Ivica Olic is a professional football player from Croatia who plays as a striker. Olic hailed from a small village and Croatia (former Yugoslavia), and began playing in his younger years with Posavac Davor. From his local village, Olic was scouted by Marsonia and picked up to play in their youth team. In 1996, Olic finally made his debut for Marsonia in Croatia’s lower divisions.
He gained a reputation for being a hard man, putting his head in places others would dream of. A hard man, Olic was never about finesse or style. He has been a player who’s known for getting the job done, sometimes in a not-so-pleasant way even.
After 42 games and 17 goals, Olic was considered as a rising prospect in the world of football. He played until 1998, at Marsonia, and then moved on to Hertha Berlin SC. For two seasons, Olic warmed the benches at Hertha BSC before finally deciding to move back to Croatia and play with Marsonia again.
This move paid off as Olic scored 21 goals in 42 games, played over one and half seasons. This time, he decided to take things slower and signed with NK Zagreb. In 29 games, he scored 21 goals and was the league leader, helping his team to win the league title along the way.
Suddenly, Olic was the most wanted striker in Croatia and in 2002-03, moved to Croatian giants Dinamo Zagreb. While not as prolific as the season before, Olic did score 16 goals over a period of 27 games. Catching the eye of many European clubs, Olic was signed by CSKA Moscow.
After a terribly slow start, Olic’s Russian career began to take shape and he ended three seasons and 75-odd games at CSKA Moscow with a tally of 35 goals. In his three years, Olic was primarily used as a special substitute, although he did start a majority of his games.
He helped CSKA Moscow win the 2005 UEFA Cup as well as three consecutive league titles. In 2005 and 2006, Olic also won the Russian Cup while winning the Russian Super Cup in 2004 and 2006.
With so many titles under his belt, Olic was ready to move back to Germany, this time with Hamburger SV. Between 2007 and 2009, Olic became a regular in the side and although he wasn’t a prolific goalscorer, Olic became a fantastic support striker and poacher!
Hamburger SV were in deep trouble, struggling in the relegation zone when Olic was brought in. Olic’s arrival almost worked like a charm and Hamburg, from being in the bottom three, ended up in seventh place. Over the two seasons Olic spent at Hamburg, he scored 29 goals in 78 league appearances. While not at par with the best strikers in Europe, it was enough to create a buzz at Bayern Munich. The German giants were looking for a utility striker and Olic fit the bill.
After thanking the fans with a “Danke Fans” tee-shirt, Olic moved to Bayern Munich on a 3-year contract.
With Miroslav Klose and Mario Gomez struggling with injury and fitness, Olic was considered as a decent support for Arjen Robben, Thomas Muller and Franck Ribery. He scored on his Bayern debut, in a 1-1 draw against TSG Hoffenheim and rapidly became a fan favourite. His popularity hit unimaginable heights after a UEFA Champions League quarterfinal first leg goal, against Manchester United, gave Bayern a 2-1 lead over the English side.
In the second leg, Olic scored the first goal to make the scored 1-3, to Bayern. It was Robben’s goal that gave Bayern the win on the away-goals’ rule, knocking Manchester United out of the tournament.
In the semi-finals, Olic helped himself to a hat-trick against Olympique Lyonnais, taking the team to the finals of UEFA Champions League in 2009-10. Despite his team’s best efforts, Bayern lost 0-2 to Internazionale Milan.
Olic has been a part of the Croatian national team at all levels. He has represented Croatia at the Under-17, Under-18, Under-19, Under-20 and Under-21 levels, before breaking into the senior team in 2002. Since 2002, Olic has played over 70 games for the national team, scoring 14 goals and playing in three world cups.
He was also a part of the Euro 2008 squad that won against favourites Germany.
Olic has won the Croatian Player of the Year in 2009 and the First League Player of the Year in 2002 and 2003.
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