Ivica Olić clearly has enough in the tank to push Croatia through Euro 2012; and may even be around for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but how will the 32 year-old Croatian striker be remembered when his playing days are done and over with? In a recent discussion with CroatianSports.com insiders, a decision to whether Ivica Olić will be remembered as a Croatian legend could not be reached by the group. What Olić lacks in skill, he makes up for in hustle. The man doesn’t stop running until the game’s final whistle. But is effort all it takes to become a legend?
Ivica Olić has scored 15 goals in 76 appearances for Croatia since his first game in 2002. That means Olić has only averaged 1.5 goals per year for Croatia, and remember, he’s a striker. However, he has scored some memorable ones:
Olić equalizes vs. Italy in 2002 World Cup, can’t put jersey back on
Olić puts Croatia up 2-0 at Wembley on their way to Euro 2008
Olić has never been the most graceful player and has earned the name ‘Mr. Right Place, Right Time’ in the process, but that has to count for something, right?. The man always finds himself in front of the net, not where the ball was, but where the ball will be. Sure, he might have to take a second look (Wembley) to make sure his breakaway shot is on target for goal, but that’s the charm that comes along with Ivica Olić. You love to hate him but we will all miss him when he’s finally gone. How much longer can Olić give us?
Olić taps in vs. Germany at EURO 2008 (1:25)
Jedan Nulaaaa! Jedan Nula! Ivica Olić! Druga Minutaaaaaa…!
Croatian legends are few and far between. Only Davor Šuker, Zvonimir Boban, Niko Kovač and Robert Kovač can be considered first ballot Croatian ‘hall of famers’. But where does that put the likes Dario Šimic, Robert Prosinečki, Zvonimir Soldo, Slaven Bilić, Igor Štimac, Goran Vlaović, Mario Stanić and Alen Bokšić? What kind of recognition should Eduardo receive for putting Croatia on his back during Euro 2008 qualifying?- scoring 10 goals for the Vatreni in 12 games, including six game-winners and a hat trick vs. Israel.
Most importantly, where does Ivica Olić stand?