The one footballer who shares the same name with one of the top clubs in the football world, A.C. Milan, is also known for being exceptional in the arena. It is Milan Badelj, a Croatian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for his national team. Here you will find everything you need to know about him.
Milan Badelj’s Biography
He was born on 25 February 1989 in Zagreb, SFR Yugoslavia. Milan was fascinated by the round leather game very early in his life, so he started shooting the ball at the age of 3. When he was 5 years old, he wanted to join a club but was considered too young, although the following year he was admitted to the Zagreb football club Ponikve. His childhood idols were the football icons Robert Prosinecki and Zinedine Zidane.
At the age of 17, he signed with Dinamo Zagreb in 2007 after playing his youth career in the NK Zagreb. His first season in his senior career he played on loan with Dinamo’s sister company Lokomotiva to gain experience in the first team at the senior level. There he played in 28 matches for the team and scored 7 goals in the Croatian Third League.
His rare talent was discovered in a very short period of time, so he was compared to Luka Modric and discovered as a possible replacement for the powerhouse of the Croatian national team, Luka, who left the club in 2008 to join Tottenham Hotspur. Consequently, Milan joined the club’s first team.
After establishing himself as a key player, he played his first match for Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League qualifier against Northern Ireland club Linfield and made his domestic debut in the opening game of the 2008-09 season against HNK Rijeka, where he scored the first goal in a 2-1 win. The season ended with 31 domestic appearances and 12 UEFA Cup appearances. He was voted Croatia’s football hope of the year 2009.
Milan Badelj continued his form and established himself as a first-team regular for the next few seasons, even becoming captain of his team in some matches. He scored a goal in a 2-0 derby win over arch-rivals Hajduk Split in March 2011 and was part of the Dinamo squad that reached the group stage of the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League for the first time in 12 years. The midfielder played in all six of Dinamo’s group matches.
After his time at Dinamo, he transferred to Hamburger SV, a German club, in August 2012 for a fee of around €4.5 million. Within a very short time, he proved his form at the club and established himself as a starter and profound playmaker as usual. In November 2012 he scored his first Bundesliga goal against Schalke. After two years, Milan signed a contract for a speculative fee of 5 million euros with the Serie A team, Fiorentina. After the death of Davide Astoria in March 2018, he was given the honor of taking over the leadership of the team.
Milan refused to renew his contract with the Italian club when his contract expired in 2018. Other Italian clubs have expressed interest in the player, including AC Milan, Lazio, and Sevilla. After the World Cup, however, he is to join the Russian football club Zenit St. Petersburg as a freelancer.
He joined his national team in 2010, although he sat on the bench for most of their games. He made his debut during a UEFA Euro 2012 qualifier against Malta, where he scored the second goal in a 3-1 win on 2 September 2011. Milan has been selected for the 23rd final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and for UEFA Euro 2016.
He was also selected as part of the squad in May 2018 to represent his country in the 23-member final squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. The midfielder scored his first goal of the game in a 2-1 win over Iceland, putting Croatia at the top of the group in the group stage. In three appearances he scored 1 goal and gave 1 assist in the tournament, and although they reached the final, they lost 4-2 to France.
Milan Badelj Family, Parents
Milan was born as the son of parents who are florists and a mother who was instrumental in his successful football career. His mother is Slavica Badelj and his father, Ratko Badelj. He has two siblings, a brother, and a sister, and he is together with Martina, who studies at the Academy of Music in Zagreb.
Height, Weight, Body Measurements
The Croatian citizen is 1.86 m tall and has a body weight of 76 kg. His other body measurements are unknown.