 6–0 against Aarau. He scored his first goal for with the team in the away game in the Stadion Lachen on 22 September. But this goal could not help the team, as Basel were defeated 4–1 by Thun. However Petrić suffered an injury in February 2005 and he then missed the rest of the season. Basel completed all the 2004–05 Super League season's seventeen home games undefeated, winning thirteen and drawing four. They ended the season as Swiss champions with 10 points advantage over second placed Thun. Petrić had 22 appearances, scoring five league goals.

As Swiss champions, Basel entered the 2005–06 Champions League third qualifying round. However, they were drawn against German Bundesliga club Werder Bremen and they lost 4–2 on aggregate. Subsequently Basel dropped into the 2005–06 UEFA Cup, where against NK Široki Brijeg in the first round, second leg, Petrić scored his first European and the team sealed a 6–0 aggregate win to qualify for the Group stage. Here Basel were then drawn into Group E, alongside Strasbourg, Roma, Red Star Belgrade and Tromsø. Basel qualified for the knock-out stage and in the round of 32 Basel were drawn against AS Monaco, this was won 2–1 on aggregate. In the round of 16, Basel were drawn against Strasbourgh winning 4–2 on aggregate. In the quarter-finals, drawn against Middlesbrough they won the first leg 2–0, but Middlesbrough fought back to win the return match 4–1 and the tie 4–3 on aggregate. Petrić played in 13 of these 14 European games, scoring three goals.

Basel started into the 2005–06 Super League season well and led the championship right until the last day of the league campaign. Petrić scored a hat-trick for the team on 2 October 2005 in the home game in the St. Jakob-Park as Basel won 5–1 against Thun. On the final day of the league season, Basel played at home against Zürich. Petrić had scored an equaliser after FCZ had taken an early lead. A last-minute goal from Zürich's Iulian Filipescu meant the final score was 1–2 in favour of the away team and it gave FCZ their first national championship since 1980–81. The title for Basel was lost on goal difference. Petrić was fourth-leading goal scorer of the Swiss Super League for the 2005–06 season, scoring 14 goals in 31 matches. The last minute loss of the Championship and the subsequent riots, the so-called Basel Hooligan Incident, meant that the club would suffer the consequences.

FC Basel's European campaign started in the first qualifying stage of the 2006–07 UEFA Cup, here they beat Kazakhi side FC Tobol 3–1 on aggregate. In the second qualifying round they were drawn against FC Vaduz from Liechtenstein, narrowly progressing on the away goals rule after a 2–2 aggregate draw. In the first round Basel won 7–2 on aggregate against FK Rabotnički to qualified for the group stage. Here Basel played their first match at home against Feyenoord, this ended in a 1–1 draw. Their second was away and FCB lost 3–0 against Blackburn Rovers. At home against AS Nancy the match was drawn 2–2 and the final game ended with a 3–1 defeat against Wisła Kraków. Basel ended the group stage in last position in the table and were eliminated. Petrić played in all ten of these matches. In the final moments of Basel's match against Nancy on 23 November 2006, Petrić was installed in goal after Basel's goalkeeper Franco Costanzo was sent off for a foul on Nancy's Issiar Dia and the team had already made all three substitutions. The foul resulted in a penalty kick that gave Nancy the final chance for an away victory, but Petrić was able to make a save and stopped the penalty kick taken by Mickaël Chrétien, helping his team to earn a point with a 2–2 draw.

At the end of the 2006–07 Super League season, Basel were runners-up, one point behind championship winners Zürich. Petrić finished the season as the league's top goal scorer with 19 goals and was voted Player of the Year in a fan poll. In the Swiss Cup Basel advanced to the final, beating FC Liestal in the first round, Lugano, FC Baulmes, Aarau and Wil in the semi-final. In the final they played Luzern and won this 1–0 thanks to a penalty goal in the third minute of added time. Petrić played in all six cup games.

Petrić left the club after that season, moving to Germany. During his three seasons with the club he played a total of 141 games for Basel scoring a total of 79 goals. 72 of these games were in the Swiss Super League, 11 in the Swiss Cup, 29 in the UEFA competitions (Champions League and UEFA Cup) and 29 were friendly games. He scored 38 goals in the domestic league, four in the cup, eight in the European games and the other 29 were scored during the test games.

Borussia Dortmund

On 11 June 2007, Petrić signed for German Bundesliga team Borussia Dortmund, along with fellow Croatia national team player Robert Kovač, as part of the side's squad rebuilding. While originally being intended to act as a playmaker behind the forwards in a 4–4–2 diamond system, it quickly turned out that he was more effective as a striker up front. He enjoyed a strong start to the season, scoring a brace in Dortmund's 3–0 victory against Werder Bremen. He was one of the league's top scorers in his first season in Germany and also made a notable assistance to his side reaching the DFB-Pokal final in which he scored a stoppage time equaliser against eventual winners and champions Bayern Munich.


On 17 August 2008, Petrić's transfer from Dortmund to Hamburger SV was confirmed by both clubs' official websites as part of a deal that also saw Egyptian international Mohamed Zidan moving in the opposite direction, with both players signing four-year contracts. Dortmund also confirmed they have received an officially undisclosed transfer fee, which was believed to be worth around €5 million.

Petrić made his Bundesliga debut for Hamburg on 23 August 2008 in their 2–1 win at home to Karlsruher SC, coming on as a substitute for Jonathan Pitroipa in the 73rd minute. He scored his first goal for the club on 13 September 2008, netting the winner in their 3–2 win against Bayer Leverkusen. In three consecutive matches in late September and early October 2008, Petrić scored all five goals in Hamburg's 2–0 victories over VfL Bochum in the DFB-Pokal and Unirea Urziceni in the UEFA Cup, as well as their 1–0 victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach in the Bundesliga. On 5 October 2008, he netted a last-minute winner in Hamburg's 2–1 away victory at Energie Cottbus to keep them top of the Bundesliga table. He scored in the Europa League semi-final against Fulham from a free-kick. However crucial the away goal was, Hamburg lost the tie on an aggregate score of 2–1 due to a goalless draw in the first leg in Hamburg. Towards the end of the 2011–12 Bundesliga campaign, it was revealed Petrić would leave Hamburg at the end of the season.


Mladen Petrić Fulham v Arsenal
Petrić playing for Fulham in 2013

After being released by Hamburg at the end of the 2011–12 campaign, Petrić signed a one-year deal with English Premier League club Fulham, linking up with former Hamburg boss, Martin Jol. The Croatian striker made his debut at home to Norwich City on the opening day of the Premier League campaign, along with fellow new signing Sascha Riether. Petrić scored a double and provided an assist for Alexander Kačaniklić as Fulham beat Norwich by a score of 5–0.

Petrić was one of twelve players released by Fulham at the end of the 2012–13 Premier League season.

West Ham United

On 10 September 2013, Petrić joined West Ham United on a one-year deal. He made his debut on 21 September 2013 in a 3–2 home defeat by Everton coming on as a 63rd-minute substitute for Modibo Maïga. He made only three further appearances for the club before being released in December 2013.


On 8 January 2014, Greek club Panathinaikos announced the signing of Petrić on a one-and-a-half-year deal with "The Greens." In Athens, he reunited with his old Hamburg teammate Marcus Berg as well as two of his teammates from the Croatia national team, Danijel Pranjić and Gordon Schildenfeld. On 16 February 2014, Petrić made his debut with the Greek club, coming from the bench against Panthrakikos in Komotini. On 4 May 2014, he scored his first goal for Panathinaikos in a play-off match against PAOK.

On 22 February 2015, he scored against rival club Olympiacos in a 2–1 win. On 7 January 2016, he helped his club to escape with a 2–1 away win by scoring the winning goal against PAS Giannina for the Greek Cup.

On 28 May 2016, he announced his retirement from professional football.

On 12 October 2017, the veteran Croatian international striker has decided to legally demand the €210.000 that Panathinaikos still owe him, almost one and a half years after his official retirement.

International career

In 2001, Petrić was spotted in Switzerland by Mirko Jozić, head coach of the Croatia national team at the time, and made his international debut for Croatia during the team's South Korean tour in November 2001, where they played two friendly matches against the South Korean national team. Petrić appeared in both of the two matches as a second-half substitute, but was subsequently nevertheless not called up to be part of the Croatian squad at the 2002 World Cup finals. He scored his first goal for Croatia in their friendly match against Wales on 21 August 2002 in Varaždin, which ended in a 1–1 draw. He subsequently made his competitive international debut as a second-half substitute in Croatia's opening match of the Euro 2004 qualifying against Estonia, but did not play any international matches at the A-team level for three and half years following this match.

In early 2006, Petrić made his international comeback with Croatia by appearing as a second-half substitute in the team's friendly matches against South Korea at the Carlsberg Cup in Hong Kong and Argentina in Basel. He was eventually omitted from the final 23-man squad for the 2006 World Cup finals, but received a pre-invitation.

In early August 2006, he was called up by Croatia's new coach Slaven Bilić to be part of the team in their friendly match against Italy on 16 August 2006 in Livorno and appeared in the match as a second-half substitute. He was an active member with his national side in their Euro 2008 qualifying campaign, appearing in almost all of the team's qualifying matches. In the second qualifier, against Andorra on 7 October 2006 in Zagreb, he scored four goals in only 60 minutes of playing and became the first ever player to score four goals for Croatia in a competitive match. Croatia won the match 7–0, celebrating their then highest competitive victory ever. In the return leg against Andorra on 12 September 2007, he scored twice.

On 21 November, the last day of Euro 2008 qualifiers, Petrić was brought on as a substitute in the away fixture against England. With Croatia already qualified and the match tied at 2–2, he scored the winning goal from about 25 yards from goal to knock England out of qualifying for Euro 2008. It was England's first competitive defeat at the New Wembley. After the match, he refused to swap his jersey, going on to say, "It's the most valuable goal of my career and the best I've scored. I wouldn't swap my kit with any English player because I want to save it for myself."

Because of his impressive qualifying campaign, he was named in Croatia's Euro 2008 squad. Croatia won their first round group, winning all their matches, including a win against later runners-up Germany, but were knocked out by Turkey in the quarter-finals after a penalty shoot-out.

In 2012, he had not played a match for the national team. In February 2013, he played his last international match and scored a goal against South Korea.

Career statistics


Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Europe Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
FC Baden 1998–99 Nationalliga B 22 4 0 0 22 4
Grasshoppers 1999–00 Nationalliga A 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
2000–01 27 5 0 0 27 5
2001–02 27 6 6 2 7 3 33 8
2002–03 30 13 4 2 4 0 38 15
2003–04 Swiss Super League 28 6 4 2 4 0 36 8
Total 114 30 14 6 15 3 136 36
FC Basel 2004–05 Swiss Super League 16 5 2 0 6 0 24 5
2005–06 31 14 3 2 13 3 47 19
2006–07 25 19 6 2 10 5 41 26
Total 72 38 11 4 29 8 112 50
Borussia Dortmund 2007–08 Bundesliga 29 13 6 5 35 18
2008–09 1 0 1 0
Total 29 13 6 5 1 0 36 18
Hamburger SV 2008–09 Bundesliga 25 12 4 3 12 5 41 20
2009–10 26 8 2 2 15 10 43 20
2010–11 22 11 2 2 24 13
2011–12 26 7 2 1 28 8
Total 99 38 10 8 27 15 136 61
Fulham 2012–13 Premier League 23 5 1 0 0 0 24 5
West Ham United 2013–14 Premier League 3 0 0 0 1 0 4 0
Panathinaikos 2013–14 Super League Greece 9 1 2 0 11 1
2014–15 29 7 4 0 8 1 41 8
2015–16 20 4 4 1 3 0 27 5
Total 58 12 10 1 11 1 79 13
Career total 410 147 52 24 2 0 82 27 546 198


Year Apps Goals
2001 2 0
2002 3 1
2003 0 0
2004 0 0
2005 0 0
2006 7 4
2007 8 4
2008 11 1
2009 4 1
2010 6 1
2011 3 0
2012 0 0
2013 1 1
Total 45 13
# Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition
01. 21 August 2002 Stadion Varteks, Varaždin, Croatia 6  Wales
02. 7 October 2006 Maksimir, Zagreb, Croatia 10  Andorra
7–0 Euro 2008 qualifying
06. 7 February 2007 Kantrida, Rijeka, Croatia 13  Norway
07. 12 September 2007 Estadi Comunal, Andorra la Vella, Andorra 18  Andorra
0–6 Euro 2008 qualifying
09. 21 November 2007 Wembley Stadium, London, England 20  England
10. 6 September 2008 Maksimir, Zagreb, Croatia 29  Kazakhstan
2010 World Cup qualifying
11. 6 June 2009 Maksimir, Zagreb, Croatia 33  Ukraine
12. 3 September 2010 Skonto Stadium, Riga, Latvia 39  Latvia
UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying
13. 6 February 2013 Craven Cottage, London, England 45  South Korea





Borussia Dortmund


  • Greek Cup: 2013–14


See also

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