Leadership changes at 2012 Symposium co-hosts Croatia
13 July 2012 – On 5 July, Davor Šuker (44) was elected President of the Croatian Football Association (HNS), taking over from Vlatko Markovic (75), who had previously held the position for the past 14 years.
Born in Osijek, Šuker can look back on an exceptional playing career that saw him collect 69 caps for his country, scoring 45 goals and winning the Golden Boot award at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France where Croatia came third.
After a total of 151 appearances for NK Osijek and Dynamo Zagreb (74 goals), the natural-born goal-getter joined Spain’s FC Sevilla in 1991. Having played 153 matches (76 goals) for the Andalusian side in five years, the time was right for him to be signed by Real Madrid, where he won both the 1997-98 UEFA Champions League and the 1998 Intercontinental Cup.
Šuker spent the twilight years of his career (1999-2003) playing for Arsenal FC, West Ham United, and former German Bundesliga club TSV 1860 München.
Listing all of his titles and trophies would go beyond the scope of this news item. We have already sent Davor Šuker our most cordial congratulations on his election, and AEFCA looks forward to continuing co-operating with the HNS under his presidency
At the same time, Igor Štimac (45) took over the reins as Croatia head coach from Slaven Bilić (43) who has taken charge of Russian premier league club Locomotive Moscow.
An impressively successful national team player himself, Štimac won 53 caps in a career spanning twelve years (1990-2002), featuring alongside Šuker at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France.
After several stints playing for Hajduk Split, he was signed by Spanish side Cádiz FC (1992 – 1994, 62 league appearances) before deciding in 1995 to try his luck in England, where he played a total of 127 Premier League matches for Derby County and West Ham United, respectively.
In 2005, old love Hajduk Split were Štimac’s first port of call in a professional coaching capacity. After leaving NK Zagreb, where he was head coach during the 2009-10 season, he worked as a freelance co-commentator on Croatian TV.
Wishing him and his team the best of luck in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, we look forward to meeting him at the AEFCA Symposium in Split in November later this year.