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Robert Koren
Robert Koren 20070922.jpg
Personal information
Full name Robert Koren
Date of birth 20 September 1980 (1980-09-20) (age 29)
Place of birth Radlje ob Dravi, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current club West Bromwich Albion
Number 7
Youth career
Dravograd
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1996–2001 Dravograd 129 (17)
2001–2004 Celje 78 (22)
2004–2007 Lillestrøm 75 (19)
2007– West Bromwich Albion 117 (14)
National team
2001–2002 Slovenia U21 12 (1)
2003– Slovenia 45 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21:04, 13 March 2010 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 23:51, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Robert Koren, (born 20 September 1980) is a Slovenian footballer who plays as a midfielder for English club West Bromwich Albion and serves as captain of the Slovenian national team.

Contents

Club career

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Early career

Koren played for Publikum, Dravograd and Radlje in his home country, before transferring to Norwegian side Lillestrøm in 2004.

Lillestrøm

He became one of the most highly rated players of the Norwegian Premier League, many regarding him as the best foreigner in the entire competition. Koren was the definitive playmaker for Lillestrøm, and has often been compared to his former idol Zlatko Zahovič. During his time in Norway he was linked with moves to English clubs Leeds United and Manchester City.

West Bromwich Albion

On 4 January 2007, Koren signed for English Championship club West Bromwich Albion in a Bosman ruling, penning an 18 month contract with a further year's option in the club's favour.[1] He made his debut two days later as a late substitute in the Baggies' 3–1 win over Leeds United in the FA Cup 3rd round. Koren scored his first goal for the club in a 7–0 home win against Barnsley on 6 May 2007, the last day of the league season. The victory ensured Albion's place in the Championship promotion play-offs. Koren started all three play-off games as Albion beat Wolves in the two-legged semi-final but lost 1–0 to Derby County in the Wembley final.

In July 2007 Koren suffered a freak accident in training when a ball hit him in the eye, causing internal bleeding and temporary loss of vision. Although he made a full recovery, he later admitted that he had feared for his sight.[2][3] The injury meant that he missed the start of the 2007–08 season, but he returned to the side at the end of August as a substitute in a League Cup game against Peterborough. In mid-September he signed a new two-year contract at Albion, with a further year's option in the club's favour.[4] He has been described by former West Brom manager Tony Mowbray as a "model pro".[5] Koren's two goals in Albion's 3–2 defeat away at Southampton in October 2007 earned him a place in the Championship Team of the Week.[6] Koren scored his first Premier League goal on 17 January 2009 and was named man of the match as Albion beat Middlesbrough 3–0. His goal in Albion's 2–2 draw with Burnley in the FA Cup earned him the ITV goal of the round.[7]

In the 2008/09 Premier League season, Koren proved his reliability and consistency by making the most appearances of the season for an outfield player at West Brom, only appearing less times than goalkeeper Scott Carson.[8]

International career

Koren has been capped 44 times for Slovenia, scoring nine goals (including a hat-trick of penalties in one game against Luxembourg in August 2007), and played 12 matches for their under-21 team. He was named as his country's captain prior to their 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign.[9] He led his side through to the play-offs[10], where they beat Russia to reach the World Cup finals. They have been drawn in the same group as England, the country in which he currently plays.[11]

Personal life

Koren is married and has two sons, Nal and Tian. [12] Koren's interests include playing tennis.[12]

Honours

Club

Individual

References

  1. ^ "Slovenian Koren joins West Brom". BBC Sport. 4 January 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/w/west_bromwich_albion/6231543.stm. Retrieved 25 April 2007. 
  2. ^ "Koren to miss big kick-off". West Bromwich Albion FC. 1 August 2007. http://www.wba.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/0,,10366~1082715,00.html. Retrieved 6 October 2007. 
  3. ^ "Koren: "I was scared"". West Bromwich Albion FC. 22 September 2007. http://www.wba.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/0,,10366~1117155,00.html. Retrieved 6 October 2007. 
  4. ^ "Koren pens new contract". West Bromwich Albion FC. 14 September 2007. http://www.wba.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/0,,10366~1112331,00.html. Retrieved 6 October 2007. 
  5. ^ "Mowbray: Koren's a model pro". West Bromwich Albion FC. 15 September 2007. http://www.wba.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/0,,10366~1112879,00.html. Retrieved 6 October 2007. 
  6. ^ "Koren makes select XI". West Bromwich Albion FC. 8 October 2007. http://www.wba.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/0,,10366~1130663,00.html. Retrieved 9 October 2007. 
  7. ^ "FA Cup Highlights - Fourth Round". Craig Doyle (presenter). FA Cup Highlights. ITV Sport. 24 January 2009.
  8. ^ Season Statistics West Bromwich Albion FC
  9. ^ "Boss hoping to see benefits of Koren honour". West Bromwich Albion FC. 14 September 2008. http://www.wba.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/0,,10366~1391128,00.html. Retrieved 7 October 2008. 
  10. ^ "Slovenia-Russia match report". FIFA.com. 18 November 2009. http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/preliminaries/europe/matches/round=253455/match=300110248/report.html. 
  11. ^ "2010 World Cup Groups". http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/standings/index.html. 
  12. ^ a b "Koren puts Baggies first". West Bromwich Albion FC. 7 October 2008. http://www.wba.co.uk/page/News/0,,10366~1780127,00.html. Retrieved 7 October 2008. 

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