Zvjezdan Misimović

Zvjezdan Misimović

Misimović with Dynamo Moscow in 2011
Personal information
Full name Zvjezdan Misimović
Date of birth (1982-06-05) 5 June 1982
Place of birth Munich, West Germany
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current team
Beijing Renhe
Number 9
Youth career
SV Nord Lerchenau
TSV Forstenried
0000–2000 SV Gartenstadt Trudering
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2000–2004 Bayern Munich II 102 (44)
2002–2004 Bayern Munich 3 (0)
2004–2007 VfL Bochum 92 (21)
2007–2008 1. FC Nürnberg 28 (10)
2008–2010 VfL Wolfsburg 65 (17)
2010–2011 Galatasaray 9 (0)
2011–2012 Dynamo Moscow 44 (8)
2013–2014 Guizhou Renhe 49 (11)
2015– Beijing Renhe 39 (6)
National team
2000–2001 FR Yugoslavia U18
2002 FR Yugoslavia U21 1 (0)
2004–2014 Bosnia and Herzegovina 83[1][2] (25)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22 October 2016.

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 25 June 2014

Zvjezdan Misimović (Serbian Cyrillic: Звјездан Мисимовић, Bosnian pronunciation: [zʋjězdan misǐːmoʋit͡ɕ]; born 5 June 1982) is a Bosnian professional footballer, who most notably played for Bayern Munich, VfL Wolfsburg, Galatasaray and Dynamo Moscow as an attacking midfielder, during his active playing career.[3] Misimović is the second most capped player in the history of the Bosnia and Herzegovina, capped 84 times. Furthermore, his 25 international goals makes him his country's second top-goalscorer, only trailing Edin Džeko.[4]

Prior to joining Dynamo Moscow he has made a name for himself while playing for Wolfsburg with whom he won the Bundesliga in the 2008–09 season. In the same season he accomplished 20 assists, which was the most in that season.

Early life

Misimović was born to a family of Bosnian Serb gastarbeiters[5] who came to West Germany from Bosanska Gradiška during the late 1960s.

Club career

Early career

Known in Germany as Zwetschge (a German plum) due to similar pronunciation to his first name, Misimović previously played for Bayern Munich before joining Bochum at the start of the 2004–05 season and then moving on to Nürnberg in July 2007.


He won the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg in the 2008–09 Bundesliga season, as well as achieving 20 assists for the club, which was the most in that season.


On 31 August 2010, Galatasaray announced that Misimović had joined the team on a four-year contract for a sum of €7 million.[6] On 18 November 2010, Misimović was consigned to the reserve squad, as the head coach Gheorghe Hagi "didn't need him in the squad".

Dynamo Moscow

On 3 March 2011, he signed for Russian club Dynamo Moscow in a deal thought to be worth 4.5 million euros.[7] The deal was until 2014.[8] Before leaving Galatasaray, Misimović called coach Georghe Hagi a liar, but added that he wished his former club all the best.[9] On 19 March 2011, Misimović scored his first goal from a penalty against Rostov.

He went on to score a handful of goals more since then, none more important than a goal for Dynamo Moscow in the Quarterfinals and a goal in the Semifinals of Russian Cup in 2011–12 season. Both goals came in the same manner – from penalty kicks in the 73rd minute.[10]

Guizhou Renhe

On 4 January 2013, Misimović signed a contract for three years with his new club. Between 22 March and 3 April 2013, Misimović played three games on three continents.[11][12][13]

In March 2015, Misimović announced that he would retire from professional football, only aged 32. However, he made his return to Guizhou Renhe in June 2015.[14]

International career


Misimović played for the FR Yugoslavia under-18 national squad, appearing for them at the 2001 UEFA European Under-18 Football Championship held in Finland. In that team, he played alongside Nemanja Vidić and Danko Lazović.[15]

Misimović later progressed to the FR Yugoslavia under-21 national team, but appeared in only one match as the 85th-minute substitute against France in November 2002. Head coach of the under-21s at the time Vladimir Petrović Pižon soon dropped Misimović, telling him he was overweight and slow.[16][17]


By late 2003 and early 2004, 21-year-old Misimović was still not attached to any senior national team. He was approached in the club's gym by then teammate at Bayern Munich, Hasan Salihamidžić, about a possibility of playing for Bosnia and Herzegovina.[18] Misimović immediately accepted and debuted for the national team of Bosnia and Herzegovina under head coach Blaž Slišković on 18 February 2004 in a friendly match against Macedeonia.

2006 World Cup qualification

Misimović playing for Wolfsburg.

Misimović was used sparingly by Slišković during 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign. He played the full 90 minutes in the opening home draws against Spain and Serbia-Montenegro, followed by a substitute appearance in the away loss to Belgium. Misimović then enjoyed a spell as a consistent starter before being substituted 10–20 minutes into the second half, in the 1–1 home draw with Lithuania (scored the opening goal), the away win at San Marino, and finally the 1–1 draw against Spain in Valencia (again scored the opening goal before Spain tied deep into injury-time in the 96th minute). For the deciding four qualifiers (home win versus Belgium, the away win at Lithuania, home victory over San Marino, and the away defeat to Serbia-Montenegro), Slišković dropped Misimović to the bench, bringing him into action only in the final 15–20 minutes of each tie.

Euro 2008 qualifying

Euro 2008 qualifying began in fall 2006 with Slišković still team manager and 24-year-old Misimović an established starter and goalscorer. The opening match dismantling of Malta was followed by the shocking 1–3 defeat to Hungary at home that prompted Slišković's resignation, which he retracted a couple of weeks later and stayed on. Still more disappointment was to follow with the 2–2 draw at lowly Moldova, as Misimović sparked a comeback that ultimately fell short by scoring a goal at 2–0 down. Four days later Bosnia were heavily defeated 0–4 by Greece at home, forcing Slišković to resign for the second time in three months – this time the resignation was final.

As the winter break in qualifying commenced, the Bosnian team was in crisis mode with relations inside the organisation strained to the maximum. This led 13 Bosnian national team players (Misimović, Berberović, Grujić, Bartolović, Hrgović, Bajramović, Papac, Spahić, Milenković, Grlić, Bešlija, Hasagić, and Tolja) to release a statement published in Dnevni Avaz daily, announcing they would boycott all national team matches until four FA officials – Milan Jelić, Iljo Dominković, Sulejman Čolaković, and Ahmet Pašalić – resigned.[19] Some two months later in late December 2006, new head coach Fuad Muzurović was announced. In relation to the boycott statement, Misimović soon did a complete turnaround, denying that he ever signed any such paper and stating that his relations with the FA had always been amicable.[20]

Under new head coach Muzurović, Misimović truly came into his own, earning the national team captaincy.

Six months under Meho Kodro

After Meho Kodro replaced Muzurović as head coach in early January 2008, one of the changes he introduced was stripping Misimović of the captain's armband and awarding it to 27-year-old defender Emir Spahić who had just returned to the national team after boycotting it since fall 2006. On 8 April 2008, Misimović (then still only 25 years old) announced his retirement from the national team, citing stating health concerns as he no longer felt able to keep up the physical rigors of playing for both club and country.[21] However, many speculated that health had little to do with Misimović's sudden announcement. These suspicions were seemingly confirmed two days later by Bosnian national team general manager Elvir Bolić who hinted that Misimović might have softened his original stance and revealed that head coach Meho Kodro would travel to Germany to visit the player personally and discuss the "real reasons" for his decision.[22] On 12 April 2008, after speaking to Kodro, Misimović changed his mind and the Football Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina (NSBiH) announced that he had decided to continue his international career.[23][24]

2010 World Cup qualification

Under the next head coach Ćiro Blažević during 2010 World Cup qualification process, Misimović asserted himself as the team's undisputed leader on the pitch, displaying great playmaking abilities and leadership qualities. His fine performances began with a hat-trick in a 7–0 victory over Estonia on 10 September 2008. Bosnia finished the group in second place thus qualifying for the playoffs against Portugal in November 2009.

However, the qualifying campaign ended on a sour note both for Misimović personally and for the team. Misimović had a poor outing in the first leg away in Lisbon and was widely criticized for his sub-par performance even by head coach Blažević himself, who publicly blasted him for lack of contribution. Two days later (and two days before 18 November return leg), Misimović was ruled out by medical staff due to an apparent knee injury he picked up during the first leg.[25]

Controversy arose three days later on 21 November when he played the full 90 minutes for VfL Wolfsburg in the German Bundesliga leading to veiled accusations in the Bosnian media that he faked the injury to get back at Blažević.[26] Head coach Blažević went further, directly accusing Misimović of sabotaging him.[27] Blažević even went as far as alluding to Misimović's Serb ethnicity; suggesting a conspiracy "on instructions from Republika Srpska Prime Minister Milorad Dodik and the Serbian lobby because Republika Srpska would lose everything if Bosnia qualified for the World Cup".[28] When informed of Blažević's comments, a stunned Misimović responded that he would not play for Bosnia and Herzegovina as long as Blažević remained as the head coach,[29] and further accused Blažević of scapegoating him in order to deflect attention from the fact that the team was thoroughly outplayed by Portugal in both matches.[30] Even though he stated his intention to leave even before Misimović's latest words,[27] Blažević's response was a claim that he will leave the post because "Misimović is more important to this team than I am".[31] Blažević then suddenly announced that he and Misimović had supposedly resolved their differences after Blažević apparently called Misimović to congratulate the birth of his son,[32] but this reconciliation was denied by Misimović two weeks later.[33]

Blažević even announced his intent to travel to Wolfsburg for the Champions League group stage match between VfL Wolfsburg and Manchester United in order to visit Misimović personally, but ended up not doing so. Within days Blažević resigned as the head coach of Bosnia, revealing that he took an offer from China, and in his parting shot once again he singled out Misimović as the reason why Bosnia did not qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[34]

Euro 2012 qualifying

Zvjezdan Misimović penalty kick vs Greece.

Misimović played his 51st match for the national team against Luxembourg in September 2010, thus equaling Elvir Bolić's record for most caps for Bosnia and Herzegovina.[35] Misimović surpassed Bolić in a match against France in Sarajevo on 7 September making him the most capped player in the history of the national team with 52 matches played.[4] Bosnia failed to qualify for Euro 2012 after losing a two-legged playoffs against Portugal. Misimović scored a goal from a penalty kick in Lisbon.

2014 FIFA World Cup qualification

Misimović made two assists for Edin Džeko in a victory over Greece in Zenica. Local media compared this situation to the way they played together in Wolfsburg. His penalty kick against Greece was saved by goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis but teammate Vedad Ibišević managed to convert the rebound for a score of 3–0 (final score was 3–1 in stoppage time). Bosnia went on to qualify for the first finals tournament as an independent nation after topping their group on goal difference, and head-to-head.

Misimović and Bosnia faced Argentina in the first match of the world cup. Almost three minutes into the game, a free kick from Lionel Messi flicked on by Marcos Rojo, was deflected into the net for an own goal by Sead Kolašinac. It was the fastest own goal in the history of the World Cup. In the next half, Messi scored from the edge of the penalty area, tucking the ball into the bottom-right corner. Misimović was substituted 11 minutes later. With five minutes of the match remaining, Ibišević scored after a pass from Senad Lulić, which was Bosnia's first ever World Cup-goal. The match ended 2-1. In the next deciding match against Nigeria, Misimović played the on the pitch for the entire match. A goal from Džeko was controversially deemed offside, as replays seemed to show that his goal should have stood. Instead Nigeria took the lead in the 29th minute with a goal from Emmanuel Emenike. Bosnia pushed on for the equalizer, and a shot from Džeko was deflected onto the post by Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama in stoppage time. Nigeria won the match, which effectively eliminated Bosnia from the tournament with a match to spare. Misimović was dropped for the last match against Iran, and Bosnia went on to earn their first ever win in a World Cup tournament.

In August 2014, following his first and only World Cup, Misimović announced his permanent retirement from the national team.[36]

Personal life

Misimović is an ethnic Serb,[37][38] and an Orthodox Christian.[5] His nicknames are Miske, and Zwetschge ("plum").[39] His favourite team is Red Star Belgrade, a team which he has said he would love to retire in.[37]

Misimović's wife, Stefanija, is from Strumica, Macedonia. The couple have three sons together: Luka (born 2004), Niko (born 2009) and Noel (born 2013).[40]

Career statistics


As of 22 October 2016.[41][42]
Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Germany League DFB-Pokal Other Europe Total
2000–01Bayern Munich IIRegionalliga Süd121121
2002–03Bayern MunichBundesliga1000000010
2003–04Bayern Munich IIRegionalliga Süd31213121
2003–04Bayern MunichBundesliga2010000030
2004–05VfL Bochum313211020364
2005–062. Bundesliga3111213312
2007–081. FC Nürnberg28102310613714
2008–09VfL Wolfsburg33740844511
Turkey League Türkiye Kupası League Cup Europe Total
2010–11GalatasaraySüper Lig90000090
Russia League Russian Cup League Cup Europe Total
2011–12Dynamo MoscowRussian Premier League35842003910
China League CFA Cup League Cup Asia Total
2013Guizhou RenheCSL2456250357
2016China League One24400244
Total Germany 2909217820287337107
Turkey 9000000090
Russia 4485200405310
China 881783009010520
Career total 367105281220377434124

International goals

Misimović has scored 25 goals as of last international match day. On the Bosnian and Herzegovinian football association page it says 26 goals[43] which is incorrect. For the game Bosnia vs Turkey during qualifiers for UEFA EURO 2008, the website shows (see ref link[44] at date 2 Jun 2007) that Misimović scored a goal, but in fact it was his team mate Muslimović who scored, as Misimović was not a scorer in that game.[45] He has also played one extra game due to a duplication error on the website of the same match. In addition, Misimović did not score a goal versus Lithuania on 30 March 2005, rather it was his team mate Elvir Bolić with Shirt Number 7.[46] This note should remain active until Nogometni/Fudbalski Savez Bosne i Hercegovine (Football Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina) correct their mistake.

Scores and results table. Bosnia and Herzegovina's goal tally first:
1. 31 March 2004 Stade Josy Barthel, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg  Luxembourg
2. 28 April 2004 Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Finland
3. 8 June 2005 Estadio Mestalla, Valencia, Spain  Spain
2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
4. 28 February 2006 Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany  Japan
5. 31 May 2006 Azadi StadiumTehran, Iran  Iran
6. 2 September 2006 Ta' Qali Stadium, Ta' Qali, Malta  Malta
UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
7. 6 September 2006 Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Hungary
UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
8. 7 October 2006 Zimbru Stadium, Chişinău, Moldova  Moldova
UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
9. 24 March 2007 Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo, Norway  Norway
UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
10. 19 November 2008 Ljudski vrt, Maribor, Slovenia  Slovenia
11. 10 September 2008 Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Estonia
2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
14. 28 March 2009 Cristal Arena, Genk, Belgium  Belgium
2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
15. 14 October 2009 Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Spain
2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
16. 10 December 2010 Mardan Sports Complex, Antalya, Turkey  Poland
17. 6 September 2011 Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Belarus
UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying
18. 7 October 2011 Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Luxembourg
UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying
20. 15 November 2011 Estádio da Luz, Lisbon, Portugal  Portugal
UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying play-offs
21. 7 September 2012 Rheinpark Stadion, Vaduz, Liechtenstein  Liechtenstein
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
23. 11 September 2012 Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Latvia
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
25. 11 October 2013 Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Liechtenstein
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification



Bayern Munich
VfL Bochum
VfL Wolfsburg
Guizhou Renhe


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Preceded by
Mirza Teletović
Bosnian Sportsman of the Year
Succeeded by
Nikola Prce
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