Player of the Week - Bojan Krkic
From Barcelona to Stoke City via Roma, AC Milan and Ajax!
Bojan Krkić has arrived in the Premier League after spending his career at some of the most prestigious clubs in world football. Krkić, who normally only uses his first name 'Bojan', is still only 24 years old, but has already played for Barcelona, Roma, AC Milan and Ajax. Stoke City have a growing connection with FC Barcelona. Stoke manager, Mark Hughes, played for the Catalan giants in the 1980's and Bojan's teammate, Marc Muniesa, was also a teammate of Bojan's at Barcelona.In fact, both Bojan and Muniesa were on the bench when Barcelona beat Manchester Utd 2-0 in the 2009 Champions League Final.Stoke fans will be hoping that Bojan can use the experience of over 250 appearances in the top divisions of Spain, Italy and the Netherlands to bring success to Stoke City this season.
What do we know about Bojan?
Bojan was born in August 1990 and is from Linyola, which is a small village in Catalonia, Spain. Bojan's father, also called Bojan Krkić, was Serbian and his mother Spanish. His father was also a professional footballer, and played for top Serbian team, Red Star Belgrade and won 1 cap for the Serbian national team. Bojan started his football education when he was 9 years old at La Masia, which is Barcelona's youth academy and generally seen as one of the best football academies in the world. La Masia has produced talents such as Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi. Bojan left La Masia when he was 17 years old, and just after his 17th birthday became the youngest ever player to play for Barcelona in a league match. He also became the youngest ever player to score for Barcelona and represent Barcelona in the Champions League. In total, Bojan made 162 appearances for Barcelona and scored 41 goals. Amazingly, all these games were before Bojan was 21 years old.
"The most special goal I have scored was in the Copa Del Rey Final for Barcelona. My first goal for Barcelona also stands out, as does my first goal at the Camp Nou. There are a lot of special memories and goals." Bojan
Where else has Bojan played?
For a player who is only 24 years old, Bojan has played for a lot of teams at the highest level. In July 2011, Bojan moved to Italy to play for Roma. He made 33 appearances for the Italians and scored 7 goals. The following season, he was sent out on loan to AC Milan and scored 3 goals in 27 games in an injury hit season. In the summer of 2013, Barcelona signed Bojan for a second time, for around £10 million, but he didn't play another game for Barcelona.
"It was really hard to leave Barcelona after 15 years but I needed to do it for my long-term career. Barcelona have given me everything so I will always have them in my heart." Bojan
He was sent on loan to Dutch giants, Ajax, where he scored 5 goals and helped the team from Amsterdam win their 33rd Dutch League title. In July 2014, Bojan made his move to the Premier League when he signed for Stoke City from Barcelona for an undisclosed fee.
What has Bojan won in his career so far?
Last season, Bojan won the league title in the Netherlands and also the Dutch Super Cup, he has also won many medals from his time at Barcelona. He has 2 Champions League winners medals (2009 and 2011), three Spanish League titles (2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11), one Spanish Cup (2009/10) and a winners medal from the FIFA Club World Cup (2009). He also helped Spain win the under-21 European Championships in 2011 but has only played once for the senior Spanish team. Bojan has also made 7 appearances, scoring 6 goals, for Catalonia. Catalonia is not an official state so is not recognised by FIFA and cannot play competitive matches, but regularly plays friendly games and in recent years has beaten national teams such as Argentina, Colombia and Honduras.
"Mark Hughes played for Barcelona and that was an obvious connection, but I wanted to come here to play for a team on the up. The Premier League is somewhere I have always wanted to play, so this is a good opportunity for me." Bojan
What's Bojan's style of play?
Bojan can play as a main striker, a secondary striker or winger but has said that he prefers to play as a striker. Bojan is very fast and has the ability to run past the defender who is marking him. He is also very skilful with the ball at his feet, but his main talent is his killer instinct in front of goal. During his career so far, Bojan has been an impact player, which means coming off the substitutes bench to change a game. At Stoke he will be looking to make an impact from the start of each game and become the teams' main goal scorer.
"I like to play as a striker or as a secondary striker. In recent seasons I have played out wide, but I do feel that my best position is in a more central role." Bojan
What did you understand?
Did you know......?
- Bojan scored nearly 900 goals at youth level for Barcelona!
- Bojan is the youngest ever Barcelona player to play for Spain.
- Bojan scored three goals in Barcelona's winning Champions League campaign in 2008/09.
- Bojan's father was also a professional footballer. Some other famous father-son footballers include Johan and Jordi Cruyff, Peter and Kasper Schmeichel, and Frank and Frank Lampard.
- Stoke City are the oldest club in the Premier League and the second oldest professional club in the world!
What do you think?
Will Bojan be a success at Stoke City?
Do you know any other ex-Barcelona players that have been successful in the Premier League?
Bojan played more than 160 games for Barcelona before he was 21 years old. Do you know any other players that were very successful at a young age?
Leave a message in the comments section below and tell us your opinion :)