Photo: PA Photos
The flood gates are starting to open for Dinamo Zagreb’s 16 year-old wiz kid Alen Halilović. Already dubbed the ‘new Modrić’ and the ‘Balkan Messi’, Halilović is now receiving serious transfer attention from European giants Manchester City, Manchester United and Real Madrid, with The Daily Mail and The Mirror reporting a possible £6 to 7 million bid from City for the half Croatian, half Bosnian Halilović.
If that’s not enough for the young Halilović to ponder, he must also make a decision for which national team he would like to play for in the next few years, if not now, with both Croatia and Bosnia trying to lock up the services of the left-footed maestro. But when will Team Halilović, with father Sejad at the helm, make the transfer out of Dinamo Zagreb happen and commit to one international team? Halilović has already been capped by Dinamo in Champions League this season and is now the youngest player ever to score in the Croatian Prva Liga.
It’s still too early to determine the value of this 16 year-old stud, but with Manchester City and Real Madrid knocking on the door with deep pockets, how long can Dinamo general manager Zdravko Mamić hold on to his golden boy before a check is written?
Halilović Highlight Show
@Elvis – it wouldn’t change where he lived. He’d play for Bosnia for a few weeks during the year in 2-5 camps. What difference is it if those are in Bosnia or Slovenia (where according to Wikipedia, Croatia currently train)?
With respect to him telling his dad… well that’s up to him. I don’t think that should effect us one way or another. He’ll choose which country to represent when he’s ready. Until then, respect his ability to leave the option open.
YES BUT THERE COMES A TIME IN A BOYS LIFE WHEN A BOY HAS TO TELL HIS DAD TO FUCK OFF. HE LIVES AND PLAYS FOR A EUROPEAN CITY. WONT BE EASY FOR HIM TO LEAVE THAT FOR THIRD WORLD MUJO LIFE.
i see. it’ll be interesting to see. but i think they will hang on to him regardless…..looks good for the club to develop a player whom all the big clubs could potentially be fighting over.
it all depends who is the agent for Halilovic…….I have to check on this…..If Mamic (his son) is the agent then Halilovic will stay for a few years. If Mamic is not the agent, then there is no reason for Mamic to hold him because it doesn’t mean any extra money for Mamic.
hopefully they keep this kid in zagreb and let him develop for a while. if an 11million dollar fee is true for right now, imagine what he would fetch after a few years of ripping it up in the HNL. he is not going anywhere…..mamic won’t let that extra cash he could get for a future transfer go away. the CL money from the past 2 years will tide him over so that he doesnt have to sell the kid just yet
If he wants to play for cro….cool
If he wants to play for the mujos…..also cool with me.
Nobody knows or should assume to know this kid’s social and family situation. The facts: he’s young and on the verge of stardom. For all we know he wants to play for us and his dad is advising for Bosna. Or vice versa.
I would agree with your statement if he was older. I think he’s just too young to judge him yet.
“If he does not want to play for cro or needs convincing to play for cro or has to stay at dinamo so he is surrounded by hrvati, then I dont really care for him.”
i think he’ll choose to play for bosnia alongside Dzeko.
based on what?????????????
You really think he could play a role in a WCQ even though the kid has yet to do anything in a meaningful game?
Typical homer comment. I think all of us what the young kids to succeed in the future, but that is nothing but wishful thinking on your part.
@ Ziva , exhale before you hit the keyboard . No need to be disrespectful.
Class is class and he could be effective for 10-20 minutes on the right wing.
The 21st anniversary of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna (HZ HB) is here.
It’s very possible he wants to play for Croatia but his father wants him to play for Bosnia – so he is torn. How many of us didn’t want to disappoint our fathers? How many of us were scared of our fathers?
Suit up against the serbs??????? what are you, an idiot????? He is 16 yrs old now and you want to play him against the serbs in a WCQ. Based on what????? Come on……think before you hit the keyboard.
Back to Zlatan…….he considers himself a Swede and when asked about his family tree he refers to himself as a “Balkan”.
BiH is first in their most weak wcq group, tied with Greece. If they qualify for Brazil, he plays for Bosnia. I say put him in against Serbs (common enemy for us).
If he refuses to suit up against Serbs in Zagreb then jebi ga!
Gotovina and company liberated our land for all Croatians, only players who respect that can represent us.
My point exactly
OR Halilovic identifies himself as a Croat and not Bosnian because he was born and raised there, learned to play the game there, and lived there. And chooses to play for Croatia.
Putting Zlatan aside, my main point is Halilovic will play for Croatia for footballing reasons at the very least. As very good players given the choice between two nations pick the better nation.
Ibrahimovic is Catholic.
OR he may have identified himself as a Swede and not a Croat or Bosnian because he was born and raised there, learned to play the game there, and lived there. He grew up learning Swedish, and went to Swedish schools. He even lived in a Bosnian neighborhood and hung out with other Bosnians, but that didn’t influence his decisions and make him want to play for Bosnia.
Let me clarify my Zlatan statement. Paternal lineage seems to determine nationality/ethnicity in Balkan families. Yet he choose Sweden over Bosnia–which is where his father is from. Because Sweden is the better footballing nation.
The fact remains is that Zlatan has a Croatian mother and Bosnian father (like Halilovic). Yet chose to play for Sweden the better footballing nation.
Look whatever your view on Zlatan is. The main point here is that very good players like Halilovic, given the choice between two nations, will choose the better footballing nation. Happens all the time.
Furthermore we don’t need de-facto recruiters for foreign national teams playing for our clubs. What if there is another talented Croatian kid with a Bosnian parent coming through the ranks. Are we going to let Mehmed Alispahic try to recruit him too?
Alispahic is not good anyway. He should be sold, as he is taking a spot on the roster away from younger prospects.
Zlatan didn’t select Bosna because he never had an interest in Bosna just like he had zero interest in cro.
Dinamo’s job is not to steer Halilovic to the Croatian national team. There job is to develop him and then eventually sell him. Having a Bosnian on that roster who happens to be friends with the kid is not an issue.
I agree off-load Mehmed Alispahic, he is a de-facto recruiter. He’s not good anyway.
How do you guys know he is hanging with Bosanci? Have you seen it?
Halilovic already plays for Croatia youth, and that’s one foot in the door. I think he feels an alligence for Bosnia, and wants to play for them. That’s why he is delaying his choice for Croatia. But will ultimately decide to play for Croatia for footballing reasons.
Such is the case with many players where they choose the better footballing nation instead of the nation of their ethnicity (ie Ozil, Marko Marin, Makelele and many more). And Zlatan didn’t choose Bosnia. And if you tell me Bosnia is as good as Croatia, you must be kidding me.
After all, players often put their careers ahead of nationality. We’ve seen it so many times before.
I get to play Mamic’s role in this team we will buy.
@mishko…..sure, we can buy the team as long as I run it..
wake up ! if he plays for hrvatska, he is croatian. if not, …… move on.
I meant players.
My GOD, he’s just a kid. But I have absolutely no idea how these things work.
But I do one thing, if it’s going to put money in that filthy whore Mamic’s hands that kid is gone.
Here’s an idea, why doesn’t CroatianSports think about putting together a consortium of people and we buy a team? Then we can look out for what’s best for the player. Just a thought.
Halilovic should never be begged to play for Cro. I say let him decide without any pressure being applied to him by the croatian side. If he wants to play for us, he will. If not, who cares. I WANT HRVATI ON MY SIDE……..not mujos who need to be convinced. and if he happens to be the nest Messi, so what.
When Halilovic says that he has not decided on his national team future it means that he has decided and the decision as of right now is BiH. Now, if there is anything than can be done to persuade him to change loyalties than I say go for it. Why not?
Q – Should we have to persuade him to play for us? A – Nope
Q – Should we try to persuade him to play for us? A – I will answer that question with another question.
Another Question – How do you like these guys in the midfield? Modric, Kovacic, and Halilovic.
A – That has a nice ring to it!
I am with IvicA, give it a shot but at the same time I think that Elcroato is right and like him I hope that I am wrong as well.
I think it’s a lost case. Let me explain.
He’s in Croatia, playing for the best Croat club team and his future hinges on doing well with Dinamo. If he were to announce his Bosnian allegiance now, while still not an established player at Dinamo he could potentially compromise his position at Dinamo. I think he’ll wait until he leaves or when he’s so proven that he can’t be hurt.
I hope I’m wrong.
Despite my optimistic post about Halilovic, I don’t think he has every intention of playing for Cro. I think he sees himself as a Bosnian living in Croatia just like we all feel like Croats living in the US/Canada.
He is only 16 and has just starting going out and socializing, and I bet the majority of his friends are Bosanci (due to his father having a connection to that community in ZG) so they probably go to BiH club nights and restaurants like Sofka (just like we all went to Cro club nights in our respective North American cities).
It doesn’t mean the kid doesn’t love Cro, but it does push him more toward feeling more Bosnian than Croatian.
Growing up, I had Croatian friends who socialized almost entirely with Croats and others who socialized with all others. There is a HUGE difference between these two groups of Croats. These Canadianized Croatians that socialized with all others don’t speak the language anymore, married into different races, and probably would play for Canada if they had a choice of who to represent.
Now there’s nothing wrong with that…but I think the more Alen Halilovic hangs out with and socializes with Croats, his whole feeling Bosnian will not stand out as much.
All Mamic has to do is release Mehmed Alispahic (so he can stop his recruiting of Halilovic by taking him out every weekend to these BiH joints) and start setting up play dates with die-hards like Josip Radosevic and we’re good to go.
You gotta give the kid some time. You can’t write him off yet because he hasn’t proclaimed his love for the repka. He’s 16. He’s probably so star struck, he doesn’t want to think about it yet. For all we know, he has every intention of playing for cro, but just doesn’t want to announce it yet because of even more hype and expectations on him. Maybe he doesn’t want to play international soccer yet and wants to wait.
I for one can’t wait to see him suit up and play on the world’s stage, but he’s going through so much now and all he is doing is playing in the HNL. He nearly shit his pants when he shook Ibrahimovic’s hand, imagine him playing at Wembly against Rooney or something. He’d probably break down right there and sniff his jock.
If he does not want to play for cro or needs convincing to play for cro or has to stay at dinamo so he is surrounded by hrvati, then I dont really care for him.
I hope neither Kovacic nor Halilovic go anywhere for the next few years and just continue to develop at Dinamo.
By staying at Dinamo longer, it also increases Halilovic’s chances of playing for Cro. Constantly being around Croats and fellow Cro internationals is a good thing and can help sway his decision. By going to a place like ManCity, where there are no Croats and one big time Bosnian star in Dzeko, it could push him the other way.
I know a lot of posters will be like “if he can’t decide on playing for Cro, then F**k him”…but he’s just a 16-year old kid. 16-year olds are confused and stupid, but they’re easy to influence. Once he is capped by Cro, he’ll be a big part of the team and play with passion as he grows older just like many of the other “half” Croats (ie. Rapaic, Srna, Prso) that have played for Cro in the past.
It would be a shame if he doesn’t start against Kiev next week. He doesn’t have to play the whole time, but put him in the starting lineup. What does Dinamo have to lose? They would just be upping his stock and maybe he be able to do something no other player has been able to do this year and score. The game is at home and against the weakest opponent they will face in the CL. I say do it. Remember who was the only player who scored in the CL last year? Kovacic. Now it’s Halilovic’s turn. Might actually put some butts in the seats too.
Mamić odbio 11 milijuna eura za Matea Kovačića
They also say that left sided players are generally more creative and talented than their right footed counterparts.
Something to do with the creative side of the brain.
Why is it that so many “Balkan players” are left footed, or just as strong with their left?
It seems more common in the Balkans than in any other region.