Drazan Jerkovic, Croatia

Drazan Jerkovic, Yugoslavia

Dražan Jerkovic was born on August 6, 1936 in Šibenik, southwest Croatia – Yugoslavia at the time. He was a fantastic forward and later went into football management after continued injuries forced him out of the game early on.

Football career
Jerkovic joined up with Dinamo Zagreb in 1954 and remained with them for 11 seasons where he played a total of 315 games scoring an impressive 300 goals. He helped Dinamo Zagreb win the league title in 1958 as well as the league cup in 1960 and 1965. After his tremendous successes at Dinamo, Drazan decided to move on to FC Gantoise in 1965.

It wasn’t until 1960 that Drazan Jerkovic would earn his first cap for Yugoslavia, and he went on to score 11 goals in 21 games up to 1964, including two goals against France in the semi-final of Euro 1960. Yugoslavia went on to win the match, however, lost to the USSR in the final.

World Cup history
Although part of the Yugoslav squad for the 1958 FIFA World Cup, Jerkovic didn’t actually play. He was part of the first team in the 1962 FIFA World Cup, however, and went on to become the top goals corer, along with five other players, for his four goals. Yugoslavia made it to the semifinal having beaten West Germany in the Quarters, but lost 3-1 to Czechoslovakia (1-3).

Post playing career
He was also the first manager of the Croatia national football team, between 1990 and 1992.

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