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Matej Delač
Matej Delač 04-2009.jpg
Personal information
Date of birth 20 August 1992 (1992-08-20) (age 17)
Place of birth Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje,
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current club Inter Zaprešić
Number 1
Youth career
1998–2009 Inter Zaprešić
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2009- Inter Zaprešić 23 (0)
National team
2007 Croatia U15 1 (0)
2008 Croatia U16 3 (0)
2008 Croatia U17 2 (0)
2008 Croatia U19 2 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22:58, 8 November 2009 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 22:58, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

Matej Delač (born 20 August, 1992 in Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje) is a Bosnian-born Croatian footballer who currently plays as a goalkeeper for Prva HNL club Inter Zaprešić. He signed a contract with Chelsea in September 2009, which will see him join the Premier League club in 2011.

Contents

Club career

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Inter Zaprešić

A product of Inter's youth academy, Delač started to impress very early on and after only a few appearances for Croatia U-15 he attracted attention from bigger clubs across Europe. During summer 2008, Delač went on trial at Portuguese Liga club Benfica and came very close to joining them, but the two clubs couldn't agree terms so he stayed at Zaprešić.[1]

He had his professional debut for Inter Zaprešić in the 2008–09 season on 22 February 2009 against NK Zagreb, becoming the youngest player ever to appear in the Croatian first division (at 16 years and 186 days of age).[1] He impressed football pundits in his debut by miraculously saving a penalty from Davor Vugrinec in the 85th minute, contributing to Inter's 1–0 victory and becoming man of the match.[2] Delač continued with good performances and finished the 2008-09 season with 15 appearances, as the club's first-choice goalkeeper.

Chelsea

On 11 September 2009, two days after Croatia's defeat at Wembley, Croatian news reports revealed that Delač had stayed in London for a medical examination and was on the verge of signing a pre-contract with English Premier League club Chelsea.[3] Reports claimed that Chelsea scouts had been following Delač's performances in the Croatian First Division for months and that their Director of Football Frank Arnesen previously went to Zagreb to agree terms of the transfer.[4]

It was announced at a press conference held by Inter on 17 September 2009 that Delač had indeed penned a five-year contract with Chelsea which will come into effect after the transfer ban given to Chelsea by FIFA ends in 2011.[5][6] In the meantime, Delač will continue playing at Inter, his wages will be paid by Chelsea, and he is also expected to participate in training at Chelsea's training ground whenever his Prva HNL obligations allow.[7]

International career

After earning 8 caps for Croatia's U-17 and U-19 teams between 2007 and 2008, Delač was called up by Croatia manager Slaven Bilić on 30 August 2009 to join the squad as third-choice goalkeeper (behind Vedran Runje and Danijel Subašić) for their 2010 World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and England,[8] breaking the record for the youngest Croatian player ever called up for international duty.[9]

References

  1. ^ a b Islamović, Elvir (21 April 2009). "Delač enjoying the sweetest of 16s". uefa.com. http://www.uefa.com/footballeurope/news/kind=2/newsid=822225.html. Retrieved 12 September 2009.  
  2. ^ Bradovski, Mihaela (22 February 2009). "Yankep utišao Kranjčevićevu" (in Croatian). Sportnet.hr. http://www.sportnet.hr/Vijest.aspx?ID=372948. Retrieved 12 September 2009.  
  3. ^ "Chelsea sign Matej Delac; 17-year-old keeper will not arrive until 2011". Imscouting.com. 2009-09-13. http://www.imscouting.com/global_news_item.aspx?id=3099. Retrieved 2009-09-17.  
  4. ^ "Matej Delac to transfer to Chelsea". Croatiantimes.com. 2009-09-11. http://www.croatiantimes.com/news/Sports/2009-09-17/5999/Matej_Delac_to_transfer_to_Chelsea. Retrieved 2009-09-17.  
  5. ^ "Chelsea sign keeper despite transfer ban: Croatian star to be paid by Blues until move in 2011". Dailymail.co.uk. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1214263/Chelsea-sign-keeper-despite-transfer-ban-Croatian-star-paid-Blues-2011.html. Retrieved 2009-09-17.  
  6. ^ Zapresic claim Chelsea deal over keeper Delac
  7. ^ Rupnik, Borna (17 September 2009). "Chelsea dogovorio Delačev transfer" (in Croatian). sportnet.hr. http://www.sportnet.hr/vijesti/383451/nogomet-1-hnl/chelsea-dogovorio-delacev-transfer. Retrieved 17 September 2009.  
  8. ^ "Delač: Ovo je najsretniji dan u mom životu!" (in Croatian). Index.hr. 31 August 2009. http://www.index.hr/sport/clanak/pranjic-upitan-zbog-ozljede-bilic-pozvao-17godisnjeg-delaca/448147.aspx. Retrieved 12 September 2009.  
  9. ^ "Croatian keeper 'to join Chelsea'". BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/c/chelsea/8262083.stm. Retrieved 2009-09-17.  

External links


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